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The God Who Is There [Paperback]

D. A. Carson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2010
It can no longer be assumed that most people-or even most Christians-have a basic understanding of the Bible. Many don't know the difference between the Old and New Testament, and even the more well-known biblical figures are often misunderstood. It is getting harder to talk about Jesus accurately and compellingly because listeners have no proper context with which to understand God's story of redemption. In this basic introduction to faith, D. A. Carson takes seekers, new Christians, and small groups through the big story of Scripture. He helps readers to know what they believe and why they believe it. The companion leader's guide helps evangelistic study groups, small groups, and Sunday school classes make the best use of this book in group settings.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801013720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801013720
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

D. A. Carson (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author or editor of more than forty books and is one of the leaders of the Gospel Coalition.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By all means...get this book! 8 July 2011
Format:Paperback
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There is a God who is there 12 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
And you had better believe it that he IS the God of the Bible and not any other god, or demi-god type man-made image.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Guide to Understanding the Bible 27 July 2010
By Mike Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A sign stated: "Hire a teenager while he still knows everything." Most of my life, in much of what I was interested in, I thought I had all the answers. I did not have all the answers then, and I still do not have them. But God has given me enough wisdom in knowing that I do not know it all and I need His word found in scripture. And Donald Arthur Carson (D. A. Carson: evangelical theologian; PhD, University of Cambridge; professor of New Testament Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; author of 50+ books) in "The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story" has delivered a fine outline of the meaning and purpose of God revealed in the Old and New Testaments. This is a God-centered book aimed to help the reader discern his personal place in God's plan.

Many people including some Christians fail to understand the essential teachings of scripture. They often focus on a salvation by personal merit and often do not properly comprehend that Jesus and His work are the focal points of all of God's word. Professor Carson has given the reader an outstanding tool to develop a basic understanding of the Bible.

The good professor states: "As Christians grow in holy living, they sense their own inherent moral weakness and rejoice that whatever virtue they possess flourishes as the fruit of the Spirit."

This volume provides answers to:

- How can we recognize the main thrust of God's story in scripture and history?
- How I learn the most important truths of the Bible?
- How can I know and apply the essentials of the Christian faith?

The author adds: "Jesus is hungry but feeds others; He grows weary but offers others rest; He is the King Messiah but pays tribute; He is called the devil but casts out demons; He dies the death of a sinner but comes to save His people from their sins; He is sold for thirty pieces of silver but gives His life a ransom for many; He will not turn stones to bread for Himself but gives His own body as bread for people."

Herein the reader discovers a readable and very useful work on the basic introduction to Christianity as Dr. Carson guides you through a large-view of God's Word that is an excellent resource for personal devotions, bible study groups, and Church classes.

Dr. Carson observes: "The kingdom of heaven is worth infinitely more than the cost of discipleship, and those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it."
Endorsed by Tim Keller and many other influential Evangelicals.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The God Who is There 16 Aug 2010
By Shelly L. Duffer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading The God Who is There by D.A. Carson. I don't think that any words I put here, will do justice to Carson's renderings. The subtitle of his book is "Finding Your Place in God's Story", and I can't think of a more adequate or accurate description than that for this book. Carson begins, effectively, at the Beginning--Genesis. From there, he takes his readers through nearly every book, every genre of literature present in scriptures to build a foundation for the truth that God is a God Who is There. Carson doesn't miss a thing as evidenced by his Chapter Titles. For example, Chapter 9 is titled "The God who Loves", and 4 chapters later, he titles his 13th chapter "The God who is Very Angry".

The author is unafraid to take on the difficult and dense passages that others may have a tendency to shy away from. For instance, he acknowledges the tight arguments in Romans 3 as being "condensed", and then explains that to fully experience Paul's meaning, one must carefully examine these scriptures word by word. Also, Carson does an excellent job exploring the literary features of each genre, which in turn lends credibility to his interpretations.

A must-read.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carson Wins Again with The God Who is There 4 Sep 2010
By Dr. David Steele - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This year I have been teaching my kids the game of baseball. When one stops to consider, there are a lot of rules in this game: three outs, nine innings, four balls, fly outs, tag outs, force outs, relief pitchers, pitch hitters, singles, doubles, triples, home runs, infield fly rule, ad infinitum.

For years I have also been teaching my kids about a much more important subject, namely, the Bible. The Bible is a little bit like baseball. Again consider, there is an awful lot of information in the Book! Commandments and covenants, warnings and worship, promises and parables, sacrifices and substitution, prophets and predestination, tabernacles and temples. You get the idea. A little bit intimidating for a rookie Bible reader.

