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Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him

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Why is it so hard to trust God sometimes?   We say we trust Him with our mouths, but often not with our lives. We live like God can’t be trusted. Like He doesn't actually want what is best for us. Like He is just another person who, as Eve assumed in the Garden all those years ago, might hold out on us.   Bestselling author Jackie Hill Perry, in her much anticipated follow Why is it so hard to trust God sometimes?   We say we trust Him with our mouths, but often not with our lives. We live like God can’t be trusted. Like He doesn't actually want what is best for us. Like He is just another person who, as Eve assumed in the Garden all those years ago, might hold out on us.   Bestselling author Jackie Hill Perry, in her much anticipated follow-up to Gay Girl, Good God, helps us find the reason we don’t trust God—we misunderstand His holiness.   In Holier Than Thou, Jackie walks us through Scripture, shaking the dust off of “holy” as we’ve come to know it and revealing it for what it really is. In these pages, we will see that God is not like us. He is different. He is holy. And that’s exactly what makes Him trustworthy. As it turns out, God being “holier than thou” is actually the best news in the world, and it’s the key to trusting Him.  


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Why is it so hard to trust God sometimes?   We say we trust Him with our mouths, but often not with our lives. We live like God can’t be trusted. Like He doesn't actually want what is best for us. Like He is just another person who, as Eve assumed in the Garden all those years ago, might hold out on us.   Bestselling author Jackie Hill Perry, in her much anticipated follow Why is it so hard to trust God sometimes?   We say we trust Him with our mouths, but often not with our lives. We live like God can’t be trusted. Like He doesn't actually want what is best for us. Like He is just another person who, as Eve assumed in the Garden all those years ago, might hold out on us.   Bestselling author Jackie Hill Perry, in her much anticipated follow-up to Gay Girl, Good God, helps us find the reason we don’t trust God—we misunderstand His holiness.   In Holier Than Thou, Jackie walks us through Scripture, shaking the dust off of “holy” as we’ve come to know it and revealing it for what it really is. In these pages, we will see that God is not like us. He is different. He is holy. And that’s exactly what makes Him trustworthy. As it turns out, God being “holier than thou” is actually the best news in the world, and it’s the key to trusting Him.  

30 review for Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him

  1. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    Holier than Thou by Jackie Hill Perry We know that God is good, and we know he is loving. But when was the last time you really considered his holiness? In Holier than Thou, Jackie Hill Perry helps us consider and rejoice over the holiness of God. Because it is his holiness—his being “other” than us, his perfect moral purity, his inability to do or be something other than good—that makes him able to be trusted at all times. Holy Justice was my favorite chapter. A notable quote: In an attempt to j Holier than Thou by Jackie Hill Perry We know that God is good, and we know he is loving. But when was the last time you really considered his holiness? In Holier than Thou, Jackie Hill Perry helps us consider and rejoice over the holiness of God. Because it is his holiness—his being “other” than us, his perfect moral purity, his inability to do or be something other than good—that makes him able to be trusted at all times. Holy Justice was my favorite chapter. A notable quote: In an attempt to justify their belief that God isn’t antagonistic toward sin, there are those that will say, “God is love.” They most likely don’t realize it but what they’re ultimately claiming is that God is unjust. Jackie’s voice comes through on the page in her dynamic style, but I suspect this would be even better on audio. Releases in two weeks, 8/17 from @bhpub. Thank you to the publisher and @netgalley for the advanced review copy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    LA

    5 stars for my girl jhp. I always thought of God’s holiness foremost as defining him as set apart & different than me to the utmost degree, but this book through scripture has put a lot more richness & truth into my definition of “holy”. This in turn has informed my thoughts on what it means to “Be holy, as I am holy.” & finally to long for the day when “we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is”. Can’t summarize the book, but 10/10 recommend you to read it

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Wolfe

    I took too long to review this because I had to sip slowly from the richness of this beautiful truth. I'm not going to lie: I went into this a little 'meh'. I've read several books about the holiness of God and sure, JHP is always good but... you know. No. I was wrong. This book is needed. It's 100% scripture and even quotes from those other books/theologians I've read and yet is fresh, poignant, and gut-wrenching in Perry's beautiful wordsmithing. It's just glorious. I think I highlighted half th I took too long to review this because I had to sip slowly from the richness of this beautiful truth. I'm not going to lie: I went into this a little 'meh'. I've read several books about the holiness of God and sure, JHP is always good but... you know. No. I was wrong. This book is needed. It's 100% scripture and even quotes from those other books/theologians I've read and yet is fresh, poignant, and gut-wrenching in Perry's beautiful wordsmithing. It's just glorious. I think I highlighted half the book. Succinct and yet piling image upon image Perry makes sure we GET it. Being full of the Bread of Life means we have no room for idols, including those not-God gods of our own wishful thinking. "One goal of this work you're holding is to prove that 'if' doesn't belong in front of 'God is holy.' Since He is, ... He can and will be trusted." "[T]he foundation of our idolatry, the sin begetting all others, is a specific belief about God. Our perverse sexual ethics, wild tongue, religious superiority, dark thoughts, legalistic posture, mean ways, impatient moods, greedy antics, intellectual arrogance, and rebellious tendencies come out of what we believe about the living God." In short, it matters. And we can never be reminded enough of who God is and what that means for us. Hallelujah. {I was provided an ARC to review by B&H Publishing Group through NetGalley}

