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The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians

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First published by Baker Books in 1993, The Cross and Christian Ministry presents a comprehensive view of what the death of Christ means in preaching and pastoring God's people. It sets forth workable principles for dynamic, cross-centered leadership. Now available in paperback.


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First published by Baker Books in 1993, The Cross and Christian Ministry presents a comprehensive view of what the death of Christ means in preaching and pastoring God's people. It sets forth workable principles for dynamic, cross-centered leadership. Now available in paperback.

30 review for The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: In these expositions from 1 Corinthians, Carson sets forth the cruciform character of biblically faithful Christian ministry. In the 1990's, D. A. Carson published several collections of expositions. Recently Baker has begun "repackaging" them. Recently I reviewed The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus. The Cross and Christian Ministry is another of these repackaged works that I am glad is receiving a new lease on life. What Carson says about the cruciform character of Christia Summary: In these expositions from 1 Corinthians, Carson sets forth the cruciform character of biblically faithful Christian ministry. In the 1990's, D. A. Carson published several collections of expositions. Recently Baker has begun "repackaging" them. Recently I reviewed The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus. The Cross and Christian Ministry is another of these repackaged works that I am glad is receiving a new lease on life. What Carson says about the cruciform character of Christian ministry is just as, if not more, relevant today than when these works were first published twenty-five years ago. This book is a series of expositions from the book of 1 Corinthians, four on the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians and a final one from chapter 9. Each concludes with questions that may be used for reflection or group discussion. In brief, they cover: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5, The Cross and Preaching. He begins by showing how the cross divides humanity as foolishness to the perishing and the power of God for those being saved. It is folly that outsmarts the greatest of human wisdom and yet includes many the world would exclude. He concludes about the message of those who preach, that testifies to God's work, focuses on Christ crucified and relies on the power of the Spirit. He has pointed comments about those who try to manipulate audiences, particularly in youth ministry. 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, The Cross and the Holy Spirit. This message notes three contrasts in the passage: Between those who receive God's Wisdom and those who do not. Between the Spirit of God and the spirit of the world. Between the "natural person and the "spiritual" person. He concludes by observing that the work of the Holy Spirit is essential for a person truly to understand the cross. We may intellectually grasp the meaning of the cross but nevertheless need the Holy Spirit to illuminate that understanding and overcomes our human resistance to facing our sin and God's saving work.  1 Corinthians 3, The Cross and Factionalism. Factionalism fundamentally is a sign of Christian immaturity. It fails to realize that leaders are really servants, and will give account for their leadership. Sadly, factionalism both fails to recognize the great work of God, focusing on human beings, and inevitably diminishes the great inheritance we have in Christ as it focuses on only a select aspect of that inheritance. Carson notes that in factionalism, we cut ourselves off from so much that is good and enriching in the rest of the church. 1 Corinthians 4, The Cross and Christian Leadership. In this message, Carson explores what it means to be a Christian leader in light of the cross: It means being entrusted with the "mysteries" of God. Leaders should faithfully fulfill that trust, and others should realize that such leaders are seeking to please God and not stand in judgment of them. It means living in the light of the cross which meant for Paul following a crucified Lord and embracing suffering. It means encouraging and enforcing the way of the cross among the people of God. We both help people to grasp the precious significance of the cross, and warn those who presume on the cross and fail to follow Christ in their daily life.  1 Corinthians 9:19-27, The Cross and the World Christian. The term "world Christian" was much used in mission-oriented circles in the 1990's and might be similar to today's "missional Christian." Carson gives a wonderful definition that challenges the contemporary attractions of nativism and tribalism that focuses on either the greatness of one's country or the pre-eminence of one's own particular "tribe." "The allegiance to Jesus Christ and his kingdom is self-consciously set above all national, cultural, linguistic, and racial allegiances. Their commitment to the church, Jesus messianic community, is to the church everywhere, wherever the church is truly manifest, and not only to its manifestation on home turf. They see themselves first and foremost as citizens of the heavenly kingdom and therefore consider all other citizenship a secondary matter. As a result, they are single-minded and sacrificial when it comes to the paramount mandate to evangelize and make disciples" (p. 133). Carson emphasizes from the text that such people understand their freedom and their constraints in Christ; they do not stand on their "rights"; they set the salvation of others as their aim and understand that there is really no other way to be a Christian. This collection of messages, originally given at several conferences, are not exegetical commentaries, but rather seek to make clear for both the original audiences and the reader the meaning of the text and its implications. Carson writes with clarity, devotional warmth, and a perceptive eye to application for the contemporary church. He particularly addresses any person in leadership, making us take a hard look at our own character and practice and vision in light of the cross. I'm struck with how well these messages have worn. While certainly one can spy references that are dated, it seemed to me that these messages if anything may be more timely in our own day, because they center around the timeless truth of the cross. ____________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Shirkman

