Read The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul Online


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 ChrCentral 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 to become holy just as God is holy. Once you encounter the holiness of God, your life will never be the same....

Title : The Holiness of God
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ISBN : 9780842339650
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
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The Holiness of God Reviews

  • Natalie Vellacott
    2018-11-29 03:49

    I received this book free. Having read it I am surprised it is a classic. The author covers various passages of Scripture to try and demonstrate the holiness of God. He makes some good points especially in relation to those who ask how a God of love can allow suffering/send people to Hell. He reminds us that we all deserve Hell due to our sin which is an affront to God's holiness and that it is only by God's grace that we are saved (through faith.) Although the book is biblically sound I found it hard going and a bit disjointed. Some of the chapters seemed to have been added randomly. The book just doesn't flow very well as a read-through but it might be useful for reference.Recommended for Christian readers who want to understand God's holiness.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-25 06:00

    This "one sitting" book 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 is able to help us better understand what God's holiness means 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 theologian Jonathan Edwards wrote over 200 years ago: "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" to help them deal with scary things, to serve as a "crutch," so to speak. Dr. 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 better see 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.

  • John
    2018-12-02 23:57

    Holiness, as Sproul writes, is a difficult concept for humans to understand and define. It is best understood by experience or by story. Sproul does attempt to define it, but it is best truly understood by stories, anecdotes, and analogy.To this end, most of the book is Sproul examining personal stories that demonstrate holiness, but more importantly, and more extensively, he looks at the Bible to show what Scripture has to say about holiness.Early on he looks at the Lord's Prayer, and notes that when we say it we "...often confuse the words "hallowed be your name" with part of the address, as if the words were "hallowed is your name." In that case the words would merely be an ascription of praise to God. But that is not how Jesus said it. He uttered it as a petition, as the first petition. We should be praying that God's name be hallowed, that God be regarded as holy."Yes, the Lord's name is holy, but the prayer is primarily a petition that God's name be treated as holy. This emphasis is significant in that it sets the whole tone of the book. The holiness of God is not something to be taken lightly or irreverently. As Sproul later shows, God is holy and his holiness is a consuming fire. Even Moses was too unholy to see more than the back of God through the crack of a rock. This is a shocking thing, when one ponders it.Some of the most helpful parts of the book are Sproul's examination of the deaths of Nahab, Abihu, and Uzza. They all died because they broke the law of God in rebellious, public ways. God struck Nahab and Abihu dead for offering "strange fire." Sproul shows the true rebellious nature of their sin. He also shows the casual nature the ark of God was treated by Uzza and his throng as they transported it. Uzza's touching it was the culmination of a heinous sin, not a simple slip of his hand.It is one thing to be shocked by these stories, but another to stands as God's judge because of them. These are shocking things because God is holy and we are not. We rarely understand the meaning of this. We must bow the knee and worship, not place ourselves as the judge of God's actions or character.Another very helpful passage was Sproul's treatment of the Rich Young Ruler who claims to have kept all the laws of God. Jesus tells him to "go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." As Sproul notes, this is a frequently misunderstood passage. Many use it as an example to show that we should "get rid of all private property." Many others show rather, that the Rich Young Ruler is unwilling to give up an idol--his riches. This is true, but Sproul helpfully frames this in the context of the Ten Commandments. He writes:"If we speculate and try to get into the secret recesses of Jesus' mind, we can imagine a thought process that went something like this: Oh, you have kept all the commandments since you were a child. Well, let's see. What is the first commandment? Oh, yes, "You shall have no other gods before me. " Let's see how you do with that one. Jesus put him to the test. If anything in the rich man's life came before God, it was his money. Jesus set the challenge precisely at this point, at the point of the man's obedience to commandment number one: "Go, sell all that you have...." What did the man do? How did he handle his only blemish? He walked away sorrowfully, for he had great possessions. The man was put to the test of the Ten Commandments, and he flunked out after the first question. The point of this narrative is not to lay down a law that a Christian must get rid of all private property. The point is for us to understand what obedience is and what goodness actually requires. Jesus called the man's bluff, and the man folded."I suppose this is not a radical insight, but it is one that I'd missed in my reading. This is the kind of thing found throughout the book. I highly recommend it--particularly to young readers, as it is not a difficult to understand book, but it is often difficult to read as it puts man in his place.

