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The Legacy of Don Carson

June 6, 2007

In high school and college, one of my great fears was that my interests were too wide. I would be involved in too many activities. I was afraid of becoming a “jack of all trades and master of none.” Someone forgot to tell Dr. Don Carson that he should be concerned with this also. The only difference is that Carson has become the “jack of all trades and master of all of them.” The contribution he has given to the Church through his writing, professing, and preaching has been massive. From Johannine studies, to Emergent Church interaction, to New Testament Greek Exegesis and Syntax contributions, to New Perspective on Paul, to deeply devotional and pastoral works on suffering, spiritual reformation, spiritual growth, and the doctrine of love, along with many others. He is truly a “renaissance” man. He has authored, co-authored, and edited over 45 books. Here is a list of a few of my favorites that have either been extremely helpful in study or spiritual growth:

I don’t know much of Don Carson’s life to give a detailed account, but there is a few details here and there that I have gathered from his books and sermons. He was born to Thomas and Elizabeth Carson on December 21, 1946. Their family always toed the poverty line, as Thomas was an evangelist and church planter in Quebec, Canada, while working low paying jobs. You can read much of Don Carson’s young life and the ministry of his dad in How Long, O Lord? and Thomas Donald McMillan Carson: A Tribute (Banner of Truth). You can also listen to a very moving account of his father success in church growth amongst a long life of persecution and (what seemed to be) apparent failure in the Desiring God National Conference 2006 The Supremacy of Christ in the Postmodern World Q&A. Also, Andreas Kostenberger, has written a small biography on Carson.

While his books prove to be incredibly useful, his lectures and sermons are wonderful to listen to. He has a three-part lecture on the New Perspective on Paul, where he also gives a wonderful exposition of Galatians 2:

Part1, Part2, Part3

The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament – If you have ever felt despair in this area, take hope:

Part1, Part2, Part3

Expository Preaching:

Part1, Part2, Part3

There are only a few men who have had such a wide contribution to the Church and Evangelical scholarship. F. F. Bruce had a wide variety of work in both Old and New Testament scholarship, but nothing like Carson. We might have to go all the way back to Calvin and Luther to see both the scholarly and pastoral influence that Carson has today. Unfortunately, there a few like him. May his days be long and his influence longer.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephen permalink
    June 7, 2007 1:20 pm

    Amen!

  2. June 13, 2007 4:00 pm

    This is a superb estimation of Carson’s work and an fine summary of his contribution to the church. I haven’t read the that much of the guy, but what I’ve read I loved. Well done, Ploughman!

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  1. Carson, Donald Arthur (D. A.) « Skillful Shepherds

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