I started reading Pastor Kevin DeYoung’s book “Taking God at His Word” last week and it reminded me how much I enjoy the way he writes. This book is simply what the title says: an examination of what God’s Word says about God’s Word.
DeYoung explains that in Protestant theology there have been “four essential characteristics of Scripture: sufficiency, clarity, authority, and necessity.” His book goes on to show what the Bible affirms about each of those points.
Different groups reject different characteristics of Scripture.
DeYoung notes, “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.”
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. And it is the failure to believe the Bible is sufficient that leads people to chase all sorts of experiential means of knowing God. It’s the reason so many people fall for false ways of knowing God promoted by people like the Blackaby’s and Sarah Young, and the reason they eat up books like “Jesus Calling.”
Making the case for sufficiency, DeYoung cites a number of Scriptural passages including sections of the book of Hebrews. Then he points out how God “still speaks” today:
“Finally, as a prophet, God has decisively spoken in his Son. He has shown us all we need to know, believe, and do. There is nothing more to say. And yet, God keeps speaking through what he has already said. ‘The word of God is living and active’ (Heb. 4:12); and when the Scriptures are read, the Holy Spirit still speaks (3:7). So yes, God still speaks. He is not silent. He communicates with us personally and directly. But this ongoing speech is not ongoing revelation.”
If you need a refresher course in what the Bible says about itself, I definitely recommend this book.