Book Review: Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung
If you’re looking for a shorter book (138 pages) to help you understand a Christian perspective on the Bible, Kevin DeYoung’s “Taking God at His Word” is an excellent start. It’s very readable, orthodox, culturally relevant and helpful. I think such books are particularly important today for the believer, since we live in culture that has a very low view of the Bible—believing it is full of errors, contradictions, irrelevant, mistranslated.
The book begins (ch 1) with where it hopes we as Christians will end—Ps 119. Here we see an approach to God’s Word that loves, desires, submits to, and is led by it. In ch 2 we are reminded that the Bible is unlike some mystical revelation that anybody can claim to have, it is rooted in eyewitness testimony and inspired texts. Through the Bible, God still speaks today (p 28). In the following four chapters, DeYoung covers the sufficiency, clarity, authority, and necessity of Scripture (with the acronym SCAN). I think this was the most helpful part of the book and something that will stick with me:
“Sufficiency: The Scriptures contain everything we need for knowledge of salvation and godly living. We don’t need any new revelation.
Clarity: The saving message of Jesus Christ is plainly taught in the Scriptures and can be understood by all who have ears to hear it. We don’t need an official magisterium to tell us what the Bible means.
Authority: The last word always goes to the word of God. We must never allow the teachings of science, of human experience, or of church councils to take precedence over Scripture.
Necessity: General revelation is not enough to save us. We cannot know God savingly by means of personal experience and human reasons. We need God’s word to tell us how to live, who Christ is, and how to be saved.” (44)
In chapter 7 we’re reminded of Jesus’ high view of Scripture and chapter 8 that all Scripture is breathed out by God and is useful (2 Tim 3:16-17).
Overall, I think this is an excellent book to acquaint you with an evangelical and biblical understanding of the Bible. DeYoung bases his teaching from the Bible and helps the believer be assured of the precious truths about the Bible from the Bible! Thank you Kevin DeYoung!