In a time when Christian bookstores are filled with more poor books than good, it is delightful to find Carson's, the God Who is There! It is a wonderful and winsome approach to Biblical truths that are (or should be) meaningful to all. To believers, this book provides a strong witness to what God is doing with us and what He is doing in the world. For unbelievers, this is a terrific witness to the God they need to know. We have given this book to family, friends, and new believers (and a few to become believers later).
Carson's book is unique in at least two obvious ways: its table of contents (14 chapters all titled with the words The God Who...) and its recommendations: from Tim Keller to Francis Chan, from an Australian college lecturer to former president of England's Proclamation Trust.
Baker Books are often big books. The God Who Is There is no exception. 224 pages packed full of print mean that this book demands effort before it gives enjoyment. Its stated purpose, however, exudes a uniqueness that stimulates a sustaining curiosity: "D. A. Carson takes you through the story of Scripture to help you know what you believe and why you believe it." (back cover)
Carson's book is ultimately a book of nuggets...nuggets of golden truth. There is no escaping the fact that Carson is a skilled and knowledgeable writer. Carson's writing style is creative and captivating: he has an uncanny knack at uncovering the core hidden jewels at the heart of Scripture's greatest narratives and polishing them until the simplest eye can discern their value. Examples include his definition of the consequences of sin implied in chapter one: "I am fighting against myself as well as against the God who made me" (26); his insight into rebellion: "the tentacles of rebellion against God corrode all relationships" (38) and his penetrating analysis of the message of Scripture: "What the Bible most frequently says makes God angry is idolatry. This is evil's vertical dimension...You cannot make sense of the Bible until you come to agreement with what the Bible says our problem is." (41) The list goes on...the reader grows richer.
Tim Keller urges, "By all means get this book." This reviewer says no less.
*Book provided free of charge by Baker Books. Reviewer under no compulsion to write a favorable review.
D.A. Carson has done an excellent job of showing us the God who has revealed himself in the pages of Scripture. Although the book is targeted to seekers and new believers, I think it's a much-needed book for the average church member. So few Christians today know the storyline of the Bible or understand the consistency of God's nature throughout the Bible. Even for the biblically literate, it's an enjoyable read. I haven't read the Leader's Guide, but the book would make a great small group study.