Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson by D. A. CarsonMemoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson by D. A. Carson

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson

byD. A. Carson

Paperback | February 5, 2008

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D. A. Carson's father was a pioneering church-planter and pastor in Quebec. But still, an ordinary pastor-except that he ministered during the decades that brought French Canada from the brutal challenges of persecution and imprisonment for Baptist ministers to spectacular growth and revival in the 1970s.

It is a story, and an era, that few in the English-speaking world know anything about. But through Tom Carson's journals and written prayers, and the narrative and historical background supplied by his son, readers will be given a firsthand account of not only this trying time in North American church history, but of one pastor's life and times, dreams and disappointments. With words that will ring true for every person who has devoted themselves to the Lord's work, this unique book serves to remind readers that though the sacrifices of serving God are great, the sweetness of living a faithful, obedient life is greater still.

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is a cofounder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.D. A. Carson (PhD,...
Title:Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom CarsonFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:160 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:February 5, 2008Publisher:CrosswayLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1433501996

ISBN - 13:9781433501999


Rated 5 out of 5 by from An honest portrayal of an anything but ordinary pastor Originally published at “Ordinary” pastors don’t usually get press. They don’t speak at conferences. They don’t write books. Their ministries are on the whole fairly average. They work hard, they faithfully serve the flock God has entrusted to them, and generally go unnoticed. Tom Carson was, by all accounts, an ordinary pastor. Yet, he was a most extraordinary man. Tom worked in the most difficult missions field in Canada (Quebec), striving to make in-roads for the Gospel with its Francophone population. Roman Catholicism has long been entrenched in Quebec, and is at the heart of many of the great divides between the French and English in our country (this subject is far too long to get into here, but there is an excellent primer on many of the cultural issues in Chapter 1 of the book; Canadian History books at your local library or bookstore will also be helpful in fleshing out the conflict). Protestant Christians in the 1930s through the 1950s faced a great deal of persecution, including the possibility of inprisonment for being a Protestant minister. Missionaries often gave up because they saw so little fruit and so much opposition. Yet these were the people to whom God chose Tom Carson to minister. The book, working in large part from the elder Carson’s journals, describes a man who sought to faithfully teach the Scriptures with honesty and integrity. Tom Carson was a man who loved Jesus and loved the Bible. He understood the importance of teaching sound doctrine. He was a man who understood the meaning of toil and sacrifice, working hard to fulfill his calling and be a good husband and father. It also shows a man plagued by deep insecurities about his abilities as a pastor, and who, because of those same insecurities, could not truly see the fruit of his ministry. There are two things that stand out most vividly about the portrait of Tom Carson presented in this book. First, his humility: He never appears to have thought of himself more highly than he ought, nor did he become embittered by the success of future ministers. Even his role in the formation of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada, he downplayed, with his son Don not even learning the details of his involvement until he was in seminary. He simply served faithfully and loved people well. The second, his prayer life: Tom Carson understood what it meant to rely on the Lord, especially the salvation of those to whom he ministered. A poignant example appears on page 80: "I [D.A. Carson] went looking for Dad after the morning service to entice him to come and play the piano while the rest of us sang or played instruments. He was not where he usually was. I found him in his study, the door not quite closed. He was on his knees in front of his big chair, tears streaming down his face, as he interceded with God for the handful of people to whom he had just preached. I remember some of their names to this day." I don’t pray like this. I don’t think I know anyone who does. I am inspired by Tom Carson’s example, and ashamed because of my failure. Even now, looking back on those few sentences, I’m on the verge of tears. I want to be a man like Tom Carson. I wonder how Tom would feel about this book having been written: Would he have felt embarassed? Honoured? I don’t know. Regardless, I’m grateful that D.A. Carson has written this memoir and for showing us that there is much to be learned from so-called ordinary pastors like Tom Carson.
Date published: 2009-03-13

Editorial Reviews

"This account gives us valuable insight into the life of a man who accepted the challenges of ministry with both integrity and grace, and into the life of a Protestant pastor in French Quebec. A powerful reminder that there are no little places if we are faithful to the God who called us."-Erwin W. Lutzer, Senior Pastor, The Moody Church, Chicago, Illinois"How can the application of a Bible-saturated mind (Don's) to a Bible-saturated life (Tom's) produce an even more helpful story to encourage pastors? Let the 'mind' be carried on a river of love because the 'life' is his father's. Then add a kind of narrative creativity. That's how."-John Piper, Founder,; Chancellor, Bethlehem College & Seminary"A rare and precious gift from one of evangelicalism's greatest scholars. How generous of Dr. Carson to bequeath his father's quiet legacy to us all."-C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church, Louisville, Kentucky"Carson strikes at the heart of what's wrong when we forget that, as servants, we were meant to live ordinarily under the gospel of grace. Read this book. You will be deeply encouraged in your life and ministry."-Michel Lemaire, Pastor of Eglise Baptiste de la Foi, Drummondville, 1984-2005"This personal testimony is a healthy reminder of heavenly priorities in the pastorate and Christian ministry."-Pierre Constant, Associate Pastor, Eglise Baptiste Montclair de Hull, 1982-1997"Read this book and be strengthened. You hold in your hands history, humor, and an amazing amount of wisdom for the Christian life (especially for pastors!)."-Mark Dever, pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; president, 9Marks