Reading Time: 3 minutes

What we’re reading: “Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him”

Mark Legg is a staff writer for Denison Forum. He graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a degree in philosophy and biblical studies. He eventually wants to pursue his PhD and become a professor in philosophy.

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“What we’re reading” is a new series from Denison Forum focusing on one of the many books in Dr. Denison’s expansive library that he or a member of the Denison Forum team has recently read.

These brief reviews are intended to give you quick context, a reason to read the book, what you can expect to take away from having read the book, a few choice quotes, and a preview of the first chapter (when available).

We hope you find this series helpful in curating your to-read shelf.

About Holier Than Thou

Bestselling author Jackie Hill Perry writes Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him with moving depth. 

A well-versed spoken-word and hip-hop artist, Hill Perry intertwines well-defined theology with a poetic exploration of God’s holiness in Holier Than Thou.

The investigation of God’s holiness draws us to him; it does not push us away—at least, when we accept Christ’s payment on behalf of our own unholiness. Since every way of God’s being is higher than our own, it means that we can draw on him for support without fail. His holiness allows him to perfectly love while perfectly judging evil. 

His holy moral perfection both causes us to fall to our knees in confession, lest we be destroyed by it, and it draws us in because we can trust him. 

Why Christians should read Holier Than Thou 

Holier Than Thou is a short and easy read and a perfect recommendation for a new follower of Christ. 

It would also serve people who are struggling with questions of God’s holiness and wrath to allow this work to challenge their preconceived thoughts on God. 

The big takeaway

Exploring the holiness of God provides a great deal of depth to reflect on Christ and draw closer to him, and Jackie Hill Perry does well to follow that. 

The holiness of God leads to our prostrate confession and terrifies our sinful selves into silence. 

The holiness of God leads to our falling in love with a creator who cannot sin against us. 

The holiness of God means he is not a “politician, having authority without righteousness.”

That is good news.

Three quotes from Holier Than Thou

“Where there is a storm, believe God. When there is stillness, believe God. He is too holy to deceive. Too holy to lead you anywhere but truth. When God tells you to ‘cast your cares on him because cares for you,’ He is not lying.”

“The holy, holy, holy God owes us nothing, but His compassion is what He’s given us anyway.”

“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?’”