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Holier Than Thou author Q&A

Andy Whisenant | Jun 10th

Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it?

To put it simply, I wanted to investigate how and why God’s holiness is an incentive for faith. The two scriptures that shaped my original thoughts were “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me…? (Jeremiah 2:5) and “Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?” (John 8:46). In both the New and Old Testaments, God appeals to the purity of his nature for why he is worthy to be trusted. This book is an exploration of that truth. 

For whom did you write this book?

Everybody really. Every human born after Adam—made in God’s image, believer or not—needs to know that God is holy, and that because he is holy, he is good. 

Talk about the connection between this book and your first one. How will this message resonate with readers who loved Gay Girl, Good God?

I think the primary connection is that in Gay Girl, I tried to be intentional about driving home the idea that “God is better” and making it my business to talk about God a whole lot. LOL. Even in my introduction I warned the reader that although they would learn a lot about me, the intention would be for them to learn more about God. Holier Than Thou is the same in that the central focus of the entire book is God himself. 

What are some misconceptions that Christians have about God’s holiness or holy living?

There’s a ton, but I’ll stick to one. For many people, all it means for God to be holy is that he doesn’t sin, which is true in one sense. God’s moral purity is truly an aspect of what it means for God to be holy, but that’s not all that it means. The term “holy” literally means “separate” or to be “set apart.” God is not only holy because he is sinless but also because he is transcendent, meaning, he exists differently than everything that exists. So with that in mind, thinking of God as holy should lead us to not only trust him because he’s morally pure but also because he is totally different from anything and anyone we will ever meet. 

How does this book help readers understand God’s holiness?

Well, I believe it helps readers by first defining holiness. By walking through familiar passages and narratives, like Isaiah 6, for example, God’s holiness is revealed. As I’ve said in the introduction, nothing in the book is new since my primary source is the scriptures. I’m simply communicating, in what I hope is a new way, an old truth.

How does understanding his holiness help us trust him?

God’s holiness helps us trust him because if he can’t sin or do any wrong, then he can’t sin against us. That very fact alone makes God infinitely trustworthy. But also because God is transcendent, existing independently from everything as the Creator and not a creature, he is totally free and flexible in his ability to save, hear, communicate, restore, engage, listen, etc. God is unlimited in his resources and eternal in his person. If there is anybody worth trusting, then, it’s God. 

What do you hope readers will do or take away from reading this book?

That God is as good as he says he is and as Christ has revealed him to be.