  • Connie Couto
    2018-11-30 02:44

    R. C. Sproul is becoming on of my favorite authors. This book is filled with wisdom. If you haven't read it you should.

  • Trice
    2018-11-25 21:58

    so I've read/listened and reread/relistened to bunches and bits of this multiple times as I've picked it up and put it down multiple times. And as many times as I've listened to parts, long and short, I think I've had that many impressions of it. I've had moments of awe and moments of great or small ah ha and moments of frustration. Some of these impressions are related to my mood rather than the content. But some of them, good and bad, are of course directly tied to the material. At some point I'm sure I'll actually finish this - maybe even at some sooner rather than later time - but wanted to note an issue that I was surprised to hear and that has leaped to mind on just about every occasion I listened to this particular part. I don't recall which chapter it is in, but there is a part during his discussion of the necessary distinction and frequent confusion people have between justice and mercy. In this part, Sproul recounts an early sermon he preached during a preaching class in seminary in which he talked about God's neverending grace or mercy. Following this sermon, his prof criticized this professed concept, asking Sproul where in scripture he found this mentioned. Sproul then goes on to say that it had resounded with him from a hymn, and he learned his lesson here, that nowhere in scripture - in God's Word to us - does it say that God's mercy is unending/eternal. And part of me says, "I get it," especially in contrast to some voices who would maintain that we are free to do whatever without consequence because of God's forgiveness (check out Romans 6 for a great response to this argument). But another part of me says, "Hey, wait a sec - what about Psalm 136?" in which literally every other line is "[God's] mercy/lovingkindness lasts forever." Now it's possible I'm missing a distinction in meaning in the original languages, but I would love to hear that addressed. Anyway, this is but one point in the whole. I would say my moments of "wow" have come in Sproul's way of getting at the unfathomable greatness of the Creator of all things. My negative reactions have come at times because of what seemed some oversimplifications of concepts and some examples that to me seemed to go too far off track. But they've also come in that sometimes he seems to make it too hard or horrible for a person to come close to the greatness that is God. My own difficulties here are at this moment reminding me of Paul's heartcry at the end of Romans 7, "Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" although in some ways, this too goes off in another direction. But there is something else here too, and that is, truly, the love of God. We do need to be reminded of the true awesomeness of God and how far beyond us He is; but He also reminds us over and over of His love and grace and mercy throughout the Bible and through so many revelations in life.

  • Rick Davis
    2018-11-17 02:09

    This is a must-read for any Christian. I remember how formative it was for me, and I'm glad to have re-read it.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2018-11-29 02:07

    Good read, Dr. Sproul knows the scripture and teaches it. While I don't agree with him on everything (and woe be to me if he heard that as I've listened to him and he doesn't appreciate that kind of thing) this is a good and worthwhile read. I think his view of God puts Him at too much of a distance. The picture in God's Holiness is true but I think not complete here as God has made provision through Jesus and the Holy Spirit for man to approach Him. Still like I said...good read and a lot to teach. Dr. Sproul's knowledge of scripture is impressive, even daunting and he's always a worthwhile read and someone to listen to.

  • Dana
    2018-12-12 21:48

    This is a classic I have had on my bookshelof for quite awhile and just now got around to reading. I chose to read it at this time because next month I am going to the Ligonier Mininstries National Conference and the conference theme this year is the Holiness of God. This was an excellent book- though a heavy topic this book was well written, easy to comprehend, and a joy to read. My copy included study questions at the end of each chapter that would be good to journal or good to use in a group study. This book is a must read and I would highly recommended to all Christians- baby Christians as well as those more mature in their faith and understanding.

  • Ryan Gossett
    2018-12-10 03:08

    Awesome book by Sproul!! Great use of biblical stories and modern day analogies to show and explain the Holiness of God! Strongly encourage everyone to read!

