Holiness as Genuine and Renewed Humanness

cross of christ built into a brick wallI have a meeting of my theological reading group this Monday, and so I’m re-reading Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today by N. T. Wright. In doing so, I came across an aside in which he equates “the call to holiness” with the call “to genuine and renewed humanness.” As I said, it’s an aside; it is not a major part of the book or even that chapter of the book. However,  it very concisely states a point that I’ve been trying to make for a long time.

In the biblical sense, holiness is not about setting ourselves apart from other people as their moral superiors. Instead to seek holiness means to seek to live as genuine and renewed human beings. It means seeking (with the Holy Spirit’s help) to be the people God created us to be: people who love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength and their neighbors as themselves.