    Carson would say I totally missed the point of chapter three when I say I want to know what he thinks about everything. His views are so clearly biblical and his aim God’s glory and the good of people, that I can’t help but want to learn from him. He is of course fallible, but wow is he prophetic and insightful. This book was written in 1993 but perfectly predicted the state of modern evangelicalism. It’s so much more though: a challenging, encouraging set of lessons on the cross and its applica Carson would say I totally missed the point of chapter three when I say I want to know what he thinks about everything. His views are so clearly biblical and his aim God’s glory and the good of people, that I can’t help but want to learn from him. He is of course fallible, but wow is he prophetic and insightful. This book was written in 1993 but perfectly predicted the state of modern evangelicalism. It’s so much more though: a challenging, encouraging set of lessons on the cross and its application to our lives, the message we proclaim, our view of others and the world. A short book with the potential for a huge impact.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Anna Chviedaruk

    I read this book while I was studying 1st Corinthians on my own as a Bible school task. And this book helped me to gain an understanding about the central idea of 1st Corinthians and of why they faced so many problems. This is a very deep perspective on the roots of their troubles.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Bible believing Christians know that the Christian ministry must be Cross-Centered but what does that mean? In this 160 page book New Testament scholar and author Don Carson writes a book on what that means based upon the book of 1 Corinthians. This makes for a spiritually edifying read whether you are in pastoral ministry or you are a faithful church member. It is also spiritually edifying whether you are studying to enter the ministry or someone who have been a pastor for some time, and I read Bible believing Christians know that the Christian ministry must be Cross-Centered but what does that mean? In this 160 page book New Testament scholar and author Don Carson writes a book on what that means based upon the book of 1 Corinthians. This makes for a spiritually edifying read whether you are in pastoral ministry or you are a faithful church member. It is also spiritually edifying whether you are studying to enter the ministry or someone who have been a pastor for some time, and I read this at at a point in my life where I’m close to a decade of full time ministry. There are five chapters in this book. Chapter One is titled “The Cross and Preaching” and examines 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5. Chapter two is titled “The Cross and the Holy Spirit” and is based upon 1 Corinthians 2:6-16. This is followed by a chapter titled “The Cross and Factionalism” based upon 1 Corinthians 3. Next is a chapter titled “The Cross and Christian Leadership” which looks at 1 Corinthians 4. Finally chapter five looks at 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 and is titled “The Cross and the World Christian.” I learned a lot from this book and though this book was first published in 1993 it is quite relevant than ever with much compromises of Evangelicals today in ministry chasing after trends and worldliness. The call to worldliness was edifying. Of the five chapters my favorite was chapter three on the Cross and factionalism. It was a good exposition of 1 Corinthians 3. In particular I enjoyed his insight into Paul’s agricultural and architectural analogy. Carson reminds us that in New Testament time it took a long time to build a building compared to today and sometimes massive temples took decades and for some of the workers it was a life time’s work. From that perspective Paul pointed out what we build is not yet complete with the church and we are only making our small contribution. It was humbling and yet exciting to think of that. This chapter also stated that Christian leaders are only servants of Christ. It was also sobering to be reminded that we would be help accountable one day, a point Paul made in his architectural analogy, in which God will judge the quality of each builder in the end. There were many other rich insight that Carson presented in examining the Scripture of 1 Corinthians. I also really enjoyed his point in 1 Corinthians 4:9 in which Paul talked about being paraded it might reflect the triumphant procession of Roman legions in which the senior military leaders goes first followed by lower ranks and in the rear were prisoners from descending order of importance as well. Paul here is saying that ironically if the Corinthians thought of themselves so highly Paul was quite lowly in the world’s eyes and standards even to say in 1 Corinthians 4:13 that he and the other apostles were the scum of this world. Yet Paul ironically was more like Jesus and that should be a stern rebuke to the church in Corinth. I recommend this book. Makes for a great gift for a pastor as well or for someone interested in entering the ministry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I think that this is a book that all ministers should read and return to every so often. Under pressure from the world and metrics-driven church culture, it is too easy for us to drift from the primacy of the gospel in our ministries. This small volume provides us with the lessons that we need to refocus ourselves on the primary task of Christian leaders: the faithful proclamation of the gospel of Christ.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Downs

