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

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Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"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, IL

"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 and 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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433501999
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 824,827
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents

Preface     9
O Canada! A Sketch of Quebec     15
Tom Carson: Beginnings of Life and Ministry     27
French Work in Montreal     39
Crisis     49
The Early Drummondville Years     61
Discouragement, Despair, and a Vow     75
Civil Servant and Minister of the Gospel     97
Pressing On: Transformation and Growth     109
Marg's Alzheimer Years     121
Ending Well: Final Ministry and Promotion to Glory     139
The Letter of 5 May 1948     149
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    Awesome encouragement

    After I heard C. J. Mahenay speak on this book, I knew I had to read it. I found it encouraging for two reasons. First, as a church planter, I felt like I could connect with Carsons father. Many of the struggles he faced are the same that believers trying to advance the Gospel today face. Additionally, as a father of three sons, I found hope of successfully raising them in the difficult lifestlye of ministry. This a great book for anyone needing encouragement to continue in the ministry or for the person who desires to know a little more about young life of D.A.

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  • Posted February 18, 2012

    More than Memoirs, Here's a Pastor's Mentor

    Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor – D.A. Carson

    © 2008 Crossway, Wheaton, Illinois

    As an ordinary, or typical, pastor of an ordinary, or typical, church I am always looking for books that will address the issues that I face and encourage me. These books are all too few and far between mainly because the men who are ordinary pastors in ordinary churches aren’t writing books about the ordinary day to day plodding that is the pastorate. Those who are writing books are the men who stumble upon something that explodes into a megachurch and are sharing the secret (with too many times ignoring the fact that the explosion was God at work and not the gimmick that He happened to use). Consequently, ordinary pastors are buying up the book, digesting the contents, attempting to duplicate the gimmick, and wondering when and where their explosion is going to happen.

    In the case of Memoirs, the “ordinary pastor” still did not write the book. That was left to his son (a former pastor himself, and academic who has written books) to do as a memorial after Tom Carson had passed away. Armed with his father’s journals, correspondence, and notes from decades of plodding to reach French-Canadians, D.A. Carson writes an a-typical memoir that reaches out to and touches the mind (and heart) of the pastor in the trenches.

    Throughout his life Tom Carson worked diligently to plant and grow churches among French-speaking Canadians in a day when the work was just beginning—and, as new work tends to be, was slow and cumbersome. Several things were of interest to me as reader: the view of history from a north of the border perspective. Having learned all my history from an American point of view, it is often refreshing to hear the stories told from a different side. Also, was the encouragement that comes through becoming posthumous friends with a man like Tom Carson—who “wasted” his life in service of King Jesus. Carson was a man who (with his wife by his side all the way) lived Jesus in the home, and in the marketplace, from the parsonage to the translator’s desk of his later years. He cared for his flock, and he displayed the best of what is a Christian before his community and his family. He was a man who thought little of himself, bringing to life the proclamation of John the Baptist: “He [Christ] must increase, I must decrease.” Even in the face of losing his beloved to the brain-crippler known as Alzheimer’s Disease, Carson lived for Jesus—studying scripture, providing counseling, and mentoring, as a daily walk of life.

    One other characteristic that endears this small volume to the reader is its readability. Unlike most books called “memoirs” these days, this one reads like a nice two-hour visit with the subject. It reads quickly and smoothly, and is filled with the joys, challenges, and tears that would enter the room if Tom Carson were sitting in the chair opposite you. If you are a pastor (ordinary or typical or otherwise) or if you love an ordinary pastor, you should read this book. You will also find in it an urgency to keep on in the plodding work of the Kingdom where you are. I give D.A. Carson five reading glasses for sharing his father’s life and ministry with us.

    —Benjamin Potter, February 17, 2012

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