D.A. Carson invites readers to "Spring Training" in his newest book, The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story. He assumes that many readers will "step up to the plate" with little or no knowledge of the Bible. So unlike most of Carson's other books, this little gem is designed specifically for new believers and folks who have never been to the "ball park"; folks who are new to the content of the Bible.

Carson begins where the Bible begins - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." His first pitch may be difficult for postmodern people to handle. God made everything. He is the Creator. He is the first cause. In many ways, the first chapter is one of the most (or perhaps the most important) chapter in the book. Carson carefully and gently refutes evolutionary theory. And he shares some simple and undeniable truths about God:

* God simply is
* God made everything that is non-God
* There is only one of him
* God is a talking God
* Everything God makes is good - very good
* God comes to an end of his creative works, and he rests
* The creation proclaims his greatness and his glory

Carson continues by contrasting the Creator with the creature:

* We are made in the image of God
* We were made male and female
* The man and his wife were innocent

The author clearly delineates the Creator-creator distinction and continues to articulate a biblical anthropology in chapter two. Man has fallen and has rebelled against a good God. He makes it clear that sin is more than merely "breaking rules." Carson writes, "What is at stake here is something deeper, bigger, sadder, uglier, more heinous. It is a revolution. It makes me god and thus de-gods God."

Sinful man has been separated from God. Therefore his greatest need is reconciliation and forgiveness. We need someone to save us from our sins. The rest of the book unfolds how God saves sinful people. Carson skillfully weaves his way through Scripture to demonstrate how God keeps his promise in Genesis 3 and Genesis 12. The chapter titles give a general idea of the book's flow:

1. The God Who Made Everything
2. The God Who Does Not Wipe Out Rebels
3. The God Who Writes His Own Agreements
4. The God Who Legislates
5. The God Who Reigns
6. The God Who is Unfathomably Wise
7. The God Who Becomes a Human Being
8. The God Who Grants the New Birth
9. The God Who Loves
10. The God Who Dies - and Lives Again
11. The God Who Declares the Guilty Just
12. The God Who Gathers and Transforms His People
13. The God Who Is Very Angry
14. The God Who Triumphs

This book has many strengths worth discussing. But the chief strength is the author's ability to present the biblical meta-narrative and make sense of the puzzle pieces that emerge in Scripture. Carson make a compelling case for the Christian worldview and accurately describes the flow of redemptive history.

The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God's Story is a book that can be utilized at multiple levels. Most importantly, the book should be utilized in personal evangelism and small groups. Video content may be downloaded at [...].

Readers who have never "been to the park" should check out D.A. Carson's book. It truly is an invitation to the "big game."
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it 14 Aug 2010
By John Young - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm still reading this book, but what I've read so far makes it well worth it. And, if you're a new Christian, I think it will be a great help in your spiritual growth. I wish I had access to this book 20 years ago. SDG.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Thesis to Help People Understand God 23 Nov 2010
By William D. Curnutt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There have been many books written to help people come to a basic understanding of God. They usually fall into two categories, either very superficial to give you a brief overview, or very technical and detailed giving some people way more information than they need to make a good decision.

I appreciate Dr. Carson's work as he takes great effort to write a book that challenges the very thoughtful to take a deeper look at the God of the Christian Bible. He makes God very understandable and gives the reader a great introduction to what the Bible contains and how to understand it.

As I read through the book I could feel at times the tension that Dr. Carson must have felt in wanting to get more technical and deep, but he worked hard to not go there so that the book was more readable to those curious about God.

There is a wonderful workbook that you can purchase to go along with the main text. The workbook is a good tool for groups that want to work through the book together and have some guidance on questions to ask, meditate on and debate in regards to who God is.

This is not a quick read. You need to put on your thinking cap as you delve into it. Dr. Carson will explain many passages from the Bible that will help you understand the Characteristics of God. While the book is for those unfamiliar with the Bible I believe that many Christians who have attended church for years will also find this book useful as a reminder of who God is and how He is described throughout the Biblical text.

Dr. Carson starts with a good discussion regarding Creation which deals with the Science community as well as the Intelligent Design community. He also has chapters that explain the Ten Commandments, Covenant Agreements and why Israel is the focus of the Old Testament. Dr. Carson also delves into the topic of God being a God of Love as well as being a God of Justice and Judgement.

I think my favorite chapter was Chapter 12, "The God Who Gathers and Transforms His People." I personally have witnessed how God can transform the lives of broken and lost people. I have also watched as many people who didn't think they were lost found out through Scripture that they had been missing that one ingredient that would change their life, and that ingredient is God.

Please note that there was an earlier work published in the 1960's with this same title by Francis Schaeffer. Both books are excellent reads and well worth your investment of time.

Enjoy!
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