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jera Brand

    So much wisdom! I want to start reading it again asap!

  5. 5 out of 5

    LaTrice McNeil-Smith

    I devoured this book. There is so much I want to say regarding this masterpiece. I really feel like this should be some required reading study for all Christians. She will challenge you in your thought process towards your believe in God and His Holiness in a way that left my mouth on the floor. If I could highlight the entire book, I would. I will be rereading this 3 more times this year alone. It's that good! GET THIS BOOK! I devoured this book. There is so much I want to say regarding this masterpiece. I really feel like this should be some required reading study for all Christians. She will challenge you in your thought process towards your believe in God and His Holiness in a way that left my mouth on the floor. If I could highlight the entire book, I would. I will be rereading this 3 more times this year alone. It's that good! GET THIS BOOK!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel B

    3.5 stars I love that this book really is all about God; it's not fluffy. There is a ton of Truth here that reminds Christians of Who God is; I also think it could be helpful for those nonbelievers who want to understand why we Christians believe what we do. Perry's writing style is more flowery than I like, personally. I also think the book is a tad long for the content. The second half was repetitive and more of a slog for me to get through. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via N 3.5 stars I love that this book really is all about God; it's not fluffy. There is a ton of Truth here that reminds Christians of Who God is; I also think it could be helpful for those nonbelievers who want to understand why we Christians believe what we do. Perry's writing style is more flowery than I like, personally. I also think the book is a tad long for the content. The second half was repetitive and more of a slog for me to get through. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Allison Cantrell

    I LOVED this book. Jackie draws on deep theological truths and writes in a way that’s beautiful, God-centered, and yet doesn’t sugarcoat the hard truth. I listened to the audiobook so I don’t have an abundance of quotes, but one that stuck with me is: “Somewhere, lurking at the bottom of our unbelief, is the thought that God isn’t holy.” “It is good news that the maintenance of God’s righteousness is independent of our faith in it.” “Believing what God has said is parallel with who we believe God t I LOVED this book. Jackie draws on deep theological truths and writes in a way that’s beautiful, God-centered, and yet doesn’t sugarcoat the hard truth. I listened to the audiobook so I don’t have an abundance of quotes, but one that stuck with me is: “Somewhere, lurking at the bottom of our unbelief, is the thought that God isn’t holy.” “It is good news that the maintenance of God’s righteousness is independent of our faith in it.” “Believing what God has said is parallel with who we believe God to be.” Her language on beholding God as beautiful and holy will stick with me for a long time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amber Thiessen

