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on 20 September 2014
Have you ever watched a film where the opening scenes turns out to be the ending, and then the rest of the movie shows you how that conclusion was reached?

Kevin DeYoung’s book, Taking God at His Word, does a similar thing as he begins his book at the end with the application.

DeYoung like the Psalmist who wrote down the words of Psalm 119, wants us to believe that God’s Word says what is true, demands what is right, and provides what is good. He wants us to delight in God’s Word, desire God’s Word, and depend on God’s Word. And He wants us to sing God’s Word, speak God’s Word, study God’s Word, store up God’s Word, obey God’s Word, praise God for His Word, and pray that God would act according to it.

And the way he says that will happen, is as we understand what the Bible says about the Bible.

So what we have in the rest of the book unsurprisingly, are seven chapters unpacking key passages of the Bible and as he does, he covers a huge amount of ground. He explains how the Bible is God’s Word, it is true and inerrant, it is sufficient, clear, and authoritative, it is relevant to all of life and necessary for salvation, and worth sticking with,

As you’d expect if you’ve read any of DeYoung’s previous books, this one is easy to read, thoroughly biblical, helpfully practical and accessible to all. He really does have the knack of being able to make complex things simple and straightforward.

Taking God at His Word is a solid introduction or refresher on the doctrine of Scripture. It would make a good book to give away if you are looking for something more substantial and less yellow than a book like ‘Can I really trust the Bible?’ In addition, for pastors and preachers, the eight chapters would provide a good basis for a teaching series on the Bible which is something I might one day do.

Thank you Crossway for providing a free copy of this book through Beyond the Page.
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on 11 June 2016
DeYoung aims to lay out what the Bible says about the Bible, thus showing a doctrine of Scripture based upon Scripture itself, and I believe he manages this in a very accessible and helpful way, useful to the non-, casual and avid reader alike. I particularly would recommend this book for giving to new Christians or Christians who are struggling with understanding what the Bible is. This specific suggestion aside, Taking God at His Word proved to be a great book, and one I think I will return to again. Cheers!
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on 16 October 2016
You'll have to take Kevin DeYoung at his word as he uses circular arguement to defend the bible. No external reference to history, culture, society or economy throughout the time that would provide context. Wholly unacademic and written with clear personal opinion and bias. Contrast with Reza Aslan or EP Sander's approach on their Jesus books.
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on 14 May 2014
This is a short (120 page), clear, readable guide to "what the bible says about the bible". In an age when many are not sure whether or why the bible is trustworthy or helpful, this is a great book to read and to pass on to others.

It's very much a book to be read by the 'ordinary' person, written clearly and simply in everyday language. The author has managed to be totally engaging without feeling the need to start every chapter with an anecdote about his cat, the school run or someone he met on a plane. Which is nice too.

Kevin DeYoung starts with Psalm 119. Isn't it interesting, he says, that the longest love-poem in the bible is about the bible itself? And he's aiming that we will not just develop an intellectual respect for the bible, but a heart-felt love for it as well.

Subsequent chapters, each one built around a particular passage of the bible, discuss the bible's sufficiency, its clarity, its authority, and its necessity. Then there's a thought-provoking chapter about Jesus' own attitude to scripture; and a final chapter on 2 Timothy 3:14-17 - "stick with the scriptures".

At the end is a useful bibliography recommending 30 books for further reading.

In a book that's commendably short, one hesitates to ask for more; but I would have appreciated a little more discussion about extra-biblical prophecy, both in bible times and today. To what extent should we regard God as 'speaking' through that, albeit in a way which must be submitted to scripture's authority? It's not that I think DeYoung says anything wrong on the subject; it's just that I'd have loved to see it treated to more than just a few lines and the odd quotation.

In summary, I couldn't do better than quote DA Carson from the back cover:
"Buy this book by the case and distribute copies to elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, and anyone in the church who wants to understand a little better what the bible is."
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on 19 May 2016
Good book
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on 2 July 2014
A thorough, lucid, yet compact exhortation to treat God's Word with the respect it deserves. Every Christian MUST read this book.
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on 14 August 2014
There was a lot of hype over this book when it came out in April – and I’m glad to say that on this occasion it was justified! If you looked at the price (£8.99 on Amazon) you might think this was a normal-sized book, but in actual fact it’s only 130 pages (including a helpful annotated bibliography) . The book’s brevity is one of its strengths though – this is the sort of book that, as Don Carson notes on the back, is worth buying ‘by the case’ and giving away. It would be great for going through with a new/young Christian to ground them in the importance of the Bible.
DeYoung starts where he wants to end with Psalm 119 – a love poem to the Bible. After two introductory chapters he uses the acronym SCAN to set the agenda for the rest of the book – showing the Sufficiency (which he notes evangelicals particularly struggle with), Clarity, Authority and Necessity of the Scriptures. He notes that our attitude to the Bible doesn’t just affect what we read but what we sing and in light of all this he asks ‘Why would we sing songs bereft of biblical substance?’. In a healthy corrective to many current views on what a ‘spiritual’ person is, he shows that true spirituality is to be rooted in the Bible. DeYoung is unswayed by Higher Criticism, which he summarises well. He notes in a chapter on Jesus attitude to Scripture that if Jesus handled the Bible in a certain way then ‘boatloads of higher biblical criticism must be wrong’. Even on areas some evangelicals have capitulated on like the historicity of Jonah, DeYoung stands firm. He has a great quote from T. T. Perowne about imaginary people repenting at the preaching of an imaginary prophet rising up to condemn Jesus’ actual hearers.
His final chapter, encouraging us to ‘Stick with the Scriptures’, is covenantal and brilliant. He reminds us that we’ll not just face attacks on the Scriptures from outside but will be tempted to unbelief ourselves. He attributes holding onto his own faith at a liberal college to the grounding he had received from his parents – and the chapter is a great encouragement for today’s parents to do the same. Finally, how could I not love a book in which he call us to get ‘rid, once and for all, of this “red letter nonsense”‘ which he describes as incompatible with an evangelical understanding of inspiration.
Satan will never stop attacking the doctrine of Scripture so this is a book to read regularly and to give to others.

Thanks to Crossway for a complimentary copy of this book through their Beyond the Page review programme.
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on 17 June 2014
I bought this book hoping that it'd be a great, popular book that I could give to people about the Bible. The endorsements and hype were high, but when I sat down and read it, I just found it really rather boring. Kevin DeYoung can be a great author - funny, and ruthlessly Biblical - his book on Guidance, "Just do Something" is the best I know.

But this book is dull. It is a book that contains much that is good to say about God's word, much that is wise, and it is thoroughly Biblical. Yet, when the subject is so important: God's Word, we must do everything we can to enthuse people about God's word.

And that's why I won't be giving anyone a copy of 'Taking God at His Word'.

I'd recommend instead: Barry Cooper's new book, "Can I trust the Bible?" That's the book I wish this was.
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on 20 October 2014
No new insights. An American approach.
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