BOOK REVIEW: The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung


This is a book about the importance of the gospel, being filled by the Holy Spirit to more toward holiness, understanding the balance of faith and works, understanding the importance of the law & heeding Jesus’ commands, facing the world that wants us to be anything BUT holy, repentance,  and the hope that while perfection will never be attainable… holiness can be found in us, through Jesus & He is our motivation for pursuing it.

In Regard to the Writer:  Kevin DeYoung

1) It’s not a short book, but not long either.  DeYoung does a great job of getting directly to his point.  Which for this reader, is HUGE.  You get enough information to drive home the point, without reading endless examples and illustrations.

2) The style in which DeYoung writes is comfortable & fluid.  You don’t find yourself back tracking to read a portion again because it didn’t click.  He transitions to new chapters and ideas smoothly.  His train of thought is easy to follow, as you move through the chapters &  DeYoung never loses track of the main idea of the book.

3) His word choice and sentence structures are familiar without being “dumbed down”.  My great uncle was a lay pastor, and I have heard him speak about theology a few times in my life.  Additionally I have sat in college classrooms with Pastors as teachers, and in churches where the Pastor has more degrees than a thermometer.  DeYoung clearly knows who his audience is, not over complicating thought processes, making relate-able parallels to every day situations and experiences, etc.  He balances writing for “every man” with doctrine and theological vocabulary that we should all be familiar with.  Yet, he makes a point of defining those words through the context of his writing.

In Regard to the Book:  The Hole in our Holiness

I often find myself looking to “experts” to get answers, in particular when I am having trouble understanding a part of scripture or Christian living.  This has a lot to do with my coming to Christ at a later age & possibly even more to do with my analytical brain wanting to get as many thoughts as possible on a subject.  What I tend to find in a lot of writings is that we assume a problem exists, we support with lots of scripture that it IS in fact a problem, throw in a bunch of stories of how others have had this same problem…. and yet fail to ever get to a real solution.  I end up no better of than when I started my research.

Fortunately, this book does NOT follow that suit.  DeYoung does a great job identifying the root problem, getting the scriptural support and even giving us some examples to build the credibility for his argument.  However, he doesn’t let it end there.  Nor, does he end the book with a simple suggestion that we should aspire to be more holy, or pray for it.  In fact, unlike other books I have read, DeYoung really put effort into clearly defining solutions and direction.

He identifies these solutions within each example he gives.  He wraps up the chapters with solutions to that particular facet or challenge to holiness.  Finally, DeYoung caps off the whole book with not only solutions but HOPE.  This book equally convicts us of the areas in which we stumble (or flat out ignore) in our pursuit of holiness, but also gives us hope in a God who sees our heart & desires to be holy.  You don’t walk away from this book feeling beat up, but instead it is more reminiscent of a locker room pep talk.  You may have fumbled.  But, the game is not over yet.  We are still in this.  We can still win.

Finally, the book concludes with study questions you can use on your own, or within a small group or book study group.  It is chock full of scriptural support and references, which are found throughout the text but also recapped in the final pages for quick reference.

Highlights from the Text:

Here are just a few excerpts from the book, that I hope will inspire you to pick up a copy for yourself.

“My fear is that as we rightly celebrate, and in some quarters rediscover, all that Christ has saved us from, we are giving little thought and making little effort concerning all that Christ has saved us to.”    (The Hole in Our Holiness- Kevin DeYoung)

“The Great Commission is about holiness.  God wants the world to know Jesus, believe in Jesus, and obey Jesus.  We don’t take the Great Commission seriously if we don’t help each other grow in obedience.”      (The Hole in Our Holiness- Kevin DeYoung)

“Many Christians have the mistaken notion that if only we were better Christians, everyone would appreciate us.  They don’t realize that holiness comes with a cost.”   (The Hole in Our Holiness- Kevin DeYoung)



The Hole in Our Holiness

Kevin DeYoung

Publisher: Crossway

ISBN: 13:978-1-4335-4135-3


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