Is the Bible reliable, authoritative, or even necessary? DeYoung tackles these questions and more as he builds a compelling case for trusting and relying on Scripture as the Word of God for all of life.
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About the Author
Kevin DeYoung (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He serves asboard chairmanof the Gospel Coalition and blogs at DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed. He is assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte) and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. He is the author of several books, including Just Do Something; Crazy Busy; and The Biggest Story. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children.
Table of Contents
1 Believing, Feeling, Doing 11
2 Something More Sure 27
3 God's Word Is Enough 43
4 God's Word Is Clear 57
5 God's Word Is Final 71
6 God's Word Is Necessary 85
7 Christ's Unbreakable Bible 95
8 Stick With the Scriptures 111
Appendix: Thirty of the Best Books on the Good Book 125
General Index 131
Scripture Index 135
What People are Saying About This
“My trust in God’s Word is greater, my submission to God’s Word is deeper, and my love for God’s Word is sweeter as a result of reading this book. For these reasons, I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
David Platt, Pastor-Teacher, McLean Bible Church; author,Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
“This little book is a highly readable introduction to Scripture’s teaching about Scripture that preserves the contours of a responsible and informed doctrine of Scripture, without getting bogged down in arcane details. Buy this book by the case and distribute copies to elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, and anyone in the church who wants to understand a little better what the Bible is. Bad doctrine springs in part from ignorance. Blessed are those teachers and preachers in the church who, like the author of this book, combat ignorance by getting across mature theology in a lucid style that avoids generating theological indigestion.”
D. A. Carson,Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Cofounder, The Gospel Coalition
“One of my prayers for the next twenty years of ministry, if the Lord sees fit to grant me that, is that we might see the level of biblical literacy exponentially grow. For that to happen we must learn what the Scriptures are and how heavily we can lean on them. Kevin DeYoung serves this end well in Taking God At His Word. May the God of the Word be known and cherished all the more because of this little book.”
Matt Chandler,Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Mingling of Souls and The Explicit Gospel
“This is a brilliant, succinct, yet thorough study of the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, based on what Scripture says about itself. Clarity and passion are the distinguishing marks of Kevin DeYoung’s writing, and this may be his finest, most important work yet.”
John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; President, The Master’s Seminary; Chancellor, The Master’s University
“If you’re looking for a clearly and simply stated doctrine of Scripture, here it is. Kevin DeYoung has accomplished his aim of communicating what the Bible says about the Bible. He’s done it with the qualities we have come to anticipate from him: efficiency, pastoral care, wit, and rigor. Most of all, he has let the Word speak for itself."
Kathleen Nielson,author; speaker; senior adviser, The Gospel Coalition
“In eight brief, easy-to-read chapters, DeYoung lays out beautifully the classic evangelical understanding of the nature and importance of the Bible in the life of the believer. Particularly helpful are the chapters on the sufficiency and clarity of Scripture, showing us why the Bible is enough and how its basic teaching can be understood by every reader. These are two key points. If we do not believe the Bible to be enough and that its teaching is clear, then we will be carried here and there by every wind of doctrine. I urge you to buy your own copy and read it. There is important teaching here.”
Carl R. Trueman, Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Grove City College
“Attacks on the nature and authority of the Word of God have continued, unabated, since the serpent spoke to Eve. DeYoung’s book is the best place to start for anyone who wants to understand how properly to think about Scripture, and why it must be affirmed as God’s self-attesting authority.”
K. Scott Oliphint,Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology and Dean of Faculty, Westminster Theological Seminary
“This is the book I will be handing out to those searching for true spirituality, to those who want to hear a special word from God, and to those who want an improved knowledge of God. Kevin DeYoung convincingly teaches that God has adequately spoken to his people. Taking God At His Word is an accessible defense of the doctrine of Scripture, from Scripture, aiming to renew our trust and delight in God’s Word.”
Aimee Byrd, author, Why Can’t We Be Friends? and No Little Women
“The longer I do ministry, the more I appreciate a truly simple booka book that rightly orients me to reality; a book that says important things in accessible words; a book worth taking to heart; a book written to care for the reader’s soul; a book that helps to change how you live. Taking God At His Word is simple. It will help you know what you believe and why. It clarifies the foundation for all practical ministry. Because the Bible is God’s own saving Word, you have something helpful to share with others who hurt, who struggle, who stray, who find life confusing.”
