Hello, and happy Tuesday! I had the day off yesterday due to a birthday in the family and naturally, I took advantage of my three-day weekend to do some serious blogging, and hopefully get ahead for this week, which kicks off in my next three months of busyness (yikes).
Anyway, I am here today to talk about Taking God At His Word, a book I ended up enjoying way more than I was expecting. It was awesome.
Title: Taking God At His Word: Why The Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means For You And Me
Author: Kevin DeYoung
Publisher/Price: Crossway/$15.17 here
Genre: Christian Living
Number of pages: 144
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Overview: Taking God at His Word is a book about the Bible. More specifically, it's a book about the Bible's necessity, its relevance, its authority, its inerrancy, and its sufficiency. DeYoung lays out what the Bible says about the Bible. He looks into the Word itself to explain itself. He looks at what Jesus believed about the Bible to understand what we should believe about the Bible. Because what better way to know someone than to read His Words?
My thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. DeYoung has an incredibly practical, straightforward way of writing: this book is succinct, concise, and to the point. And for this kind of book on this topic, I think that style of writing is absolutely necessary. This is not the kind of book that must be puzzled over, that gives you a headache, or makes you feel like you know exactly zero. It is free of technical jargon, heavy theological principles, and the like. And while I enjoy that sort of stuff, DeYoung's stripped down message was refreshing.
Probably the thing I loved most about this book was how DeYoung set it up. It read like one of those essays that answers all the questions in brilliant ways by the end and restores your faith in humanity. He starts off with Psalm 119, the longest Psalm and also the longest passage in the Bible. The psalm is one long love song about God's Word. He begins the book with Psalm 119 with the hope that by the end, that is where the reader will be regarding the Word of God. Or at least he will want to be at that point.
The bulk of the book is within the chapters entitled, 'God's Word is Enough,' 'God's Word is Clear,' 'God's Word is Final,' and 'God's Word is Necessary.' My favorite part of the book, though, was the second to the last chapter: 'Christ's Unbreakable Bible,' in which he looks at the Bible through Jesus's beliefs about the Bible. I found that fascinating. I mean, it was all stuff I knew already: Jesus believed every word of the Bible, but it was awesome to see that evidence in one place. Jesus knew the Bible and He depended on it. "For Jesus, Scripture is powerful, decisive, and authoritative because it is nothing less than the voice of God (DeYoung 108)." DeYoung also makes the point in the beginning of the book that people today are so eager to hear the voice of God. But Jesus saw the Bible as just that: the voice of God – written down for us. I don't think we realize how amazing that is, how life-changing. We have an entire book, written by men, but dictated by the voice of the One who created us. After reading Taking God At His Word, I am so much more overwhelmed by the gift of the Bible, and the truth that it holds. It is God-breathed. I love that word picture. Another quote from the book: "The Scriptures are our spectacles, the lenses through which we see God, the world, and ourselves rightly. We cannot truly know God, his will, or the way of salvation apart from the Bible (DeYoung 87)."
Taking God At His Word moved me to love the Bible and see the Bible in ways that I did not before. I think every Christian, whether new or old, needs to read this book. I want to close with a quote from the final page of the book. "So let us not weaken in our commitment to our unbreakable Bible. Let us not wander from this divinely exhaled truth. Let us not waver in our delight and desire. God has spoken, and through that revelation he still speaks (DeYoung 124)."
I encourage you to pick this book up, whether you have been a Christian for many years or are just starting out. Taking God At His Word is a no-fuss, no-nonsense, utterly confident look at the Word of God; it takes a clear stand on the authority of the Bible in our lives and in our theology. Thanks for reading! xo, Ella