Also by this author: His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God, Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been
Published by B & H Publishing on August 17, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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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-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.
Throughout Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him, 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.