This month I will highlight a couple of books by friends and acquaintances. Up first is Tyler Braun‘s Why Holiness Matters. I first came across Tyler when I read this post and discovered we have some overlap in our stories. Here’s my review of his first book.
Peel back the layers and you will find that one of he greatest fissures in modern Christian thinking lies between authenticity and rule keeping. Most people won’t lead with either of these labels, but they are there.
I work with college students and we have both types of students: those who just want the rules, just want a checklist, and those who use the quest for authenticity as a trump card, justification for poor decisions.
There is a third way, though, and this way is the subject of Tyler Braun’s strong effort: “Why Holiness Matters.” Braun argues that while most in the millennial generation will resonate with authenticity thinking, there is something better that Jesus offers: holiness.
Braun does his best work by taking this old idea and making it new and fresh for his contemporaries (although there’s plenty here for non-millennials as well).
I appreciated Braun’s relational approach to the conversation: holiness is not new (or better) behaviors, nor is it something we simply feel (or drift) our way into. Rather holiness begins with new affections. Our relationship, love of, and connection to a holy God leads to holiness.
I especially enjoyed the chapters on community and mission. Braun does well to emphasize that holiness is a communal process and draws us into community, it’s not a solo pursuit. But, holiness doesn’t lead us to lock the doors and keep the bad people out. We are compelled back into the world to love and serve our neighbors.
A solid effort, and a book I will likely use with students this year.
Sometimes we don’t need new words, we just need new definitions and conversations about good, old words.