    D. A. Carson relates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to the daily lives of individual believers as he takes the reader through a study of 1 Corinthians. He uniquely unites theology and daily living by expositing the text of scripture and drawing specific principles for application into every day living. This book opened my eyes to the many ways that I tend to assume the gospel and focus on my own living. Carson calls believers to apply the gospel to sanctification, allowing the grace D. A. Carson relates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to the daily lives of individual believers as he takes the reader through a study of 1 Corinthians. He uniquely unites theology and daily living by expositing the text of scripture and drawing specific principles for application into every day living. This book opened my eyes to the many ways that I tend to assume the gospel and focus on my own living. Carson calls believers to apply the gospel to sanctification, allowing the grace given through the gospel to drive hard-working, God-empowered efforts in personal holiness. This confrontational, yet encouraging book is a must read and will prove to refresh and refocus the soul of the reader who genuinely seeks to understand Paul's message in 1 Corinthians.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Klimek

    An edifying exposition of 1 Corinthians A clear and convicting exposition of key passages in First Corinthians. The cross and Christ are central which makes this book extremely edifying and challenging.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rick Dobrowolski

    D. A. Carson's exposition on 1 Corinthians is well-done, especially his concluding section on the "world Christian."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Hawkins

    D.A. Carson is simply incredibly gifted at expositing the Bible and applying it. This is a perfect example of it. This isn't an 'easy' read by any stretch of the imagination, but by the end of it, I understand the passages he exegeted so much better due. Not only that, his applications for pastoral ministry were very helpful. Throughout it, he shows how central the cross and the gospel are to Paul's idea of ministry in 1 Corinthians (specifically chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10). It is common f D.A. Carson is simply incredibly gifted at expositing the Bible and applying it. This is a perfect example of it. This isn't an 'easy' read by any stretch of the imagination, but by the end of it, I understand the passages he exegeted so much better due. Not only that, his applications for pastoral ministry were very helpful. Throughout it, he shows how central the cross and the gospel are to Paul's idea of ministry in 1 Corinthians (specifically chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10). It is common for people say that it is all about the cross, and that one cannot move past the gospel. Here in this book, Carson proves that this isn't some new idea. Rather, this is biblical, it is from Paul himself. It becomes obvious as one slowly goes through Paul's ideas and points, as Carson does in this book. As for some of my favorite passages: My favorite section had to do with an encouragement in preaching. Applying 1 Corinthians 1 and 2, Carson writes, "Do not fear weakness, illness, or a sense of being overwhelmed. The truth of the matter is that such experiences are often the occasions when God most greatly displayed his power. As long as people are impressed by your powerful personalities and impressive gifts, there is very little room for you to impress them with a crucified Savior. 'I came to you,' Paul confesses, 'in weakness and fear, and with much trembling' (2:3)–so much that he needed special encouragement from God himself (Acts 18:9-10). But Paul knew that God's strength is most greatly displayed in connection with our weakness (2 Cor. 12:1-10). Although he suffered fears, illness, weakness, and a tremendous sense of being overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, he did not fear the fear; his weakness was not compounded by focusing on his weaknesses. Far from it! He could write, 'That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Cor. 12:10). That is the testimony of a man who has learned to minister under the cross" (39). Speaking of Paul talking about his own speaking, he writes, "It would be entirely improper to infer that Paul was an incompetent speaker, a bad communicator...What Paul avoided was artificial communication that won plaudits for the speaker but distracted from the message...