Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God by Timothy Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was excellent. Ward begins, not with the doctrine of Scripture, but with the doctrine of God in Scripture. He explores who God is and how God’s revelation of himself informs our doctrine of Scripture. He is the covenant making God and we are to be a covenant keeping people. He makes this covenant through his Word and we keep the covenant through the Word. To read the Bible is to encounter God himself. While the Bible is not God, it is so closely associated with him that to reject it is to reject God. This emphasis was excellent and renewed my appreciation for the Scriptures and their power.
He then moves on to the three persons of the Trinity and the role they play in our doctrine of Scripture. He does a great job of showing how the Bible as God’s Word does not detract from Christ as God’s Word.
The next chapter covers the traditional aspects of the doctrine of Scriptures: necessity, sufficiency, clarity, and authority. He also covers inerrancy in this chapter as subset of authority. He very helpfully places these doctrines in their Reformation and post-reformational contexts.
Finally, he covers the authority of the church, preaching, and individual Bible reading.
The best part about this book is how Ward builds the doctrine of Scripture on other systematic categories, especially our doctrine of God, showing how they are related. It seems that many modern discussions of the doctrine of Scripture are divorced from their theological anchors. He remedies this well.
It was wonderful to read and his dependence on Calvin, Bavinck, and Warfield was refreshing.