There is a simple rule that I live by and try to impart to others: If a book has the name D.A. Carson on it you probably should own it. Carson is an absolutely brilliant bible scholar, but he is also very humble and engaging. There are very few books written by seminary professors and bible scholars that will include words like “chap” or include whole paragraphs on the theory of nudist colonies.
One of his latest books, The God Who is There, reinforces my rule, it has the name D.A. Carson on it and it is brilliant. You need to own this book. It is fourteen chapters of engaging systematic theology that also serves as an apologetic for Christianity. It is written for unbelievers, new believers, or believers that have never realized the “big picture” of Scripture.
Carson starts in Genesis and ends through Revelation. It is a tad weak on a few sections of Scripture (minor prophets) and could maybe tie together the story of the Bible a little better. It is obviously fourteen talks that are related but sometimes the book feels like a fourteen part series and not as much a unified whole. But, honestly, this book is not really written with me in mind.
If you are like me this book will not have a ton of new information. But it is still very needful. There are illustrations that are wonderful and my understanding of many aspects of Scripture is deepened. More than anything I learned how to engage these topics.
One of the best ways to disciple someone is to spend time with them. If you want a new believer to grow in a passion for evangelism and help direct him in how to share the faith one of the best things to do is take him with you as you share the gospel with unbelievers. D.A. Carson teaches us how to present the Bible’s story in a humble, articulate, truthful, and engaging fashion. So even if you already feel that you know the Bible story you still will benefit greatly from this book. And there is always more to the Bible story that I had never considered, a faithful expositor like Carson is a wonderful guide through the biblical story.
If you know an unbeliever (probably one with a little bit of an intellectual bent) I would encourage you to have them read this book. Perhaps discuss it with them. This would also be a good small group material for new believers to go through. There are numerous ways that this book could be a resource for you. If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself.
Also it is worth mentioning that you can go here and check out the video to all 14 chapters. It will be well worth your time and I would encourage you to buy the book as well. It’s definitely worth the 12 bucks. I was fortunate enough to receive this for free from Baker books in exchange for a review, it did not have to be positive but I freely give it a positive review!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Here is the video for the first chapter:
The God Who Is There - Part 1. The God Who Made Everything from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.