[1 Corinthians 2:1-5] warn against any method that leads people to say, 'What a marvelous preacher!' rather than, 'What a marvelous Savior!'" (34-35) Speaking of how preaching is proclamation (as the Greek word means this), Carson writes how there is "an emphasis on proclamation in the New Testament. The reason for the emphasis lies in the message itself. God has taken action, and the good news is announced, it is proclaimed. God is not negotiating he is both announcing and confronting. Done properly, preaching is simply the re-presentation of God's gospel...Something important is lost if we never speak or think of preaching and proclamation. This is our job, our calling. It is not arrogant to re-present as forcefully as we can God's gospel; it is simply faithful stewardship. Further, if we focus on the powerful proclamation of the gospel, we shall be less likely to be seduced by siren calls to soften the sheer non-negotiatbiity inherent in preaching" (37). Speaking of preaching, he writes, "We have become so performance-oriented that it is hard to see how compromised we are...Has the smoothness of the performance become more important to us than the fear of the Lord?...Have professional competence and smooth showmanship become more valuable than sober reckoning over what it means to focus on Christ crucified?" (38-39). All of the above quotes actually were only from chapter 1 on the gospel and preaching, as I thought it was the best chapter of the book. But the rest of the book was still very interesting. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to understand those sections of 1 Corinthians more (as the book is basically an excellent, readable commentary). And I would definitely recommend it to any Christian leader of any sort.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Carson argues that the message of the cross must shape all our ministry. We forget it is the power of God and maybe think it “foolishness.” We turn to strategic planning instead. This book is a wise exposition of the passages and contains many challenges for Christian leaders. Paul resolved to know nothing except Christ and him crucified. What would our ministries look like if Christ crucified was at the very center? Would musicians really be sneaking their way back up to the stage during the aft Carson argues that the message of the cross must shape all our ministry. We forget it is the power of God and maybe think it “foolishness.” We turn to strategic planning instead. This book is a wise exposition of the passages and contains many challenges for Christian leaders. Paul resolved to know nothing except Christ and him crucified. What would our ministries look like if Christ crucified was at the very center? Would musicians really be sneaking their way back up to the stage during the after sermon prayer if we valued Christ crucified more than smooth performance? Other challenges include what it really means to be spiritual. Do leaders see it as their passion to bring people to consistent Christian living in light of the gospel of the crucified Christ? (Loc 1790/2270) Do we understand the serious nature of Christian leaders being entrusted with the gospel and that “all their service turns on making that gospel known and encouraging the people of God, by word, example, and discipline, to live it out”? (Loc 1492/2270) Do preachers remind us we are called to suffer or allow us to be comfortable in our lifestyle? This book is a good wake up call to Christian leaders. Carson writes that “Christian leaders dare not overlook their responsibility to lead the people of God in living that is in conformity with the gospel.” (Loc 1790/2270) It is an awesome responsibility to have been entrusted with the secret things of God. I recommend this book to Christian leaders who desire to see their ministry centered in the gospel. You will be reminded of the serious nature of your call. You will be challenged to evaluate your ministry in light of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians. Carson has provided questions for review and reflections so this book could be used for a church board study or in a small group. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michael Harshman

