Rethinking Holiness: A Theological Introduction
Bernie A. Van De Walle
Baker Academic, 2018, xvi + 176 pp., pbk, £13.99
Van De Walle opens this book with two observations. On the one hand, ‘holiness’ is ‘out of fashion’ among evangelicals and others who count the late nineteenth-century Holiness movements as a valuable part of their heritage (xi). On the other hand, ‘there is a widespread hunger for knowledge and experience of holiness’ (xii), a phenomenon he details throughout chapter 1. But rather than offering an inconsistent narrative, Van De Walle has diagnosed something like a supply-anddemand problem: many people within and without the (evangelical) church are searching for holiness, but all it has to offer them is a practical morality, without any rich theological sense of what holiness is beyond a code of conduct. The book aims to address this problem by providing a richer theological account of holiness than is readily accessible within current evangelical thought and which is accessible on a popular level.