September 15, 2012

The Hole in our Holiness - Book Review

I just finished the Christian Audio version of The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung and read by Adam Verner. The full title of the book is The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness.

The Amazon.com Description:
The “hole in our holiness” is that evangelicals don’t look particularly holy, and, despite the flood of gospel-centered discussions, there seems to be a greater focus on personal depravity than on the pursuit of holiness. Looking to right the balances, Kevin DeYoung presents a popular-level treatment of sanctification and union with Christ, helping readers to see what matters most—being like Jesus. He shows how one can be like Christ in being joined to Christ. The market is ready for DeYoung’s timely book, ready to avoid legalism and ambivalence, and they are ready for someone to articulate the inextricable relationship between grace and holiness.
I absolutely agree with the basis of this book. In my own circles of friendships and acquaintances, I have seen this consistent slide towards a relaxed view of holiness.  With many it has even been a, "We can continue in sin so grace may abound!" sort of view.  Though most wouldn't admit this truth, their lives proclaim it day by day.

I have seen this tendency in my own life as well.  The "big-bad" sins are gone, but those lingering ones tend to remain for a long time.  It has been through great conviction, and some trials and tribulations, that God has begun to work those out of my life as well.  It has now moved to the forefront of my mind that this is essential to all Christians.  And the critical nature of personal holiness has also shown itself in my study of Ephesians at Edgewood.

The thing that I really enjoyed about this book, that moved it up to an "excellent" number of stars on my ratings, is that it is full (to the brim) with scripture.  And not just references, I love it when an author includes whole verses and passages of scripture in their book.  It isn't just "filler" for a book, it becomes the book's spinal cord.

I also appreciated how Kevin DeYoung starts by showing us the "why" of holiness, but he also tells us the "how" from more than one perspective.  There were huge applicational points throughout the book, but he really zoned in on the marriage between God and his Grace in Jesus Christ and the effort that is exerted in a pursuit of holiness.

I highly recommend this book.  I really enjoyed the voice talent as well.  Adam Verner was a new name for me, but he really reminded me of the times that I have heard Kevin DeYoung speak.  There was such a personal feel to the reading that I thought that it was actually the author reading the book through most of it.

Check out the links above to go to Amazon, or go the the Christian Audio site to purchase this book.