    We all have seen it quite often. Christians walking around with ornate, beautiful crosses for jewelry or maybe a decoration in the home or in church. Yes we look at it and think it is beautiful and recall what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Yet are we looking at the cross correctly? We read in Galatians 3:13 how anyone who hands on a tree (cross) is cursed by God, which references back to Deuteronomy 21:22-23. This was not a pleasant thing, or an ornate thing. Rather, the cross that we use We all have seen it quite often. Christians walking around with ornate, beautiful crosses for jewelry or maybe a decoration in the home or in church. Yes we look at it and think it is beautiful and recall what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Yet are we looking at the cross correctly? We read in Galatians 3:13 how anyone who hands on a tree (cross) is cursed by God, which references back to Deuteronomy 21:22-23. This was not a pleasant thing, or an ornate thing. Rather, the cross that we use for Christian ministry, is an ugly wood cross that is stained with the blood of Jesus who stood in our place for the punishment of sin. D.A. Carson goes through the book of 1 Corinthians and shows how the cross pertains to our Christian ministry which needs to have the center of it being the gospel of Jesus Christ. This book is based on a series of talks that Dr. Carson gave and has formulated into this recently revised edition. He covers how the cross relates to Preaching, the Holy Spirit, Factionalism, Christian Leadership and the World Christian across five chapters. At the end of each chapter, he provides five questions for review and reflection on his exposition from Scripture. This is a very good book, but I feel that the reading level and content level is geared more toward those in leadership and more mature Christians who have a solid grasp on doctrine. This actually makes sense since the subtitle of the book is "Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians". This book is written more on the Reformed doctrinal base, so I will let you determine if it is for you or not. I did enjoy reading it and found very practical direction in it. I would say that if you are someone in a leadership role, or plan on being in one, then this book would be a good one to read and keep in your library. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from Baker Books and all opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Benedict Tan

    This is a theologically-sharp and pastorally-sensitive series of expositions on five passage in 1 Corinthians. The sections are: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 1 Corinthians 3 1 Corinthians 4 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 The first four chapters of the epistle is complex but Carson addresses the various issues clearly without being unnecessarily technical. He offers great theological insights too, especially if the reader is approaching 1 Corinthians for the first time, or after a long hiatus. T This is a theologically-sharp and pastorally-sensitive series of expositions on five passage in 1 Corinthians. The sections are: 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 1 Corinthians 3 1 Corinthians 4 1 Corinthians 9:19-27 The first four chapters of the epistle is complex but Carson addresses the various issues clearly without being unnecessarily technical. He offers great theological insights too, especially if the reader is approaching 1 Corinthians for the first time, or after a long hiatus. This was a helpful aid as supplementary reading while I was in a Bible study group studying Paul's letter. It's a good springboard to discuss some of the major issues in the letter. Carson models good exposition and uses illustrations which helped me engage with the letter better. On that note, his experience and concerns as a pastor shines through as he raises thought-provoking questions that challenge the reader to examine ourselves in light of the cross. 1 Corinthians is a powerful letter which speaks of the centrality of the cross, both for Christian ministry and for Christian living. As the title of the book suggests, Carson's primary focus is on the former, but the final chapter "The Cross and the World Christian" does tease out the implications for all of life when one is gripped by the gospel. Or in Paul's words, when one is "compelled to preach." Carson preached in Malaysia in 2019 on 1 Corinthians 8-10 and his sermons echoed many of the concerns touched upon in this book. Despite being written in 1993, reading it in 2020, especially as someone involved in church ministry, has been a fruitful exercise. This book isn't an extensive introduction or commentary on 1 Corinthians, but it's worth digging in for Carson's theological depth packaged in a readable and 'listen-able' book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Lee

    Don Carson is my go-to guy when I'm looking to purchase NT commentaries (I consult his New Testament Commentary Survey) and I also enjoy listening to his expositional sermons. But why does this fanboy not give a 5 star rating? In short, the book was great but not exceptional. While overall the content is classic Carson - relatively easy to follow, engaging, faithful to Scripture, thoroughly insightful and the stories/background explanations being ever so apt to illustrate archaic concepts - I fel Don Carson is my go-to guy when I'm looking to purchase NT commentaries (I consult his New Testament Commentary Survey) and I also enjoy listening to his expositional sermons. But why does this fanboy not give a 5 star rating? In short, the book was great but not exceptional. While overall the content is classic Carson - relatively easy to follow, engaging, faithful to Scripture, thoroughly insightful and the stories/background explanations being ever so apt to illustrate archaic concepts - I felt that it would have been great for him to revise the content slightly. Being first published in 1993, the 2018 edition comes with a new cover but identical content. Carson would probably have been able to update a couple of illustrations or beef up the material with new nuggets of insight or a varied explanation to which he has since picked up... The lack of pictorial graphics or diagrams also make it a slight challenge to read for today's attention deficit readers. The bite-sized expositions are still a great resource for sermon preparation and academic research, but I'll be sure to go to my digital edition rather than the print copy for easy cross-referencing to the biblical text! I received this book from Baker Publishing Group's Blogger Review Program for the purposes of providing an unbiased review. All views are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joel Jackson