  • Ron
    2018-12-07 23:46

    “Our marks of piety can actually be evidence of our impiety.” Disappointing for a supposed classic of theology. Expected better from R. C. Sproul. An important topic for Christians. Even given Sproul’s well-known Calvinist orientation, his writings betray poor scholarship and bias. Good discussion of meanings of original texts, such as the same word being translated as truly and pray.“The justice of God is always and ever an expression of His holy character.”His theological gaffs are funny. He reports Romans 8 “renew the mind” means “nothing more and nothing less than education.” He tells us “we are called to strive with all our might to produce this fruit [of the Spirit].” He reports to “make decision” to be born again is a “delusion.”“Don’t ever ask God for justice--you might get it.” The above errors can be excused as partisan politics (yes, theologians do it), but his attempt to discredit Arminian theology by labeling it semi-Pelagian is disingenuous. Masking the Arminian versus Calvinist dichotomy under different labels does nothing for Sproul’s credibility. “If man is not made for God, why is he only happy in God? If man is made for God, why is he so opposed to God?” Blaise PascalDespite all that this text has many good thoughts and arguments.“Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he will escape it.” Jonathan Edwards

  • Tom F
    2018-12-12 05:54

    Excellent work. Definitely a book I would suggest.

  • Bendick Ong
    2018-11-27 21:48

    “Jonathan edwards once said that ‘nothing’ is what sleeping rocks dream about. That doesnt help much. My son offered me a better definition of ‘nothing.’ When he was in junior high, i asked him when he came home from school, ‘what did you do today, son?’ The reply was the same every day: ‘nuthin.’ So the best explanation i can give of ‘nothing’ is ‘that which my son used to do every day in junior high.’A classic light-hearted moment in sproul’s writings, even as he tackles something as incomprehensible as creation ex-nihilo – (God) creating something from nothing. R c sproul is a scholar. His depth of knowledge is shown in excellent books like the consequence of ideas, defending the faith and his 3-volume set on westminster confession of faith – yups! truths we confess. Yet he is also a good story-teller. I mean, imagine writing a book just on God’s holiness.The first three chapters are introductory (though you may find many of the points familiar – think many preachers have referred to this classic book on holiness when they prepared their scripts) But i like the 4th chapter, “the trauma of holiness”, where examples in the Bible are quoted to show how a glimpse at God’s holiness can set us in trauma. We want to see God, but if we were to really catch a peek of God’s glory, it will most certainly set us in awe and fear. How does that work out? There are many biblical precedents. Read chapter 4 to find out.Chapter 5 is a nice break even as we look into the “eccentric” life of martin luther. Erhm his wind-breaking episodes aside, how does an awareness of God’s presence essentially change this man’s worldview and conduct?Chapter 6 is the best part even as sproul looks at “the most difficult, most offensive passages we can find in the old testament and see if we can make any sense of them.” Why was nadab and adihu killed? Why was uzzah struck dead? What about “the slaughter of women and children allegedly done under the orders of God”? Sproul warned that “this chapter is not for the weak of stomach or of heart.”If you survive chapter 6, then the rest should be erhm many trolls in the park as he deals with (7) our struggles with God; (8) our growth on holiness; (9) our misunderstanding of God’s holiness; (10) our inability to see beyond what is sensual and okie this is perhaps one level up the bridge, (11) the relation of God with space and time.Lots of quotes and stories from the Bible. Some relevant cross reference to worldly philosophies. And even once in a while, relevant literary illustrations.And again, i like him for his many stories. Reflective, related, erhm ramatic!

  • Rachel
    2018-11-15 05:00

    A wonderful work on the holiness of God by Dr. Sproul! Definitely added to the favorites shelf. My favorite part was how he expounded on the justice of God and how gracious God really is to us, but that too often, we presume on His grace. One of my favorite quotes:“The clearest sensation that a human being has when he experiences the holy is an overpowering and overwhelming sense of creatureliness. That is, when we are in the presence of God, we are humbled and become most aware of ourselves as creatures. This is the opposite of Satan's original temptation, 'You shall be as gods.'” ― R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God

  • Stacy Guillory
    2018-11-29 22:46

    When I started this book I had this sense that there would be knowledge in here that once illuminated in my life, I would be held more accountable for this information. Upon completion of this book I have found it to be true. Sproul dives into the Holiness of God in it's full majesty, truth, wrath, justice, mercy, grace and love. It is all of who He is, He is Holy. I would recommend this book as it challenges our thinking from the natural view of God to see His Majestic Holiness in it's full truth.

