DeYoung, Kevin. Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2014. 138 pp. $17.99. Purchase at Westminster for less, at Amazon for $12.46 and on Kindle for $8.57.
Kevin DeYoung is no stranger to Christian Book Notes nor is he a stranger to Christian writing as a genre. I have reviewed a number of his works here and have always found him to be spot on with his assessments. This particular book looks at the sufficiency of Scripture for the believer.
Divided into 8 chapters over a scant 138 pages, Kevin looks at the importance of knowing that we can trust the Bible as being the Word of God given to us. He offers a couple foundational chapters on believing and feeling and doing something and directs us to the reality that there is indeed something more to the Bible than meets the eye. The next five chapters expound on the doctrine of the Bible that evangelicalism and Christianity at large has held to for 2,000 years.
We read about God’s Word being enough, being clear, being final, and being necessary. All of these point us to the truth that the Bible we read today can be verified as being the inerrant and infallible Word of God handed down to us through the centuries.
The seventh chapter looks at Christ’s unbreakable Bible – the Old Testament. The argument is basically if Jesus believed the OT to be historically true, then we ought to believe this as well. The final chapter is that we are to stick with the Scriptures. This is nothing less that the Reformation’s mantra of sola scriptura…Scripture alone!
I honestly hate that this book is even necessary today. I say this because in reading it, I am reminded of how many attacks have been, and are, leveled at the Bible. I am reminded as a pastor just how difficult the job of expositing Scripture can be in a world that seeks to undermine the authority of the Bible at every possible moment. How do we compete with the world? We faithfully preach God’s Word as wholly true and trustworthy. We also read books like Kevin DeYoung’s Taking God at His Word.
He writes from an exposition of Psalm 119 (not the entire Psalm) and looks at how God’s Word still speaks to us today. It must be noted that while he is arguing for the clarity of Scripture, he is explaining this doctrine for the intended audience without assuming they know or understand the doctrine itself.
This works amounts to a rudimentary seminary class on the doctrine of the Bible. A discussion that is covered in an hour in most seminary-level classes today is here treated in a 138 page book written for the lay leader.
His work is relevant and much needed today as the Bible continues to be attacked by those who claim to be Christian (anyone for rewriting the sin of homosexuality?). In reading this work, you will have a better understanding of what has been believed and held by Biblical Christianity for 2,000 years. You will begin to also understand the reasons why you can trust the Bible that you are reading today.
I recommend this resource to all who are interested in the discussion of why we can trust the Bible. Will there be critics? Absolutely. Will you agree with everything? Probably not, but the argument cannot be made that DeYoung is self-defeating by explaining the clarity of Scripture when he is in all actuality teaching about the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture.