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A Model of Christian Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13 [Paperback]

By D. A. Carson (Author)
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Item description for A Model of Christian Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13 by D. A. Carson...

An expository commentary on the book of 2 Corinthians, chapters 10-13, which develops such topics as the nature of Christian leadership, the evil that lies in much boasting, and Christian maturity.

Publishers Description
We live in a time when leadership and showmanship are seen as far greater virtues than humility and meekness. Even the church has often got it backward. And in Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, he confronts similar problems in the first-century church. D. A. Carson believes we can learn valuable lessons from Paul's letter about what it really means to be a mature Christian in the face of adversity. In "A Model of Christian Maturity" he takes the reader step by step through an exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13 and then helps them apply these Scriptures to everyday life in the church. Perfect for pastors, students, and laypeople, this book highlights the power of weakness in the life of the Christian.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Books
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2007
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801067685  
ISBN13  9780801067686  

Availability  2 units.
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More About D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is a cofounder of the Gospel Coalition and has written or edited nearly 120 books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

TIMOTHY KELLER is founder and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. He is the best-selling author of The Prodigal God and The Reason for God.

Thabiti M. Anyabwile (MS, North Carolina State University) serves as a pastor at Anacostia River Church in Washington, DC, and is the author of numerous books. He serves as a council member of the Gospel Coalition, is a lead writer for 9Marks Ministries, and regularly blogs at The Front Porch and Pure Church. He and his wife, Kristie, have three children.

Mike Bullmore (PhD, Northwestern University) serves as the senior pastor of Crossway Community Church in Bristol, Wisconsin. He was formerly professor of homiletics/practical theology and department chair at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Mike lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with his wife, Beverly. They have three children.

Bryan Chapell is the senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Peoria, Illinois. He is also the host of a daily half-hour radio Bible teaching program, Unlimited Grace, and the founder and chairman of Unlimited Grace Media ( Bryan previously served as the president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, and is the author of a number of books, including Holiness by Grace.

ANDREW M. DAVIS (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, NC. In addition to his PhD, he also holds an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He served as a church planter in Japan from 1994 to 1998.

Kevin DeYoung (MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary) is the senior pastor at University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan. He serves as a council member at the Gospel Coalition and blogs at DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed. He serves as Chancellor's Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and is a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. He is the author of several books, including Just Do Something, Crazy Busy, and The Biggest Story. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children.

Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the chancellor & CEO and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004-2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. Ligon and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.

Richard D. Phillips (DD, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary) is the senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He chairs the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology and coedits the Reformed Expository Commentary. He is also a chairman of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, a council member of the Gospel Coalition, and a trustee of Westminster Theological Seminary.

Philip Graham Ryken (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the eighth president of Wheaton College. Formerly, he served as senior minister of Philadelphia's historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited more than 40 books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and preached at universities and seminaries worldwide.

Tim Savage (PhD, University of Cambridge; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) has been senior pastor of Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, Arizona, since 1988. Tim and his wife have two adult sons.

COLIN S. SMITH is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, IL, where he has been since 1996. He is the author of The 10 Greatest Struggles of Your Life and can be heard on his Unlocking the Bible broadcast with Moody radio.

Sam Storms (PhD, University of Texas at Dallas) has spent more than four decades in ministry as a pastor, professor, and author. He is currently the senior pastor at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and was previously a visiting associate professor of theology at Wheaton College from 2000 to 2004. He is the founder of Enjoying God Ministries and blogs regularly at

Stephen Um (PhD, University of St. Andrews) serves as the senior minister of Citylife Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He also serves as a council member for the Gospel Coalition. Stephen lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with his wife, Kathleen, and their three daughters.

Sanders (Sandy) L. Willson (DD, Crichton College) has been the senior minister at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee since 1995. Sandy is a cofounder of the Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies as well as a cofounder and chair of the Nexus leadership mentoring program. He also serves on the boards of the Gospel Coalition, World Relief, Union University, and Reformed Theological Seminary. Sandy and his wife, Allison, have five children and ten grandchildren.

