Taking God at His word: book review

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“We must not seek to know the Word who is divine apart from the divine words of the bible, and we ought not to read the bible without an eye to the Word incarnate … Scripture, because it is the breathed-out word of God, possesses the same authority as the God-man Jesus Christ.”

So says Kevin DeYoung in his most recent book “Taking God at His word.”

The book is really treatise on (he calls it a “doctrine of”) the Scriptures and, at times, even feels like a modern day “Fundamentalism and the word of God” (J I Packer’s go to text on the same subject from a few decades back).  It is utterly readable both in length (just over 100 pages in e-format) as well as continuing in DeYoung’s intellectual, yet distinctly modern and accessible style of writing, which packs a tonne into those 100 pages.

DeYoung treats different aspects of this treatise on/doctrine of Scripture in subsequent chapters: from the reliability and inspiration of the Scriptures (Ch.2), to the sufficiency of the Scriptures (Ch.3).  The following chapters continue what he presents from the “SCAN” acronym, to include the Clarity of Scripture (Ch.4), the Authority of Scripture(Ch.5), and the Necessity of Scripture (Ch. 6).  Chapter 7 deals helpfully with Jesus’ view of Scripture and Chapter 8 concludes with an exposition of 2 Timothy 3 (vs. 14-17 specifically) exhorting us (like Timothy) to remain in the word as well as remembering those from whom we learned it.  He then concludes the book with a list helpful resources for further reading at all levels of interest – from beginner to serious theological student.

All in all, for me, this book accomplished what it set out to do at the beginning with DeYoung’s exposition of Ps. 119, viz. it inspired and grew my love for God and His word – I believe it will do exactly the same thing for you.  Over and over again while reading this book I found my heart worshipping, and my Evernote buzzing as I wrote down thoughts and quotations. DeYoung has given us a real treasure in this little book in that it deals seriously (protectively even) with the doctrine of Scripture and yet it does so in a way that is engaging and which inspires genuine worship of the God who inspired it to be written.

I would highly recommend this book to a small group/discipleship group that wants to look at the doctrine of Scripture, the amateur theologian who wants to grow in their ability to handle the Scriptures, as well as anyone who just loves the bible and wants to be inspired to love it even more.  A great resource which – at just over 100 pages – is accessible, engaging and packed full of truth.

*Note: I received a free pre-release of this book for review from Crossway. 

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