Book Review: Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson by D.A. Carson

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson, by D.A. Carson, published by Crossway Books, 2008, 160 pages, paperback

I will always encourage Christians to read biographies of other believers because we can learn many lessons of their walks with the Lord. Some biographies only give the good things that a person has accomplished in their life which diminishes the usefulness of the book. Scripture does not take that approach and neither should writers of biographies. Are we not all glad for the example of King David?

I am a big fan of the writings of D.A. Carson. A Call to Spiritual Reformation made tremendous impact on the way that I pray. The biography is about his father, Tom Carson, who was primarily a Pastor in Quebec. The book is not just about his life as a Pastor but also about him as a husband and father. One of the reviews of the books that came from a person who helped transcribe the diaries of Tom Carson said “…after reading your Dad’s diaries, The Lord has given my heart a far loftier goal: Simply to be faithful. I know we as men are but dust, but what dust the man I read about in these diaries was!”

Tom Carson was not well known in comparison to his son but clearly had a tremendous impact on him. His ministry was mostly in French Canada (Quebec and Ottawa) in small congregations. He had a series of trials while he was doing his church planting and trying to reach his world with the Gospel. Most of his life he kept journals which led to the writing of this book. He was not one of those men who was a great missionary or preacher but who neglected his wife and family. He seemed, for the most part, to do both well which is great encouragement to us husbands and fathers. His wife developed Alzheimer’s and in Monday February 16, 1987 he wrote, “ I still purpose to go on, with this one great assurance, that God is really God, sovereign, in complete control, and will complete the warp and woof of His perfect design, always, and in spite of appearances, I repeat, in full control. Any other consideration is amusing to Him: He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.”

Please read the book, you will not regret it. Brady Tyler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *