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Paperback The Holiness of God Book

ISBN: 0842339655

ISBN13: 9780842339650

The Holiness of God

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Book Overview

Central to God's character is the quality of holiness. Yet, even so, most people are hard-pressed to define what God's holiness precisely is. Many preachers today avoid the topic altogether because people today don't quite know what to do with words like "awe" or "fear." R. C. Sproul, in this classic work, puts the holiness of God in its proper and central place in the Christian life. He paints an awe-inspiring vision of God that encourages Christian...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

The drawing of the spirit

A beautiful and poetic demonstration of the truth of God's love. A writing so deep you can feel the heart of the author and the hand of his author. To know about God isn't enough and when you know him, when you know love you'll only want more.

This is flat out good stuff...

I told someone recently that I was reading The Holiness of God by Sproul and they looked at me like I was an alien. They responded with surprise that I had not read it and went on to rave about the book. Sometimes books get a bit too much pub and then don't live up to the hype; however, this book is not one of them. The Holiness of God is classic Sproul and it is a much needed message for the church of any age, but in particular, the message of a transcendently glorious God is desperately needed today. Sproul starts off the book in a chapter entitled The Holy Grail. It is in this chapter where he recounts a story of how God forever changed his life by revealing the majestic holiness of the God to him. From this point on, Sproul says he was captivated by the holiness of God. The chapter on Isaiah 6 entitled Holy, Holy, Holy is just plain awesome. Sproul combines transcendent theology with passion and delivers it in a clear, lucid manner that is engaging to the soul. For example, "To be undone means to come apart at the seams, to be unraveled.... [It is] personal disintegration.... [Isaiah] was considered by his contemporaries as the most righteous man in the nation. He was respected as a paragon of virtue. Then he caught one sudden glimpse of the holy God. In that single moment, all of his self-esteem was shattered. In a brief second he was exposed, made naked beneath a gaze of the absolute standard of holiness. As long as Isaiah could compare himself to other mortals, he was able to maintain a lofty opinion of his own character. The instant he measured himself by the ultimate standard, he was destroyed--morally and spiritually annihilated. He was undone. He came apart. His sense of integrity collapsed." "There is a special kind of phobia from which we all suffer. It is called xenophobia. Xenophobia is a fear (and sometimes hatred) of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign. God is the ultimate object of our xenophobia. He is the ultimate stranger. He is the ultimate foreigner. He is holy, and we are not." This is just great stuff. And it serves as a timely tonic for our current age that seems to have chiseled a God who looks and acts more like our little buddy than the transcendently enthroned King of kings. Sproul also writes about Christ's holiness. In the chapter, The Trauma of Holiness, Sproul shows how Christ demonstrates his utter differentness and superiority over everything by calming the ferocious storms. Peter's response should be the model, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man." (Luke 5.8). My only criticism is Sproul's insertion of a chapter on Martin Luther. I was jamming along, just drinking up the radiant holiness that this book was warming me with and then...bam....a chapter on Luther. Now, I have nothing against Luther, but, it just seemed a bit unnecessary and out of place. Perhaps others disagree. Overall, I think the book is a must read. I am catapulting it to the `top-ten' status

Understand why Luther went mad on the topic

Holiness on God's level is simply incomprehensible ... Sproul is not. God is Holy, man is not ... but ... we must be made Holy. So ... how far are we from Holiness??? Sproul points out that the distance between man and angels can be hypothetically measured. God said we were created a little less than angels. However, the Holiness distance between man and God is infinite. Sproul effectively places God's Holiness at the root of the old testament "hard stories" of God's Justice (e.g. Uzzah struck down 'protecting' the Ark, the sons of Aaron vaporized for using the wrong incense) ... these are particularly difficult and frightening acts of God that are seemingly inconsistent with a loving and merciful God (at least for me). Sproul walks you through the seeming paradox quite effectively. No prophet could bear to look upon God's Holiness (they thought they wanted to). Why? ... the incomprehensible distance between man and the Holiness of God is deadly. As Isaiah said ... 'I am undone' ... by mere proximity to the Holy Being. Sproul gets down to the simple fact that Christ is our only bridge to God's Holiness. Only Christ can reflect the face of God to man. Sproul's rationale for bridging the infinite gap by 'justification through faith' in the Lord Christ is well written. Holiness is a topic that seems to drag authors into being over wrought. Words simply do not communicate the incomprehensible I suppose. Sproul does an excellent job being readable, understandable and avoiding being over wrought on this heavy topic.

