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"Persuading our culture that holiness is of paramount importance for its well-being will require not only the culture's conversion, but also the continual conversion of the Church to the gospel of holiness." So writes theologian John Webster.
"The gospel of holiness" is an interesting phrase. The good news of holiness? And yet that is exactly how the gospel is preached to us in Scripture. The promise that we can be forgiven and transformed to live life as it should be lived. That is the life we offer to the world, and as Webster says, the world is only going to see the goodness of God's ways if we ourselves are transformed by the gospel of holiness.
We've designed Issue 06 of Primer with that great goal in mind. To begin with, Dan Green lays out the terrain in a helpful interaction with several recent books on sanctification. Eric Ortlund brings a much needed Old Testament perspective; exploring the way holiness is defined and expressed in the life of Israel and what that means for believers today.
For our regular historical slot we have chosen an excerpt from Henry Scougal's The Life of God in the Soul of Man. It is a remarkable devotional text that helps us learn how to contemplate God's character and love. Tim Chester is our guide to that text, introducing and annotating it for us. Next, David Shaw explores the significance of union with Christ for our holiness, looking at how we can bear fruit for him in this life.
As ever, our last two articles turn more to the practical application of our theme to ministry. First, Matthew Roberts makes a compelling argument for the importance of the gathered church to our growth in holiness. Second, Julian Hardyman offers a wonderfully insightful and honest reflection on the sanctifying potential of suffering in ministry in the interview that closes this issue of Primer.
The articles in this issue of Primer are real food for the mind and soul. Some recent books are reviewed; holiness is defined from the OT; the importance of union with Christ, the local church, and suffering are all covered well.
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