Kevin DeYoung‘s most recent long pamphlet (or short book) is Taking God at His Word. I have read several of his others in recent years, and so I was quite happy to receive an advanced copy from Crossway to review.
Taking God is the best introduction to the Evangelical doctrine of the Bible that I have read. I read the 127 pages in one sitting. I continue to be amazed at the way DeYoung can pack so much information into so small a space without sacrificing readability. It’s really not hard to read.
He starts Psalm 119 and calls us to love the Bible as much as the psalmist. That kind of passion is rarely the starting point of most theology books, but it should be. For seasoned pastors and theologians, this book will serve as a useful resource for explanation and illustration, there is nothing radical or “new” about DeYoung’s doctrine, for sure. For budding theologians, every page will be insightful and delightfully helpful.
Speaking of the various attributes of the Bible, DeYoung writes (p.43):
If authority is the liberal problem, clarity the postmodern problem, and necessity the problem for atheists and agnostics, then sufficiency is the attribute most quickly doubted by rank-and-file churchgoing Christians.
With footnotes including John Frame, John Calvin, B.B. Warfield, J. I. Packer, Herman Bavinck, Matthew Henry and Jonathan Edwards, we all know where DeYoung stands. He is not making waves doctrinally. On the other hand, I know of no other book that so helpfully, clearly and persuasively deals with the basic doctrine of the Bible, which is so fundamental to all Christians. Another strong base hit for DeYoung.
Don’t look here for nuancing or serious interaction with other Christian traditions on the doctrine of the Bible. Some will probably unfairly accuse DeYoung of skirting these issues when they are clearly not the aim of this book. For that purpose, consult the annotated bibliography in the appendix, which I found to be a terrific list for Reformed/Evangelical authors who deal with much more nuanced and complex issues on this topic.
For those looking for a good introduction to the doctrine of the Bible . . . highly recommended!