A "One Sitting" Book

This is a "one sitting" book that kept me turning the pages until wee hours of the morning. Few authors possess the keen ability to help readers come into a grasp of the nature of God's holiness, but through this book Dr. Sproul (along with his wits and unique sense of humor) is able to help us understand better and transport the reader into the presence of God. We often hear many talk about how God is love, yet why do fewer ever speak of His holiness and justice? The Holiness of God reminds me yet again that my salvation (through Christ's propitiatory death) is an act of mercy and grace by God (not an obligation), since His absolute holiness demands only justice for my sins. Dr. Sproul helps readers dig deeper beneath a superficial surface of what it means that God is holy--bringing us into a deeper understanding and love of who God is, a greater awe for His absolute holiness, and reverence in worship. As the famous Reformed preacher Jonathan Edwards once wrote: "A true love of God must begin with a delight in his holiness, and not with a delight in any other attribute; for no other attribute is truly lovely without this." One of my favorite chapters carries an intriguing title: The Trauma of Holiness. Why and how does holiness invoke trauma? Many other religions have invented god(s) who brought only comfort. Even Sigmund Freud espoused the theory that people invent "god(s)" to help them deal with scary things, to serve as a "crutch," so to speak. In this book Sproul draws a contrast by demonstrating how the one and only true God has certain characteristics distinct from those that would normally be attributed by the common man. Our true God possesses a uniqueness (an awesome "otherness"). After Jesus miraculously calmed the storm in the Sea of Galilee, the disciples felt uncomfortable and terrified (yes, terrified) upon realizing that they, in their sinfulness, were in the presence of the Holy One. What a contrast to those popular man-made ideas of God invented only to bring comfort! This book helps us to see better the God who is--who not only brings comfort in time of need, invokes our adoration and praise, but also in whose Holy presence drives us to our knees in reverential worship.

This Book Will Forever Change Your Life

This is the best book that R.C. Sproul has written (and I have read dozens of his works). Sproul probes into the depths and riches of the Holiness of God, but he does so with great reverence, respect, and honor. His theology is very sound and his illustrations are excellent. Not only does Sproul portray the true character of God but he also describes what that means to us as Christians. This book will cause you to fall on your knees and cry out to a most Holy, Holy, Holy God. Some of the better chapters are two, "Holy, Holy, Holy" where Sproul delineates just how Holy God is and describes those people in the Bible who have encountered this great Holiness and how that has effected them (i.e. Isaiah crying out that he is "undone."). Another great chapter is "The Insanity of Luther." Here Sproul describes a man who was devoted to making himself holy and desiring to be purged of any sin that would cause him to stray from any form of purity and holiness. In this attempt to do the impossible, Luther is confronted with the only Holy, namely God. Then Sproul describes the changes that Luther went through upon the discovery of true holiness and justification before God (i.e. that this can be obtained ONLY through Christ's righteousness being imputed to us). Overall, this book is in my top twenty all-time favorite Christian works. If I were you I would buy many copies of this book, because you will probably wear them all out one by one as you continue to read this classic work through the years.

Holy, Holy, Holy Is The LORD!

This book is unlike any that I have ever read in that it puts the LORD in His rightful place; on the throne, high and lifted up,exalted.RC Sproul has a wonderful grasp on the Holiness of God. This book is a must read for any Christian who is serious about furthering his or her walk with the Lord. Holiness is not a topic that is preached on, and that is unfortunate, because the Bible tells us that without holiness "no man shall see the Lord." Dr. Sproul's work is compelling, yet easy to understand. I highly recommend this book, and I am willing to discuss it in more detail, so feel free to send me an email.
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