  • Josh Wilson
    2018-12-12 01:55

    For me the strong points here involved the historical information, for example, about Luther. Sproul bridges the gap between devotional book and commentary, and applications are plenteous. It just didn't engage my intellect very much. Something like Mary Douglas's book on Leviticus, while not intending to be "devotional" by any means, gets at the biblical idea of "holiness" more effectively because it is so text-oriented. This one didn't really fill in any gaps in my understanding of holiness, but there were some good reminders here, if nothing very new.

  • Sherly Holmes
    2018-12-01 22:55

    RC Sproul left me hungry for more of God's Holiness. As I was about to finish reading this book, I could hear myself at the back of my mind saying, "Whaaa! I want more, more!" This book holds no limit in discussing God's holiness. I mean, it is not the typical type of read. It did not settle with the common knowledge we have about God. Rather, it provided a fresher, braver look into God's supremacy and His holiness. Thus, it had me craving for more and more, I did not want to stop reading it.

  • Nadine
    2018-11-15 02:46

    I took 5ever to finish this book (because of my own laziness) . but this is a must read for all Christians. really explains & expounds on God's holiness & just how central it is to our understanding of God. it really is a great thing to to look into, completely makes God that much bigger & fantastic & majestic & awesome than we can ever believe or realize. & we are just that much evil, depraved & unholy & terrible & deserving of God's wrath than we think we are. we must remember that.

  • Beth
    2018-12-13 03:46

    A surprisingly enjoyable read, considering the meaty theological topic.

  • Stephen
    2018-11-24 06:07

    After the Bible, this book should be the first read by any new Christian.

