Book Review: The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung

What does it mean to be holy? Why is holiness important? Is it crucial to the Christian faith? These are questions that are answered in Kevin DeYoung’s newest book, The Hole in our Holiness, which addresses one of the most important, if not misunderstood, issues in Christian life. In this book, the author DeYoung explains how holiness is missing in much of modern Christianity today. Professing Christians see holiness as a legalistic thing that characterized past Puritan and serious sects of the Protestant Reformation. It supposedly sucks all of the fun out of life. Though salvation is by grace through faith, faith does not give license to sin. DeYoung explains how we are saved by faith, but this faith is not dead or fruitless. We have been saved to be a worshipping community onto God (Chapter 2), not merely to escape hell and to live life anyway we please. Therefore, holiness is a necessary component of Christian living and characterizes every saved Christian, since holiness is what the Holy Spirit works in the heart of Christians.

 DeYoung explains the biblical reasons for holiness, both in the OT and NT, and demonstrates how holiness and righteous living are evident fruits of salvation. Without it, we shall not see the Lord, according to Hebrew 12:14. Holiness must never be seen as a burden or a killjoy, but rather the source of all joy and direction in life. Holiness is what we will be for all eternity. Pg 57 of the book gives an outstanding list of how the Bible motivates us to pursue holiness. Although perfect holiness is unattainable in this life, a strive for holiness is encouraged in the Bible and is what we should cherish. This holiness is driven by the Holy Spirit. It is gospel driven and faith fueled. Therefore, holiness is essentially gospel obedience that comes from a heart renewed and regenerated by faith and a love for God, instead of heartless motions through tasks, commands, and man-made traditions that can be made legalistic depending on one’s choice and will. The author discusses the dangers of living a sinful and immoral life, especially in Chapter 8 regarding sexual immorality, which is one of the Bible most discussed sins that separate man from God. And the author ends with a challenge to the readers to live out the holy life that God has purposed for them.

This book is very challenging and convicting. It is small but has a powerful punch to it. This book can change the course of your Christian life, especially if you are a false convert or a believer who is struggling with sin. It is an important book, something I would recommend to everybody to read, especially those who are living a licentious life. Holiness is what we have been called to, and it must not be seen as optional in a Christian’s life. It is most necessary, and much of our Christian testimony to the unsaved world depends on the fruits of transformation that must be evident in godly and just living. In all, I highly recommend this book. It is encouraging, challenging, and enlightening.

Book grade: A-