    In "The Cross and Christian Ministry" D. A. Carson offers spirit inspired insight into the direction of ministry that we receive from the book of I Corinthians. He begins by exploring Paul's theology of the cross as foolishness to man, but wisdom to those who follow Christ. The reality of the cross should then inspire our ministry as we preach, f0llow the leading of the Holy Spirit, deal with conflict in our churches, lead our churches in ministry in the world, and become Christians who are call In "The Cross and Christian Ministry" D. A. Carson offers spirit inspired insight into the direction of ministry that we receive from the book of I Corinthians. He begins by exploring Paul's theology of the cross as foolishness to man, but wisdom to those who follow Christ. The reality of the cross should then inspire our ministry as we preach, f0llow the leading of the Holy Spirit, deal with conflict in our churches, lead our churches in ministry in the world, and become Christians who are called to save all of those in the world. Carson convinces the readers that the cross does not just provide the means for our atonement, but also provides the means for our living in reflection of Christ. When we experience the cross, we should also become Christ like. We should consider Christ's action on the cross and allow that action to guide us as we minister to and among those whom God places in our sphere. The purpose of the cross is to save the lost. Our purpose should be likewise -- all of our actions, all of our preaching, all of our leadership, all of our attitudes should be shaped by this purpose. We are called to win as many as possible as we follow the cross. I received this book as part of Baker Books Blogger program.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Lloyd

    This book is a republished work from 1993. While we could say that is a bad thing, I believe it speaks to the fact that truth never changes. What was important in 1993 is still important today. This seeks to get the message in the hands of more people. That is a good thing when it is this message. Carson unpacks a truckload of truth in this book. Instead of making it full of fluff, he keeps it straight to the point and pulled directly out of Scripture. We would be quick to give an ear to the word This book is a republished work from 1993. While we could say that is a bad thing, I believe it speaks to the fact that truth never changes. What was important in 1993 is still important today. This seeks to get the message in the hands of more people. That is a good thing when it is this message. Carson unpacks a truckload of truth in this book. Instead of making it full of fluff, he keeps it straight to the point and pulled directly out of Scripture. We would be quick to give an ear to the words Carson has penned that were lifted from the pen of Paul. The cross must be the focal point of our ministry, but Carson is able to relate the cross to the writing of Paul in First Corinthians. It is a sad state when the Christians lose sight of the cross. That is something that Carson does not want to happen to us. Instead, we should seek to have it infiltrate every part of our life. I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Fonseca

    I enjoy Carson's studies and this book is no exception. In the Cross and Christian Ministry, Carson takes through the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means to the Christian leader. Through a series of expository essays, Carson exposes the problems of the "worldly" Christian and using 1 Corinthians as the basis for this study, brings into the light the full meaning of the cross in ministry. The 5 chapters each present an area where the message of the cross impacts both t I enjoy Carson's studies and this book is no exception. In the Cross and Christian Ministry, Carson takes through the meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus and what it means to the Christian leader. Through a series of expository essays, Carson exposes the problems of the "worldly" Christian and using 1 Corinthians as the basis for this study, brings into the light the full meaning of the cross in ministry. The 5 chapters each present an area where the message of the cross impacts both the individual Christian life and the leader in ministry. I recommend this book for all who enjoy a great bible study as myself. The chapters include: Cross and preaching, the Holy Spirit, Factionalism, Christian Leadership, and the world Christian. I received a copy of this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karl Dumas

    Don Carson is a prolific writer; I like some of his work, the rest of it, not so much. This book falls into the latter category. I found it stilted, and difficult to read, but, having said that, when I read a passage over and over, I can't fault the teaching. It is important to focus on the cross: in preaching, in leadership, in our faith walk, and in life in general. I believe that if I happened to be a member of the target audience to whom the series of lectures was first presented, it might h Don Carson is a prolific writer; I like some of his work, the rest of it, not so much. This book falls into the latter category. I found it stilted, and difficult to read, but, having said that, when I read a passage over and over, I can't fault the teaching. It is important to focus on the cross: in preaching, in leadership, in our faith walk, and in life in general. I believe that if I happened to be a member of the target audience to whom the series of lectures was first presented, it might have been less cumbersome. And like many things, what comes across well in one format, doesn't always work well in another. (I've enjoyed a lot of books, but when I went to see the movie based on the book, I was disappointed).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Loreina