    Jackie Hill Perry has a new book coming out and it’s all about helping us learn to trust the Lord. How does she approach it? Through the lens of God’s holiness. In Holier Than Thou: How God's Holiness Helps Us Trust Him, she writes, "If God is holy, then He can't sin. If God can't sin, then He can't sin against me. If He can't sin against me, shouldn't that make Him the most trustworthy being there is?" The same way children trust their parents because they know them, have experienced their love a Jackie Hill Perry has a new book coming out and it’s all about helping us learn to trust the Lord. How does she approach it? Through the lens of God’s holiness. In Holier Than Thou: How God's Holiness Helps Us Trust Him, she writes, "If God is holy, then He can't sin. If God can't sin, then He can't sin against me. If He can't sin against me, shouldn't that make Him the most trustworthy being there is?" The same way children trust their parents because they know them, have experienced their love and believe they hold their best intentions at heart, is how our Father God has acted toward us, but with unwavering faithfulness and perfect love. She traces the holiness of God through creation, the fall, and redemption, defines his moral perfection-which illuminates our own sin and exposes the deceit in our hearts-and, describes his transcendence-the infinitely different ‘otherness’ of his character. Now, this may sound like a lot of technical theological words (which they are) but she breaks it down for us, her readers, in simple, practical language helping us to learn more about the character of God and what it means for us as believers: “because God is holy, all that He says is true and all that He does is good.” She contrasts the holiness of God and idolatry, “idolators don’t want the real God; they want to be him,” and because the gift of salvation in Christ, a holy vision of our sanctification becomes a real possibility. This Christ-likeness is an active process. So often, “we have supposed that the way to help people be holy is to just tell them to “stop sinning,” when in fact, lasting transformation is a spiritual consequence of “beholding the glory of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18).” To believe him and know him we must learn how he has revealed himself to us in the Word. If you are struggling to trust God and you aren't sure you can, one place to start is by learning more about who he is. God is holy. He's not like us. He doesn't love imperfectly, he doesn't plan haphazardly, and he doesn't stand for sin, ever. “The holy, holy, holy God owes us nothing, but His compassion is what He’s given us anyway” and isn't that just amazing!! The gospel is lifesaving. This book is seven chapters teaching us about what it means that God is holy. I'd really recommend it! Quick Stats # of pages: 208 pages Level of difficulty: Moderate (for theological concepts) but explained in accessible language My Rating: 5 stars! A big thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced reader copy and the opportunity to post an honest review! (full post at https://www.amberthiessen.com/post/wh...)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So here I am, writing. The premise of this one is super simple and straightforward: God is TRUSTWORTHY because God is holy. Or rather God is holy, holy, holy--therefore God is trustworthy. We can trust him in any and every circumstance because of WHO he is. The first five chapters of Holier Than Thou focus on GOD--his character, his attributes, examples from First sentence: Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” So here I am, writing. The premise of this one is super simple and straightforward: God is TRUSTWORTHY because God is holy. Or rather God is holy, holy, holy--therefore God is trustworthy. We can trust him in any and every circumstance because of WHO he is. The first five chapters of Holier Than Thou focus on GOD--his character, his attributes, examples from Scriptures on why God is trustworthy. The last two chapters focus on MAN--how does an UNholy man become holy? What is this doctrine called sanctification? How does one go about "becoming holy" and "being holy"? Her answer is the Holy Spirit from start to finish, essentially. (Though she does point out it is not a passive sitting but a Spirit-filled doing.) In the introduction she points out that she wrote the book she wanted to read. She, for whatever reason, read up on the subject of holiness--God's holiness and sanctification--and found them lacking in some way? But here's the thing, the best parts of Perry's books are when she is quoting others. She quotes a LOT of Sproul and a LOT of Tozer and a LOT of Charnock. Perhaps the focus on how holiness relates to God's trustworthiness is more unique to Perry's book than any other book on holiness. But that is the only thing that really makes this unique in any way. To those less familiar with the subject, this may serve as a good introduction. (I have no doubt it will have an audience.) But if you've read other books on holiness, you will find familiar friends in this one. Because she quotes from all the books you may have already read. In some cases, I could SPOT who she was quoting one or two sentences into a multiple paragraph quote. I could even tell you the book. Keeping things positive, finding old friends helped me feel confident in Perry. If I wasn't familiar with those she quoted, it would be an excellent starting place to go onto read other authors. Another positive, she focused almost exclusively ON SCRIPTURES. This wasn't filled with personal stories, more personal stories, and even more personal stories. She kept God central. There were definitely some thought provoking statements in this one. For example, Starting a gospel presentation with “Do you know that you’re a sinner?” is the wrong way to begin. Sinners may very well know that they are such because of their conscience or religious memories, but they will not know why being one should terrify them into silence. When sharing that good, good news, we should—dare I say must—begin with “Did you know that God is holy?” As you travel through the story, then, venturing into necessary subjects like sin and judgment, God is the context by which both land.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ryan elizabeth

    RTC! Many thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Jackie writes in a way that is attainable yet still gives you cause to pause and think. God’s holiness has been a theme that has popped up multiple times this year and this was a really great book to dive deeper. I love her voice and her heart for the Lord.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Showalter

    Jackie kills it every tiiiimmmmeeee. Not beating around the bush and never sugar coating truth. Some books about God’s holiness make God seem lofty and out of touch, but this book does the complete opposite. It is refreshing. 10/10 recommend