David Powlison, Executive Director, Christian Counseling &Educational Foundation
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Knowable, Necessary, and Enough I’ve heard it many times and from the most unexpected sources: “I try to read the Bible, but . . . it doesn’t seem to say anything to me. I don’t understand what I’m reading. It doesn’t help me, so I end up quitting . . “ Set this response beside David’s from Psalm 119: 129 Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul keeps them. 130 The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. 131 I opened my mouth and panted, For I longed for Your commandments. The question Kevin DeYoung poses (and rigorously answers) in Taking God at His Word is this: How does one go from Ho Hum (response #1) to Whole Hearted (response #2)? If the goal of life is Psalm 119-zeal, what are the pre-requisites for getting there? The truth is that, without exception, every woman I have heard confessing her lackluster response to the Word of God would pass any test for orthodoxy. She would affirm that the Word of God is true, that what it demands of us is good, and that what it provides is also good. It’s the feeling and the doing components that are missing in their lives. There’s no delight: “My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly,” (Psalm 110:167). There’s no desire: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law,” (Psalm 119:18). There’s no dependency: “I cling to Your testimonies!” (Psalm 119:31). It is Kevin DeYoung’s goal to bring belief, feeling, and action together – not with a checklist (heaven, help us!), but with Truth. What does the Bible say about itself that will convince the reluctant and indifferent reader to dig in and spend time in the Word? For starters, we need a foundation of trust. “You will not find anything more sure” than the written Word of God. Then, using the memorable acronym, S-C-A-N, Taking God at His Word sets forth the attributes of Scripture that demonstrate why it’s worth your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection: Sufficiency I struggled off and on for years with the high-handed notion that I would rather hear from God through more personal and direct communication than I find in His written Word. Hebrews 1 reveals that God has spoken to us through the Old Testament and, then, gloriously, through His Son, who is His final Word and Revelation. J.I. Packer elaborates: “While this kind of ‘immediate’ revelation has ceased, we should allow for ‘mediate’ revelation whereby God gives us new insights and applications — sometimes in surprising ways — but always through Scripture.” This is HUGE in relation to relevance, because the times when I question the relevance of a book which claims to provide all that I need “for life and godliness” (II Peter 1:3) are the times when my life is . . . not exactly focused on godliness. “The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture invites us to open our Bibles to hear the voice of God.” Clarity God has spoken truth in story, in poetry, in apocalyptic style, and even in didactic correspondence. Before Scripture was available as it is today, Moses was reminding Israel that God bends over backwards to communicate with His people. While some portions of the Bible are clearer than others (anyone read Ezekiel lately?), the main teaching points for knowledge, belief, and action are spelled out transparently. Furthermore, if a topic is hazy in one context, it is made plain elsewhere. So, a PhD in theology is a nice thing to have, but certainly not necessary in orde
Kevin DeYoung, in Taking God At His Word, does what he is very good at: helping make important topics understandable for almost any reader. The subtitle of Taking God At His Word, “Why the Bible is knowable, necessary, and enough, and what that means for you and me,” hits at exactly what this 124-page book is focused on. Then, helpfully, for those who are further interested in this topic, the appendix includes a list of thirty books that he considers “The Best Books on the Good Book.” Chapter Titles (in order) include: Believing, Feeling, Doing; Something More Sure; God’s Word Is Enough; God’s Word Is Clear; God’s Word Is Final; God’s Word Is Necessary; Christ’s Unbreakable Bible; and Stick With the Scriptures. Essentially, DeYoung seeks to back up the titles, helping the Christian reader to see why and how all of these are true. Pleasantly, DeYoung opens the book with scripture itself. In chapter 1, DeYoung begins with the conclusion of the book. He looks at Psalm 119 and concludes that there are “at least three essential, irreducible characteristics we should believe about God’s word” (17). They are as follows: “God’s word says what is true,” “God’s word demands what is right,” and “God’s word provides what is good.” Yet DeYoung, rightly, includes that the psalmist not only believes that the word of God is the above three things, but that we are to delight in it, desire it, and depend on it. Then, not only are Christians to believe it and feel a certain way about it, but they are also to do certain things with it. Psalm 119, DeYoung deducts, illustrates many different ways of using scripture: Singing it, speaking it, studying it, storing it up, obeying it, praising God for it, and praying that God would act according to it. Closing the book, DeYoung says, “Ultimately we can believe the Bible because we believe in the power and wisdom and goodness and truthfulness of the God whose authority and veracity cannot be separated from the Bible. We trust the Bible because it is God’s Bible. And God being God, we have every reason to take him at his word” (124).
Taking God At His Word, by Michigan Presbyterian pastor, Kevin DeYoung, is a good, well rounded and above all pastoral approach to explaining, teaching and encouraging others with the doctrines regarding the Bible. This is a short work, and in eight chapters, DeYoung can only hope to overview his subject and its challenges and applications in contemporary Christian life. As an teaching, this work should be particularly challenging for those having come through mainline or even neo-orthodox teaching. DeYoung clearly expounds on the classical Protestant teaching of the sufficiency and clarity of the Bible. For Christians who come from more evangelical and conservative backgrounds, particularly on an individual level, DeYoung speaks in a way that is pastoral and points to how the doctrines of Scripture apply to everyday life. He is particularly keen to show that the Bible is Sufficient, Clear, Authoritative and Necessary in ways that are out of the abstract and have real meaning in the life of the Christian. In this sense, he works to create an accessible book that can be read in a few sittings, or even devotionally, or for group study. For many Christians looking for good teaching about the use and application of the Bible, and the confidence they can have in it, this should be a great resource.