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Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God
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Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
"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 ce ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published June 22nd 2009 by IVP Academic (first published February 1st 2009)
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Sep 16, 2012 Osvaldo rated it it was amazing

Timothy Ward has written a concise and carefully structured outline of the doctrines of Scripture in his book, Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God (published by IVP Academic, 2009). Rather than rearticulate what evangelicals commonly understand as the doctrines of Scripture and demonstrate the truth of each doctrine by citing textual evidence, he proceeds in a more "organic" fashion by examining how God's word and revelation have been understood within the Scripture nar

Peter N.
Jul 11, 2013 Peter N. rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Nov 29, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
“Does the fullness of life which Christ came to bring really have to involve paying such close attention to the Bible? Does our new life in the Spirit really need to be centered around what seems to be comprehension exercises on biblical texts?” (10). These are the questions that energize Ward as he seeks to write a fresh work on that nature and vitality of Scripture as God’s Word. In a nutshell, Ward summarizes, “I am attempting to describe the nature of the relationship between God and ...more
vittore paleni
Jun 07, 2013 vittore paleni rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. Clear, accessible, up-to-date, corrective, humble and best of all solid. One of the many attractive features of the book (and there are many) is the authors attempt (successful I think) in rooting and treating the doctrine of Scripture upon Scripture itself. This is significant because traditional and orthodox formulations tended to treat the doctrine of Scripture not as an outflow of Redemptive History but as a preface, a 'prolegomena", a philosophical exercise in setting up ...more
Sep 05, 2012 John rated it really liked it
Timothy Ward’s brief, but penetrating, foray into the nature of Scripture and it’s interconnection with God’s person and revelation offers an accessible on-ramp into the complexities of classical hermeneutics while teasing out major disagreements pot-marking current hermeneutical studies. Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God (InterVarsity, 2009) initially caught my eye when I was teaching a home school course on hermeneutics. Looking for an understandable, yet nuanced, ...more
Jun 17, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it
Words of Life by Timothy Ward. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009.

Summary: This book is a Reformed treatment of the doctrine of scripture that begins from a study of scripture's teaching about itself, moves to a Trinitarian theology of scripture and finally explores the classical affirmations about scripture. Another significant aspect of this book is its incorporation of "speech-act" theory which Ward uses to delineate the relationship of God and the Bible.

Many Reformed treatments of the d
Brian Collins
Aug 28, 2012 Brian Collins rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent recent survey of the doctrine of Scripture. Ward is concise, readable, careful, and judicious. He does not simply restate that traditional evangelical doctrine but instead seeks to make explicit its biblical foundations. He also interacts with recent challenges to the doctrine. But this is not to say that Ward is innovative. While he does make use of recent theories about how language work, Ward also appreciatively draws on the wealth of previous theological giants who have ...more
Brian Watson
Jan 30, 2014 Brian Watson rated it really liked it
This book is a very fine doctrine of Scripture and I would recommend that anyone who is a Christian--or anyone wondering why Christians make so much of the Bible--should read it. Ward's thesis is that the Bible is God's Word in the sense that it is not only divine in origin (the Holy Spirit moving human authors to write exactly what God intended), but that the Bible is the means by which God makes a covenant with his people. He gets into speech act theory a bit, which is very helpful. God's Word ...more
Jun 20, 2011 Thomas rated it really liked it
A clear and engaging presentation of the doctrine of scripture as an organic doctrine growing out of the character of the triune God. Does a good job of drawing the implications out of the Bible itself and its description of God and His speaking/acting. Excellent in the discussion of inerrancy (as a subordinate rather than foundational aspect of scripture). Would have liked to see more discussion of pre-Reformation theologians, more discussion of scripture in its ecclesial context, and more ...more
Peter B.
Oct 17, 2015 Peter B. rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
This was a well written explanation of the biblical doctrine of Scripture. It defends inerrancy, but places it into a biblical and trinitarian context where it functions as an implication of God's inspiration (or authorship) of Scripture and as an aspect of Scripture's authority. Ward emphasizes that God invests Himself in His words, that God does something to Himself and to His audience when He speaks, that He binds Himself and His audience to His words.

"...words are a necessary medium of a rel
Mar 15, 2016 Josh rated it it was amazing
Possibly my favorite book I have read in my time in the MDiv at Trinity. Fantastic treatment on the doctrine of scripture. This is a book where it seems like every word is significant. It covers complicated topics but makes them approachable. Early in the book, Ward talks about the truthfulness of scripture being inseparable from the character of God. He also gives a wonderful treatment on sola scriptura, its rationale, and the way how it is commonly understood within 21st century Protestantism.
Kessia Reyne
Sep 13, 2012 Kessia Reyne rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
A serious treatment of the doctrine of Scripture written for the theologically curious, but not requiring theological training to understand. Ward does a nice job of showing the implications of speech-act theory for the doctrine of Scripture. Chapters 2 and 3 were worth the price of the book to me, and although chapters 4 and 5 left me objecting (no modern-day prophets?! a rejection of "the Bible alone"?!), they were still stimulating. He writes from a Reformed perspective, but Christians of all ...more
Aug 19, 2012 Todd rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! Timothy Ward begins his doctrine of Scripture with the doctrine of God. It is in what God reveals about himself that we gain the foundation for our doctrine of Scripture. Ward then explores the biblical meaning of "the word of God." How has God spoken in various times in redemptive history? From there he builds a compelling case for the Bible's authority, trustworthiness, and sufficiency. This is a timely and vital book.
Sep 18, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bible, seminary
This was a short, but robust, read on the doctrine of scripture. I think most evangelicals (I hope) would be able to check the inerrancy, authority, clarity boxes, but this book explains why it matters. It also emphasizes the importance of scripture as God's Word as actions. He spoke his covenant to us in order to do something. It is less than 200 pages, but it is not one to breeze through. My favorite chapter was The Bible and the Christian Life.
Greg Baughman
Jan 05, 2013 Greg Baughman rated it really liked it
I appreciated the approach that Ward took in addressing this topic. His Biblical theological approach is well established before he delves into traditional systematic categories. His interaction with modern speech-act theory is also helpful. Finally, a perspective on inerrancy from outside of North America is beneficial for the evangelical discussion. For a (slightly) more thorough review, see here.
Tyler Hurst
Apr 20, 2013 Tyler Hurst rated it really liked it
This was an assigned text for a seminary class and I was't sure I was going to like it, but it is a thoughtful overview and a gentle correction in regards to the doctrine of scripture. I highly recommend it as a starting point.
Nov 18, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Excellent treatment of the doctrine of Scripture that is rooted in Trinitarian orthodoxy and utilizes speech-act theory to give a fresh articulation of the classic Reformed Evangelical position on Scripture.
Feb 24, 2016 Justin rated it it was amazing
Very helpful. More academic level than popular level. Interesting foundation in speech-act theory.
Ben rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2015
Ignoble Berean
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Sep 24, 2016
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May 13, 2013
Shane rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2012
Kris Kuriger
Kris Kuriger rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2015
Erin Sisemore
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Nov 05, 2013
Stinger rated it it was ok
Mar 29, 2014
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Feb 25, 2016
Chandler rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2016
Kavin Kramer
Kavin Kramer rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2016
Nick Locke
Nick Locke rated it really liked it
Feb 24, 2013
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