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" ...