Archive for the ‘D.A. Carson’ Category


Don A. Carson. The Difficult Doctrine of God’s Love.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, December 10th, 1999.  93 pp.

5 out of 5

This book is by New Testament scholar Don Carson who wrote this book that is accessible for a popular audience.  Carson tackles on the doctrine of God’s love which he noted that this is not an easy doctrine.  The book has four chapters and I found that I learned a few things and the book also helped organized my thoughts better concerning God’s love.  In my review below I will focus more on the first two chapters.


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The Scriptures Testify About Me

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This book is based upon the national conference for the Gospel Coalition in 2011 in which the topic was on how to preach Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament. I purchased this book because of the name D.A. Carson, who was the editor; I also wanted to see how other preachers expound on Jesus from the Old Testament. The quality of each chapter was mixed—depending upon the contributor. The two chapters that stood out were the first and the last one. Al Mohler begins the book by laying the foundation concerning studying the Scriptures and finding Jesus. Mohler’s chapter was basically an exposition of John 5:31-47. D.A. Carson wrote the last chapter on Melchizedek in Psalm 110 and he did a superb job of illuminating our understanding of Jesus fulfilling in Psalm 110 in light of antecedent theology and later revelation in the book of Hebrews. I thought Carson’s contribution was a good example of an exposition on the Old Testament pointing towards Jesus with careful biblical theology. It is an example for other pastors and teachers to emulate. Personally, the weakest chapter in the book was by James MacDonald. MacDonald’s treatment on Psalm 25 seems to me to be more of a running commentary; even then I felt I learned more about MacDonald but not necessarily of how Psalm 25 bears witness to Jesus. Some of the chapters I think some of the preachers could have done a better job connecting the dot to Jesus. I was expecting the book to have more emphasis on the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament pointing towards Jesus. Overall an edifying read.

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Jesus the Son of God D A Carson

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This short work is an adaptation of three lectures that became the three chapters of this book, focusing on the title of Jesus as the Son of God. At the outset, the author explain that much of the discussion of the Son of God in contemporary scholarship focuses on it’s implication for Trinitarian theology but here he wishes to explore more of the idea of Christ as the Son of God in of itself. I enjoyed the book, especially with how Carson began this study with what the concept of “son.” Besides biological son, Carson noted how there are many “son of X” idioms with various variables of its function, ranging from identity, deserving and generating. The first chapter has various helpful charts showing different “son of X” idioms and how some of these are not translated in our English versions of the Bible but it is there in the Greek or Hebrew. It is in this context that Carson then unpacks the use of the Son of God in reference to Jesus in which the New Testament uses it to refer to His pre-existence, His Davidic root to the Messianic promise and as the Suffering Servant. Carson mentions several times that he can only look at a few passages due to space limitation but I wish he could have surveyed more passages in chapter, not because I didn’t think he did a good job but because he is capable and there is much to gleam from the passages he did analyze. I think the one thing I most appreciate about this book is D.A. Carson’s discussion about the role of exegesis, systematic theology, linguistics and Bible translations in the third chapter. While this last chapter mainly focuses on this discussion in the context of the translation of the Son of God in Bible versions used to reach Muslims, the implication of this chapter transcends Bible translation for Muslims. He notes how systematic theology without strong exegesis can be problematic, with the example of the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son of God as Berkhof attempt to establish. Noting various exegetical error by Berkhof, Carson here notes that the eternal generation of the Son by the Father is best anchored in John 5:16-30 with it’s main point in 5:26. Carson’s treatment of John 5:16-30 in chapter two to establish the eternal generation of the Father is excellent and shows how advance doctrines of God can be established on exegetical lines. Yet one must have the maturity of being balanced with understanding the philosophical bent of theology in helping us explain concepts such as the Trinity and why the Church fathers employed philosophical language to sharpen distinctions and clarity so as to avoid heresies. Chapter three is an excellent apologetics for why translators should translate “Son of God” in a Muslim context, and a refutation of reader response theory form of translation philosophy. While I don’t want to give everything away, some of the highlights that I appreciated include his argument that the concept of Jesus as the Son of God is radically foreign no matter what the non-Christian cultural context is, even in the West’s pre-Christian and post-Christian era. There is something that is loss if we fail to translate the Son of God terminology in our translations since this term is quite theologically rich and have greater continuity in terms of the Bible’s inter-textuality. I appreciated the chapter closing with an appeal for Bible translators not to be only narrowly focused on linguistics but also exegesis, biblical and systematic theology. His parting words also encouraged me to see Bible translations in the context of a biblical missiology: “…the spread of the gospel in the early church saw the dissemination of Scripture along with the provision of missionaries and pastors. One wonders if at least some of the tensions over Bible translation springs from the commitment on the part of some to provide adequate translations without simultaneously providing missionaries and pastors” (108-09). Overall, a great book and one that shows how some books are physically small but packs a big punch.

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d a carson

This message by D.A. Carson was given Saturday, April 27, 2013 at the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, TX.

The topic is on the problem of Evil.

Dr. Carson provides Six Pillars to Support a Christian Worldview for Stability Through Suffering

1 Insights from the beginning of the Bible’s storyline
2 insights from the end of the Bible’s storyline
3 insights from the place of innocent suffering
4 insights from the mystery of providence
5 insights from the centrality of the incarnation and the cross
6 insights from taking up our cross (insights from the persecuted global church)

May this be helpful to God’s People.

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Exegetical Fallacies

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This is a good book for those who engage in exegesis of the Bible. Actually, I would go far to say that it book is essential for every exegete to have it on their bookshelf. While the work is not intended to instruct on Biblical languages per se, nevertheless the focus of the book on mistakes and fallacies is helpful as a lesson for interpreters of the Bible to be careful of avoiding common pitfalls in their exegesis. I particularly was challenged to think more carefully when it comes to the book’s discussion of word study fallacies; I admit I have committed some of the examples the author gave! As a result this book has prompted me to think more carefully of my interpretation of the Bible. The book assumes the readers will know Greek especially in his chapter on grammatical fallacies. This chapter was a good reminder of Greek grammar and common exegetical mistake at the level of tenses, voice, etc. It was this chapter that got me thinking if the book should be better titled “New Testament Exegetical Fallacies” since the author D.A. Carson is a professor of the New Testament and does not give any Old Testament examples. Having said that, I still it is beneficial for those specializing in the Old Testament. My favorite chapters were on logical fallacies and historical and presuppositional fallacies. As I was reading the chapter on logical fallacies, I started to realize that it wouldn’t be such a bad idea for seminaries, Bible institutes and advance Sunday schools to have logic being formally taught for the sake of hermeneutics (and if I may add, apologetics!). The only part I thought D.A. Carson was mistaken was his use of the term “valid” on page 119 when he said “even when an argument is valid, it may not be conclusive. Some arguments are intrinsically weak.” Here the problem lies in his use of the term “valid,” since he is using this in a popular sense rather than the more technical sense in logic of a deductive argument in which the conclusion necessarily follow from the premises. In the precise technical sense of the meaning of “valid,” Carson’s first sentence would be contradictory since an argument can not be necessarily conclusive and not conclusive at the same time in the same sense. The category of “weak” (mentioned in the second sentence that I quoted) is the characteristic of inductive argument and thus Carson would be making a categorical fallacy to talk about arguments without distinguishing them from “valid” and “invalid” arguments which are deductive by nature. Again, this is a good work and made me want to read more of what Carson has to say.

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This is a message by the New Testament scholar D.A. Carson:

It was from the Gospel Coalition LA Regional Conference earlier last year on November 6, 2010.



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I haven’t had a chance to look or listen to them yet, but Reformed Theological Seminary providing a large number of mp3s and videos available through iTunes U to promote virtual RTS. Located in iTunes new section, “Itunes U” offers audio and video recordings from universities such as UC Berkeley, Yale, MIT, Duke, Cal Tech including lectures, commencement addresses (most popular being Steve Jobs at Stanford) .

