D.A. Carson is one of the most well-known and well-respected NT scholars in the evangelical world. His scholarly reputation precedes him. So, when Carson produces a volume entitled Basics for Believers, people should pay attention, even if it was originally published in 1996 and now repackaged in 2018.
Basics for Believers: The Core of Christian Faith and Life is Carson’s foray into a basic study of Philippians with the angle of encouraging believers to return to the essentials of our Christian faith. This book is, to quote Carson from his Preface, “Originally these five chapters were prepared as four messages delivered during Holy Week 1994 at the ‘Word Alive’ conference in Skegness, England. (Chapters 2 and 3 were formerly a shorter single message.)”
What this means is that we are guided how the book of Philippians should apply to our lives as believers and in this case from Carson’s perspective.
The most magnificent aspect of this book is that Carson does not shy away from being frank and challenging believers. In the very first chapter, “Put the Gospel First,” he dares believers to make Christ, and thus the Gospel, the top priority in their lives. In the remaining four chapters Carson explains what this priority should look like with a precise exposition of Philippians 1.27 – 4.23.
There are a couple of areas in which Basics for Believers (theological) may be a little “deep” for new believers, however, it is well worth the effort. It would be ideal for a Bible study group of mature believers led by a qualified teacher to enhance and expand their understanding of the faith and the book of Philippians. If you want to get a good start on Philippians, this is a worthwhile addition to your library.
Disclaimer: This volume was provided to me by Baker Books for a fair and honest review.