  • Andrew
    2018-12-02 21:53

    Sproul goes over key texts on the Holiness of God such as Isaiah 6 as well as some biographical information on key figures in Christianity who have been influenced by a proper understanding of the Holiness of God, such as Sproul’s discussion of Martin Luther’s conversion in chapter 5 and an overview of Jonathan Edward’s famous sermon, Sinner’s in the hands of an Angry God, in chapter 9, where Sproul also discusses a similar sermon that Jonathan Edwards preached, which is not as well known: Men Naturally God’s Enemies. In Sproul’s first chapter he explains the importance of a proper understanding of who God is for the entire Christian life and Sproul makes the piercing observation that zeal without knowledge can be dangerous, we must know the attributes of the God whom we believe in, “But there was something missing in my early Christian life. There was zeal abundant, but it was marked by a shallowness, a kind of simplicity that was making me a one-dimensional person. I was a Unitarian of sorts, a Unitarian of the second person of the Trinity. I knew who Jesus was, but God the Father was shrouded in mystery. He was hidden, an enigma to my mind and a stranger to my soul. A dark veil covered His face ” (pg. 7). Sproul explains that it was during his philosophy class in his undergraduate studies that he was introduced to the early church father Augustine who changed Sproul’s view of God with his explanation of God’s creation of the world ex nihilo by divine fiat, without any external aid. Sproul focuses in on the attribute of God’s holiness as central to all of scripture, only God’s attribute of holiness is repeated three times in a single verse giving it a superlative function setting apart God’s holiness from that of creation providing the essential foundation for the creator-creation distinction, God is God and we are not nor can be on the same ontological plane as God because we are mere creatures . Sproul does an excellent job tracing the theme of God’s holiness from the Old Testament into the New Testament. He begins with Isaiah 6, Isaiah’s vision of Yahweh, giving a verse by verse exposition, one observation that stood out to me was Sproul’s explanation of why the seraphim covered their feet with their wings, which is done because feet represent feet of clay, distinguishing creation from the creator, so the angels covered their feet to acknowledge that they are still mere creatures before the perfect presence of God’s holiness . Sproul also observes an often neglected attestation to God’s holiness, the use of woe to deny that man is holy, specifically in Isaiah 6, coupled with the affirmation of God’s holiness both proclaim God’s holiness with the proper ascription to God as holy, and separates man from God with the use of woe, often used in condemnations or curses, and which is utilized by Christ in the New Testament to condemn the Pharisees and those with a façade of self-righteousness and claim to their holiness. God’s holiness is qualitatively different from man, not merely quantitatively different where there isn’t a scale of holiness with God at 100% on the scale as we progress towards 100% in our sanctification since God is on a different ontological plane from man, and God’s holiness sets God apart from man in all of his attributes, he is completely other, distinct, set apart from man and his creation in all of his attributes. Sproul also gives an exposition of Leviticus 10 and God’s execution of Nadab and Abihu for offering strange fire on the altar, and God’s execution of Uzzah for trying to prevent the ark of the covenant from falling, and in both of these instances of God’s holy justice demonstrated Sproul gives 4 concepts crucial to understanding God’s holiness that must be understood to have a proper understanding of God, otherwise we may be tempted to view these events as unjust and cruel: holiness, justice, sin, and grace . Sproul shatters the false accusation that the God of the Old Testament is harsh and cruel in comparison to the God of the New Testament, it is a false statement because it neglects man’s depravity and God’s holiness, Sproul then focuses on the crucial event in history that is more harsh than any other in history, the cross, “The false conflict between the two testaments may be seen in the most brutal act of divine vengeance ever recorded in Scripture. It is not found in the Old Testament but in the New Testament. The most violent expression of God’s wrath and justice is seen in the cross. If ever a person had room to complain of injustice it was Jesus. He was the only innocent man ever to be punished by God " (Pg. 185). Sproul doesn’t view the Holiness of God as an attribute of God that is only prominent in the Old Testament, he also examines several key events recorded in the New Testament which highlight the Holiness of God such as Christ calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41), the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), Christ’s crucifixion (Matthew 27:32-56), and the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13). Sproul also discusses the importance of the title of saints for believers in the Bible, and how this relates to God’s holiness. Sproul gives two basic reasons for why Christians are called saints in the Bible: 1. Christians have been sanctified, set apart to a different life that is not in conformity to the world, and 2. Because Christians are in the process of sanctification, we are to daily pursue growing in holiness as believers . In the last chapter before Sproul examines Jonathan Edward’s sermon: Sinner’s in the hands of an Angry God, he compares pre and post-enlightenment sermons on hell and makes the biblical argument that Jonathan Edward’s did not preach on hell based on a scare tactic, but out of a genuine compassion for the lost. Sproul makes the bold, yet biblical statement about God’s holiness and wrath which is often denied by many evangelicals, “We may say emphatically, “No, it is not God I hate; it is Edwards that I hate. God is altogether sweet to me. My God is a God of love.” But a God of love who has no wrath is no God. He is an idol of our own making as much as if we carved Him out of stone ” (Pg. 269-270). The first strength of Sproul’s book is that it gives a useful systematic and exposition overview of the holiness of God in the Old and New Testament. Sproul also incorporates Biblical examples of men who have encountered the holiness of God such as Job and Saul, along with the biographical account of Martin Luther and Jonathan Edward’s famous sermon on God’s holiness and just wrath against sinners. Second, Sprouls’ use of application concerning God’s holiness is biblically based, not taking verses out of context, as he connects related themes to God’s holiness such as the fear of God that demonstrate how the holiness of God is significant for the sanctification of believers. The only weakness that I observed was in the first chapter where Sproul asserted his presupposition(s) concerning apologetics, which contradicts his book on the Holiness of God since a Holy God is not approached by building a bridge via philosophical arguments towards God, since that would deny God’s holiness and the noetic effects of sin and its significance for fallen man’s ability to reason. God must be the starting point for apologetics, not the conclusion we start from God as He has revealed himself in Scripture and demonstrate that the unbeliever is suppressing the truth of the God they know exists in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18) and we graciously confront them with the fact that they have to borrow from the Christian worldview to make sense of reality i.e. morality, logic, and the uniformity of nature; all apologetic arguments are based on God’s immutable attributes rather than chance and not philosophical arguments dependent on general revelation as their source of authority.

  • Jerry
    2018-12-03 03:49

    I just finished reading this book, for the second time, about 30 years after the first time.I am brought to my knees thinking about God’s holiness, and the chasm that exists between my behavior and that holiness. I’m more a are of it than I was 30 years ago, it was more of an external examination of who I was back then. No I can see with more clarity the mess I am on the inside, and how much I need Jesus Christ to stand as my advocate. Anyone desiring to understand who the Christian God is and what He has done for us should read this book. Thank you RC, I’ll miss you.