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sakeenah Graham

    This one gets the rare 5 stars hands down!! I have tried to read A.W. Tozer, J.I. Packer, C.S. Lewis, I made it through Delighting in the Trinity but honestly I have no clue what they are talking about. Bits and pieces yes but the full scope of God’s holiness I couldn’t comprehend. JHP writes in her introduction that she wrote a book she wanted to read. And I think she wrote the book I wanted to read as well! It was theologically sound (based on my limited, non-theologian mind), it was clear and This one gets the rare 5 stars hands down!! I have tried to read A.W. Tozer, J.I. Packer, C.S. Lewis, I made it through Delighting in the Trinity but honestly I have no clue what they are talking about. Bits and pieces yes but the full scope of God’s holiness I couldn’t comprehend. JHP writes in her introduction that she wrote a book she wanted to read. And I think she wrote the book I wanted to read as well! It was theologically sound (based on my limited, non-theologian mind), it was clear and easy to understand and best of all it was poetic! I read each page out loud with the cadence her words demanded and stopped myself dozens of times to reread lines to let them soak in deeper or scream out loud at how profound, convicting, and empowering her words described our most holy God. I didn’t want the book to end. Well, well done! Excellent job!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    Holier Than Thou, the new Jackie Hill Perry book is seven chapters on what it means for god to be holy. What does holy mean? What does it mean for God to be holy? What does it look like when we truly treat God as holy, when we truly believe that He is who He says He is. This is a book about learning about sanctification (transformation). If you are yearning to know more about the holiness of God, this is a good book to add to your reading list. It wasn't a long read, it stayed on topic, it was p Holier Than Thou, the new Jackie Hill Perry book is seven chapters on what it means for god to be holy. What does holy mean? What does it mean for God to be holy? What does it look like when we truly treat God as holy, when we truly believe that He is who He says He is. This is a book about learning about sanctification (transformation). If you are yearning to know more about the holiness of God, this is a good book to add to your reading list. It wasn't a long read, it stayed on topic, it was practical and not too academic in its text. I found it an interesting read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    4.5 - A lot of Charnock, Tozer, and Sproul blended into art in JHP’s lyrical prose. Dips into many common texts on God’s holiness such as Isaiah 6 and 2 Samuel 6. Full of beautiful meditations on and applications of God’s attributes, including aseity, simplicity, righteousness, justice, and mercy—ultimately bringing the reader to the foot of the cross. Looking forward to walking through this one again more slowly, or whenever I need gospel truth preached to me by a friend. Thankful for these tru 4.5 - A lot of Charnock, Tozer, and Sproul blended into art in JHP’s lyrical prose. Dips into many common texts on God’s holiness such as Isaiah 6 and 2 Samuel 6. Full of beautiful meditations on and applications of God’s attributes, including aseity, simplicity, righteousness, justice, and mercy—ultimately bringing the reader to the foot of the cross. Looking forward to walking through this one again more slowly, or whenever I need gospel truth preached to me by a friend. Thankful for these truths to be (hopefully) passed on to a new audience.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Becker

    Absolutely excellent, I love the way JHP writes and delivers what’s true. It’s a quick read but still impactful in every chapter, it helped me to slow down and read bits at a time and sit, pray and enjoy God’s presence. I think one of my favorite things about this was that what she said she aimed to do in the intro was exactly what she delivered on: proclaiming, focusing on and beholding God. Gave me a ton to keep thinking and praying about. Thankful to have read this while also reading Deuteron Absolutely excellent, I love the way JHP writes and delivers what’s true. It’s a quick read but still impactful in every chapter, it helped me to slow down and read bits at a time and sit, pray and enjoy God’s presence. I think one of my favorite things about this was that what she said she aimed to do in the intro was exactly what she delivered on: proclaiming, focusing on and beholding God. Gave me a ton to keep thinking and praying about. Thankful to have read this while also reading Deuteronomy and Hosea lately.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Jackie Hill Perry wrote another fantastic book, this time on God's holiness. While being theologically deep, her prose is poetic. Her words stay with you, causing you to reflect and think throughout the day on God. I highly recommend this book to any who want to grow deeper. Jackie Hill Perry wrote another fantastic book, this time on God's holiness. While being theologically deep, her prose is poetic. Her words stay with you, causing you to reflect and think throughout the day on God. I highly recommend this book to any who want to grow deeper.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dan Wolgemuth

    What a remarkable work. Insightful and inspirational. Certainly comprehensive in how it approaches the subject of holiness. Fresh and new is drawing the reader to the love of Christ without condemnation. This is a project that will stay around for a long time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jerod Starkey

    Best read/study/inspiration in a LONG time. It's spiritually eye-opening to study holiness the way Perry lays it out, but it's also how she writes. Poetic and moving, I highly recommend it for any believer walking through the current culture. Best read/study/inspiration in a LONG time. It's spiritually eye-opening to study holiness the way Perry lays it out, but it's also how she writes. Poetic and moving, I highly recommend it for any believer walking through the current culture.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chipego (pagedbypego)

