Jump directly to the content

Already a subscriber?

Home > 2014 > June > How Did Jesus View the Bible?
Article Preview. Log in or subscribe now.

When I pastored my small, theologically conservative church, I could safely assume the people sitting in the pews on Sunday morning to hear me preach believed that the Bible they held in their hands was God's Word. But what exactly does that mean?

Enter Pastor Kevin DeYoung. His new book, Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me (Crossway, 2014) doesn't break any new ground in the debates over inerrancy. Coming in at just under 140 pages, this is a quick and easy read. But that's just the point. DeYoung synthesizes the best scholarly arguments for the reliability, trustworthiness, and inspiration of Scriptures and presents them in a way that my deacons could digest and understand.

What is helpful about DeYoung is his willingness to address contemporary questions about Scripture and our perennial desire to mold Scripture to our current context. Perhaps the most valuable chapter in Taking God at His Word is Chapter Seven, "Christ's Unbreakable Bible" where he pushes back on the notion of a "red-letter" Jesus. "I'm not asking how Jesus interpreted the Bible or fulfilled the Bible, or what he taught from the Bible," DeYoung writes. "I'm addressing only the simple, absolutely crucial question: what did Jesus believe about his Bible?" Then DeYoung systematically describes Jesus' strong doctrine and high view of Scripture.

This is an especially important argument today when many evangelicals are placing a high premium on the words of Jesus, but questioning whether they are compatible with the rest of God's revelation. Unhelpful dichotomies such as "Jesus came to abolish the law" or Jesus came to "do away with religion" confuse believers and lead them away from a holistic understanding of the entire span of salvation history.

Taking God at His Word also makes Sola Scriptura accessible to a new generation. The Bible occupies the magisterial role, and the Church is its minister. You'll find a fuller treatment in works such as Timothy Ward's Words of Life, but DeYoung gives a terrific and clear-eyed view of the important arguments.

Last, DeYoung forcefully urges Christians to consider the Bible to be "clear" and "sufficient" for faith and practice. To evangelicals for whom certainty is a four-letter word, DeYoung's apologetic will go down hard, but he offers an important reminder of the danger of shading God's revealed truth in gray hues.

DeYoung may not convince those already determined to press their cultural preferences upon Scripture, but he'll likely influence those curious about the relationship between Jesus and the law. What's more, this little book will sharpen those who agree, philosophically, with the argument that "the Bible is the Word of God" but are unsure of how to explain it. Its compact format has the potential to stimulate ...

log in

To view the rest of this article, you must be a subscriber to LeadershipJournal.net. Activate your online account for complete access.

Related Topics:BibleBooksJesus ChristResources
Posted: June 2, 2014

Also in this Issue: June 2014

Raising Hope

Raising Hope

Because hope fuels innovation, creativity, and vitality in the church.
Three Rooms With a View

Three Rooms With a ViewSubscriber Access Only

The right kind of creativity brings clarity to ministry confusion.
Dancing in the Rain

Dancing in the Rain

Erwin McManus on how being "naked and unashamed" led to new faith, new life, and new believers.
A Marriage of Literature and ... Burritos?

A Marriage of Literature and ... Burritos?Subscriber Access Only

And other items of interest from ministry and culture.

Not a Subscriber?

Subscribe Today!

  • Monthly issues on web and iPad
  • Web exclusives and archives on Leadership Journal.net
  • Quarterly print issues

Print subscriber? Activate your online account for complete access.

Join the Conversation

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Use your Leadership Journal login to easily comment and rate this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.
Editor's Pick
Changing Notions of Community

Changing Notions of Community

Guiding church in a time of declining attendance.
Sister Sites