Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why Holiness Matters by Tyler Braun

Braun writes that Christians in America, especially the younger generation engaging a post-Christian culture, are framing a relationship with God exclusively around beliefs that make little difference in the way life is lived. Millennials have seen holiness defined in behavior: no drinking, dancing, or sex. Not wanting to fit into this definition, they have abandoned holiness altogether. The idea of a holy, set-apart people has faded.

It doesn't take much to simply believe in Jesus. In fact, that doesn't cost us anything. But following Jesus, that's another matter.” (13)

It is a misunderstanding, Braun says, that holiness is defined as behavior. “Holiness is new affections, new desires, and new motives that then lead to a new behavior.” (12)

To help us embrace a right view of holiness, Braun explains the holiness of God, the seriousness of sin, the power of shame, and God's unconditional love. He then writes about all God has given us toward holiness and how it affects daily living, including values, community, mission, and artistry.

This is a great book to help Christians of all ages understand the current young Christian's view about sin, accepting it as a way of life instead of an evil to overcome. (16) I also appreciate Braun's section on the “third way” of interacting with the world, binding ourselves to the culture around us without losing our distinct mark as followers of Christ. (114) Young Christians would do well to read this book to come to a true understanding of biblical holiness.

There is one comment he makes I find disturbing. “God cannot fully exist without the community of persons within His being...” (105) That would make God not complete in Himself. It would seem to indicate God did not “fully exist” before he created mankind. That is not the accepted evangelical Christian understanding of God.

Food for thought: “Holiness in the whole sense (pun intended) of the word means a life focused around God both internally and externally.” (16)

Tyler Braun is a twenty-something worship pastor. He and his wife live in Portland, OR. You can find out more about him at or follow him on Twitter @tylerbraun.

Moody Press, 176 pages. Publisher's product page.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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