    If you are here looking at reviews wondering if you should read this book, here's my 2cents READ THIS BOOK Christian or non Christian, doesn't matter. READ THIS BOOK I realise that's not much of a review but I'm willing to bet that even if you don't enjoy it you'll certainly appreciate it and her writing style is refreshing. I didn't appreciate her style of writing in her earlier book "gay girl, good God" but it certainly worked beautifully here. READ THIS BOOK. If you are here looking at reviews wondering if you should read this book, here's my 2cents READ THIS BOOK Christian or non Christian, doesn't matter. READ THIS BOOK I realise that's not much of a review but I'm willing to bet that even if you don't enjoy it you'll certainly appreciate it and her writing style is refreshing. I didn't appreciate her style of writing in her earlier book "gay girl, good God" but it certainly worked beautifully here. READ THIS BOOK.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Linds

    Excellent. An in-depth yet practical look at both God’s holiness and our sanctification to better image and grow in the holiness of Christ.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen Newendyke

    Jackie Hill Perry goes deep right off the bat in her new book Holier Than Thou, and I am here for it! God’s holiness is such an important topic and the fundamental aspect of His character, as she lays out so well in the book. Having an accurate understanding of God’s moral purity and transcendence is foundational to how we relate to Him and others. There’s no fluff to be found here, just solid Scriptural teaching that is theologically rich yet relatable and practical. The first part of the book Jackie Hill Perry goes deep right off the bat in her new book Holier Than Thou, and I am here for it! God’s holiness is such an important topic and the fundamental aspect of His character, as she lays out so well in the book. Having an accurate understanding of God’s moral purity and transcendence is foundational to how we relate to Him and others. There’s no fluff to be found here, just solid Scriptural teaching that is theologically rich yet relatable and practical. The first part of the book focuses on God’s holiness, and then transitions to sanctification, the process by which the believer beholds Christ and is transformed to reflect His image - His holiness. Whether you are new to faith or have been a Christian for decades, this book will encourage you and help you grow in your faith. I highly recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris MacLeavy

    Hear this: God's words and works can be trusted because it is impossible for God to sin against you. This is the glorious diamond that Jackie Hill Perry examines in Holier Than Thou. Turning it over in her hands, the diamond is the incommunicable attributes of God: his moral perfection, his justice, his love, and more. The chapter on these attributes being most clearly displayed in the person and work of Christ is worth the price of the book alone. Jackie Hill Perry makes much of the Triune God, Hear this: God's words and works can be trusted because it is impossible for God to sin against you. This is the glorious diamond that Jackie Hill Perry examines in Holier Than Thou. Turning it over in her hands, the diamond is the incommunicable attributes of God: his moral perfection, his justice, his love, and more. The chapter on these attributes being most clearly displayed in the person and work of Christ is worth the price of the book alone. Jackie Hill Perry makes much of the Triune God, acknowledging men like Sproul, Tozer, Charnock, Piper, Packer, and Reeves either in the text or in the footnotes for their contribution to her arguing the conclusion that because God's holiness prevents him from sinning against you, he is therefore the most trustworthy being there is. Holier Than Thou is a joyful celebration of God undergirded by a solid theology, guaranteed to ignite the fires of worship in every reader. Buy it. Twice.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hobart

    ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- I don’t remember the day I thought about it and i my coffee was iced or warm. What I know is that what I thought, and what I thought of, I wanted an answer for: “If God is holy, then He can’t sin. If God can’t sin, then He can't sin against me. If He can’t sin against me, shouldn't that make Him the most trustworthy being there is?” WHAT'S HOLIER THAN THOU ABOUT? The impetus for this book came from that above thought—a ★ ★ ★ 1/2 (rounded up) This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- I don’t remember the day I thought about it and i my coffee was iced or warm. What I know is that what I thought, and what I thought of, I wanted an answer for: “If God is holy, then He can’t sin. If God can’t sin, then He can't sin against me. If He can’t sin against me, shouldn't that make Him the most trustworthy being there is?” WHAT'S HOLIER THAN THOU ABOUT? The impetus for this book came from that above thought—although as she notes, one of the goals of the book is to remove that "if" from the phrase "If God can't sin." If He, and He alone, is really worthy of that trust—how should that impact our lives? What a "blessed" assurance it is to understand and embrace God's holiness as an intrinsic part of His nature and to then remember his promises are "Yea, and amen." On the one hand, that might seem kind of obvious, nothing worth writing a book about. But if you stop and think about that for a minute, what all the implications of it are, how it can (and should) shape our lives? That's when you remember that that profundity is often hidden in simplicity. From this jumping-off point, Perry spends the five chapters looking at the holiness of God from various perspectives—as a characteristic of God, as His moral perfection, as His transcendence—what the implications of God's holiness mean that when it comes to sinful men, and (in a great angle) what it would mean for Creation and Humanity if God were not holy. Then she follows that up with two chapters on the sanctification of believers—how we reflect that Holiness. THE GOSPEL One thing that I found reassuring and impressive throughout the book was that while the point of the book was to remind us about the holiness of God, how He should be seen as perfect in distinction to the fallen humanity we see all around us. She never uses that as a way to induce fear and despair, never tells the reader to give up—or to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps to a makeshift righteousness (a futile effort, anyway). Instead—she points to the Gospel. There is always the promise of Christ's work for His people, His redemption in the midst of this—our only hope. SANCTIFICATION The other strength of this book is the way that Perry uses two chapters to address the believer's response to God's holiness in their own. The first chapter is what will separate her from most books on the topic—following John Owen, she talks about sanctification as the immediate* work of the Spirit through the work of rebirth/regeneration and the changing the nature of the believer. * that is, "acting or being without the intervention of another object, cause, or agency;" not "instant." (definition from Merriam-Webster.com). That established, she can then move in the next chapter to the transformation of the believer through beholding the Holy One of Israel, believing in Him, and thus becoming like Him as we follow His ways. Keeping the horse before the cart on this topic is so essential, and so often overlooked. THE COVER This isn't something I usually address, but I have to take a moment to talk about the cover design—it's just brilliant. It may be difficult to see in the thumbnail above (it probably is, but I have the paperback sitting next to me, so it's impossible for me to not pick up the details on the .png file), but there's this faux-distressed, bent cover, well-read/reread look to it. The book looks like I've read it a few dozen times—and carried it with me for a couple of moves, probably had it stacked under something for a few months. I absolutely love it (sure, when I pulled it out of the box, I was initially annoyed when I saw the condition it seemed to be in, before I realized it was supposed to look beat up and worn). SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT HOLIER THAN THOU? God’s holiness is essential to His nature and fundamental to His being. His holiness is what makes Him good, and loving, and kind, and faithful. Without holiness, God wouldn’t be beautiful, and so because of it, He is eternally attractive. Think about the opposite of it being present in Him and you may see my point. If He were sovereign, but wicked, with no inner righteousness to restrain His hand, I wouldn't be surprised if the world was no more. If He had all power without love, our refusal to love Him back would result in cosmic abuse or maybe a million more floods with no rainbow to promise His relent. If He were an unholy God, what would salvation even mean? What is deliverance to a self-centered “savior”? Thankfully, our God is incomprehensibly holy and therefore completely beautiful in all of His ways and works. This is why we are invited to worship Him as such, and in so doing, we become just as beautiful as He is. This is a terrific review or refresher on this vital topic. It can also serve as a wonderful introduction to it for those who need one. And for everyone, using the works Perry footnotes and alludes to would be a great way to follow up on this book. For myself (and this is why I'm rating this low for a book I just described as "terrific"), I didn't learn much—if anything. It felt like a retread of a lot that I've read before. It could've been a little deeper and still qualified as a retread. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's near-underwhelming. However—her starting point for this book really impressed me, although I'd have preferred another chapter or two working out that idea after the rest of the book. But it's Perry's prose, her style, her near-lyrical* descriptions and depictions of ideas, events, and concepts—that kept me going. There are paragraphs that demand to be re-read—and occasionally to read aloud—I absolutely loved this aspect of her writing, and it's going to be why I gladly recommend this to others, why I'd likely buy it for others, and why I'll likely be quick to buy her next book. * How not-at-all-surprising for a poet and hip-hop artist to have lyrical prose.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. PROFOUND. Incredible read. Holy Holy Holy is the Lord. Loved this book. Makes me want to read the word now even more!!!! God is so good. I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves: “If you look closely enough into a man’s eye you will see in it little pictures of what he beholds at the moment. If our hearts are beholding Christ—Christ will be mirrored and manifested on our hearts. Our characters will show what we are looking at and ought, in the case of christian people, to bare His image so plainl PROFOUND. Incredible read. Holy Holy Holy is the Lord. Loved this book. Makes me want to read the word now even more!!!! God is so good. I’ll let the quotes speak for themselves: “If you look closely enough into a man’s eye you will see in it little pictures of what he beholds at the moment. If our hearts are beholding Christ—Christ will be mirrored and manifested on our hearts. Our characters will show what we are looking at and ought, in the case of christian people, to bare His image so plainly that men cannot but take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus. Beholding we become.” “Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” ‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Believing God to be the all satisfying Bread of life that He is, He fills us and frees us from being enslaved from everything and everybody. Being satisfied in God makes us totally independent of our environment. Since we are no longer needy of people or circumstances to make us happy or whole: as people who are free, we are liberated to love as generously as God does. Not repaying evil for evil, but turning our cheek while pursuing moral purity with all that we have. Clothed in the newness of Christ we put to death therefore what is earthly in us. Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covertness which is idolatry. And we put on, as God’s chosen ones, Holy and beloved compassionate hearts. Kindness. Humility. Meekness. and patience. Bearing with one another. This heaven empowered love toward God and our neighbors set us at odds with the world around us, but even then as God’s peace is, ours is too. Settled and safe. It is the world that Christ has overcome and through Christ we will overcome it too. Of the saints Christ says, “the one who conquers I will grant Him to sit with Me on My throne, as I have also conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne.” And there. Finally. After we have breathed our last. We will see why our dying is gain. Opening those eyes that were once blind, now seeing, He will finally appear. And do you know what will happen next? We know that when He appears: we. shall. be. like. Him. Because we shall see Him, as He is. Beholding we become, Holy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lark Kelsey

