Preaching Holiness to Reformed Theology Nuts
My worry is that DeYoung is so entrenched in a (Reformed) Christian subculture that he may not relate well to those who would prefer to stay away from it—and the jargon that goes with it. DeYoung does effectively look at God's affection for the sinner as paving a way toward holiness, but all this is surrounded with an in-depth and systematic approach to the Bible. Those far from Christ need someone to point out the damage of sin—helping us see the whole story of the Bible leading in this direction—all while pointing toward a God who loves us enough to change us. But the book seems stuck, at times, between speaking to those who are falling away from God, and trying to write the most biblically correct treatise on holiness.
No question, DeYoung has written a powerful book that is worth encouraging many to spend time with. For those who are well versed in DeYoung's writings, this book will meet and exceed expectations. He has successfully written a book on pursuing holiness from a Reformed theological perspective, something much easier said than done.
My hope, though, is that he hasn't missed an opportunity to draw back to Christ those who are too lost in their own sin and shame to see beyond it. Clearly DeYoung does speak to this, but I wish it could have received more than a few pages of attention. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who senses their passion for godliness to be waning, but be prepared to sift through lengthy theological discussion.
Tyler Braun is a pastor in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Why Holiness Matters: We've Lost our Way—But We Can Find it Again (Moody). He blogs at Man of Depravity.