Review by Stephen Wellum
Anytime someone writes a biblically and theologically accurate and heartwarming book on Scripture, it is a good thing. Sadly, in a day when the doctrine of Scripture is once again up for grabs within evangelicalism, books that help the church think carefully about what Scripture says about itself are always welcome and absolutely necessary. Thankfully, Kevin DeYoung has written such a book, and I recommend it highly for Christians of all ages and levels of knowledge. Within a short space, DeYoung has packed a powerful punch that will not only inform Christians regarding Scripture’s self-attestation; it will also challenge the church to appreciate anew God’s Word as demanding our attention, allegiance, and obedience.
A Council member and regular blogger at The Gospel Coalition, DeYoung is the senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, where he has served since 2004. He has written many helpful books on various issues ranging from church leadership to gospel practice to the Christian life. However, in Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me, he challenges his readers to take seriously what Scripture teaches regarding itself and why it matters for our daily lives. The book is divided into eight chapters with a helpful appendix listing what DeYoung considers 30 of the best books on the doctrine of Scripture, covering apologetic issues, classic and general works, and volumes on biblical interpretation and inerrancy.
Delight, Desire, Dependence
In the opening chapter, he challenges the reader from Psalm 119 not only to believe the right things about Scripture but also to feel about Scripture what we ought in terms of a wholehearted delight, desire, and dependence, which then leads to a proper putting into practice of Scripture in our daily lives. In the second chapter, DeYoung expounds 2 Peter 1:16–21 and briefly unpacks the doctrine of inspiration, and in so doing nicely reminds us from Scripture that there is nothing more sure than God’s written Word. Scripture is a human book, but it is not merely a human book. Scripture first and foremost is God’s Word written and thus demands all of our attention, study, and practice.
Kevin DeYoung. Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 127 pp. $17.99.