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Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson Paperback – February 5, 2008
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"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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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 ›
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent account of a pastor who persevered for the Lord for years in a difficult ministry reaching out to others for Christ in a hostile environment.Published 29 days ago by Norman G. Lane
For one who has struggled, as a young pastor, with the evangelical 'celebrity' pastor culture and a desire to simply be a faithful, ordinary pastor this book is a gift! Read morePublished on May 5, 2014 by Matthew Armstrong
Don Carson has really honored his father with this great book. This lovely and heartwarming account of the life and ministry of Tom Carson will be a great inspiration and challenge... Read morePublished on April 26, 2014 by Daniel Presland
Is an ordinary pastor too. I want to follow men who followed Him faithfully without acclaim and earthly recognition. Read morePublished on April 2, 2014 by cbcportugal
This book radically changed how I look at ministry and the conviction and discipline it takes to finish strong. Read morePublished on December 22, 2013 by xthao
In a day and age of celebrity pastors and big-church pragmatism, this book is soup for the shepherding soul. Read morePublished on December 21, 2013 by lightrules
We owe a great debt to Don Carson for taking the time from his scholarly work to publish this book based on the life of his father, Tom Carson. Read morePublished on March 16, 2013 by Randy McLendon