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The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,603 Ratings  ·  278 Reviews
The "hole in our holiness" is that evangelicals don't look particularly holy, and, despite the flood of gospel-centered discussions, there seems to be a greater focus on personal depravity than on the pursuit of holiness. Looking to right the balances, Kevin DeYoung presents a popular-level treatment of sanctification and union with Christ, helping readers to see what matt ...more
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Published August 31st 2012 by christianaudio (first published August 7th 2012)
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Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Do you ever wonder that if God desires us to be holy, what this looks like? Or what the difference is between progressive sanctification and definitive sanctification? Or does an emphasis on holiness lead to pietism, legalism, or fundamentalism? Kevin DeYoung covers these topics and more in his new book, The Hole In Our Holiness.

Pastor DeYoung makes an important point when he states that we must confirm that holiness is possible. And if it is possible, and not optional, then how do we do it? He
Mark Jr.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, audio
J. I. Packer recently said in an interview with Desiring God,
There are writers who think that simply by crisp, orthodox formulations of Bible truth and wisdom—without any searching application to the reader—they are fulfilling the full role of a Christian writer and that nothing more is required of them.... There are enough people around already who can verbalize orthodoxy on paper. What we haven't got is writers who can join truth and wisdom about God from the Scriptures with personal communica
Lara Lleverino
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Just Do Something, anyone who grew up in a legalistic religious organization
This was a very well written and convicting book! The amazing thing was that even when reading such a deep and important book there were also some incredibly funny laugh out loud moments! One of the points I liked a lot was that the pursuit of holiness is not so much a pursuit of a heart change but the pursuit of the the person of Jesus himself. In todays era of books from blogs and what is popular are books that basically have crossed the line of transparency into Love me love my sin this book ...more
Aug 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every young adult Christian must read this book. When I first turned the book over in my hand hot off the presses, I wondered to myself, "Why another book on holiness?" JC Ryle covers the subject pretty well in his book "Holiness," and after having read a great portion it, I couldn't imagine what else DeYoung could tell me on the subject.

So let me tell you what DeYoung does that Ryle does not and cannot do. DeYoung addresses the concerns/objections/excuses of today's Christian culture. He spea
Alex Sofranko
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best books on the Christian life. It should be a requirement for all Christians to read this book at some point. I regret not reading this sooner in my walk with the Lord. The chapter on sexual immorality alone is worth it and one of the best discussions written on this topic.
Ntombezinhle Nzama
This is a short read, but the content is heavy and thought provoking.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a much needed corrective to many, especially younger "gospel-centered" evangelicals (like myself!). DeYoung is thoroughly biblical and convincing in showing how the pursuit of holiness should not breed guilt or shame, but delight. Especially helpful was the distinction between *union with Christ* and *communion with Christ*; varying degrees of sin; and how if we "flatten" all sin, we actually do ourselves a disservice in how we think about growing in godliness.

From a technical note, I'm
Amy Ivey
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, favorites
I highly recommend this book for anyone striving to understand salvation UNTO works, not salvation BY works. Our good works, our holy living, is a response to what God has already accomplished in us through Christ Jesus. Kevin DeYoung is a VERY talented writer, using language that all of us can understand. I especially love his "anatomy of holiness" and his plethora of scriptural references. I have already ordered a copy of this book for my daughter!
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great wee book, a really good reminded to get back to basics in some ways. As christians we are called to be holy. And we are made holy through our union with Christ but we also need to have communion with Christ to grow in holiness. It's a good book to finish at the start of the year as it inspires me to pursue godliness and focus my energy to flee from sin and to enjoy a closer walk with God.
Concise. Theological. Practical.

