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For two weekends in February 2009, D. A. Carson presented a 14-part seminar in Minneapolis entitled “The God Who is There” for skeptics and scholars alike.  In the seminar, Carson outlined the Bible’s storyline from Genesis to Revelation, as it is the Bible that “discloses the God who is there” (12). The series was transcribed and edited into a book called The God Who is There: Finiding Your Place in God’s Story, released last summer by Baker Books.

An adequate summary of The God Who is There is made by Carson in the preface: “What I have tried to do here is run through the Bible in fourteen chapters. Each chapter focuses on one or more passages from the Bible, unpacks it a little, and tries to build connections with the context, drawing the lines together to show how they converge in Jesus” (9).

I have to admit. From the begining, I wasn’t initially excited about reading Carson’s book. The font was smaller than many books and the book is bigger than most paperbacks (though it is only 224 pages). I was expecting to trudge through the deep theological insights of Dr. Carson and finish sometime around next Christmas. However, I didn’t make it past chapter 1 before I realized that Carson does a phenomenal job at distilling monumental Biblical truths without getting hung up on minutia. In fact, Carson proves his ingenuity in the way he simplifies and summarizes weighty truths without watering them down in the least. He maintains careful exegesis, yet is able to communicate it to a broad audience.

Carson’s book won’t suit everyone’s interests and answer all of your questions. But that’s not the aim of the work. As it has been noted elsewhere of the book, The God Who is There “engages people at a worldview level.” And it does an incredible job at it. Believers will be strengthened. Skeptics will be challenged. Seekers will be delighted. Go, indulge in the God who is here.


This book beautifully digs deep into the wealth of Scripture and reveals the Wonderful God who is there. If you’re looking for a book to show you the sweeping narrative and doctrine of Scripture, this is it.


There is a DVD that’s also available.

Media clips from the seminar and additonal information is available on The Gospel Coalition website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Books by request in order to review its material. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Every once in a while I like to review Bibles and Bible resources.  However, with so much being published and produced about the Word, it’s hard to lock in on what’s worth purchasing.  Can I make a recommendation?  Phil Moore’s Straight to the Heart series.  While I’ve only read Straight to the Heart of Acts, I can tell this series is promising and will serve as a great resource.  Here’s why:

Moore writes with great pastoral wisdom.  Moore, a member of the Newfrontiers movement, is a fantastic teacher.  He’s not only knowledgable, but makes it relatable and immediately applicable.  As moore explains, Acts wasn’t written merely to excite or enthrall with how God moved in the early church.  It was also written to enlist you.

Each book contains “60 bite-sized insights.”  The idea behind the Straight to the Heart series is to target in on the absolute essentials of these books of the Bible.  Keeping these entries bite-sized means you don’t get overhwelmed with peripheral details.  The main things stay main.

The book is deep, yet conversational.  With commentaries I want readability.  If it takes reading and re-reading to understand, I’m going to struggle. With commentaries, I also want depth.  If you aren’t a scholar like me and you don’t have formal training in the original Biblical languages, you want someone who understands them.  So you have these two ideals in mind with commentaries: depth and readability.  Moore achieves both.

Moore emphasizes application.  When it comes to resources, I want something that will stretch my thinking and stir me to apply what I’m learning.  It’s too easy to study and not do something about it.  Moore challenges the reader to not engage the book of Acts like a history textbook.  It’s more than a wealth of encouraging testimonies and speeches from the world’s first Christians.  Acts is a summons.  In Acts, the God of the universe comes upon His people and makes them witnesses for His glory and renown.  The idea of a witness is not sitting around waiting for the end of the world to come, but has in mind one who actively testifies of the mercy, grace, and triumph of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Moore draws upon stories and history to shed light.  Phil Moore’s degree in History from Cambridge undoubtedly shines through as he draws upon the riches of stories both past and present to introduce each of his “bite-sized” insights.


The Straight to the Heart series will bless, stir, challenge, and encourage you without overwhelming you as you study the Word.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel by request in order to review its material. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.