Words of Life
Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God
Throughout Christian history, the overwhelmingly predominant view of the Bible has been that it is itself the living and active Word of God.
In this book Timothy Ward explains and defends what we are really saying when we trust and proclaim, as we must, that the Bible is God’s Word. In particular he describes the nature of the relationship between the living God and Scripture. He examines why, in order to worship God faithfully, we need to pay close attention to the Bible; why, in order to be faithful disciples of Jesus, the Word-made-flesh, we need to base our lives on the words of the Bible; and why, in order to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, we need to trust and obey what the Bible says.
Ward offers an understanding of the nature of Scripture under three main headings. A biblical outline shows that the words of the Bible form a significant part of God’s action in the world. A theological outline focuses on the relationship of Scripture with each of the persons of the Trinity. And a doctrinal outline examines the ‘attributes’ of Scripture. A final chapter explores some significant areas in which the doctrine of Scripture should be applied.
Ward offers us an excellent, lucid exposition of the nature and function of Scripture, expressed in a form appropriate for the twenty-first century, grounded in the relevant scholarship, and standing firmly in line with the best of the theological traditions.
“I have been on the lookout for a compelling and contemporary treatment of the nature and authority of Scripture for years. I ask of every promising new title, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall I look for another?’ Ward’s book may be the one. Words of Life rightly roots its thinking about Scripture in the doctrine of God, and that means trinitarian theology. His central insight: God’s word is something that God does. The Bible is not simply an object to be studied but the principal means by which the Lord engages his people and administers his covenant. Ward is a British pastor-theologian in the best sense of the term. The deft treatment of inerrancy by one from the other side of the pond is an added bonus. Highly recommended!” — Kevin Vanhoozer, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
“Timothy Ward’s exposition of the nature and place of the Bible is well-informed and thoroughly thought through. It is a product of alert contemporary awareness, deep-level theological discernment and mature personal judgment. Rarely has a book on this subject stirred me to such emphatic agreement and admiration.” — J. I. Packer, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia and author of Knowing God.
“This is both a great read and a sterling work of scholarship. It is comprehensive in scope, rich in historical awareness and acute in critique. It respects the past without idolizing it, draws discriminatingly on modern speech-theory, offers fine insights into the relation between Scripture and tradition, and gives a judicious assessment of inerrancy. Textbook and treat in a single volume!” — Donald Macleod, Free Church of Scotland College
“A very fine treatment of the classical Christian doctrine of Holy Scripture, which draws particularly on the theological wisdom of the Reformed tradition. A particular strength of the book is the way in which the author formulates his account of Scripture from Scripture itself, notably from its covenantal character. Words of Life is well-written and clear-headed, thoughtful and judicious.” — Paul Helm, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia
- Introduction: God and the Bible
- God and Scripture: A Biblical Outline
- The Trinity and Scripture: A Theological Outline
- Attributes of Scripture: A Doctrinal Outline
- The Bible and the Christian Life: The Doctrine of Scripture Applied