I thought I’d include a preliminary survey of what RTS offers currently:

  • RTS Virtual Campus Resources (4 Movies)
    • Distance Education
    • Technology
    • Contemporary Churches
    • New Students in Seminary
  • RTS Virtual Courses
    • Old Testament
      • Genesis through Joshua by Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr. (29 Tracks)
      • Judges through Poets by Dr. John Currid (37 Tracks)
      • Isiah through Malachi by Dr. Richard Belcher, Jr. (34 Tracks)
    • New Testament
      • Gospels and Acts by Dr. Knox Chamblin (48 Tracks)
      • Pauline Epistles by Dr. Knox Chamblin (47 Tracks)
      • Hebrews through Revelation by Dr. Simon J. Kistemaker (45 Tracks)
    • Church History
      • History of Christianity I by Dr. Frank A. James III (32 Tracks)
      • History of Christianity II by Dr. Frank A. James (30 Tracks)
      • The Church and the World by Dr. W. Andrew Hoffecker (27 Tracks)
      • History and Theology of the Puritans by Dr. J.I. Packer (16 Tracks)
      • History of Missions by Dr. Samuel H. Larsen (35 Tracks)
    • Practical Theology
      • Disabilities and the Church (29 Tracks)
    • Theology
      • Intro to Pastoral and Theological Studies by Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr. (23)
      • History of Philosophy and Christian Thought by Dr. John M. Frame (36)
      • Theological Foundations by Dr. Derek W.H. Thomas (24)
      • Systematic Theology I by Dr. Douglas F. Kelly (38)
      • Systematic Theology II by Dr. Douglas F. Kelly (20)
      • Systematic Theology III by Dr. Douglas F. Kelly (38)
      • Pastoral and Social Ethics by Dr. John M. Frame (43)
      • Christan Apologetics by Dr. John M. Frame (26)
      • C.S. Lewis by Dr. Knox Chamblin (26)
  • RTS Chapel Messages
    • RTS Charlotte Chapel Messages (18)
      • Fall 2007
      • Spring 2007
      • Fall 2006
    • RTS Jackson Chapel Messages (23)
      • Spring 2007 (12)
      • Fall 2006 (11)
    • RTS Orlando Chapel Messages
      • Fall 2007 (4)
      • Spring 2007 (10)
      • Fall 2006 (11)
  • RTS Events
    • Seminar Series
      • Crass Plagiarism? The Problem of the Relationship of the Old Testament to the Ancient Near Eastern Literature by Dr. John D. Currid(3)
      • New Perspective on Paul by Dr. D.A. Carson(3)
      • Roles & Relationships in Pastoral Ministry by Dr. John Sittema (3)
      • Worship Wars, Holy Kisses, and Names for God: An Evangelical Model for Contextual Theologizing by Dr. Steve Strauss (3)
      • The Calvin I Never Knew by Dr. Frank A. James III (4)
    • Westminister Confession for Today
      • 2007 Westminister Confession for Today (4)
      • 2006 Westminister Confession for Today (4)
    • Commencement Addresses
      • RTS Charlotte Commencement Addresses by Dr. Mark E. Ross (1)
    • Special Events
      • A Memorial Service for Dr. Harold O.J. Brown (1)
      • Open Theism Debate by James White and John Sanders (1 Movie)
      • Joni and Friends by Joni Eareckson Tada(2 Movies)
      • Bethesda Rehabilitiation Ministry (2 Movies)
  • RTS Online Resources
    • Promotional Videos (3 Movies)
      • RTS Institutional – Video Presentation (12 Min.) (1 Movie)
      • Short – Study, Pray
      • Short – Quiet Voice
    • RTS Brochures (4 Tracks in PDF)
      • Learning At Jesus’ Feet
      • Studying Theology as a Servant of Jesus
      • What is Reformed About Reformed Theological Seminary
      • Westminister Confession Today

Right now I’m trying to download all the Theology (except for C.S. Lewis which I’ll download later), NT, OT, and Church History lectures.

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