That sums up this wonderful little book on the practice of holiness in a Christian's life. All the bases are covered in an easily understandable and refreshingly personal manner. I loved this book. I expect I will be reading it again (and more than once).
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book by Deyoung about holiness and sanctification. Also included a helpful section about dating and Christian sexual standards. .
Andrew Miller
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Practical. Clear.
And an incredibly convicting book. My heart and outlook on many things in life was changed while reading this.
DeYoung really hones in on the problem - us and our wicked hearts.
One of the most incredible attributes about God is His Holiness and we haven't even begun to understand the ramifications of a Holy God and what that means for His relationship with us.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking to reexamine their heart and pursue a closer relationship with Christ.
Joel Warnock
Apr 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
about halfway through, I was going to give this one about 2.5 stars (not possible, I know) but ended up thinking it was even worse. I didnt really understand the perspective the writer was coming from. I felt like he was trying to sell me on things I've already bought into (a long time ago) (although certainly not perfectly). I could see how this might be helpful if you are coming from a severe legalistic background, but for me, it just didn't click.
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An encouraging little book full of hope but also reminders to commune with God and challenges that we are called to be completely set-apart in all areas of life, even those that we have become complacent in and don't even realise.
Ben Franks
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I recently finished reading Kevin DeYoung’s little book on the all important topic of sanctification. The title itself gives us a clue as to why DeYoung wrote the book; he’s convinced that there’s something missing from our idea, and practice, of holiness. As he puts it, “The hole in our holiness is that we don’t really care much about it” (p. 10). DeYoung is seeking to correct an over-correction. Anyone who has an ear to the ground of evangelicalism will have heard the frequent discussio
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up in a movement stereotyped as over-concerned for the Holiness of God, I found this book to be a breath of fresh air. Written by a man from the "Young, Reformed, and Restless" generation, I appreciate the humility and boldness to challenge our generation with the Gospel mandate to pursue holiness. Thankfully, holiness according to DeYoung is not an end in itself; rather, at its core, the main motivation for holiness is the pleasure of God (pg. 74). In other words, there is joy in w ...more
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I've read recently on holiness. The other being John Eldredge's new one: "The Utter Relief of Holiness"

Both come from the same precepts: why did Jesus come to save us? and why isn't holiness talked about more in Christian circles? Both are excellent and should both be read. The two authors have their own unique styles that make each book compelling reading.

DeYoung is a pastor so has a very biblically-based message. However, it is also extremely practical and instilled in
Peter N.
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holiness has gotten a bad rap lately. I am not sure why. But those who strive for holiness are often accused of legalism or pride. The Hole in Our Holiness is the good remedy for this faulty thinking. Pastor DeYoung does a great job showing how important holiness is, how it can be achieve, how it flows out of justification, and how it means striving to obey God’s commandments.

What impressed me most about the book was the tone. Instead of getting done and feeling like I had been flogged, DeYoung
Malin Friess
The hole in our holiness according to Kevin DeYoung (Pastor and Blogger from a Reformed tradition in Michigan) is that Christians don't seem to care very much about holiness. The pursuit of holiness in Christian tradition has fallen out of style compared to sexier pursuits such as the War on Poverty, taking on Koni, or stopping Sex Trafficking. Why is this? Is holiness viewed as rule keeping, legalistic, prodish, moralism, or simply do goodism?
DeYoung wants to change your view on Holiness. Hi
Leonardo Alfonseca
The author sees a problem: a zeal to proclaim what God has done in Christ seems to be getting in the way of mentioning what we must do after so great a redemption. In recent years we talk a lot about the indicatives of the gospel, what Christ did, and neglect the imperatives of the gospel, what we must do.I agree with the author about the problem that he sees, gospel centered does not mean we don't talk about what we ought to do.

The book is good and will challenge you and make you think a lot a
Steve Hemmeke
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kevin DeYoung is a balanced, Biblical, lively and pointed writer.

He nails the balance between receiving grace and striving for obedience, between declarations of grace to us and decrees for us. He roots our holiness in Gospel grace, union with Christ, and gratitude.

He references a lot of Scripture, and it is always used appropriately, to make his point, which is that Scripture's point, too. This is rare, these days!

He is interesting. From camping to Star Wars to donuts, DeYoung can show that he
Joshua Ray
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I read this book mainly because of a lot that I’d been hearing about various leaders and pastors having some conflict about the role and purpose of sanctification in believers’ lives. Tullian Tchividjian represents the “Grace, grace, and more grace!” side of the spectrum and I read his book One Way Love recently. While not denying or downplaying the role of grace, Kevin DeYoung is on the other end of the spectrum in the “debate.”

