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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Review: "Taking God at His Word" by Kevin DeYoung

Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and MeTaking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Newer Christians and older believers, seminary trained pastors and seasoned elders, parents and progeny, find themselves at times becoming stilted and stale when it comes to the Bible. Sometimes it is a result of the hermeneutic of suspicion spreading like a bad flu in our society, and at other times it comes about because of the sheer weariness of life and its disappointments. Like a Vitamin B12 injection comes Kevin DeYoung's newest 128 page paperback, "Taking God at His Word." This short, eight chapter book, is written with the average reader in mind. It reads quickly, yet without sacrificing substance.

DeYoung begins "Taking God at His Word" by laying out his overarching intent, "The purpose of this book is to get us to fully, sincerely, and consistently embrace" the enjoyment, trust and longing for the Scriptures (14). The way he intends to do this is to show "what the Bible says about the Bible" (21). The reason he is approaching the subject this way is because of his conviction that "the word of God is more than enough to accomplish the work of God in the people of God" (22).

In chapters two through six DeYoung works out the inerrancy of Scripture; sufficiency of Scripture; clarity of Scripture; authority of Scripture; and necessity of Scripture. The author takes on each of these potentially weighty subjects with a readable and conversational style that communicates easily, and will keep even the most wary reader engaged. Also, the manner in which he handles each subject, dealing with objections, explaining the value of each, and examining their application for the Christian, evidences his comprehension of the intricacies involved.

The author moves into the seventh chapter, bringing out Jesus' own view of the Scriptures. DeYoung makes the case that "for Jesus, what the Scripture says, God says" (105). The author gives numerous examples that Jesus' saw that his "mission was to fulfill Scripture, and his teaching always upheld Scripture. He never disrespected , never disregarded, never disagreed with a single text of Scripture" (107). He then ends the book in chapter eight by encouraging the reader to continue with the Bible.

"Taking God at His Word" is a theological primer on the doctrine of Scripture. It would be an excellent gift for any new Christian, as well as a good resource for High School and adult Christian Education classes. I recommend the book.


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