Reviewed by: Roger Wagner
Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me, by Kevin DeYoung. Crossway, 2014. Paperback, 144 pages, list price $17.99. Reviewed by OP pastor Roger Wagner.
"This is a book unpacking what the Bible says about the Bible. My aim is to be simple, uncluttered, straightforward, and manifestly biblical." So DeYoung states his purpose in writing Taking God at His Word, and I think he has fulfilled that purpose admirably.
This is a clear, conversational presentation—in a brief eight chapters—of the historic doctrines of Scripture. But it is more than that. It is preeminently a book about Christ: "What we believe and feel about the word of God are absolutely crucial, if for no other reason than that they should mirror what we believe and feel about Jesus."
There are more detailed or polemical books on the subject, and De Young adds an annotated bibliography of "Thirty of the Best Books on the Good Book." But this one provides a fine contemporary introduction to the subject for the Christian or for someone who is skeptical about the Bible, but willing to listen. It's a good giveaway book for those who regularly share their faith with others and run into these kinds of questions.
DeYoung begins with Psalm 119, a "love song" to the Scriptures. He reviews the passions, affections, and actions expressed by the psalmist as he contemplates the beauties and wonders of the written Word of God.
The author then explains: "I want to convince you (and make sure I'm convinced myself) that the Bible makes no mistakes, can be understood, cannot be overturned, and is the most important word in your life, the most relevant thing you can read each day."
In the following seven chapters, DeYoung goes on to discuss the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Bible, its clarity and finality, and its necessity for Christian faith and practice.
In chapter 7, he answers the crucial question, "What did Jesus think of the Bible?" A Christian, as a follower of Christ, will believe what Jesus teaches. Jesus, DeYoung explains, had a "supremely high view of inspiration and [a] commonsense understanding of biblical history and chronology."
In his concluding chapter, DeYoung finally comes to the text with which many discussions of the Bible begin, 2 Timothy 3:14–17. He discusses the "God-breathedness" of Scripture and its implications.
DeYoung concludes: "So let us not weaken in our commitment to our unbreakable Bible. Let us not wander from this divinely exhaled truth. Let us not waver in our delight and desire. God has spoken, and through that revelation he still speaks." Get this book; read this book.
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