Book Review: The Hole in our Holiness

I am crushing my Winter Reading list and just finished The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung. It’s a smaller book but packs a big punch and left me wanting more instead of having me skim the last couple chapters because the author had lost my attention. Well done, Mr. DeYoung, well done.

DeYoung sets out to convince the audience (admittedly a younger audience) that the church itself has lost her passion for holiness. That in the midst of all of this assurance and faith alone talk we have missed our call to holiness. It is a tragedy, DeYoung argues, that we stop short of the entire gospel by not pursuing holiness, and more so pursing it in Christ alone.

I found the book to be quite convincing. I’ve long thought that the church, my discipleship included, has been missing the area of holiness. We don’t go far enough when it comes to holiness and we sometimes sync more with culture than with Christ on this front. DeYoung’s book was a good reminder of what we should be called to, and that’s a holiness that is lived in Christ.

Holiness is one of those now but not yet things in the Kingdom of God. We are completely justified but not yet fully sanctified. That is to say that we are completely righteous in Him who loved us and would have our “ticket” to Heaven punched if were to leave this earth today (sorry Mayans) but it’s also not yet in the sense that we should still be on the sanctification path. DeYoung says it best when he uses a phrase I’ve heard before; grace and effort are not opposed to each other (chapter 6).

Honestly, there were times that I felt like I wasn’t saved when I read this book. But, DeYoung said he didn’t necessarily want me to feel that way, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to realize that maybe I’m not as holy as I give myself credit for. I particularly loved (is that the right word here?) the quote on page 34, “But holiness is more than middle-class family values.” #BURN

It was a powerful book that was full of Scripture and made me think more deeply about holiness. I found it to be well written, thought provoking, and creating in me a desire to change. Impressive.

Now, I will add as a disclaimer that DeYoung is a Gospel Coalition Reformed Pastor. He quotes from the ESV, uses assurance all the time, and somehow works the fact that he only believes in male elders into a book on holiness. I disagree, respectfully, with all of these things. HOWEVER, this book and this author are very very worthwhile. If you can’t get past the bones to the meat, then you’re doing it wrong.

Anybody else there read this one? Any comments on the book or the post?

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