Tyler Braun on Why Holiness Matters + A Giveaway

A Giveaway

Tyler Braun is a writer, worship leader, and pastor from Oregon where he lives with his wife Rose and son Judah. Tyler writes about Millennials, God, faith, church, and theology and has been featured in various publications, such as Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today. He is the author of Why Holiness Matters: We’ve Lost our Way–But We Can Find it Again.

**If you’d like to enter to win a copy of Tyler’s book Why Holiness Matters, please respond in the comments section and I’ll choose a winner by January 9th! Please be sure to include your email address.**

KW: How would you best describe the holiness of God?

TB: When I first heard the term “mysterium tremendum et fascinans” (fearful and fascinating mystery) it seemed, to me, the best used in describing God’s holiness. Rudolf Otto brought this idea to light in the early 1900s, and I think it captures the essence of God’s holiness.

God is fascinating in that his holiness pushed him closer to us, becoming God-incarnate, through Jesus. God is fearful because he has wrath for those who are disobedient. And all this is surrounded by mystery, meaning we cannot fully grasp God (“his ways are not our ways”).

KW: Is holiness primarily an individual venture or corporate venture?

TB: Easily the most overlooked piece of pursuing holiness is it’s corporate need, but holiness should be seen as both an individual and corporate venture. I say both because in the Scriptures we see God act in wrath against disobedience toward both groups and individuals (examples being Uzzah and the Ark, Ananias and Sapphirah, and the cities of Sodom and Gommorah). Similarly, our lives cannot be so easily cut up into individual and corporate pieces. God sees it all and wants us to be allowing his holiness to shape us in an individual sense and corporate sense.

KW: What should churches be doing to connect with more Millennials?

TB: My worry when people ask this question is that they’ll build a church dead-set on reaching a certain age group, and in the process they end up becoming a store dispensing goods for Millennials. That’s a vision of church I don’t find to be compelling.

I think at their core Millennials desire to be known and to know. Meaning they want to have a piece of the pie. I’m not talking about handing over all the decision making power in your church to them, I’m talking about extending a genuine hand of friendship and allow that to lead to a deeper connection within your church body.

As with any age group Millennials have their own unique set of desires, but I believe it flows from meaningful connection, building to something they would call true community. Don’t worry about the unique set of desires until you’re willing to reach out to them without a set agenda.

KW: What is most frustrating to you about the faith of the Millennial generation?

TB: I see a general feeling of casualness about sin with Millennials. I say that because I often sense something similar within me. I recognize my own sin nature, so when I commit sins, or just as bad, choose not to do the thing I know God would have me to, I generally brush it aside as no big deal. And all this stands in opposition to how God views sin and how he’s repulsed by it. I’m not saying God is repulsed by us, but our actions often say how little we value honoring God with our lives.

KW: When people focus on obedience do you see it result in isolation or renewed relational engagement most often?

TB: Clearly it would be hard to say that focusing on obedience only results in one action or another, but more often than not, I see people move toward isolation. This isn’t all bad, if Jesus is our ultimate example, he would often move away from his public ministry to spend time in meditation and prayer with God the Father. He would isolate himself in order to be built into. I think the problems arise when this becomes the primary way of associating with obedience. An obedience only lived out in isolation is not what God intends.

A healthier attitude is to allow those times of isolation to give us the energy for renewed relational engagement. I think that’s obedience in a fuller sense.

KW: How are God’s justice and holiness inter-related?

TB: If we understand God’s justice to be his desire to make all things as they should be, I see it that his holiness informs his justice. God doesn’t just have love, he has holy love. God doesn’t just have justice, like many of us would say we value justice within the world, God has holy justice.

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