The doctrine of the Scripture is one subject that will need to be defended, clarified, and reaffirmed in every generation. And this current generation is no different.
Thankfully we have many teachers who have devoted their entire lives to clarifying and defending the Scriptures. In our current generation D.A. Carson has been greatly used by God to this end. As a seminary professor, author, and pastor, Dr Carson has been a great gift to the church. And thankfully, he keeps on giving.
In a new book entitled Collected Writings on Scripture Carson has written a book that will no doubt help to strengthen believers in the orthodox understanding of the Bible. The book has two parts. First, Carson starts with the basics. He helps us to understand how to approach the Bible. He then moves onto survey the often murkey and confusing waters of scholarly debate centering on the Bible. He weighs in and interacts with the arguments and helps the reader better appreciate the nature, authority, and consistent interpretation of the Bible.
In the second half of the book Carson “presents critical reviews of nine books dealing with the inspiration and authority of Scripture. Carson’s reviews are serious works of scholarship, but are also accessibly written for those who are newer to the debates surrounding biblical inspiration and authority.” (from the introduction)
Who should read this book? Certainly scholars and pastors. It is really a gift in terms of cataloging the debate and replanting the orthodox flag in contemporary soil. But all students of the Bible should feel comfortable reading this work. It is not too heavy for you to carefully work through.
How should you read this book? Perhaps a little bit at a time. If you are looking to study this topic in depth and are carving out a bit of reading time, then you may jam through it without issue. However, if you are trying to ‘get your feet wet’ so to speak, in what is going on in this area, you may want to work your way through a bit slower, and more reflectively, taking notes and organizing thoughts in a more detailed way. But, wherever you find yourself, you will no doubt be blessed by the hard work from the pen of Dr Carson.
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Here are a few endorsements:
“D. A. Carson is for this generation what B. B. Warfield was for his—the scholarly stalwart for the doctrine of Scripture, possessed of prodigious skills both as an interpreter of Scripture and as a biblical and systematic theologian, critically engaging the most significant arguments of the day and upholding the historic position of the Christian church and the Bible’s own self-attestation. Everything that comes from his pen is worthy of careful attention. Given the current state of the doctrine of Scripture (in theory and practice) in evangelical academia, this is an important and timely volume. Seminarians and pastors alike need to be abreast of present trends in this vital subject. The classic essays and critical reviews in this book offer a bird’s-eye view of the past thirty years of the discussion, as well as world-class scholarship and discernment in articulating rejoinders to sub-biblical theories while positively presenting a faithful view of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures and their entailments.”
—J. Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
“With tedious regularity, the doctrine of Scripture comes under attack again and again, and while many of the arguments used are familiar and hackneyed, each generation adds its own twists and turns to the cries of criticism. Thankfully, the church has always had eloquent defenders of the truthfulness of the Scriptures and of the God who inspired them. In our time, Don Carson is one such figure; and in this volume, the reader will find many of his most significant essays on Scripture. Scholarly, reverent, carefully argued, and generously footnoted, these pieces all make important contributions to current debates; and taken as a whole, they admirably expose the problems of the revisionism offered by certain voices within the church while pointing readers to a better way.”
—Carl R. Trueman, Academic Dean and Vice President, Westminster Theological Seminary
“I’ve always admired Don Carson’s ability to minister so effectively in two different worlds. On the one hand, he’s one of the sharpest-thinking, best-respected minds in the realm of New Testament scholarship. On the other, he’s one of the clearest, most down-to-earth preachers I’ve ever heard. He simply has a remarkable ability both to grasp and to communicate complex issues understandably. This collection is a classic demonstration of that ability.”
—Donald S. Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Senior Associate Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary