Though I am Don Carson’s elder (by eleven months), and count him a personal friend, I revere him both spiritually and academically. The level at which Don works in the academic guild is beyond my ability and bent. I stand outside and below, looking up with profound admiration and respect. Make no mistake, my admiration is not awakened by fame and notoriety. It rises for real excellence and faithfulness and usefulness. Don has taken the bricks and mortar of his academic trade and built structures where God’s people have found safety and nourishment and joy and power.
Years of working side by side with Don in various ways have taken this academic reverence that I feel and deepened it into a tender, deep, heartfelt esteem for his spiritual authenticity. Don undergoes no metamorphosis moving from the lectern to the prayer meeting, or from the Greek Testament to the university mission. He is as likely to pray for my children as he is to propose a conference.
His burden for the global church is weighty and informed. His international commitments for preaching are unparalleled by other scholars of his stature. His knowledge of the state of evangelicalism around the world regularly amazes me.
—John Piper, “Doing Missions When Dying Is Gain,” in Serving the Church, Reaching the World: Essays in Honour of D. A. Carson, ed. Richard M. Cunningham (London: InterVarsity Press, 2017), 159.
1. Tim Keller affirmed Don Carson at TGC’s national conference earlier this month: