DeYoung on the Word of God

Posted: Friday, February 28, 2014 in Books

I can’t wait until the forthcoming release of Kevin DeYoung’s next book, Taking God At His Word (Crossway, April 30, 2014). His blog today has an excerpt to whet your appetite. I was once challenged after stating a similar sentiment from the pulpit. Many would believe you to be sacrilegious, if not blasphemous, to believe such a thing.

On a bit of a side note, one of the comments on the blog agreed (though somewhat hesitantly) with DeYoung’s “red-letter” premise but disagreed that his conclusion can be drawn from 2 Timothy 3:16, stating, “The author of the quote should take more seriously the Word of God understood in context.” He obviously disagrees that “all Scripture” includes both the Old and New Testaments as set forth in the canon, but is of the interpretation that, given the time and audience to which Paul wrote, “all Scripture” could only mean Old Testament as that is all that the reader (s) would have had at their disposal. However, others believe (and I concur) that Paul was speaking of the entirety of the Old and New prospectively and prophetically. Therefore the implication for us is that “all Scripture” refers to the entirety of the canon, though it was not completed until the 4th century.

To disagree with DeYoung’s sentiment is also to disagree with the confessions of the Reformation era. Note the following from the 1689 Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, and especially note the Scripture text from which their conclusion is drawn:

Chapter 1. Sec. 2._____Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:

OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomen, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations,Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation

All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.
(2 Timothy 3:16)

The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Belgic Confession of Faith include the same thought, though the Belgic does not include Scripture proof.

Hear Calvin as well, who, though he does maintain that immediate context calls for “all Scripture” to mean Old Testament, nevertheless draws the conclusion that Paul also had in mind the prospective writings of the Apostles:

Seeing that Paul speaks of the Scriptures, which is the name given to the Old Testament, how does he say that it makes a man thoroughly perfect? for, if it be so, what was afterwards added by the apostles may be thought superfluous. I reply, so far as relates to the substance, nothing has been added; for the writings of the apostles contain nothing else than a simple and natural explanation of the Law and the Prophets, together with a manifestation of the things expressed in them. This eulogium, therefore, is not inappropriately bestowed on the Scriptures by Paul; and, seeing that its instruction is now rendered more full and clear by the addition of the Gospel, what can be said but that we ought assuredly to hope that the usefulness, of which Paul speaks, will be much more displayed, if we are willing to make trial and receive it? [Calvin’s Commentary on Timothy, Titus, and Philemon]

I am sure this will be shown by DeYoung in the book – we shall see.

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