Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $2.98 (18%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Memoirs of an Ordinary Pa... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Tight binding and pages are clean with no markings. Ships from Amazon.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson Paperback – February 5, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$9.31 $4.79

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
$14.01 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson
  • +
  • Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City
Total price: $38.15
Buy the selected items together

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, desiringGod.org; 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 of Louisville, 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, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC; President, 9Marks

About the Author

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 president of the Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books including Scandalous, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, and The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
  • Thousands of books are eligible, including current and former best sellers.
  • Look for the Kindle MatchBook icon on print and Kindle book detail pages of qualifying books. You can also see more Kindle MatchBook titles here or look up all of your Kindle MatchBook titles here.
  • Read the Kindle edition on any Kindle device or with a free Kindle Reading App.
  • Print edition must be purchased new and sold by Amazon.com.
  • Gifting of the Kindle edition at the Kindle MatchBook price is not available.
Learn more about Kindle MatchBook.

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 42272nd edition (February 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433501996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433501999
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Challies TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are some Christians whose ministries God blesses in extraordinary ways. They preach to thousands and their books are read by millions. But this is the exception far more than the rule. Most Christians labor in relative obscurity, largely unseen and unnoticed. In the past couple of years I have read biographies of some truly great men--William Wilberforce, William Tyndale, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards. It is good to study the lives of great men and to seek to understand how they were able to gain such prominence. Biographies teach so much about character, opportunity and just plain hard work. Rarely, though, do we read biographies of ordinary men--men who gained no earthly fame and who lived their lives in the shadow of obscurity. In Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, theologian D.A. Carson shares the life of his father, Tom Carson. He was an ordinary man, an ordinary pastor, who labored in a unique mission field surprisingly close to home.

Tom Carson served the Lord in Quebec--the French-speaking province in Canada. He ministered there during an extraordinary time where the population transitioned from being among the most religious people on earth, held firmly by the grasp of the Roman Catholic Church, to a population almost entirely secular. He labored there faithfully, despite adversity and despite both pain and failure.

Part of the appeal of this book is its sheer "ordinary-ness" (I couldn't find just the right word so decided to coin one). I may have to admit a measure of bias toward the book as the area in which Carson labored is Les Cantons de l'Est or the Eastern Townships. This is the region of Quebec where my mother grew up and it is not far from Montreal where my father was born and raised.
Read more ›
1 Comment 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I've listened to quite a few of D. A. Carson's sermons and lectures (Okay, I'll be honest. I've heard every single one I can download for free.), so I already knew some of his stories about his family and upbringing. I already knew that there were at least a few parallels between my own upbringing and his. My dad, for instance, was a small church pastor and missionary like Carson's father, Tom Carson, and some of what I'd heard Don Carson say about his father made me think that he might have been a bit like my dad. My own mother used old adult-sized clothing to create cute clothing pieces for my sister and me, while Margaret Carson, Tom Carson's wife, remade hand-me-down suits for her husband. And like D. A. Carson, I grew up poor, but unaware how much less we had than most people around us until later.

This is the reason I was hoping I'd be able to read and review Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, Carson's new book on the life of his father, who was a missionary pastor in Quebec. I can't pass up a good biography, anyway, and if there are similarities between the people portrayed and the people I know and love, so much the better. And this was a good biography. I received my review copy in the mail on Thursday and finished it a couple of nights later because I stayed up reading until 2:30AM on Easter morning.

As it turns out, Tom Carson was different than my own father in many ways. Still, the parallels are notable, making the book all the more engrossing for me. Like my dad, Tom Carson was a faithful, ordinary pastor. His congregations were small; he wrote no books. His circumstances were often difficult, but he kept on serving and loving God, serving and loving his family, and serving and loving God's people.
Read more ›
Comment 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
In Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, New Testament scholar D.A. Carson says his book is "a modest attempt to let the voice and ministry of one ordinary pastor be heard, for such servants have much to teach us."

He has succeeded in his purpose. This little book, obviously a labor of love, is a jewel. This account was pieced together using excerpts from his father's journals, the author's own memory, and recollections from friends and family. Carson follows the career of his father as he served as a pioneer Baptist church planter in French Canada from the 1930s until his death in 1992.

There were a few times I felt slightly bogged down in all the backstory. A good portion of his father's life and career was affected by things that happened in his denomination during that time. Explaining these things was essential to understanding the rest of his father's career. They couldn't have been left out.

Church politics, whether it's denominational or just in the local church itself, are part of life (a sad part of life that reflects our sinful natures, but part of life nonetheless). I doubt there is a pastor alive whose life hasn't been affected by these things. To leave them out would leave the story incomplete.

This is a wonderful biography that can edify any Christian who is occasionally discouraged by the ordinariness of his or her life. There are plenty of books about people who thrill the world with great an amazing things. To read the story of a man who lived a lifetime of faithfulness in the small things, who labored diligently without seeing a lot of earthly rewards, is a refreshing change from most biographies, and the kind of thing there needs to be more of.
Read more ›
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson