Saturday, May 29, 2010


I stayed with my friends Tony and Michelle last night after watching My Fair Lady. Tony is preaching a series on holiness soon and has many interesting ideas. Here are two things that grabbed me:

1. "God's holiness isn't something that separates him from us, but that draws him to us."

2. "I read Christian books on holiness and I feel guilty. I read the bible and I don't."

Any thoughts on these?


  1. I agree with point 2. I got given the 'linked' book when I was at uni. I've tried to read it a couple of times but have never finished it (I don't think I've even got as far as halfway). The reason being that 'guilty' feeling and feeling of I'm so far away from the goal, so much that makes me 'unholy', that it saps all motivation to try.

  2. I'd be quite interested in what Tony's getting at in point 1. I could have a guess...

  3. Brilliant and spot on. Tony musta been reading John Webster's book Holiness, or something like it. It makes this brilliant point. Yeah Tony!

  4. I don't know. I feel guilty when I read the Bible. "Love your neighbour" for example. Who does that?

  5. mj - yes. Tony's reading Webster. Good pick up!

  6. I think point 1 depends a lot on how you define the terms. God's holiness didn't 'physically' separate him from Israel in the wilderness, but his drawing near tended to destroy them.

    As to feeling guilty, I'm a lot like Wendy, it depends a lot on what part of the Bible I'm reading. I think if someone never felt a sense of how far they don't meet God's standards when those are expounded and that that falling short mattered then I'd be asking some kind of questions about their spiritual health.

    Whether they felt 'guilty' in the sense of having to wrestle with a sense of condemnation versus an assurance of justification might be a secondary issue where other factors come to play.

  7. Yes, if we didn't feel guilt, we wouldn't need a Saviour. But you're right - we shouldn't remain in that place of paralysis because of grace.

    I'm not totally sure, but I wonder if a certain denomination has a little bit to answer for (or maybe I'm just too conscientious) because I've felt "guilty" about a lot of things in the past - eg. holiness, evangelism etc. I wonder if conservative evangelical churches haven't emphasised grace enough.