I’m currently working on a term paper on D. A Carson’s theological method, and I’ve really enjoyed reading many of Carson’s books and articles. One virtue (among many) that I highly esteem in Carson’s writings is his combination of humility and boldness. The following quotes are some of my favorite that illustrate courageous boldness:
- “When the Bible is examined as a whole, and its themes and plot-line traced out . . . the position of religious pluralism is from a Christian perspective utterly untenable. One may be a Christian, or one may be a religious pluralist in the third sense [i.e., not empirical or cherished but philosophical/religious pluralism]; one cannot be both. From the pluralist’s perspective, the Christian must appear a bigot, unless ‘Christian’ is redefined so that it has no necessary connection with Scripture; from the Christian’s perspective, the religious pluralist, however sincere, is both misguided and an idolater” (The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996], 238).
- “So which shall we choose? “Experience or truth? The left wing of the airplane, or the right? Love or integrity? Study or service? Evangelism or discipleship? The front wheels of a car, or the rear? Subjective knowledge or objective knowledge? Faith or obedience? Damn all false antithesis to hell, for they generate false gods, they perpetuate idols, they twist and distort our souls, they launch the church into violent pendulum swings whose oscillations succeed only in dividing brothers and sisters in Christ” (Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], 234).
- “Drawing lines” is “utterly crucial” because “truth demands it,” “the distinction between orthodoxy and heresy models it,” “the plurality of errors calls for it,” and “the entailments of the gospel confront our culture—and must be lived out.” (These are the four major headings in “On Drawing Lines, When Drawing Lines Is Rude,” ch. 8 in Gagging of God, 347-67.)