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Review: Serving the Church, Reaching the World: Essays in honour of Don Carson

Cunningham, Ed. Richard. Serving the Church, Reaching the World: Essays in honour of Don Carson SPCK, 2017.

If you appreciated having Stefan Gustavsson speaking at various CMS Schools this January, you may well have wanted to follow up by reading some of his books. Sadly for those who are not fluent Swedish speakers, that has been difficult. Now, however, if you wish to get a further Gustavsson fix, you can pick up Richard Cunningham’s recent and highly worthwhile collection of Essays in honour of Don Carson. The chapter by Gustavsson talks about how Jesus and the apostle Paul approach the use of reason and truth—especially in light of Jesus’ teaching that we should be like little children. Gustavsson shows that Jesus’ teaching here is in no way in contradiction to Paul’s exhortation that we should “stop thinking like children” (1 Corinthians 4:20). Indeed, our Lord quotes Deuteronomy’s command to “love God” and expands it to include loving God “with all your mind.”

Gustavsson’s chapter sits in good company. For those who thought that J.I. Packer’s writing days were past, there is the lovely surprise of an essay written twenty years ago, now edited by him for this book, on the absolute necessity of Bible teachers also being theologians.

Excellent contributions from Australian Kirsten Birkett, and the sadly missed Michael Ovey (who defends the idea that we can know God even if we don’t know everything), mean that this book is well worth buying either in hard copy or on your mobile device of choice.