Book Review: The Hole in our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung

In the new book, The Hole in Our Holiness (Crossway), Kevin DeYoung seeks out to promote and recover the necessity of a robust and strong pursuit of holiness, especially for those readers who are in the co-called “gospel-centered” camp.

After reading this short book, I was greatly encouraged that I could–and should–have a zealous pursuit of Christ-likeness and godward holiness. DeYoung reminds us that we ought not to shy away from using great efforts to be more holy; rather it is because we have been saved by God, declared made righteous by the blood of Christ that we can and should pursue holiness.

Chapter Two, “The Reason for Redemption,” is a very good and timely reminder of the purpose for which God saved us. Namely, God saved us by grace, so that we might be holy. Echoing Packer’s words, DeYoung contends that we were justified so that we might be sanctified.

Chapter Three is a highlight of this book: “Piety’s Pattern.” Here, DeYoung gives us some very practical examples of what holiness is and what it is not. The contents here are worth the price of the book, as it is a very helpful gauge that we can use to see how our growth of holiness is:

Holiness is not mere rule keeping.

Holiness is not generational imitation.

Holiness is not generic spirituality.

Holiness is not “finding your true self”.

Holiness is not the way of the world.


Holiness looks like the renewal of GOd’s image in us.

Holiness looks like a life marked by virtue instead of vice.

Holiness looks like a clean conscience.

Holiness looks like obedience to God’s commands.

Holiness looks like Christlikeness.

To be sure, Chapter Four “The Impetus for the Imperatives” is also an amazing chapter where DeYoung provides us with numerous Scriptural references of the different biblical reasons why we should obey the Lord. Chapter Six is titled “Spirit-powered, Gospel-driven, Faith-fueled Effort” and there you’ll find the heart of DeYoung’s argument; his reasoning is sound and balanced for a generation that may sometimes find itself too passive while living in the school of “grace”.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to young Christians everywhere, especially our current generation of youth who have a zealous love for God, as well as the “older” more mature Christians in our churches. Sometimes, through the thick and thin of our daily routines, we neglect this important necessity of following hard after Christ. Let us pick up this book and read, and meditate on it, lest we have a bigger hole in our holiness.

Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness (Crossway, 2012), available in hardcover & Kindle ebook.

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