‘The Hole in Our Holiness’ is a 2012 publication by American pastor and theologian, Kevin DeYoung. It is a necessary reflection, as it focuses on holiness as outlined in the Bible, and very applicable and relevant to our times.
The book is divided into ten chapters, and includes a study guide at the end.
In the first chapter, DeYoung brings to attention the existing chasm between what we know to be holiness and what we practice. He gives an elevated (and true) view of the holiness of God and what He demands of His people, and continues to show the great divide evident in both our churches and our lives. In the second and third chapters, he reminds the reader of why we are saved, and the place for holiness in the believer’s life. He goes on to distinguish between what holiness is, and what it isn’t. The most remarkable quote from the book states, “Holiness is not anything in the world that makes righteousness look strange.” The fourth chapter strikingly calls to mind the relationship between obedience and holiness, and gives every Christian the necessary reminder as to why God demands our holiness. Just as we scratch our heads and begin to think holiness is an unattainable ideal for others, the author talks about the possibility of attaining holiness, and the passion in its pursuit. Thereafter, the author shows how holiness is made possible by the work of God and his provisions. He biblically shows our own role to play in this pursuit. Furthermore, you cannot write a book on holiness and not talk about sexual immorality. De-Young addresses this in the most audacious way I have come across. He unpacks and addresses numerous things that we, as Christians have taken for granted and borrowed from the world (you’ll want to read this). The last two chapters talk about abiding in Christ, and the place of repentance in the believers life as they seek to live holy lives.
In ‘The hole in our holiness’, the author does a stellar job of showing holiness as part of God’s will for his redeemed. We simply cannot and are not saved to remain in our sin, and live lives that show no evidence of change from our Creator. In these times, it is necessary to remind each other of what true biblical holiness looks like, and how it stands from time immemorial to today. While culture and time changes, the statutes and standards of holiness for the believer do not. The writer shows how God gives hope for the Christian by showing how holiness is possible by faith, by believing true gospel and by the aid of the Holy Spirit. We are not left to figure out holiness that pleases God by ourselves; instead, it is already established by God through His gospel, and we are to maintain or remain in what that gospel has instituted, as God continues to guide and lead us. This book shows holiness in relation to our relationship with God, as we grow and abide in Him, and offers a better perspective for every Christian that has pursued holiness for his own sake or as a way to earn salvation. If I have any critique, it would be under the subject of sexual purity; he mentions that Christians should consider marrying sooner to avoid immorality. That may not always be practical due to certain cultures and contexts. It may also infer rushed marriages with little information on either party just to avoid lust.
In closing, The Hole in Our Holiness is a much-needed book for our time, for Christians young and old, both new to the faith and those that have been on the journey longer as a way to self examine and reflect on their holiness.