Don Carson exists in the evangelical stratosphere. A prolific writer, an engaging speaker, when someone speaks of ‘Carson’, one knows of whom they speak.
The evangelical Christians of Sydney adore him, and when they gather many jokes are told about the deference which is shown to Carson’s scholarship. The laughter which follows usually carries the air of humour which has a point.
Memoirs Of An Ordinary Pastor is Carson’s recounting of the life and ministry of his father, Tom Carson. The elder Carson’s profile was the inverse of that of his famous son. He would labour a lifetime in relative obscurity among the French speaking citizens of Canada. While ministering on a much smaller scale, Carson’s faithfulness was an encouragement to many contemporaries and, through this book, now to the reader.
As author of a book about his own father, Don Carson (DC) makes use of journal entries composed by Tom Carson (TC), his own recollections and some other remembrances provided by others.
In its 160 pages a fascinatingly senstitive account is recorded. In turns TC is revealed as Christian, husband, father, pastor, churchman and friend. The nature of a perfectionist given to bouts of melancholy, but who was also earnest for souls to be saved and grow in the Gospel will be easily recognisable to most pastors who read the book.
In reading the book you will learn something of Canadian church history, something about marriage, something about pastoring, something about parenting, something about the ups and downs of life, something of friendship; something about loss and much about faithfulness and finishing well.
A genuinely touching portrait emerges that reveals that for most engaged in pastoral ministry it is faithfulness in the long haul that will be our lot.
Those who labour in the Word will meet seasons in their life when discouragement is a constant companion; fruit for work seems impossilbe to identify; human friends are no comfort and the heavens seem closed to prayer. Apart from remaining faithful in the Word, continuing in prayer and seeking Christian fellowship, picking up a copy of Memoirs Of An Ordinary Pastor and reading it (or reading it again) will encourage your soul.

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