Why the Bible is Worth Knowing, Trusting and Loving
“I sometimes hear Christians admit that they don’t like what the Bible says, but since it’s the Bible they have to obey it. On one level, this is an admirable example of submitting oneself to the word of God. And yet, we should go one step further and learn to see the goodness and rightness in all that God commands.”
In this brilliant introduction to a doctrine of Scripture, DeYoung looks to explain what the Bible says about the Bible. Perhaps oddly, he begins with Psalm 119 and explores how the psalmist feels about God’s Word, and ends with 2 Timothy 3:14-17. Although seemingly back-to-front, this choice pays off; there is a welcome emphasis on right feeling toward Scripture from the get-go, DeYoung modelling throughout that our hard thinking should serve soft hearts.
The meat of the book deals with “SCAN” (an enormously helpful acronym that I have used since); the sufficiency, clarity, authority and necessity of the Bible. Taking God at His Word deals ably with each attribute. Through being well-organised and limited in scope, DeYoung executes what he sets out to achieve, doing so in an admirably down-to-earth manner. His humility shines through what he writes, and his content is more winsome as a result. And for an introduction to Biblical doctrine, Taking God at His Word is pleasingly nuanced; one example of this emerges in the carefully chosen language that DeYoung uses in his treatment of “sufficiency”, where the question of prophecy, although unexamined, remains open.
In some places Taking God at His Word is somewhat wandering and less concise, but the standard of material throughout the rest of the book ensures that this is easily forgivable. However, even though the book is highly informative, I do wonder whether it would win over those inclined toward liberalism. On the other hand, I do not think that this is DeYoung’s task; Taking God at His Word suits those with a vague, but there, reverence for Scripture in search of greater clarity.
And for these, I thoroughly recommend this book.