Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review: Kevin DeYoung, Taking God at His Word (Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me)

The doctrine of the Bible has inspired books in every generation, especially since the Reformation. This new book by Pastor Kevin DeYoung offers no revolutionary new information or perspectives. He did not intend it to do so. What it does do, however, is an excellent job of providing a short, clear, and solid introduction to what the Bible teaches about itself. The average Christian is not likely to have the time or inclination to plow through the voluminous historical resources on the doctrine of the scripture. However, average Christians more than anyone else need to have a firm foundation in these truths if our churches are to be healthy.

Pastor DeYoung has written a wonderful little book that I believe will be a great resource to those looking for an introduction to the doctrine of the Bible. It is short without shortchanging the reader and is straightforward without being dumbed-down. He structures the book around the four traditional major attributes of scripture using the S.C.A.N. acrostic. The emphasis of the book is the Sufficiency, Clarity, Authority, and Necessity of the Scripture showing not only the doctrinal truths involved but also the practical implications of each of them. Recognizing that there is much more to the topic than he was able to say in 150 or so pages, he includes an appendix of additional books that will be helpful to those who wish to study the topic further.

The writing was well done and the personality of pastor DeYoung comes through without distracting from the message. I listened to the audiobook version narrated by Lee DeYoung who I thought did a good job with the reading. Of course, no book is perfect. Even so, in light of the overall quality of the book, whatever quibbles I might have border on being pedantic. It is a great introduction to an important topic.

This book addresses an important need in our churches today. Pastor DeYoung has written a clear, readable, and well-written summary of what the Bible teaches about itself that is accessible to the average reader. It is the sort of book that we should share. I think it would be particularly helpful to newer believers who have not yet read widely enough in the Bible to have a sense of the fullness of this important doctrine. One of the most useful books I have read this year and I expect to recommend it often.

* I received a free copy of this book from as part of their Reviewers Program. Reviews are not required to be positive and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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