Holiness: Gods Call to Sanctification, by Joel R. Beeke
Banner of Truth Trust, 1994, booklet, 25 pages, price 95p. Available at 80p from
The Free Presbyterian Bookroom, 133 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6LE.
OF the three short works which I have been asked to review, Calvins Truth for all Time [reviewed in the August issue] may be regarded as primarily doctrinal, Bunyans All Loves Excelling [reviewed in the October issue] as primarily experimental, and Beekes Holiness: Gods Call to Sanctification as primarily practical, but each of them blends these three essential elements of Biblical exposition and Christian life.
This booklet takes holiness as meaning “to be set apart from common, secular use for the purpose of being devoted to God”, set apart to be separate from sin and consecrated to God, “relationship with God covenant relationship to be sure fleshed out by grace in faith and practice throughout every sphere of life”. It properly begins with the holiness of God and then discusses the holiness to which Gods people are called. It sees Christ must increase; I, decrease as “sanctification in a nutshell”. It looks briefly at holiness in Scripture, at the theology of holiness and at the different views there have been of holiness in the history of the professing Church. It then deals at greater length with holiness in practice, considering “the necessity of and inducements to holiness”, how we must pursue holiness, “the impediments to holiness” and “the joy of holiness”.
The numerous Scripture references given in support of the points made should assist readers to study the subject in the sight of Gods Word, and quotations from authors such as Owen, Flavel, Watson and Gurnall should alert us to the fact that there is much useful literature to explore dealing with sanctification. The subject needs to be drawn to our attention in this day when false views of sin and of sanctification abound and contribute to the worldly Christianity which prevails even alongside high professions of salvation. This booklet is also a reminder to those who intellectually approve the Biblical and Reformed doctrine of sanctification that the doctrines of grace received into the regenerate heart must and will come to expression in experience and practice. As Owen says, “so ordinary a thing is it for men to agree for the necessity of holiness, and live in the neglect of it when they have so done”.
Rev. H. M. Cartwright