Tag Archives: D.A. Carson

Covenant and Commandment by Bradley G. Green

Covenant and CommandmentGreen, Bradley G. Series Editor, D. A. Carson. Covenant and Commandment: Works, Obedience, and Faithfulness in the Christian Life. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2014. 208 pp. $22.00. Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

New Studies in Biblical Theology is a series of books addressing key issues in the church today. Bradley Green is Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Union University. He has written a number of other books dealing with theology.

Summary

Divided into seven chapters with numerous subsections in each chapter, Bradley dives straight into the discussion of grace and works. His first chapter looks at the reality and necessity of works, obedience and faithfulness as found in the NT.

The second chapter offers a look at the bridge between the Old and New Testaments while chapter three offers the umbrella of the covenant keeping God throughout all of the Bible. Chapter four takes us to the cross and moves us to union with Christ in chapter five. The final two chapters look at justification and judgment and the conclusion that works, obedience, and faithfulness are necessary for every Christian.

Review

One might be surprised at the necessity of this conversation today, but it seems as though grace is being misapplied all over the evangelical spectrum. From full acceptance of same-sex marriage as being gracious in liberal churches to antinomianism (lawlessness) in some Reformed circles, the truth is, this conversation is happening and we need a biblically balanced understanding of what is expected of the Christian.

Bradley does so in a theologically astute yet very easy to read way. Sure, he is discussing some deep theology, but he does so in a way that anyone can understand what he is saying if they have a rudimentary understanding of their Bibles as well as the doctrines of the church.

He is saturated with Scripture as well as others throughout the history of the church. Men like Geerhardus Vos and Jonathan Edwards and N.T. Wright and John Owen. In other words, he shows that he is not writing anything necessarily new. Rather, he is bringing together a general consensus of orthodoxy for a new generation.

Recommendation

 

Covenant and Commandment is a great introduction to any Christian wanting to understand the importance of obeying the law by the grace of God. I commend this resource to you whether you are a pastor or layman. Today’s church needs this resource.

 

Entrusted with the Gospel edited by D.A. Carson

Entrusted with the Gospel.  Edited by D.A. Carson.  Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010.  160 pp.  $15.99.  Purchase at Westminster Books for $7.99.

Introduction

This collection of six messages from 2 Timothy was originally delivered as the plenary sections at the national conference of The Gospel Coalition in 2009.  Contributors include Philip Ryken, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, K. Edward Copeland, Bryan Chapell, and J. Ligon Duncan.  While these messages are meant for pastors, they serve the greater evangelical Christian since those who have professed faith in Christ have all been entrusted with the gospel.  You can download the original messages here.

Summary

These six sermons look at the entirety of the book of 2 Timothy.  As only John Piper can do, he exhorts us to fee the flame that is the gospel message.  Ryken’s message is needed today as so many pastors attempt to share the gospel and sound too smart while doing so.  Dricoll offers explanation on the marks of a positive ministry.  Copeland next looks at the pitfall while Chapell simply exhorts us to preach the word!  The book concludes with Duncan’s message to pastors and Christians alike should strive to finish well.

Review

I appreciated that the men who participated in this conference come from a wide theological spectrum.  Their exegesis may be a bit different but their application is of one accord–we have power granted by the Holy Spirit because we have responded positively to the gospel.  These seasoned pastors and Christian leaders understand the various stretches of pastoral ministry and that there will be so-called dry seasons as well as seasons of great growth.  Just as Paul urged Timothy to continue in the gospel, so to, we are called to do the same today.

Recommendation

Entrusted with the Gospel is an excellent resource especially for pastors.  If your pastor does not have this book, he needs it.  There will be many seasons in his ministry where these sermons will greatly impact his soul.  For the Christian who is not a pastor (or even a leader in their local congregation), this book will serve them as well.  After all, we have all been entrusted with the gospel.

Collected Writings on Scripture by D.A. Carson

Carson, D.A. Collected Writings on Scripture. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010. 336 pp. $27.99. Purchase at Westminster for $18.19.

