Today, we continue a new feature on Pastors Today. Joey Cochran is providing weekly reviews of pastoral resources for the site. With thousands of books and resources at your disposal as a pastor, the inevitable question becomes “On which should I spend my money?” We aim to answer that question through these reviews.
Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me
Kevin DeYoung. Taking God at His Word. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2014. 144 pp. $17.99.
Kevin DeYoung: author, blogger, and senior pastor at University Reformed Church, is an artisan at accessibility, and Taking God at His Word is his freshest, completed canvas.
This book may be described as a no-nonsense, scripturally based argument for a high view of Scripture. If you wish to challenge the gainfulness of this, listen carefully to DeYoung’s explanation, “You can’t establish the supreme authority of your supreme authority by going to some other lesser authority” (23). So, that’s just what DeYoung does. Starting with Psalm 119 in chapter one and ending with 2 Timothy 3:16 in chapter eight, DeYoung sticks to the Scripture with an aim of you sticking with the Scripture (113, 124).
Chapters two and seven discuss what critical witnesses to the Bible testify about the Bible. Chapter two looks at what the apostles had to say about it; “There is no firmer ground to stand on” (41). Chapter seven examines what Jesus said about it; “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). And over the course of chapters three through six, Taking God at His Word zeroes in on the sufficiency, clarity, authority, and necessity of the Word of God. Those four chapters offer arrant comprehension of doctrines that crystallize God’s inerrant Word.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Look, you can mine the richest studies on bibliology, and you should – in fact, DeYoung offers a handy appendix on the thirty best books to study – but are those the texts you will first access to navigate your congregation through this tough area of study? Not likely. And will you turn to Geisler’s, Inerrancy, or Frame’s, the Doctrine of the Word of God, when you must clarify someone’s questions or doubts about the infallibility of the Bible? Maybe. Some people will eat that up, but others will want something they might better track with. This is precisely what Taking God at His Word provides.
I can see men’s groups and women’s groups relishing this study. I think youth group leadership teams would profit from this resource. And it would be a nice gesture to hand this book to congregants who have questions about the nature of Scripture. You pastor, will certainly want to read this text to refresh your mind, increase your affection, and anchor your trust in God’s sufficient Word.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
Just as Psalm 119 teaches us to love God’s law, reading Taking God at His Word primes you to love God’s Word and tell others to trust God’s Word.