It’s unavoidable that I ended up comparing this book to One Way Lov
Rick Shrader
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is from
I was attracted to this book because of its title, then I thought it might be a Reformed position only on holiness, but then I was pleasantly surprised by reading the entire (but fairly short at 150 pages) book. DeYoung does a good job of encouraging Christians to seek holiness in their lives, and at the same time to avoid the extremes of license and legalism. DeYoung pastors University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan and could have gon
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Biblically accurate, thought provoking, well-applied and appropriately entertaining. One constructive criticism: the book is more about obedience or righteousness (adhering to God's standard) than holiness in it's broadest sense. Everything the book talks about is rightly under the heading of "holiness," but holiness is broader than obedience. As DeYoung himself states, holiness means separateness or distinctiveness. Certainly a large aspect of holiness is obedience/righteousness, but it is only ...more
Danny Daley
I've really enjoyed a few of DeYoung's books. This one I struggle with. The premise is right on - holiness has become a lost art in gospel-centered Christianity, and we are not better for it. DeYoung's attempt to reignite our desire for holy, moral living is a noble one. However, the book went a bit too far in prescribing specific behavioral recommendations. I was hoping for a book high on theology but open on much of the specific application, but the book described much of the old line fundamen ...more
Josue Manriquez
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read. The subtitle explains it all: "filling the gap between gospel passion and the pursuit of godliness." I believe I have a lot of gospel passion, yet my pursuit of godliness has not been what it should be. The content of this book is biblical, clear, and challenging--precisely what I needed to hear to remind me who I am in Christ, and how God has called me to live.

If you're a Christian, please put this at the top of your to-read list.
Justin Orman
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't give 5* reviews often. I've read multiple good books on holiness, including done proper classics: Owen - The Mortification of Sin. Sproul - The Holiness of God. Bridges - The Pursuit of Holiness.

But after reading this book, it might be the first one I'd recommend to someone today looking for a book on holiness. It was that powerful, both biblically and practically. Not nearly enough room here to share any of the many wonderful quotes from it, but it is well worth reading.
Josh Miller
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, yet powerful book on holiness. This is a topic not spoken about much in Christian circles and even fewer books written about it.

Even our preaching often only hits the surface when this topic is broached. DeYoung lays an insightful, Scriptural framework as to the importance of holiness in the life of a Christian. I marked sentences, paragraphs, quotes, and stories throughout the book for future reference. I loved all of the quotes from Puritan authors supporting the author's premise.
Eric Molicki
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-life
This is a fantastically helpful little book that is very timely! It addresses some common errors and expounds the fundamentals of the Biblical doctrine of sanctification.

While I don't like to give 5 stars to a book that will be out of date in a generation, this one is soo timely and needed that I gave in and gave it the last star. Definitely looking at ways to use this in on-going discipleship relationships I'm in.
Joel Rockey
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This really is a great book! Kevin DeYoung does a great job at showing the need for Christians to pursue holiness in our lives and he clearly shows what that looks like. This came highly recommended to me by my brother-in-law, and I would definitely recommend this for all Christians. It's short, saturated with Scripture, and his writing style is very engaging. Excellent!
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Kevin DeYoung is the Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church (RCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, right across the street from Michigan State University.
More about Kevin DeYoung...

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“It sounds really spiritual to say God is interested in a relationship, not in rules. But it's not biblical. From top to bottom, the Bible is full of commands. They aren't meant to stifle a relationship with God, but to protect it, seal it, and define it. Never forget: first God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, then He gave them the law. God's people were not redeemed by observing the law. But they were redeemed so that they might obey the law.” 15 likes
“Legalism is a problem in the church, but so is anti-nomianism. Granted, I don't hear anyone saying, 'Let's continue in sin that grace may abound'. That's the worse form of antinomianism. But strictly speaking, antinomianism simply means no-law, and some Christians have very little place for the law in their pursuit of holiness.” 8 likes
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