Book Review: Holy, Holy, Holy

In Holy, Holy, Holy, notable preachers Thabiti Anyabwile, Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, Sinclair Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul Jr., and Derek Thomas provide unique perspectives on understanding the divine attribute of God’s holiness. Of all God’s attributes, the crowning one is the holiness of God which sets Him as infinitely greater than anything we as human creatures could ever become. From cover to cover, the Bible conveys to us God’s holiness and His requirements for those who belong to Him to walk in His holy ways.  This short 100 page book is a compilation of the lectures delivered at a Ligonier Ministries conference on the topic of holiness and the call to be holy as our God is holy. Each chapter is filled with pithy advice and carry a strong pastoral tone that warms the reader’s heart. It would be a very long review if I were to summarize the wealth of wisdom that can be found. Perhaps it would be best to highlight a couple of quotes that I found helpful as a sample of the weighty content found in this book:

“The minute we think that anybody owes us grace, a bell should go off in our heads to alert us that we are no longer thinking about grace, because grace, by definition, is something we don’t deserve. It is something we cannot possibly deserve. We have no merit before God, only demerit. If God should ever, ever treat us justly outside of Christ, we would perish. Our feet would surely slip.” (pp. 87)

“Since no man can see God and live, the only way we can do this (for that matter, the only way the seraphim can ever do this) is by indirect means—by seeing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. We cannot look into the eyes of the Father and hold our gaze, as though we had access to His eternal being. Rather, we must, as it were, stand on the circumference and watch the eyes of the God-man Jesus Christ as He gazes on His heavenly Father.” (pp. 20)

Although the approach of each writer is different, every one of them highlights holiness as being something that we should strive to attain (albeit imperfectly in this life). The book’s aim is to strike the heart of the reader to take seriously the fact that holiness is critical to the Christian life.

I would highly recommend this book for Christians in all walks of life. Reflecting on North American churches today, it seems that we would much rather teach superficial self-satisfaction through following a set of morals and good behavior rather than the power that comes from a life of holiness. Moreover, holiness has become more like a lofty ideal that we need not worry about in this life. Thus, this book was a helpful reminder to me that holiness is not an option for the follower of Christ.

In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Reformation Trust in exchange for a book review.

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