D. A. Carson currently resides in Deerfield, in the state of Illinois. D. A. Carson was born in 1959.

D. A. Carson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 9Marks
  2. Bible Savvy
  3. Expositor's Bible Commentary (Paperback)
  4. Gospel Coalition
  5. Gospel Coalition Booklets
  6. Justification and Variegated Nomism
  7. Pillar New Testament Commentary
  8. Re: Lit Books
  9. Theology in Community

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible Study > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about A Model of Christian Maturity: An Exposition of 2 Corinthians 10-13?

Excellent For Pastors  Jan 16, 2009
I used this book to create a teaching series on true, biblical leadership & I must say that it is one of the best books on leadership that I've ever read! It was originally written in 1984 under a different title, but it is as clear, relevant, and eye-opening today as then. Mr. Carson goes through the passage of 2 Corinthians 10-13, verse by verse, and gives both background insights of culture/practices of philosophers/rhetoricians as well as providing tremendously helpful points for leaders today.

Clearly, at the time the book was originally written, Mr. Carson was bringing out how many of the Word of Faith ministries had gotten over into error in certain areas. As for myself, someone who was immersed in WOF teaching for many yrs in my early Christian life and now a 'Charismatic' pastor (I really don't like this label though), you would think that I would find 'issue' with much of what he's said. However, I agree with him in MOST areas because I have clearly seen many excesses in doctrines and truths that have been pushed to their extremity (ie 'error'); many of my own personal stances changed as I continued to pursue God and study His Word. Mr. Carson is thoroughly scriptural for the most part, brings out the correlation of what was happening in Paul's day and what has happened today over the past 30 yrs in the Body of Christ, & beautifully brings Paul's attitudes toward doctrine and leadership to light.

I feel the need to point out my most obvious area of disagreement: the identity/ source/ purpose of Paul's thorn. My personal belief from studying this contextually, is that the thorn (its source being clearly a messenger of satan) wasn't any form of illness, depression, or other things along this line-- the context clearly suggests that it was an oppressive spirit working through his opponents to create persecution/hardships (chap 11) & the reason it wasn't 'taken away' was because we aren't redeemed from persecutions (it goes along with the territory of being a Christian). Also in context, satan didn't give it to Paul to create an attitude of humility (satan is the source of pride)but to depreciate Paul in OTHER people's minds as being someone less spiritual than other supposed false super apostles of the day as they saw Paul's struggles. Satan knew a lifestyle of persecution wouldn't be attractive for the Corinthians or for many others in the Greco-Roman culture of the day.

Also, I used David Garland's commentary on 2 Corinthians (NAC) & it is excellent as well. Among the 7 commentaries I used, his was the most helpful by far. I own all of the ones he's written and I personally believe he's one of the clearest & best authors of modern commentaries.

It's been a long time since I read a book, either academic or popular level, that I was this excited and enthusiastic about as this one by Mr. Carson. I wholeheartedly recommend his book to ANY pastor, no matter what their background, if they would like to read something for personal growth or to assist in creating a series.
the great need of the church  Jan 8, 2008
This book by Carson deals with the great need of the church today:
following the example of Paul in Christ, a command to all believers stated many times and in many ways to all believers in the word of God. This book, perhaps more than any other study of Pauline theology or his writings, exposes the goal of a true servant of God: the meekness and kindness of Christ, with a God-infused desire to obey Christ, to suffer for Christ and to boast in Christ and His word for His glory alone. YOU MUST BUY THIS BOOK AND READ IT FROM COVER TO COVER. GET ON YOUR KNEES AND PRAY THROUGH IT; YOU MUST TRUST GOD THROUGH HIS SPIRIT TO TEACH YOU IF YOU WANT TO BE USED OF HIM FOR HIS GLORY AND NOT FOR SELF. MAY THE LORD SEND FORTH HIS SERVANTS, WILLING TO SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE, TO TAKE COMFORT IN HIM AND HIS WORD ALONE.
The Model And Motive For Apostolic Character  Nov 3, 2007
'And gradually, congregations become more and more discerning in matters of form, and less and less discerning in matters of truth. We are developing new and powerful traditions that to some extent muzzle the gift of discernment, and expose us to essentially pagan ways of looking at corporate worship. Their total impact on the church, on truth, on pure devotion to Christ, on the quality of Christian leadership, cannot yet be fully estimated; but their essentially pagan character and deleterious contribution to self-interest as apposed to God's interest can scarcely be doubted.' p 103

