Book #44: The Hole in Our Holiness

Kevin DeYoung is a favorite author of mine, and The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness did not disappoint. In this short little book, DeYoung looks at the question of what the Christian life should look like: we are saved by grace not works, so do we bother with good works? Or can we just live as we please? DeYoung walks through the Scriptural evidence of God’s call for His people to be holy, as well as the means God provides for us to pursue holiness. He hits hard on the fact that our works do not save us, but they are a natural response to our salvation by grace – we want to be more like God and please Him by following His commands. And we don’t even work out of our own strength, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, trusting that God will fulfill His promises to conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus. The Hole in Our Holiness is a skillful handling of the doctrine of sanctification in a way any reader could understand. The difficulty of this doctrine is that sanctification is completely God’s work – but we also must act, we cannot sit around and wait for the Spirit to magically make us holy. I also appreciate DeYoung’s emphasis that pursuing holiness does not mean attaining perfection, it means growth. We will not be perfect in this life, but we can fight and kill sin more and more. This is an excellent, challenging, and accessible book that was very beneficial to me. The back also has study questions for each chapter. I look forward to reading this book again at a slower pace and contemplating the study questions.

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