A few months ago it became abundantly clear that the Spirit was actively bringing my attention again and again to the subject of holiness on both a personal and corporate level. Holiness was all I could see when I read scripture, it was all I wanted to think about, talk about and read about. I dusted off a few books on my shelves that I had been “meaning to read” for a while but had in my flesh been neglecting them because I knew in my heart that I had been neglecting holiness on every level.
Needless to say that God did in fact get my attention and the past few months have been a beautiful time of rediscovering not just what it means to pursue holiness but more importantly who God is and the fact that Holiness is the sum of all His qualities. It is the reason why He does what He does, is who He is and is doing what He is doing in history.
A few weeks into this new pursuit I saw a random tweet from a pastor I follow, Tyler Braun. He was asking if anyone would be willing to review his new book which happened to be titled “Why Holiness Matters” and since coincidence is for pagans I sent him a message volunteering my self and my blog for just that.
The first thing that jumps out when you begin reading is the personal stories of failure and misdirected pursuits on his part. Transparency and authenticity is something that my generation craves and for a pastor to be willing to rip open his heart and put it on display takes courage and the work of God’s grace in his life. If we are all honest, we have all faced a dark night of our soul and are in desperate need to know that we are not alone in that season and fight.
Secondly, I can not tell you how many books I read that begin with us and eventually get to God on the topic of Holiness. Self-centeredness is very easy to slip into when it comes to discussing and certainly writing on this topic. Many authors miss out on the beautiful truth that while God commands us to be Holy, we can only be Holy because He is first Holy. A beautiful truth that is often overlooked but not in this book. I appreciated that while setting up our sinful problems the answer that is presented is Christ.
Thirdly, I was thankful for how Tyler communicated the need for community and mission in our pursuits of holiness. Again, this is often neglected in many talks, articles and books. Our pursuit of holiness is not just for our development but more importantly for the development and furthering of His Kingdom. Furthermore, community and mission play intricate parts in our pursuit because it can not be done out side of fellowship with other believers and our taking the good news of the Gospel to the nations.
I don’t want to go into more detail and keep you from getting the book. The Spirit used Tyler’s honesty and faithfulness to what God says to really help me further my desire to pursue Holiness, not out of my own strength but out of the Gospel’s strength. Holiness is rooted in God’s holy character and His redemptive grace. It is something that God has been concerned with for His people since the Old Testament (Lev 22:31-33) and has is still concerned with it for His church today (1 Peter 2:5-16).
Here is a list of additional resources that have aided in my journey: