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How does the church reach an increasingly secular society without compromising biblical truth and priorities?
Serving the Church, Reaching the World is a collection of powerful and timely essays that will inspire and resource church leaders and all thinking Christians to attempt this vital task. Tim Keller, Jim Packer, John Piper and Mike Ovey are among the contributors to this volume, which has been published in appreciation for the life, work and ministry of Don Carson. Richard Cunningham (Editor) has gathered a select group of theologians, friends and colleagues to produce a book that covers a wide range of stimulating and challenging topics, such as • the priority of truth • gospel co-operation without compromise • winning hearts and minds in a secular age
D. A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, and President of The Gospel Coalition. He has written or edited more than fifty other books, including The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures, How long, O Lord? and the Pillar Commentary volume on John. Dr Carson is respected across the world as an author, theologian and speaker.
Like many of the contributors to this volume, I ﬁnd myself, as a Christian and a minister, very much in Don Carson’s debt. For that reason, I consider this festschrift in honour of his 70th birthday to be well-deserved and welcome. Aside from the worthiness of its dedication, this will be a valuable addition to any minister’s library and required reading for anyone serious about preaching the gospel today. The editor, Richard Cunningham, has assembled an excellent, international, group of contributors whose essays are a worthy tribute to a remarkable servant of Christ and his church. Bookend chapters by David Jackman and John Piper are highly accessible (though deeply challenging). Others are more technical, notably the late Mike Ovey on the distinction between divine and human knowledge. This chapter will repay careful reading and reflection and could become required reading for evangelical theologians. The central chapters in the book focus on apologetics. Fittingly, these chapters are irenic, persuasive and, at times, playful. For instance, Kirsty Birkett’s attempt to define apologetics leaves her wondering if there even is such a thing. These central chapters (with the notable addition of an essay by Jim Packer) address particular controversies amongst Evangelicals over Systematic Theology and ‘considered contextual-isation’. These chapters render this not only a good book, but an important one. May they be thoughtfully received. A couple of very minor niggles: John Piper’s (deeply moving) essay would benefit from more thorough use of citations, and those unfamiliar with the Lloyd-Jones/Stott debate might want to chase up references to appreciate better John Steven’s excellent discussion of gospel cooperation. These are minor points and do not detract from the pleasure of reading the book, or its value. Neither does the fact that Packer and Piper’s contributions have seen the light of day before. In this setting, new facets of both pieces become apparent. Indeed, the reworking of John Piper’s essay allows the book to end with a prophetic challenge to fruitfulness in what Don has elsewhere called ‘young old age’. We trust that Piper’s demand for ‘another 18 books’ will be well heeded!
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