The Hole in Our Holiness Book Review

The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung

Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness

“The hole in our holiness is that we don’t care much about holiness. Or, at the very least, we don’t understand it. This is a book for those of us who are ready to take holiness seriously, ready to be more like Jesus, ready to live in light of the grace that produces godliness. This is a book about God’s power to help us grow in personal holiness and to enjoy the process of transformation.”

Holiness: Our Misunderstanding

If you really want to know more about holiness, what the Bible says about it, and what it has to do with you, this is your book. John Piper says it quite nicely, “This book is vintage DeYoung–ruthlessly biblical.”  In this read, DeYoung delves into the deep issues of holiness. He makes the clear point at the outset of the book that there is a difference between decisions and disciples. He walks the reader through the two extremes of antinomianism (saved by grace and ready to sin) and legalism (I have rules coming out of my ears; saved by works, earn my way to heaven). Both extremes are easy to fall into. Unsurprisingly, both are equally self-centered. One says, “my sin isn’t a big deal” and the other says, “my works are enough to sanctify me.” DeYoung develops the common issue in believers: we misunderstand how the gospel and godliness fit.

Holiness: Our Ultimate End

He explains that God saved us for many reasons including, our holiness (Ephesians 1:4)! At the root of his book, Kevin Deyoung is pleading with us to consider what the Bible says about holiness—be holy for I am holy. Personal holiness (positional holiness) should not undermine our justification by faith alone (definitive sanctification). Profoundly stated with simplicity: “One is the root and the other the fruit”. I would love to reiterate everything he said because it is just a phenomenal book but I need not say that this book is a must read for any young or old believer.

Holiness: Biblical at Its Core

The power found in this book or rather the key ingredient found within it that gives it such invigorating authority is that it is saturated with the Bible. Without the power of the Scripture, a book is just man’s word; but God’s Word is infallible, and flowing forth with power! Even from a practical standpoint, this is a good place to start or end when coming to the subject of holiness.


DeYoung takes a subject that is often misunderstood and smooths it into an easily comprehended work.  Then after making clear what holiness is, shows how it is so significant in our lives, making this book theological as well as practical. A few significant works have been published on holiness in the past such as the Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges and Holiness by J.C. Ryle. This book summarizes them all into a brilliantly readable piece.

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