From the beginning, when I decided to start “Read a Book With the Pastor”, I mentioned that Kevin DeYoung was one of my favorite authors because of his pastor’s heart and the readability of his works in applying them to the Christian life. Taking God at His Word – Why the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means For You and Me has proven to be a great resource for the body of Christ to grow in their knowledge of the living Word of God. I hope you had a chance to read it! If not, it’s not too late! It is a short and practical read at under 150 pages.
The book begins by explaining the meaning and purpose of Psalm 119. This psalm has long been one of my favorites. It is, however, the longest chapter in the Bible, making it difficult for many believers to get motivated to read and study Psalm 119. However, if you look closely at this psalm, you will see that it is broken into different sections, each section containing only eight verses. You will also notice there are 22 sections of eight verses that make up this psalm. Each section begins with the subsequent letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In Hebrew, you can easily recognize that Psalm 119 is a highly stylized piece of poetry. Even more remarkable is that virtually all 176 verses mention the Word of God by one of the many synonyms used in the Bible to describe God’s word like the law, statutes, precepts, commands, etc. I have long encouraged many Christians to read Psalm 119 to motivate them to read God’s word and to love God’s word. I’m very thankful that Kevin DeYoung used this psalm to begin his book and encourage us to “take God at His Word.”
“Taking God at His Word” is essentially a layman’s guide to a theology of Scripture. All believers are called to have a deep and abiding love of God’s word. This book will help you understand what the Scriptures are and how they apply to our daily lives.
You may have noticed each Sunday after I read the text which serves as the basis for my sermon, I say, “This is God’s holy, authoritative, and inerrant Word.” The reason I say this is because I believe it and because this is the testimony of Scripture itself as affirmed in our hearts by the witness of the Holy Spirit. This is a key doctrine that we must know and believe in the Christian life. God has revealed Himself through words, in a book, so it is imperative that we read it, that we know it, that we love it, that we see it as a reliable, holy book. The Bible is authoritative. DeYoung says it best, “There is no more authoritative declaration than what we find in the word of God, no firmer ground to stand alone, no more final argument that can be spoken after Scripture has spoken.”
DeYoung’s book continues with highlighting four characteristics of Scripture which serve as a biblical basis for a theology of Scripture. These characteristics are: sufficiency, clarity, authority, and necessity. The rest of the book espouses upon these characteristics. I highly encourage you to study and meditate upon these characteristics as they show us how important it is to understand and to know the truth of the Bible.
The book concludes with an exhortation from 2 Timothy 3:14-17, one of my favorite passages, and a passage that is worth your time upon which to meditate, memorize, and study.
 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it  and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV)
I agree with DeYoung when he declares that “there is no more important verse for developing a proper understanding of Scripture.”
Why make such an emphasis upon the importance of the Bible? Why do we give it so much credence in our daily lives and our worship services? I believe author and teacher R.C. Sproul said it best, “The reason the church believes the Bible is the inspired Word of God is because we’re acquiescing to the teaching of our Lord.”
What were your thoughts on the book? Please tell me in the comment sections below. Or join our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cornerstonehuntsville and let’s interact there.
I never intended for us to just read one book together, so let's start a new book. Same rules apply as last time:
- I will not always agree with every word of every book selected for us. It is important for us to learn to be discerning readers and that means taking everything that we read and interpreting it in light of what Scripture teaches.
- I like to read books on Christian living that point to the Bible and make me want to pick up my Bible, read it and know it better. Therefore, the books selected will be Bible-centered.
- Additionally, after 6-8 weeks, I will strive to write a short review along with a few discussion questions with which we can wrestle and post them up on the church website. Each book post will have a comment section which will provide an opportunity for discussion/interaction regarding the material as a church community. We will call this "Read a Book With the Pastor" on the church website.
The next book I would like us to read together is Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. This is a classic! If you have never read it, now is your chance! This book is available for free online in many different places and formats.
There is also a new version adapted for children. The original version is great, but if you have young children, I recommend getting a new version published by Great Commission Publications that brings the story to life with colorful illustrations of the story. Click here to get a copy.
By His grace and to His praise, your friend,