    I should have read the subtitle and known this book was going to hit me smack dab in the middle of my trust issues. It's not a secret that the past few years have led to a dissolution of my trust of other Christians. Thankfully this book reminds me that while people are incredibly problematic, God is not just a 'better version' of humanity, he is holy. Because of his holiness he is trustworthy. Jackie Hill Perry reminds us that our sin stems from unbelief and thus digs to the root of the rebellio I should have read the subtitle and known this book was going to hit me smack dab in the middle of my trust issues. It's not a secret that the past few years have led to a dissolution of my trust of other Christians. Thankfully this book reminds me that while people are incredibly problematic, God is not just a 'better version' of humanity, he is holy. Because of his holiness he is trustworthy. Jackie Hill Perry reminds us that our sin stems from unbelief and thus digs to the root of the rebellion we exhibit on the surface. For believers, our desire to reflect God's holiness often results in a try harder gospel as we desperately try to clean up ourselves. In this book she calls us to turn our face away from our own circumstances and set our sights on God. Nothing we have on earth can compete with the beauty of the Lord; he is beyond comparison. Yet, the reaction of those who have gazed on God's holiness is not first praise, but always an instantaneous self-awareness of their own unworthiness and confession. We must be covered in his righteousness to stand before him. We are called to 'Be Holy as I am Holy' and it does not come from simply getting our act together but by being transformed by what we behold. Perry delights in gazing at the goodness of God and compels us to look to Him and delight in his beauty in the Word. As we behold his goodness, we come to believe it. As belief roots itself in our minds and hearts our actions are transformed and we become a reflection of his holiness. Moses's face radiated after spending time with the Lord. Psalm 115:8 says that those who make idols will become like them. So, it is with us - we become like what we behold, and we should not be surprised if we look to the world more than to Christ that we look more like it than Jesus. I'm thankful for this call to rest my delight in looking to the author of my salvation, the holy God. It is not my efforts that transform my life, but His Spirit at work in me. Because He is holy, he is good and ultimately trustworthy. I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    Throughout this book, Jackie Hill Perry elevates her readers' view of God, reminding us what it means for Him to be holy, sacred, transcendent, and set apart from us. She delves into Scripture, commentaries, and scholarly writings to illuminate different elements of God's being and character, focusing on different aspects of His holiness in different chapters. This is a wonderful book for people who feel overwhelmed by more scholarly treatments of the subject, since Perry writes in a down-to-ear Throughout this book, Jackie Hill Perry elevates her readers' view of God, reminding us what it means for Him to be holy, sacred, transcendent, and set apart from us. She delves into Scripture, commentaries, and scholarly writings to illuminate different elements of God's being and character, focusing on different aspects of His holiness in different chapters. This is a wonderful book for people who feel overwhelmed by more scholarly treatments of the subject, since Perry writes in a down-to-earth, direct voice with lots of relatable metaphors and clear explanation. She writes in plain and understandable terms about God's moral perfection and transcendence, the deeper problems behind idolatry, the reality of "holy justice," and how we can become more holy through our vision of God and the process of beholding His character. Personally, I expected this book focus more on the subject of how we can trust God in the midst of suffering, knowing that because He is holy, He cannot sin against us. The subtitle and jacket description seemed to suggest a greater focus on this than the book actually offers, and the subject of suffering is just one of many facets that Perry covers equally. This book wasn't quite what I expected, but it is a great general study about the topic of God's holiness, and Perry thoroughly but simply addresses a variety of significant theological issues. She also does this in her own, unique voice, which is quite a contrast to the more formal, academic style of the writings that she quotes. The book has a couple typos and writing errors that an editor should have caught, but her authentic voice as a spoken word poet comes through clearly. I would recommend this book to fans of the author, and to people looking for a book about God's holiness that engages with deep theological truths and practical implications for how we relate to God, pursue justice and personal virtue, and worship Him alone. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kenson Gonzalez

