The Hole in our Holiness

holeinholiness Kevin DeYoung’s book, The Hole in Our Holiness, came out last year. I read it a couple weeks ago, because I listened to a series of conference talks that DeYoung gave at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC. The talks whetted my appetite for more of the same; I wasn’t disappointed by the book, which thoughtfully unpacks the topic of holiness, grounding the exposition in Scripture.

After discussing what holiness is and why we should pursue it, De Young tackles some of the apparent contradictions inherent in the topic: My heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9); how can I say that I am holy? If we believe that it’s grace alone through Christ alone and there’s nothing we can contribute to salvation, why is it biblical to pursue holiness? Continue reading

I & II Samuel

At Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC, Rick Phillips has just finished up a sermon series on the two books of Samuel, mostly the life of David. I’ve been listening to them when the kids are sick, but they would do equally well on an ipod during a work-out. For style there are lots of pastors who could outdo Phillips, but not many have his rich content. It’s amazing, really – he stands in one spot, goes through the text verse by verse, reads the sermon from a full, prepared manuscript, and the Spirit blesses.

Fearless Life vs Foolish Death

Having recently gotten back in touch with a good number of Patrick Henry College friends reminded me of a chapel we shared hearing God’s Word from Psalm 49: “Fearless Life vs Foolish Death”:

Just this past year I had the opportunity to preach this passage as a sermon in a church here in Michigan, not knowing it would be the last time I would preach to one of the teenage girls. Not long afterwards she was killed in a car accident. Her reflections on this passage were read at the funeral, an encouraging, yet sobering moment. I wept as in her death I was reminded again of the pressing importance of the call to gospel ministry:

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:13-15

Song of Solomon

In the past week I’ve talked with a bunch of parents whose kids are at the pairing-off-for-life stage. Ian Hamilton’s sermon series on the Song of Solomon is a wonderful resource for helping your teen/20-something think biblically about choosing a husband/wife. It is full of gems like: “How do you know what God’s will is for who you should marry? The will of God is your sanctification. So the next time you meet a young woman who makes you want to be more like Christ, ask them to marry you.”

But it’s not just for teens – as I listened, I was convicted of my own spiritual coldness and the incredible beauty of the Saviour, who is altogether lovely (5:16).