Review of The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung
Since Kevin DeYoung’s talk at T4G on Gospel-Driven, Faith-Fueled, Spirit-Empowered Effort, I’ve been looking forward to his book entitled The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. I really don’t have much to say about the book other than that I find it to be very helpful on a number of issues. He weaves together the absolute reality of God’s free grace while yet constantly pointing to the very goal of God’s grace in our lives: our growth in holiness.
I thought that I would just provide some helpful quotes from the book:
Let me be clear about something from the very beginning: stressing the necessity of personal holiness should not undermine in any way our confidence in justification by faith alone. The best theologians and the best theological statements have always emphasized the scandalous nature of gospel grace and the indispensable need for personal holiness. Faith and good works are both necessary. But one is the root and the other the fruit.
So holy people obey, but this is not the same as mere rule keeping. Godliness is more than basic morality and niceness.
Emphasizing free grace is not the problem. The problem is in assuming that good works will invariably flow from nothing but a diligent emphasis on the gospel. Many Christians, including preachers, don’t know what to do with commands and are afraid to talk directly about obedience. The world may think we’re homophobic, but nomophobia (fear of law) may be our bigger problem.
It is the consistent witness of the New Testament that growth in godliness requires exertion on the part of the Christian.
Your friends and family, your colleagues and kids—they don’t need you to do miracles or transform civilization. They need you to be holy.
Plenty to think on, and it ought to be enough to convince you to get the book and read it!