By Carl Stagner
Does holiness still matter? Does your church still preach and teach holiness? What does the Bible really say about the subject? In 2006, the “Holiness Manifesto”—a result of the Wesleyan Holiness Study Project— made it clear that “there has never been a time in greater need of a compelling articulation of the message of holiness.” One of the chief architects of that written work is Barry Callen, highly-regarded in the Church of God for his communication of the truths of the Bible and the Church of God movement. Seven years after the project, Callen believes the opening statement of the “Holiness Manifesto” has never been truer. He has just released a book titled Color Me Holy, which offers a fresh perspective on holiness for today’s reader. Also for today’s reader, he’s penned the practical, easy-to-digest Approaching Theology—a book that proves anyone can grasp the study of God.
“The theme of holiness is absolutely foundational to this movement yet, in this generation, is rarely preached or thought about,” Barry explains. “But because it’s so central to the entire biblical revelation, this generation ought to take a new look at it.” Color Me Holy offers this generation that opportunity. Utilizing the motif of color, authors Barry Callen and Hubert Harriman explore the idea of holiness from its origins in God’s very nature, to its application throughout the history of the church. While the book describes God as the divine Artist who paints his nature on the canvas of our lives, it also reveals the Artist’s true colors, and makes the case for the personal petition, “Color me holy!” Not in the least a New Age departure from the foundational truths about holiness, Color Me Holy simply makes the subject of holiness accessible to anyone, anywhere. In fact, the book is already making a colorful splash on the other side of the Atlantic.
“My coauthor, Huber Harriman, is the president of World Gospel Mission,” Barry explains. “We’ve had a big population of Church of God people in Africa for years, but what’s happening over there is really making an impact on the African Gospel Church, a large, indigenous African denomination with Wesleyan orientation—common to the Church of God.” After licensing the publishing of the book to Kenya, the church there made the book available to some 1,500 pastors for free. Now another 5,000 are being printed for lay leaders. The refreshing perspective on holiness has captured the attention of our African brothers and sisters to the point that now arrangements are being made to translate the entire book (already available in Spanish) into Swahili!
Approaching Theology is a unique and much-needed resource. While theology may sound scary to many Christians, it really can be accessible to anyone. “The very word theology simply means a disciplined thinking about God,” Barry explains. “What is more basic? However, usually theology has been done in such theoretical ways, in academic circles, and has been disconnected from the average person. There is nothing more important, but it needs to be done with some guidance, and without assuming any technical expertise on the part of the reader. Most books on theology are written by theologians, for theologians. This book is for the average believer, with no theological background, but who doesn’t want to be belittled because of that.”
Order your copy of Color Me Holy at http://www.lamppostinc.com/COLOR-ME-HOLY-by-Hubert-P-Harriman-Barry-Callen-9781600393037.htm. Order your copy of Approaching Theology at http://www.emethpress.com/9781609470920.htm. Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.