One of my favorite preachers and scholars is D. A. Carson. I have previously blogged about him, but let me share a little more.
Carson’s books are, in a word, fantastic. Whenever I see something new coming from Dr. Carson, I can hardly wait. He always presents something faithful to God’s word, framed in the larger disciplines of systematic and biblical theology, with an eye for practical application to the average Christian.
Still yet, Carson is not just a pace-setting book-writer, he is also a more-than-able expositor. Again, Carson’s sermons have been a big help to me. He has not only encouraged me in terms of the content of his messages, but he has also served as an example in faithfully explaining and applying the biblical texts.
Within Dr. Carson’s preaching though, has come an unexpected encouragement – the example of his father, Tom Carson. In a particularly low time in my life and ministry, I was driving around listening to some of Dr. Carson’s messages. Out of the blue – though appropriate for the message – came a heartfelt story of Tom Carson’s faithfulness in ministry despite hard times. It was a sweet moment of God’s providence in my life. Through the ministry of his son, Tom Carson’s faithfulness in ministry served as an encouragement to me and my struggles in ministry.
As the weeks went on and I kept listening to Dr. Carson’s messages, I began to catch more and more of his father’s life and ministry. And each time,I was shown a pastor who never gave up, who always went on, who spent hours on his knees before God. Tom Carson became an example to me and pointed me to the greatness and glory of the God he served so faithfully over the years.
I have only met Dr. Carson once – at a book-signing. Needless to say he wouldn’t remember me. Nevertheless, after listening to little snippets about his father, I kept wanting to write to Dr. Carson and ask him to share more. To write a book about his father – all the memories of him as a father and pastor, in good times and bad. I was sure that such a work would encourage many pastors who struggle with difficult ministries.
Imagine my shear delight to read Justin Taylor saying that such a book is in fact on its way! The book will be called Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson. Though I had never actually verbalized the prayer, the publishing of this book is surely an answer to my prayers. Though not Dr. Carson’s most technical, most exegetical, nor probably his most popular work, I believe that this may likely become his most influential work in my life.
I’m not sure that Dr. Carson will ever read this blog. In fact, I’m quite sure he has better things to do than read my ramblings! Nevertheless, let me say –
“Dr. Carson, thank you for sharing your father’s life with us. I can tell from what you say about him and how you say it, that he had a tremendous influence on you and your ministry. Now, that influence of the ‘grand old man’ can continue on to another generation of men whom I pray will be found as faithful as him.”
UPDATE: Crossway now has Dr. Carson’s book listed on their coming soon page. The book’s description says, “A memorable firsthand account of not only the sacrifices and triumphs of full-time ministry but of remaining faithful in a brutal era in recent North American church history. This ordinary pastor’s life and times, dreams and disappointments will ring true for all who have devoted themselves to the Lord’s work.”
You can check it out here.