  • Lisa Bittle
    2018-11-21 01:59

    My first book I read by RCSproul. I loved it!!!! He is a fantastic preacher of God's word, but an even better writer explaining God's word, so lay men like I can understand it. Fantastic!

  • Kevin
    2018-11-14 22:06

    I will be forever indebted to Dr Sproul for this classic work. It was 28 years between reading the first time. So much has happened over that time but hindsight makes it clear, I am passionate about divine sovereignty and holiness because of RC. Every Christian needs to read this as a new believer and then again as a refresher on holiness. When we understand who God is compared to who we are we will be effective tools for the kingdom and faithful slaves for our King.

  • Caleb
    2018-12-12 06:07

    I got my hands on this classic by Dr. R.C. Sproul a few months ago, and I was excited when I found the time to sit down and read it. I have read and listened to Sproul for a little while now, and I have very high respect for his scholarship. The Holiness of God is his most famous work, and I think it has an important place in the minds and on the bookshelves of Christians today. I think that God's holiness is a concept that most Christians accept but without truly understanding its depth. So often we settle for the surface in all areas of life. God's holiness is immeasurably deep. Sproul spends 250 pages unpacking the awesome holiness of our God.Sproul's main objective is to explain God's holiness. He does this through exposition of Scripture. His chapters vary in content, focusing on God himself, the way other people saw His holiness, how it affects our lives, among other things. Here is a breakdown of a few concepts that really stuck out to me.God is just and gracious, because He is holy.God is sovereign. He is completely just in destroying us at any moment because we are sinful. Even the most minute amount of sin is punishable by death because of God's infinite holiness. This means that any minute that God does not strike us dead, he has given us grace by suspending justice. That is truly amazing grace. The beauty of God's justice and grace meet at the Cross of Christ, where God's justice was unleashed on his Son Jesus, giving us grace. God is just, and gracious. Both of these attributes are facets of His holiness.Meditation on God's holiness changes people.Sproul devotes a whole chapter to one man's perception of God's holiness, Martin Luther. Martin was sometimes consider insane by people. He was so devout in confession and the degrading of himself as a sinful human being that the other monks became annoyed. Luther lived in terrible fear of the holy and just God, until he came to understanding of the Cross. This plays out in my life as I see that God has every right to execute me for any sin, yet he gives me grace so often. It is a truly humbling doctrine, yet so often I take advantage of grace. I'm striving to have the mindset of Luther. I know that the more I hate my sin, the more I will appreciate and cherish Jesus!Dr. Sproul widens the reach of God's holiness and addresses some difficult passages of Scripture where God seems to kill innocent people. God has the Israelites slaughter other nations and tribes, including women and children. We see other accounts of God slaughtering people for the tiniest sin. This seems so unjust! Why would God do this? The somber truth is that God is completely just for His actions. He is infinitely holy, and even the most minuscule bit of sin or imperfection gives God the right to execute us, immediately! Therefore, God is justified for enacting justice on whomever he pleases. We shouldn't complain because if we are alive, we are experiencing grace!Sproul hits many more concepts in this great book, but the reality of God's justice really gripped me. I encourage anyone to read it. My hope is that the Church would be broken by God's holiness and restored by His grace through the work of Jesus Christ--The Gospel.

  • David
    2018-11-21 05:56

    I struggled in the beginning as I sought to read this book which deals with deep theological issues. Such reading often lacks any entertainment value and thus one must push forward to gain benefit.However, soon, I was joining the author in the struggle to have just an inkling of the holiness of God and to examine its implications for mankind, and for my own personal walk with Christ.Sproul wrestles with some of the most difficult passages in the Scripture as he seeks to explain how believers have grown accustomed to thinking of God's grace and mercy to such an extent that when God acts in judgment of sin we are shocked and devastated. He offers several Old Testament examples such as the sons of Aaron who offered "strange fire" and the man who touched the "Ark of the Covenant" as it made its way to Jerusalem. Both times, those near God's acts of judgment were overwhelmed and distressed by it. Sproul wrestles with these passages and the reader comes away with a greater appreciation of God's justice and holiness.Sproul offers an encapsulated biography of Martin Luther and describes Luther's struggles with the justice and holiness of God and its implication for his day to day living. The author pointed out, somewhat humorously, that Luther made many references to flatulence, and that humanizing factor softened some of the harder truths in that chapter.This is an excellent book, but probably not for every church member. It is well-written, well-organized, well-researched-- and met a need in my own life that I was not aware existed.

