This coming Thursday through Sunday, my brother David and I will be attending the 2009 Ligonier conference in Orlando, FL, on “The Holiness of God.” In preparation for this conference, I just finished reading R.C. Sproul’s The Holiness of God. I’m ashamed to admit that I have never read this great work before.
I’ve read and listened to Sproul before, and I’ve long been aware of the status of this book as a “modern classic,” but until now I’ve never been able to speak personally about this book.
I sincerely regret my delay in reading this. It is, in a word, tremendous. Sproul looks at God’s holiness in a compelling and easy-to-read way that leaves the reader awestruck at the greatness of our God and the wonder of His holiness.
His opening chapter on how God called him into His presence out of a deep sleep was powerful and set the right tone for this book. His discussion of how creation declares God’s power and holiness was really well done and I daresay it will challenge most readers (as it did me) to think rightly about the grand wonder of creation.
His handling of the “hard sayings” of the Old Testament was well done, but I daresay it remains insufficient to answer the critics’ questions. Of course, one of the points of Sproul’s argument is that, like Job, our questions mask our own pride and God’s answer is, in the end, His own being.
I thought the sections on Luther and Edwards were particularly good, especially the latter. His discussion of imputed righteousness was helpful and his illustrations were quite useful, I thought.
All in all, a wonderful discussion of God’s holiness in an accessible format that is well deserving of the admittedly much overused “modern classic” label.