Kevin DeYoung’s new book Taking God At His Word (Crossway, 2014) is a real gem. This is a highly recommended lay-introduction to the doctrine of scripture, written clearly and chock-full of applications, illustrations and implications of the main tenets of the Reformed doctrine of Scripture.
In his chapter explaining the “authority” of scripture, where he utilizes the clear teaching of the Westminster Confession of Faith, over and against both liberal and Roman Catholic claims, DeYoung takes an excellent excursus into the general/special revelation language of Belgic Confession, Article 2:
I am not for a moment arguing for obscurantism when it comes to the hard questions concerning faith and science. Pastors who haven’t had a science class since the tenth grade are often too cavalier with the tough issues raised by geology, biology, and genetics. But surely it is the mark of a Christian to believe everything the Bible teaches no matter who says it can’t be so. Academic journals are not infallible, let along high school textbooks or fifteen-second sound bites. As Christians we must always be willing to change our minds when we see that we have misread the Scriptures, but that is a far cry from setting aside the Scriptures because for the last five years – or fifty years or a hundred and fifty years – some scientists have informed us that we can’t believe in the historicity of Adam or that the universe was created out of nothing by the word of God. General revelation can show us there is a God and convict those who don’t worship him rightly. But special revelation speaks more clearly, more openly, and more authoritatively. If Scripture gets the last word, we should never change a jot or tittle of the Holy Book merely because the book of nature – for a time and according to some voices – seems to suggest we should.
This high-tech, modern world is fond of telling us what we can and cannot believe about the Bible in light of the assured results of science and biblical criticism. DeYoung rightly reminds us of the importance of retaining the priority of God’s word as our infallible and final authority.
R. Andrew Compton
Christ Reformed Church (URCNA)