The Holiness of God – 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 to become holy just as God is holy. Once you encounter the holiness of God, your life will never be the same.
R.C. Sproul vividly defines the true holiness of God and how we are prone to forget where we stand in relation to a holy and just God. As Dr. Sproul explained the accounts of Moses, Isaiah, and Peter as they came into contact with God, I gained a much better understanding of God’s holiness. From Moses having to veil his shining face from simply getting a glimpse of God as He walked away, to Isaiah falling onto the ground in the temple from being unable to tolerate the power of God’s holiness, to Peter faling down and asking Jesus to depart from Peter’s sinful presence, I realized that I had a naive view of God’s holiness. This book is a must-read for us to give God’s holiness the proper respect and awe it deserves.
RC Sproul vividly depicted an image of God’s holiness for me through the qualities and truths of God that are sometimes difficult for me to even consider, let alone emotionally comprehend. Just as Sproul admits in the first chapter, I also had this notion of the statement “God is holy” that was more head-based and not heartfelt and hear more often of the character of Jesus that we are called to follow. Sproul really captured holiness based upon how we witness it in space and time and how it relates to our fallen selves, in full rebellion against the set-apart and pure holiness of God. As vivid Sproul’s depictions of our polarity to God’s holiness were, knowing human words are not adequate to capturing His holiness makes it all the more fearful, awesome, and glorious. This book definitely forced me to mediate on the qualities and implications of God’s holiness that I so often glance over.
RC Sproul goes on tangents a lot–but his book still packs a force that made me consider and think about things I would rather not think about. In our culture where we are taught that we are special and we are human beings full of potential if we just set out to achieve them, this book bluntly tells us that we are nothing compared to God. We are sinful, shameful, lowly human beings who REALLY don’t deserve any attention from Him, yet miraculously, He does pay attention to us. Even more miraculously, He loves us. Even as I was reading this book, I could feel the sinful part of me rebelling against what RC Sproul wrote, rebelling against the fact that I’m not as good as I think; yet as I imagined meeting God in person, I know for sure that I would be unable to face Him with a clear conscious. I would be like Peter and Isaiah, quaking in fear and asking God’s holy presence to depart from me.