Introduction

D.A. Carson has been writing on or about the doctrine Scripture for over 30 years. He still teaches at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he serves as research professor of the New Testament. He is also the co-founder of The Gospel Coalition not too mention an author or editor of over fifty books. Collected Writings on Scripture is just that, a collection brought together by Andrew David Naselli.

Summary

While this book is magnificent in breadth and sound in its research, it is even more monumental in showing a flow of thought, primarily unchanged, about the doctrine of Scripture from one of the foremost scholars of our time.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part is the collection of essays. Here, we read on how to approach the Bible, his apologetic for systematic theology, and a look at Redaction Criticism among other topics. These essays are scholarly in nature but very much accessible to the reader wanting to know more about the doctrine of Scripture.

The second part is a series of book reviews written by Carson on other books about the doctrine of Scripture. In this section, the reader is introduced to some resources that have been lauded as well as criticized openly by many within evangelical circles. It is important to note that while some of these books were written 30 years ago, their effects are still being felt in the church today. Carson does an excellent job of introducing the debates brought to the table in each book.

Review

While the fact does remain that some of the arguments and papers discussed in Collected Writings have been surpassed or are antiquated, their value is not found in their age. The value of this collection of essays and reviews lies in the person behind them. We see a man who has stuck to his guns so to speak regarding his high view of Scripture.

To be able to write scholarly articles that are accessible to just about everyone in the church is a remarkable feat in and of itself. To be able to do so over a quarter of a century time frame is phenomenal and shows the power of the Holy Spirit working through a man to aid our understanding of the Word of God.

I greatly appreciated the inclusion of the original source of each article and review. This helps the reader to place the particular writing back into its original context and opens the door to deeper study and greater understanding of the doctrine of Scripture.

Recommendation

If you do not have a high view of Scripture, you will not like this book. If that is you, however, you are the one who perhaps needs to read this book. I believe D.A. Carson’s Collected Writings on Scripture will become his most important work though it is obviously a collection of other writings from other works. As I said above, to have all of these writings in one location makes this resource a must own for both reference and edification.

Scandalous by D.A. Carson

Carson, D.A. Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010. 176 pp. $15.99. Purchase at Westminster for $10.39.

Introduction

D.A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He currently serves as a guest lecturer in academic and church settings around the world and has authored or edited more than 50 books.

This current book is based on five lectures delivered at Mars Hill in Seattle, Washington in 2008.

Summary

Based on those five lectures, this book is divided into five chapters though they are arranged differently in the book than the day they were delivered in Seattle.  Chapter one looks at the many ironies of the crucifixion process and what was said by those around Jesus found in Matthew 27:27-51a.  In the second chapter, Carson looks at Romans 3:21-26 and argues that this passage is indeed the center of the whole Bible.  In this chapter, he argues–rightly–for the propitiation of sins by Christ.

Chapter three on Revelation 12 is very helpful in understanding apocalyptic literature and how it relates to not just the Second Coming of Jesus, but His first as well.  The chapter on John 11:1-53 (ch. 4) was, in my humble opinion, the most helpful chapter.  Here, Carson clears up a lot of misunderstandings about the raising from the dead of Lazarus.  The most important clarification involves the text found in verse 33 where we read that Jesus “was deeply moved.”  Carson argues that the original language does not support this translation.  It should be translated that Jesus was “outraged.”  He proceeds to show how this makes the most sense of the context surrounding the passage.

The book concludes with a chapter on doubting Jesus’ resurrection.  This chapter helps the reader to understand how to better discuss with those who do not believe.

Recommendation

Any book by D.A. Carson is worth owning in one’s library. This book on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is very timely and one that every Christian who enjoys reading theology should read.  Carson expertly teaches on five important passages that are central to the gospel message that many of us preach and teach today.

Through careful exegesis and excellent application for today, Carson offers five messages on what is truly the most scandalous claim made in the world today–that God became flesh, dwelt among us, died, was buried, and resurrected so that we might be made right with Him even though we do not really want it! How foolish!  How scandalous!  Read this book and fall in love with the slain Lamb all over again.