Recent times have been witness to the rise of attacks on the authority, truthfulness, and sufficiency of Scripture. During the 1970s, men and women gathered and wrote up what is now known as the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy. This is now the standard statement on the doctrine of Scripture, and is considered the authoritative statement among conservative evangelicals. While attacks on the Bible are nothing new, an old problem that has recently resurrected is that of biblical illiteracy. Given the rise of attacks on the Bible, including skepticism about its truthfulness, joined with biblical illiteracy, what is needed is a solid primer that will help Christians understand the nature of the Bible. Thankfully such a book now exists: From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading, and Applying the Bible by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson.
The book has three parts: in the first part, spanning the first three chapters, the author looks at trusting the Bible. In the second part, the author helps his readers understand how the Bible has one story pointing to Jesus Christ. And in the third part, Dr. Ferguson helps readers apply the Biblical principles to their everyday lives. The book has four appendixes by a variety of authors, such as John Murray on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, John Newton on divine guidance, a bibliography for further reading, and lastly a Bible reading plan.
From the Mouth of God is a very readable and helpful book. Many books in this genre are overly academic, and thus lose most readers with their technical jargon; this is not the case with this book. Dr. Ferguson is a gifted writer and teacher; he will help each reader understand not only what the Bible is, but also its importance for the daily Christian life. In addition, he guides his audience through understanding the central storyline of the Bible and applying the Bible to one’s own life. Along the way he explains when the Bible came into existence, the inerrancy of Scripture, what Christians need to learn in order to understand it better, and why the Bible’s teaching changes people’s lives. For this and many others reasons, I highly recommend From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading, and Applying the Bible.
This book is perfect, not only for the lay Christian, but even for the most well-read scholar on the doctrine of Scripture. This book does all the things one would expect a book written at the popular level to do—namely to be accessible, easy to understand, and helpfully demonstrate how to put into practice spiritual disciplines within the reader’s own life. From the Mouth of God is one of the finest popular-level books I’ve read on the doctrine of Scripture. While the book’s goals aren’t centered around examining the apologetic attacks on the Bible, Dr. Ferguson’s aim is simply to introduce the reader to the questions and subsequent answers concerning the Bible. In this way, the author overwhelmingly succeeds in his purpose in writing one of the best primers on the doctrine of Scripture published to date. So if you’re interested in the doctrine of Scripture and wondering which book you should pick up, do yourself a favor right now and go pick up a copy of From the Mouth of God: Trusting, Reading, and Applying the Bible, by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson.
This review first appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Theology for Life on Scripture.
Author: Dr. Sinclair Ferguson
Publish: Banner of Truth (2014)
I received this book for free from Banner of Truth for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”