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.
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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.