Sunday, December 21, 2008

D. A. Carson, A Gospel-Centered Man

The second of three children, Donald Arthur Carson was born on December 21, 1946, to Thomas Donald McMillan Carson and his wife Elizabeth Margaret (née Maybury).
(D. A. Carson," by Andreas J. Köstenberger in Bible Interpreters of the 20th Century [Baker Books, 1999], 423)
While many know D. A. Carson for his mind and his impressive scholarly writings, few people know the heart that produces those works. It is especially obvious in How Long, O Lord? Reflections on Suffering an Evil and A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers, which give evidence of a deeply personal faith.

Though Carson is a very private person, his friends attest to his devotion to family and his true pastor's heart. (ibid, 423)

I would add that Carson's biographical sketch of his father, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson (Crossway, 2008), naturally opens the veil to understanding more about Carson himself. I began by titling this post, "D. A. Carson, A Gospel-Centered Pastor/Scholar," and while this is true, I think that it falls a bit short. I have been deeply impressed through what I have read and heard that Carson strives to be a well-rounded man: husband, father, friend, pastor, teacher, scholar, etc. That's a goal many tragically loose sight of: striving for faithfulness and balance in each God-given role. I'm sure that he is not a perfect example (who is?), but his testimony in this regard has been encouraging to me.

It has only been during the past few years that I have begun to read some of his works and listen to some of his sermons and lectures. I just recently finished listening to a series of sermons he preached on the Doctrine of the Last Things, a five part series dealing with chapters 4, 5, 12, 13 and 21 of the book of Revelation, and was tremendously blessed by it. I would recommend that you also check out Andy Naselli's theology blog for more links and information about D. A. Carson.