    The holiness of God is one of the themes that attracts many Christians, since we find it impressive to see the Lord in his glory and holy majesty and of who we are before a God as holy as He. Although it is a captivating subject, however, it seems to us that everything that concerns the holiness of God has already been said. But how wrong that idea is. We need day after day, year after year, to meditate and deepen on the holiness of God. In her new book titled "Holier Than Thou", Jackie Hill Perry The holiness of God is one of the themes that attracts many Christians, since we find it impressive to see the Lord in his glory and holy majesty and of who we are before a God as holy as He. Although it is a captivating subject, however, it seems to us that everything that concerns the holiness of God has already been said. But how wrong that idea is. We need day after day, year after year, to meditate and deepen on the holiness of God. In her new book titled "Holier Than Thou", Jackie Hill Perry, invites us to see our holy God, but not only from a doctrinal but also a practical sense. Because talking about the holiness of God is not a theological matter reserved for scholars, but is for all who believe in the Lord. In the seven chapters of this book, Perry shows us that the holiness of God goes beyond our conceptions, and how this attribute is essential to know the character of God. The author writes “to say that God is holy, holy, holy is to say that God is most holy. He is totally holy. Completely holy ”, and this is what makes God different from everything else. Creation, ourselves, are damaged by sin, but not God. Jackie not only shows us the holiness of God through Scripture and by quoting some authors like Stephen Charnock, but she also makes us see that the holiness of God is a practical matter. What does it produce in us to know that the Lord is holy? In truth, it is very comforting to know it, since we can recognize that in what God does there is no malice or evil against us, unlike the pagan gods who are nothing. This is a very practical book, which urges us to look at the Lord just like Isaiah, and humble ourselves before Him, and say: You are holy, holy, holy. The reader will find it to be an accessible and enjoyable book to read, with many references to books to help us delve deeper into this topic, and a warm exposition of Scripture.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Eunice R

    Jackie Hill Perry is a teacher who does not "tickle our ears" with what we'd prefer to hear. God commanded, "Be holy, as I am holy". Perry sets out in this volume an explanation of the embodiment of 'God is holy'. How does God's holiness equate with God is Light, God is Love, God is Just, and so on? When we have some understanding of this, then we can aim for holiness, but there is a prerequisite. Perry unravels this with fundamental biblical teaching. One will even sense the holy presence of t Jackie Hill Perry is a teacher who does not "tickle our ears" with what we'd prefer to hear. God commanded, "Be holy, as I am holy". Perry sets out in this volume an explanation of the embodiment of 'God is holy'. How does God's holiness equate with God is Light, God is Love, God is Just, and so on? When we have some understanding of this, then we can aim for holiness, but there is a prerequisite. Perry unravels this with fundamental biblical teaching. One will even sense the holy presence of the Lord as one reads and gains insight. The sound instruction will surely help one grasp some of what "God is holy" means, so that the sincere believer will develop greater holiness and become more like their Heavenly Father. ~Eunice C. Reviewer/Blogger~ August 2021 Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the review copy given by the publisher.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Finished this book yesterday and it left me speechless. Just wow!!! I think we truly fail to always think about the Holiness of God. Below is the synopsis from the Amazon listing. If God is holy, then He can’t sin. If God can’t sin, then He can’t sin against you. If He can’t sin against you, shouldn’t that make Him the most trustworthy being there is? Bestselling author Jackie Hill Perry, in her much anticipated follow-up to Gay Girl, Good God, helps us find the reason we don’t trust ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Finished this book yesterday and it left me speechless. Just wow!!! I think we truly fail to always think about the Holiness of God. Below is the synopsis from the Amazon listing. If God is holy, then He can’t sin. If God can’t sin, then He can’t sin against you. If He can’t sin against you, shouldn’t that make Him the most trustworthy being there is? Bestselling author Jackie Hill Perry, in her much anticipated follow-up to Gay Girl, Good God, helps us find the reason we don’t trust God— we misunderstand His holiness. In Holier Than Thou, Jackie walks us through Scripture, shaking the dust off of “holy” as we’ve come to know it and revealing it for what it really is: good news. In these pages, we will see that God is not like us. He is different. He is holy. And that’s exactly what makes Him trustworthy. As it turns out, God being “holier than thou” is actually the best news in the world, and it’s the key to trusting Him.

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