A couple of years ago Richard Stearns wrote a lament/call to action entitled The Hole in Our Gospel. He argued that evangelicals have a blind spot; there is something missing. Kevin DeYoung’s latest book argues that we also have something missing in our contemporary evangelical culture when it comes to the grace-fueled pursuit of holiness. He calls it The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. Crossway will publish it later this month. (Amazon currently has the hardcover on sale for under $10.)

Kevin and I recently sat down to talk about the book and the practice and theology behind it.

The Hole in Our Holiness from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

You can also watch (or listen to) his talk at T4G, which was essentially a summary of one of the chapters:

Here are the endorsements:

“This book is vintage DeYoung—ruthlessly biblical.”
John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Twin Cities, Minnesota

“My heart resonated deeply when I first heard Kevin speak on this subject. His message is a wake-up call to God’s people—timely, prophetic, and desperately needed in our day. As a gifted theologian and thinker, Kevin tackles many of the biblical intricacies and nuances of true holiness. As a pastor, he evidences sincere compassion and concern for the condition of the flock. As a fellow pilgrim, he gets to the heart of ways of thinking and living that keep us from reflecting our holy God in this dark world. As a servant and lover of Christ, he holds out a vision of the beauty and power of personal holiness.”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author, Biblical Womanhood in the Home; radio host, Revive Our Hearts

“Holiness was once a central component of following Christ. But for many today, the Christian life is little more than a celebration of cheap grace and pseudo-liberty, with a high tolerance for sin. In this well-written and much-needed book, Kevin DeYoung thoughtfully points us to an unpopular yet strangely liberating truth—that God is holy and expects us to be holy. With no hint of legalism or drudgery, Kevin offers a balanced and engaging view of law and grace. Kevin DeYoung is one of my favorite writers, and this book demonstrates why. I repeatedly said ‘Yes!’ as I turned these pages. I’m convinced that Christ-followers desperately need to read, discuss, and live out the timely, God-exalting message of The Hole in Our Holiness!”
Randy Alcorn, founder and director, Eternal Perspective Ministries; author, If God Is Good and Heaven

“Grace is too amazing to save us from sin’s guilt only to leave us under its cruel tyranny. In this book, Kevin DeYoung reminds us that the gospel is the ground of our justification and sanctification. At the same time, he reminds us of the many exhortations in Scripture to pursue godliness as the fruit of our union with Christ in the power of the Spirit. The Hole in Our Holiness offers important reflections on a crucial topic in the ongoing conversation about the joys and struggles of the Christian life.”
Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“One might expect a book about holiness to be heavy on finger-pointing, leaning toward legalism, and embarrassingly out-of-touch. But The Hole in Our Holiness is none of those things. Instead, Kevin DeYoung gets specific about what Spirit-infused, gospel-driven effort toward holiness looks like. Going way past ‘try harder’ and ‘believe better,’ this book implants in readers not just a longing to be holy but real hope that it could happen.”
Nancy Guthrie, Bible Teacher; author, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Bible Study Series

“J. C. Ryle wrote his classic Holiness out of a concern that ‘practical holiness and entire consecration to God are not sufficiently attended to by modern Christians in this country.’ It is with the same prescient concern and pastoral insight that my friend Kevin DeYoung has written what I consider to be the modern equivalent, urging a new generation of Christians to obey God’s command to ‘be holy, for I am holy.’ May The Hole in Our Holiness do for our time what Holiness did in a previous age: promote gospel-centered holiness in Christians and churches around the world.”
C. J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries

“I have loved being under Kevin’s teaching during my college years, specifically on this matter of holiness. This is indispensable reading material for all who desire a life of piety. Though we are fallen people, Kevin points us to our potential for godliness and how our progress in this area is of the utmost importance. Get your highlighter ready!”
Kirk Cousins, former starting quarterback, Michigan State University; quarterback, Washington Redskins

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6 thoughts on “An Interview with Kevin DeYoung on “The Hole in Our Holiness””

  1. Alex Johnson says:

    I like that Kirk Cousins gives a promotion (Go Green!).

    After hearing the sermons that lead to this book, I greatly look forward to reading it and being encouraged by the message again.

  2. Rick says:

    Are there then two favors of God, one Jesus secured in justification and one we secure in sanctification?

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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