Carson wrestles with the exegesis of the important last four chapters of 2 Corinthians. This is generally assumed to be a separate and fourth letter of Paul to the Corinthians, besides the third one that brought sorrow to them (which has not survived time). This letter's tone is harsh whilst also famous for Paul's boast to humility. Paul's defense of his apostolic authority takes central stage in this part of the Bible, for even then there were those who limited his authority or claims to apostleship. So Paul's character was put to the utmost test from within the fledgling Church. 'The insinuation had been made that Paul himself was aware of the hollowness of his claims, because he would not take from the church the support to which, if a true apostle, he ought to have felt himself entitled. The apostle had not even been spared the meanest of aspersions - that he was spending the money collected for the poor saints in Judea on his own person.' Geerhardus Vos, Grace & Glory pp. 107-108

The major exegetical thrust is directed toward the identity of the 'super-apostles'. Their introduction to the church was then by all means, an unwelcome one, yet today we appreciatively refer to Paul's way of handling the tough issue of the 'hyper-pneumatics'. The letters to the Corinthians never were normative, but corrective letters to a troubled church. Leadership can at times be competitive, and the delusion is created that a structured or institutionalized church with strong leaders may avoid these power plays.

'We shall learn too, that individual Christians and local churches alike must take responsibility for the styles of leadership they follow.' p 40

'The astonishing thing about Paul's preaching is that although his message was a stumbling block to Jews and nonsense to Gentiles, both Jews and Gentiles were being converted.' p 60

'Unfortunately, the Corinthians were so seduced by the credential-waving false apostles that Paul is forced to use even stronger language and admit that he would not dare use their procedures of extravagant self-glorification.' p 82

'The boasting of the false apostles at Corinth was deeply improper. Boasting is irretrievably bound up with the past, whereas the truly fruitful servants of God keep looking to the future.' p 87

Carson's work engages with the problems of authority and gospel-truth sanctioned by God - in this way it aligns well with the masterful work of John Howard Schutz: Paul & the Anatomy of Apostolic Authority. Said Schutz: 'The Holy Spirit works ambiguously in the congregation, requiring the critical judgment of the gospel.' p 62 All preaching and teaching is to be measured against the standard of the holy Word which hold the demands of a holy God. Against an assuming congregation and a self-congratulatory leadership Paul wielded irony and employed boasting to meet their prideful presumptions in that they had drawn the eschaton into the present, in order to make their claims carry more authority. Similarly, much of what passes for preaching today is hype and theater - thereby denying God the glory.

'The Christian church needs a little more both of Paul's discernment and intolerance. We seldom ask if it is the same Jesus as the one presented in the Scriptures, or if the gospel being presented squares with the apostolic gospel. Is it a biblical Jesus who promises us nothing but health, prosperity, wisdom, and joy? Is it a biblical Jesus who guarantees heaven and says nothing of hell? Is it a biblical Jesus who promises eternal life but says nothing about entailed righteousness? Is it a biblical Jesus who needs to have His saving work supplemented by our merits, ceremonies, and sacrifices if we are to be redeemed? If the Corinthians could be deceived in the first century into transferring their allegiance to a Jesus who did not really exist, what entitles us to think we shall always be exempt from similar dangers and deceptions? Our only safeguard is a humble return, again and again, to the apostolic gospel, the biblical Jesus, preserved for us in the pages of Scriptures.'
pp. 99-100

Calling yourself an apostle does not automatically define your sermon content as faithful to the apostolic gospel! Do you not know that your sermon is your act of worship to an Almighty God? You only speak for God as far as you speak His Word.

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