Should I buy D.A. Carson “Love of God” Collection (3 vols.)

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JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Dec 15 2014 1:32 PM

I have limited monies as a seminarian student and yet I am constantly looking for useful inexpensive content for my Logos software (My wife would wisely agree I should read some of the content I already have).

I confess I am a little unfocused/undisciplined (several people just fell off their chairs in shock, right?) Bible-wise in terms of my own reading and prep-work.  If its not a Schoolbook or a sermon I am writing, I tend not to read it - what can I say.

I am curious if

D.A. Carson “Love of God” Collection (3 vols.)

might be a good way to jump in to regular devotionals and if its a good value?  Can someone please print out a section of one of them who owns (say a sliver of the section on loving the sinner but not the sin for example) so I can see if this will excite and inspire or best be read before I go to sleep at night please.

Also, completely unrelated, what expositional commentaries do you use religously as you prepare a sermon to check your facts and help The Holy Spirit guide you line by line.

Also, again completely unrelated, I have enjoyed reading all of the ways God is using people to do Christmas topical sermons despite many of you being expositional preachers. 

Glory to God in the Highest (indeed).

Merry Christ!

Joshua In Rhode Island

Posts 380
Danny Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 15 2014 1:48 PM

I am about to finish the year using Volume 1 as a devotional guide. It uses the McCheyne reading plan (although in Volume 1 Carson's comments focus on the 'family' portions. In Volume 2 he focuses on the 'private' portions). I have really liked it. Rather than mushy stories or general inspirational thoughts, Carson provides short mini expositions with application points. His comments off provide significant insight. I just love Carson.

The title might be a bit misleading - it is not following a 'love' theme. (unless you see that as the unifying theme of scripture).

The following is a random example.

March 4

Exodus 15; Luke 18;

Job 33; 2 Corinthians 3

 

each of the first four units of Luke 18 can easily be misunderstood; each makes abundant sense when read in conjunction with the others.

The first (18:1–8) is a parable that Jesus tells his disciples "to show them that they should always pray and not give up" (18:1). An unjust judge is badgered by a persistent widow so that in the end he provides her with the justice she asks for. "And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?" (18:7). If even this judge eventually puts things right, how much more will God, when his "chosen ones" cry to him? By itself, of course, this parable could be taken to mean that the longer and louder one prays, the more blessings one gets—a kind of tit-for-tat arrangement that Jesus himself elsewhere disavows (Matt. 6:5–15). But the last verse (18:8) focuses the point: "However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" The real problem is not with God’s unwillingness to answer, but with our faithless and lethargic refusal to ask.

The second (18:9–14) parable describes a Pharisee and a tax collector who go up to the temple to pray. Some modern relativists conclude from this story that Jesus accepts everyone, regardless of his or her continuing sins, habits, or lifestyle. He rejects only self-confident religious hypocrites. Certainly Jesus rejects the latter. But the parable does not suggest that the tax collector wished to continue in his sin; rather, he begs for mercy, knowing what he is; he approaches God out of a freely recognized need.

In the third unit (18:15–17) Jesus insists that little children be brought to him, "for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." One must "receive the kingdom of God like a child," or not at all. Yet this does not commend childlike behavior in all respects (e.g., naïveté, short-term thinking, moral immaturity, the cranky "No!" of the "terrible twos"). But little children do have an openness, a refreshing freedom from self-promotion, a simplicity that asks and trusts.

The fourth unit (18:18–30) finds Jesus telling a rich ruler to sell all that he has and give to the poor, if he is to have treasure in heaven, and then follow Christ. Does this mean that only penurious asceticism will enjoy the blessings of heaven? Is it not Christ’s way of stripping off this particular person’s real god, the pathetic ground of his self-confidence, so that he may trust Jesus and follow him wholly?

Can you see what holds these four units together?

Posts 380
Danny Parker | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 15 2014 1:49 PM

I might add, that his comments often provide excellent seed ideas for expository sermons.

Posts 25
mc | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 15 2014 2:16 PM

I will echo Danny's comments and also recommend For the Love of God collection.  I will be completing the second volume of the devotional series at the end of this month.  I went through Volume 1 last year.  I can say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the devotionals and they have helped me to stay focused on a daily basis.  Much food for thought in there.

mike

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 15 2014 2:50 PM

I'd wait for March madness to pick it up.

Dell, studio XPS 7100, Ram 8GB, 64 - bit Operating System, AMD Phenom(mt) IIX6 1055T Processor 2.80 GHZ

Posts 128
Simon Pleasants | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 15 2014 3:24 PM

Ted Hans:

I'd wait for March madness to pick it up.

In the meantime, you can access the daily readings online for free here:

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/

I thoroughly recommend the two volumes. I've read them multiple times and have found them very helpful.

By the way, I'd heard a rumor that Carson is working on preparing volumes 3 and 4, but nothing seems to be forthcoming after waiting a few years.

"Upon a life I did not live, Upon a death I did not die, Another's life, another's death, I stake my whole eternity"

Horatius Bonar

Posts 1048
William Gabriel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 16 2014 6:26 AM

I'd like to point out that if you're mostly interested in saving money, Carson offers those three volumes for free through the Gospel Coalition website. Here are direct links to the PDFs:

For the Love of God, Vol 1

For the Love of God, Vol 2

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God

I have the collection in Logos and find it very useful there, but if you'd rather spend those dollars on another Logos product, you can simply read the PDFs for free.

Posts 55
Anne H | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 16 2014 6:44 AM

Thank You William!

Posts 1699
JoshInRI | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 16 2014 8:32 AM

My cup runneth over with great replies..thanks everyone.  The free stuff is great too.

I am going to utilize those sites and think Christmas has come early.

I can save money for other LOGOS titles now too.

Posts 1822
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 17 2014 5:47 AM

JoshInRI:

My cup runneth over with great replies..thanks everyone.  The free stuff is great too.

I am going to utilize those sites and think Christmas has come early.

I can save money for other LOGOS titles now too.

I use BOTH the Logos Editions and the Daily Email from Gospel Coalition. I prefer to have the Logos edition pop up as my "Open to.." layout because I can have the Bible and devotional side by side, but if I have an unusually crazy morning and leave the house without doing it, having it in my email on my phone allows me to read it when I get a free moment throughout the day. I got it for a great price in March Madness, but use the free email as a "plan B"

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

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