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

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


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Publisher's Description

A memorable firsthand account of not only the sacrifices and triumphs of full-time ministry but of remaining faithful in a brutal era in recent North American church history. This ordinary pastor's life and times, dreams and disappointments will ring true for all who have devoted themselves to the Lord's work.

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.

About the Author

D. A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He has served as a pastor and has done itinerant ministry in Canada and the United Kingdom. Carson is an active guest lecturer in academic and church settings around the world and has authored or edited more than forty-five books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

Book Details

160 Pages
Publisher: Crossway/Good News Publishers
Publication Date: February 2008
ISBN 13: 9781433501999

“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

“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, Moody Church, Chicago

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Ministry of Tom Carson is a deeply edifying and timely book. Faithfulness, not numbers, not ‘success,’ not novelty, not ‘relevance,’ but faithfulness is the accrediting mark of gospel ministry, and that message comes through loud and clear from introduction to conclusion of this memoir. Reading it brought to mind the powerful words of Anna Waring: ‘content to fill a little space, if Thou be glorified.’ I found the content profoundly evocative and pastorally instructive. In a day and age of celebrity preachers and personality-driven ministries, it is utterly refreshing to be instructed and encouraged by the recounting of unfamous, lifelong, biblical fidelity in gospel labors. Read. Repent. Be encouraged. And then go thou and do likewise.”
- Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS; President, Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals; Adjunct Professor, Reformed Theological 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, Sovereign Grace Ministries

“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, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis

“Scores of books assure us—ordinary us—that we were meant to be extraordinary or to accomplish extraordinary things for God. Well, thank God, this small book by D. A. Carson is not one of them. Recounting part of his father’s ordinary life and ministry, and reflecting upon it in his characteristic gospel-centered, lucid way, Dr. Carson strikes at the heart of what’s wrong with us 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. You might also stand corrected about your take on true success. Perhaps you will even end up praying you’ll be deemed as ordinary as Tom Carson was.”
- Michel Lemaire, Pastor, Eglise Baptiste de la Foi, Drummondville, 1984–2005

“Those of us ministering in French Canada are proud to point out that D. A. Carson got his start among us here in Québec. In Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, not only do we get an intimate glimpse of that start, through the life and times of his father and mother, but we also get another facet, another perspective, of the rich history of the Fellowship Baptist movement in Québec. Obedient and faithful men, like Tom Carson, laid the foundation so others could build upon it. Ordinary builders working on an extraordinary building, the dwelling place of God in French-speaking living stones. Gloire à Dieu!”
- Rev. Terry Cuthbert, Fellowship French Region Church Planting Director; Former President, FEBCC

“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, 1982–97