BOOK REVIEWS

Before the Throne: Reflections on God’s Holiness – Allen Nelson IV

allenA.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” While he uttered those words almost sixty years ago, Tozer could sense the rapid decline and deterioration in the church. He sensed a lack of reverence; almost an antipathy for God. Tragically, things have not improved. The decline only continues.

Allen Nelson IV, picking up where Tozer left off, writes with the same sense of resolve and urgency in his recent book, Before the Throne: Reflections on God’s Holiness. These reflections are firmly anchored to Isaiah 6:1-7 and Revelation 4:10-11. Nelson argues that there is a great need to recover the biblical view of God – a transcendent and majestic vision of the triune God.

The author’s focus, however, is on the holiness of God. He makes a three-fold argument for gaining a clear understanding and appreciation of God’s holiness:

  • If we get God wrong, we get everything wrong.
  • God’s holiness is misunderstood, misapplied, and underemphasized.
  • We are commanded to be holy as God is holy.

The book is comprised of twelve chapters, all of which are designed to alert, guide, instruct, challenge, and admonish followers of Christ. These chapters are like different facets of a stunning diamond. They draw the attention of readers and lead them to worship God in his resplendent holiness.

Many churches have succumbed to the spirit of the age. Some have subtly softened the attributes of God; others have brazenly sought to remove Him from His throne. Open theism, Pelagianism, and Pluralism are not only accepted; they are celebrated. Large numbers of people who profess to be Christians are failing to exercise biblical discernment. The warnings in Scripture to steer clear from false teachers is either neglected or ignored. It is in this context that Before the Throne is a much-needed breath of fresh air. Indeed, this book is a bold challenge and a biblical antidote to the apostasy that engulfs us the postmodern generation.

Allen Nelson’s Before the Throne is a labor of love that should be read and digested by Christians everywhere. The result will be hearts and minds which are consumed with knowing and worshiping the LORD, who is holy, holy, holy. May worshipers find themselves before the throne in the proper posture of humility, with hearts of contrition, and trembling at His Word (Isa. 66:2).

Dr. David Steele is senior pastor at Christ Fellowship in Everson, Washington. He is the author of Bold Reformer: Celebrating the Gospel-Centered Convictions of Martin Luther and A Godward Gaze: The Holy Pursuit of John Calvin