Grace Defined and Defended – Kevin DeYoung

calKevin DeYoung, Grace Defined and Defended (Wheaton: Crossway, 2019), 130.

Whenever Kevin DeYoung pens a book, I devour it – quickly. DeYoung writes with biblical precision. He writes with clarity. And his writing exalts the Lord Jesus Christ. His latest book, Grace Defined & Defended is no exception.

This short book is a summary and exposition of the Canons of Dort. The Synod convened from 1618-1619 and crystallized the Reformed position concerning soteriology.

DeYoung reproduces the historical Canon of Dort and provides a short commentary that explains and defends the content. Misconceptions are erased and the doctrinal ore is successfully mined and served up in a readable and devotional manner.

The selling-point of Grace Defined & Defended is its ability to drive readers to the Canons of Dort – a document that most contemporary believers have never heard about, let alone read.

DeYoung’s ability to unpack and explain this 400-year old confession is unparalleled and should be devoured by followers of Jesus. Readers who affirm historic Calvinistic orthodoxy will be edified and encouraged. Fence-sitters and Arminians will be challenged and convinced. And all readers, in the final analysis, will exalt the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo gloria!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.


The Ten Commandments – Kevin DeYoung

deyoungKevin DeYoung, The Ten Commandments (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 190 pp.

Ask anyone if they are familiar with the Ten Commandments and the answer will be in the affirmative. But ask that same person to recite the ten commandments by memory. The results will not be as encouraging, even among professing Christians.

Kevin DeYoung devotes his latest book, The Ten Commandments to explaining and exploring these ten imperatives. The subtitle describes the essence of the book: What They Mean, Why They Matter, and Why We Should Obey Them.

DeYoung carefully guides readers through each commandment, grounding his exposition in Scripture and applying his explanation to the real-world needs of contemporary people. Each chapter focuses on one commandment in particular and is set forth in a clear and understandable way.

I found The Ten Commandments  to be deeply encouraging and challenging. DeYoung’s writing is engaging and draws readers from different backgrounds to one conclusion: These commandments are for today. But in the final analysis, they lead us directly to the cross of Christ. Indeed, as DeYoung writes,

“We can no longer keep the Ten Commandments rightly unless we keep them in Christ, through Christ, and with a view to the all-surpassing greatness of Christ. As new creations in Christ, the law is not only our duty but also our delight. If we want to love Christ as he deserves and as he desires, we will keep his commandments.”

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.


What Does The Bible Teach About Homosexuality? – Kevin DeYoung (2015)

aI read an important book today.  It is not a weighty theological treatise.  It is not a book about spiritual formation.  And it certainly is not written to inspire.  This book is about homosexuality.  Like it or not, in our culture, the topic of homosexuality has moved from stage left to center stage.  Everyone is talking about it.  Many people are affirming homosexual relationships – liberals and conservatives alike.

I recently read Steve Chalke’s booklet, A Matter of Integrity.  The author, who happens to be a Baptist pastor, seeks to legitimize and normalize homosexuality.  The booklet is written with tones of grace and the author appears very kind.  The only problem – the book is dead wrong.  The book opposes Scripture.  And the book fails to glorify God.

Kevin DeYoung’s new book, What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality addresses a controversial topic with grace but never at the expense of truth.

Part One – Understanding God’s Word

The author guides readers through a maze of texts and helps them unravel what Scripture really says about homosexuality.  His tone is gracious.  Yet he is unafraid to proclaim what God proclaims – homosexuality is a sin to be repented of.  Everyone who turns from their sin may find peace and forgiveness that flow freely from Jesus who paid to set sinners free.  DeYoung is quick to demonstrate that homosexuality is not acceptable in God’s economy.  But he is even more eager to point people to a God who forgives:

“The God we worship is indeed a God of love.  Which does not, according to any verse in the Bible, make sexual sin acceptable.  But it does, by the witness of a thousand verses all over the Bible, make every one of our sexual sins changeable, redeemable, and wondrously forgiveable.”

Part Two – Answering Objections

DeYoung has left no stone unturned here.  In part two, he answers typical objections and responds with grace and truth.  All his answers are supported by the weight of Scripture.

There is much to commend here; more than one review can cover.  However, Kevin DeYoung helps readers understand what is at stake in this debate and uncovers four vital issues that every Christian should be concerned with.  I urge readers to purchase the book and study these powerful warnings:

  1. The moral logic of monogamy is at stake.
  2. The integrity of Christian sexual ethics is at stake.
  3. The authority of Scripture is at stake.
  4. The grand narrative of Scripture is at stake.

