Book Review: Taking God At His Word, by Kevin DeYoung


This is a very good book about the Good Book.

It is also a timely and important book. Granted, a book like this would be timely in any age, as attacks on the inspiration, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture have basically been around as long as Scripture itself. Indeed the original temptation by the serpent in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3) in many ways took the form of an attack on the veracity and truthfulness of the Word of God.

I have a confession to make: I have enjoyed and benefited from a number of books by Kevin DeYoung. It would not feel right to call myself a “fan” of his, but he is as close to “automatic” for me as any current Christian author gets. In other words, whenever he writes a new book, chances are pretty good that I am going to obtain a copy for my personal library, read it, and highlight it extensively.

Part of the reason for that is that I have never read one of his books and felt like my time was wasted.  He seems to have a knack for writing on subjects that are both timely and important. He also seems to have a knack for writing with both pastor and lay person alike in mind. His works are scholarly, but not overly academic.  They are accessible, but not overly simplistic. In other words, he writes as a pastor. And this particular book is no exception.

DeYoung states the goal of his book as follows:

I want to convince you (and make sure I’m convinced myself) that the Bible makes no mistakes, can be understood, cannot be overturned, and is the most important word in your life, the most relevant thing you can read each day. (p.14)

In order to accomplish this goal, DeYoung goes into some detail about the four (4) attributes or characteristics of Scripture: Sufficiency, Clarity, Authority, and Necessity (often abbreviated by the acronym, SCAN). He spends no less than 4 of the 8 chapters (half of the book!) in this brief volume dealing with these attributes. This section is very helpful.

The final two (2) chapters of the book deal with Jesus’ view of Scripture (by examining in the Gospels what Jesus has to say about Scripture, how He used Scripture, etc.) and the inspiration of Scripture (primarily focusing on 2 Timothy 3:14-17 and the surrounding context).  He closes with an appendix of “Thirty of the Best Books on the Good Book.” The books on this list vary from those that are easily accessible to the highly academic. (Clearly DeYoung is not claiming to have written the last word about God’s Word.)

One of the strengths of this book is that throughout its pages, DeYoung demonstrates the very view of Scripture that he is seeking to impart to the reader.  In other words, much of his argument consists of the exposition of various passages of Scripture itself.  And by making his case in this way, he not only tells us, but also shows us that the Bible really is sufficient, clear, authoritative, and necessary.

I highly recommend this book and sincerely hope that it enjoys a wide (and long-lasting) readership. You can order a copy here: Taking God At His Word

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