  • Michael
    2018-11-29 04:42

    If there is one characteristic of God that must be embraced and is, in fact, at core of who God is, mark it down, it is not God's love but His holiness. From Jesus' prayer in which His first petition was "hallowed by thy name", it is clear that while God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, we must also understand that He will by no means clear the guilty. Holiness is a cut above, a level of authority and power that no one else even comes close to, and we who have been saved have been set aside and called by God to "be holy for I am holy." We must also realize that this holiness is not of ourselves; we are not saved or holy because of our own righteousness, but because God deems us holy because of who He is. This book by R.C. Sproul will radically change your view on God's character and His primary characteristic, why He did what He did and continues to do as He wills. It may even provide some answers to very deep and thought provoking questions that many ask today, such as "Why would a good and loving God tell Israel to kill an entire people, women, men, and children?"Amazing read, and worth reading again to drive home that God is holy above all else and there is no other like Him.

  • Paul Stuart
    2018-12-05 21:57

    Sproul does a great job fleshing out the topic of holiness and how it's not just "an" attribute of God but "the" attribute of God. Each chapter was not just a continuance of the main topic but rather a different angle or subject concerning God's holiness, which I enjoyed. It helped me see how holiness in itself affects every dimension of God's creation. I highly recommend this book. My only critique is the last chapter. He loses his marbles. Like, he goes nuts. He starts rambling about Gothic architecture and cathedrals and how they provide "holy ground" but contemporary church buildings do not. It sounded kind of crazy. God apparently only shows up in fancy churches...? I was actually laughing out loud at some parts of the chapter. I think Sproul realized his publisher's due date was the next morning and he had dozed off thinking about golf, so he glanced at the clock with a cold sweat and started hammering out his unapproving thoughts about the hipster church plant down the road but tried to veil his disdain by throwing the word "holy" around so that any understandably confused reader would allow the chapter to be considered relevant. But hey, what are you gonna do. It's still a great Sproul book and all the other chapters are really great.

  • Christina
    2018-11-25 21:59

    "Christianity is not about involvement with religious experience as a tangent. It involves a meeting with a holy God, who forms the center, or core, of human existence" (pg. 212).Chapter after chapter, Sproul pushes for an understanding of God as wholly "other" and ”transcendent," yet also as the One who comes to us, almost intruding into our profane, creaturely lives as a merciful, purifying fire. God's holiness becomes ours in Christ, and "[t]he goal of Christian growth is the achievement of righteousness" (pg. 167).I was surprised and intrigued at how "experiential" Sproul's picture of Christianity was throughout (I was uncomfortable with it at points, but mostly it made a lot of sense to me). His thoughts in Chapter 10 on the idea that goodness, truth and beauty all "meet at the top" in God were refreshing and made me want to spend more time knowing God through aesthetics (beauty). Also, I found his discussion on "sacred space" and "sacred time" in Chapter 11 a helpful balance to the possible notion that God’s omnipresence means He is experienced everywhere in the same way.

  • Carol Arnold
    2018-11-22 02:46

    Amazing treatise on the holiness of GodThis is an amazing book on the holiness of God. It was recommended by my pastor and I can definitely see why. Dr. Sproul challenges the reader to consider their view of God. If He is not the holy God of the Bible then he is an idol made up in the reader's mind. I have highlighted so many passages in the book to reread and review. The last two chapters were a little more difficult and I didn't get as much out of them, but I'm sure it was just my lack of understanding. For the most part, this book was highly readable and understandable. Every Christian who truly wants to know God in the fullness of His glory should read this book. It is destined to become a classic.

  • Bethany
    2018-12-06 03:53

    I highly recommend this book for all human beings to read. For those that do not believe in God, they will be confronted and meet Yahweh! For those that are already believers, it will grow their faith. I know it grew mine! Sproul has a way of telling stories and encouraging people to grow in their knowledge of God (theology!). He certainly kept my attention. This intense subject was fascinating to read. I found myself laughing, crying, and feeling the aweful and terrible holiness of God. Highly recommended.