What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality will not be the most inspiring book you’ll read all year.  However, it may be the most important book you read.  It is a book that may cause you discomfort.  It is a book that will certainly cause you to reevaluate your position on homosexuality.    Ultimately, this book will point you to the Book.  And sacred Scripture clearly reveals God’s position on homosexuality.  Homosexual behavior, like any other ungodly behavior, is sin; a sin which must be repented of and forgiven.

The Supreme Court has spoken.  Their historic decision on June 26, 2015, will leave an indelible mark on American history.  But God has also spoken.  Our sovereign God has the final word on every subject and in every nation.  Our response must be to submit to his authority and render joyful obedience.  Unfortunately, obedience is being jettisoned in the highest court of the land.

May readers approach this subject with minds and hearts that are open to God’s revelation.  May they be challenged and moved to obedience.  And may the gospel open doors of hope so that many will find their rest in Christ the Savior!

I received this book free from the publisher.   I was not required to write a positive review. 



TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD – Kevin DeYoung (2014)

Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung is yet another reminder that Mr. DeYoungword is for real.  He consistently churns out books which are readable and practical.  But more importantly, DeYoung writes books which are biblical.  His newest book is no exception.

The subtitle of DeYoung’s work accurately describes the essence of the book: “Why the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means For You and Me.”

DeYoung challenges readers to consider the sufficiency, clarity, authority, and necessity of Scripture.  This fine work will thrill conservative Christians and enrage liberals and postmodern compromisers.

At the end of the day, our approach to Scripture is what really matters.  DeYoung summarizes: “Submission to the Scriptures is submission to God.  Rebellion against the Scriptures is rebellion against God.”  May Christ-followers maintain a strong and robust doctrine of Scripture in the difficult days to come.  Taking God at His Word is strong encouragement for faithful Christians who love the Bible.

4 stars

BOOK REVIEWS · Discipleship · Theology

THE HOLE IN OUR HOLINESS – Kevin DeYoung (2012)

1433541351_bTalk about holiness can be dangerous business.  It’s so easy to turn the biblical notion of holiness into a set of do’s and don’ts – as a measure of spirituality.  Keeping lists is the business of Pharisees.  And we all know – there is no shortage of finger-pointing Pharisees in the evangelical church.

Kevin DeYoung tackles the subject of holiness in his latest book, The Hole in Our Holiness.  His approach to sanctification is packed with biblical wisdom and counsel.

DeYoung argues that the evangelical church does not appear to be concerned with holiness much anymore: “The hole in our holiness is that we don’t really care much about it.  Passionate exhortation to pursue gospel-driven holiness is barely heard in most of our churches.  It’s not that we don’t talk about sin or encourage decent behavior.  Too many sermons are basically self-help seminars on becoming a better you.  That’s moralism, and it’s not helpful.  Any gospel which says only what you must do and never announces what Christ has done is no gospel at all.”  The author nails it in the first chapter.  The remainder of the book continues to drive home the chief contention of gospel-centered holiness.  He militates against man-made techniques and drives readers to Christ and his cross.

The Hole in Our Holiness is a welcome addition to the growing number of gospel-centered resources that continue to saturate the marketplace among Bible-believing Christ-followers.

Highly recommended

4.5 stars

BOOK REVIEWS · Discipleship · Leadership

CRAZY BUSY – Kevin DeYoung (2013)

Crazy Busy is the latest offering by Kevin DeYoung.  The book short and sweet.  In fact, the 1433533383_bsubtitle lures readers to give it a try: “A (Mercifully) Short Book About A (Really) Big Problem.”  But don’t let the brevity be a distraction.  For within the pages of this little book is a message that needs to be heard and heeded.

DeYoung, a self-described busy person has his finger on a problem that is only getting worse by the day: People are crazy busy.  The net result are fragmented families, failing healthy, and frustration of seismic proportions.

The problem that DeYoung is concerned about is primarily a spiritual problem.  He rightly argues, “When we are crazy busy, we put our souls at risk.”  The author identifies three specific dangers that threaten the very foundations of our spiritual lives.

Danger # 1: Business can ruin our joy.

Danger # 2: Busyness can rob our hearts.

Danger # 3: Busyness can cover up the rot in our souls.

DeYoung serves readers by offering seven prescriptions which offer hope for the busy and practical help for anyone who suffers from the tyranny of the urgent.  The seven diagnoses are:

1. You are beset with many manifestations of pride

2. You are trying to do what God does not expect you to do

3. You can’t serve others without setting priorities

4. You need to stop freaking out about your kids

5. You are letting the screen strangle your soul

6. You’d better rest yourself before you wreck yourself

7. You suffer more because you don’t expect to suffer at all

Readers who find themselves too busy to read Crazy Busy  need to sit down and read this book.  It is filled with practical help, winsome suggestions, and biblical wisdom.  Crazy people will turn away from this book.  Wise people will read it, absorb it, and assimilate the principles into the fabric of their lives.

Highly recommended

4 stars