Review: The Hole in Our Holiness

The Hole in Our Holiness: by Kevin DeYoung

holiness

Balanced, Biblical, and Encouraging Book on Holiness

This is another good book from Kevin DeYoung, this time on Holiness. Kevin is a great blend of a mind full of historic Christian doctrine, a background of stereotypical American evangelicalism, a great sense of humor, and a very readable style. This book is a brief formulation of a much misunderstood teaching in the Bible. Surrounded by antinomianism (however you define it) sinless perfectionism, “perpetually struggling” -ism, and external formalism, where is true holiness to be found? DeYoung starts with salvation and works all the way through.

He deals with several apparent paradoxes (“aren’t we already holy?”), and the often confusing relationship of the Christian to The Law (“His commandments are not burdensome.”)

Two of my favorite sections where “‘Effort’ is not a four letter word,” on the role of Christian striving after holiness, through the power of the Spirit. In other words “working out because God is working in us.” This short summary of his 2012 T4G message is pure gold (the message is classic, too). This aspect of the Christian’s holiness is often neglected, but absolutely vital. I highly recommend anyone wondering how all this works together do a word study on the greek word “energeo” in the New Testament – great, great stuff.

His section on true repentance, distinguished from the false, was also extremely helpful, sorting out the various responses a person has to their sin.

All along the way he draws on Lloyd-JonesThomas BrooksJohn MurrayJ.C. RyleJ.I. PackerJerry Bridges, and John Piper. He does a great job of drawing from the stream of all these great teachers, and applying it to today’s audience.

I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a short, balanced, practical, Biblical, pointed, sometimes humorous and definitely encouraging book on Holiness.

Review: The Holy Spirit (TGC Booklets)

The Holy Spirit by Kevin DeYoung (ed. D.A. Carson, Tim Keller)

A good, basic, brief introduction

This is intended to be a brief introduction to the Holy Spirit, expounding on The Gospel Coalition’s doctrinal statment. DeYoung starts with “Who is the Holy Spirit,” and discusses that he is a Person, that he is God, and distinct from the Father and the Son.

The Work of the Holy Spirit takes up the rest of the booklet: convicting, converting, applying salvation, glorifying Christ, sanctifying us, equipping us, and being the seal of the promise of our future inheritance.

He briefly touches on the “controversial gifts,” and doesn’t take any sides (TGC doesn’t take sides). Here’s his conclusion:

“I believe both sides have come to see that they agree on more than they once thought. One of the encouraging signs in the evangelical world is how cessationists and continuationists have been able to partner and worship together in recent years, realizing that their commonalities in the gospel are far greater than the issues that separate them with regard to the spiritual gifts.” (p. 22)

I certainly hope for more of this!

The book is loaded throughout with biblical references to look up if you want. There are glimpses of DeYoung’s style and humor, but it is largely subdued and he is focused on his topic. I didn’t laugh out loud, like I have in The Hole in Our Holiness, or Crazy Busy, but that wasn’t the point.

This is a good, basic, brief introduction. To go in depth from here, I heartily recommend J.I. Packer’s Keep in Step With the Spirit, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s The Baptism and Gifts of the Spirit.