Encouraged by a gifted, gracious, godly man…

December 20, 2008

I have e-mailed D.A. Carson twice with questions, and received helpful, gracious responses from him both times (the first time he even apologized for taking so long to get back to me! [he had been out of the country!]). If you don’t know who he is: D.A. Carson is an outstanding biblical scholar who has written and edited dozens of books. He also does University evangelism and frequently speaks at major conferences around the world. I have benefitted from his books as much as I have any author (outside of Scripture). The bottom line:  he’s a very gifted, very busy man, who I’m sure is bombarded with e-mails… and I’m blessed that he would take the time to respond thoughtfully and helpfully to both of mine, even though we have never even met. I think it shows both a genuine humility and a true ministry mindset (not to mention exceptional discipline of time). I’m thankful to God for men like him – both gifted and godly (how easily knowledge and ability and renown can puff us up!). And I’m encouraged by his example – to make more of my time, to be the greatest blessing I can be, to as many people as possible… I may not have even a fraction of his gifting, but I can be very purposeful to make the most of what God has given me, for the blessing of others and the glory of God.


P.S.: If you’re interested in our most recent e-mail exchange, you can read it below: 

Dear Dr. Carson

Thank-you for your ministry!

I’m a youth pastor wrestling with how to best shepherd the youth under my watch. I’ve realized that a crucial part of this ministry is exhorting parents to disciple their children, and equipping them to do so.

In a panel discussion at the 2006 Desiring God conference, you mentioned a series of expositional messages you have taught at Universities in an effort to construct a biblical framework for your listeners (“The God who makes everything”, “The God who does not wipe out rebels”, etc). I prefer this chronological (and expositional) approach to Christian worldview to other approaches I have come across, and I think it accomplishes other worthy goals as well. I know some of your previous expositions have been turned into books… Would you consider having these lectures published in book form? I think it would make for an invaluable tool, especially if it included study guide questions. I would very much like a book like this to recommend to parents as something to work through with their teenage children. 

One final question: Did you use catechisms with your children? If so, which did you use? (I’m not a pedobaptist, and I’m quite saddened by how few “Baptist” resources are available to help one in discipling their children).

Thank-you for taking the time to read my e-mail. May God continue to bless you and your ministry…

In Christ,

Donovan Drew


Dear Mr. Drew,


Thank you for your email of 26 November.  Although my wife and I did not use a formal Baptist catechism, we were pretty rigorous in family devotions, doctrinal discussions, and the like.  Not a few of my friends, however, have incorporated catechisms into their devotional life.  It would be worth checking out such sources as Desiring God Ministries and 9Marks.  One of the better children’s Bible storybooks is by Sally Lloyd-Jones—but in the next digital fascicle of Themelios (available at thegospelcoalition.org) there will be a review of more than a dozen recent children’s books. 


As for the series that takes people through the whole Bible, bits and pieces of it are scattered all over the place—but I hope to deliver all fourteen in one video series to be taped in February 2009, and made available at thegospelcoalition.org later in the year. 


With all good wishes,


Yours faithfully,


Don Carson


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