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20 Quotes from Don Carson on Gospel Centrality

The next quotes caught my consideration as I (Matt Smethurst) learn Don Carson’s new little ebook, Prophetic from the Middle (10Publishing, 2019).


Maybe extra widespread but is the tendency to imagine the gospel, no matter that’s, whereas devoting inventive power and keenness to different points—marriage, happiness, prosperity, evangelism, the poor, wrestling with Islam, wrestling with the pressures of secularization, bioethics, risks on the left, risks on the appropriate—the checklist is countless. This overlooks the truth that our hearers inevitably are drawn towards that about which we’re most passionate. Each instructor is aware of that. My college students are unlikely to be taught all that I train them; they’re most probably to be taught that about which I’m most excited. If the gospel is merely assumed, whereas comparatively peripheral points ignite our ardour, we’ll practice a brand new era to downplay the gospel and focus zeal on the periphery. (4–5)


It’s simple to sound prophetic from the margins; what’s urgently wanted is to be prophetic from the middle. (5)

Once we insist that as a matter of first significance, the gospel is Christological, we aren’t pondering of Christ as a cipher, or just because the God-man who comes alongside and helps us like a pleasant insurance coverage agent: “Jesus is a nice God-man, he’s a very, very nice God-man, and when you break down, he comes along and fixes you.” The gospel is Christological in a extra sturdy sense: Jesus is the promised Messiah who died and rose once more. (12)

The cross and resurrection will not be nakedly historic occasions; they’re historic occasions with the deepest theological weight. (13)

From the start, sin is an offense towards God. God himself pronounces the sentence of dying (Gen. 2–3). That is scarcely stunning, since God is the supply of all life, so if his picture bearers spit in his face and demand on going their very own manner and changing into their very own gods, they reduce themselves off from their Maker, from the One who offers life. What’s there, then, however dying? (14)

In all our sinning, God is invariably essentially the most offended occasion. That’s the reason we should have his forgiveness, or we’ve got nothing. (15–16)

The God the Bible portrays as resolved to intervene and save can also be the God portrayed as filled with wrath due to our sustained idolatry. As a lot as he intervenes to avoid wasting us, he stands over towards us as Decide, an offended Decide with fearsome jealousy. . . . How usually once we preach the gospel are folks terrified? (16, 18)

To be saved from our sins is to be saved not solely from their chaining energy but in addition from their penalties—and the results are profoundly certain up with God’s solemn sentence, with God’s holy wrath. When you see this, you can not overlook that no matter else the cross achieves, it should rightly put aside God’s sentence, it should rightly fulfill God’s wrath, or it achieves nothing. (21)

Any strategy, theological or evangelistic, that makes an attempt to pit Jesus’s dying and Jesus’s resurrection towards one another, is just not rather more than foolish. (24)

The Bible by no means asks us to imagine what is just not true. By the identical token, one of many principal methods the Bible will increase and strengthens religion is by articulating and defending the reality. (30)

We’re not saved by theological concepts about Christ; we’re saved by Christ himself. (31)

The brand new humanity in [Christ] attracts in folks from each tongue and tribe and other people and nation. The gospel . . . is just not common within the sense that it transforms and saves everybody with out exception, for in actuality, these whose existence is related completely to the outdated Adam will not be included. But this gospel is gloriously common in its complete sweep. There’s not a hint of racism right here. (34)

Humility, gratitude, dependence on Christ, contrition—these are the attribute attitudes of the really transformed. (41)

When the gospel really does its work, “proud Christian” is an unthinkable oxymoron. (41)

Corinth speaks to the lust for countless innovation that casually cuts a swath away from the practices and beliefs of different church buildings, whereas quietly side-stepping the cautious instruction of the apostle. . . . At all times be suspicious of church buildings that proudly flaunt how completely different they’re from what has gone earlier than. (43)

The gospel is boldly advancing below the contested reign and inevitable victory of Jesus the king. (45)

There is no such thing as a place for triumphalism within the church of the blood-bought, within the church led by apostles who eat everybody’s dust on the finish of the procession. (49)

A Christianity the place believers will not be affected person and sort, a Christianity the place believers characteristically envy, are proud and boastful, impolite, simply angered, and maintain a document of wrongs, isn’t any Christianity in any respect. (51)

The conventions and expectations of the world are pervasive and enslaving. The gospel have to be labored out for these girls, and demonstrated within the lifetime of the church, in order that it points in liberation from the wretched chains of idolatry too delicate to be named and too intoxicating to flee, aside from the highly effective phrase of the cross. (53–54)

[Pondering how the gospel transforms various areas of life] have to be accomplished, not by making an attempt to summary social ideas from the gospel, nonetheless much less by countless concentrate on the periphery in a useless effort to sound prophetic, however exactly by preaching and instructing and residing out in our church buildings the wonderful gospel of our blessed Redeemer. (54)

20 Quotes from Don Carson on Gospel Centrality

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