Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving reading - "Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor"

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

I read D.A. Carson's book on his dad over my Thanksgiving break from Denver Seminary. It is entitled "Memoirs of An Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson." I recommend this book to seminarians, pastors, and for anyone who sits in the pew. It is a humbling reminder that ministry is hard. Pastors are not supposed to be like super-heroes, but rather more like faithful farmers putting in hours of labor that may yield a rich harvest or be destroyed by a storm in a moment.

On the last page, D.A. Carson summarizes his father's life:

"Tom Carson never rose very far in denominational structures, but hundreds . . . testify how much he loved them. He never wrote a book, but eh loved the Book. He was never wealthy or powerful, but he kept growing as a Christian: yesterday's grace was never enough. He was not a farsighted visionary, but he looked forward to eternity. . . . His journals have many, many entries bathed in tears of contrition, but his children and grandchildren remember his laughter. Only rarely did he break through his pattern of reserve and speak deeply and intimately with his children, but he modeled Christian virtues to them. . . .

"When died, there we no crowds outside the hospital, no editorial comments in the papers, no announcements on television, no mention in Parliament, no attention paid by the nation. . . .

"But on the other side all teh trumpets sounded. Dad won entrance to the only throne room that matters, not because he was a good man or a great man--he was, after all, a most ordinary pastor--but because he was a forgiven man. And he heard the voice of him whom he longed to hear saying, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.'"

1 comment:

Craig Blomberg said...

That was a choice volume indeed. I had received glimpses into Don's father's life by being in his small group while at TEDS but I didn't know nearly as much as the book revealed. It's a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man.