    I liked the book because I did learn things I didn't know previously about the cross and how it was viewed before. I also learned what it really means to be called to be a servant of the Lord. However, I really don't feel I'm the intended audience for this particular book. I had to read many things several times over to really understand because it went over my head the first time I read it. This is a book that has to be focused on when you're reading so you don't get confused. Other than that, I liked the book because I did learn things I didn't know previously about the cross and how it was viewed before. I also learned what it really means to be called to be a servant of the Lord. However, I really don't feel I'm the intended audience for this particular book. I had to read many things several times over to really understand because it went over my head the first time I read it. This is a book that has to be focused on when you're reading so you don't get confused. Other than that, I enjoyed it, and I'm passing it on to my mom to read. I think she's more in the audience for whom this book was intended.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brodie

    Carson smoothly takes us through 5 chapters from 1 Corinthians with clear exegesis and insightful applications. He seems to have taken pains to understand not just each chapter, but also the surrounding context of 1 Corinthians (and inferring some of the cultural context of the Corinthians along the way). I appreciated (as always) his easy-to-read style, his thoughtful, intelligent prose, and his helpful illustrations. Such helpful reminders of what Christian leaders and ministry should look like! Carson smoothly takes us through 5 chapters from 1 Corinthians with clear exegesis and insightful applications. He seems to have taken pains to understand not just each chapter, but also the surrounding context of 1 Corinthians (and inferring some of the cultural context of the Corinthians along the way). I appreciated (as always) his easy-to-read style, his thoughtful, intelligent prose, and his helpful illustrations. Such helpful reminders of what Christian leaders and ministry should look like! Proclaiming the foolish message of the cross, relying on God to give understanding through his Spirit, and serving him as we seek to save the lost.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jacob O'connor

    I've read some shady "leadership" material in my day. The Robert Greene books come to mind. Or winning through intimidation. Or guile. Or manipulation. Carson makes a convicting point in this commentary on Corinthians. The core requirements for Christian leadership are rather simple. 1. Don't be an alcoholic,. 2. Be capable of teaching. In other words, be a mature Christian. That means any Christian, so long as he lives by the Spirit, can lead. It probably won't win a spot on Harvard's book revi I've read some shady "leadership" material in my day. The Robert Greene books come to mind. Or winning through intimidation. Or guile. Or manipulation. Carson makes a convicting point in this commentary on Corinthians. The core requirements for Christian leadership are rather simple. 1. Don't be an alcoholic,. 2. Be capable of teaching. In other words, be a mature Christian. That means any Christian, so long as he lives by the Spirit, can lead. It probably won't win a spot on Harvard's book reviews, but I'll take it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    victoria

    This book was very unique with, shape writing and compelling to read. This book will show you to see of how the cross stand as the test and the standard of all vital Christian ministry, How we are to peach, What Christian leaders must be and this it how Christian must view the Christian. This book will drawing us onward in discipleship until we understand what is mean to be world Christian. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “I received complimentary a copy of this book from This book was very unique with, shape writing and compelling to read. This book will show you to see of how the cross stand as the test and the standard of all vital Christian ministry, How we are to peach, What Christian leaders must be and this it how Christian must view the Christian. This book will drawing us onward in discipleship until we understand what is mean to be world Christian. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. “I received complimentary a copy of this book from Baker Books Bloggers for this review”

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert Wegner

    D. A. Carson does a fantastic job preaching through the several passages in 1 Corinthians. I went through this with our church staff and it was helpful to see the centrality of the cross in everything else that we do. I hope and pray that I continue to focus on the remotion of man as my source of hope and joy in life and ministry.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Woodfield

    A model in how to do thoughtful, deep exegesis. Carson's sermon-essays are a challenge for any would-be preacher, who is struggling to dig deep into a single theme. For those who want to add depth to their teaching, and who want to understand how the implications of a single point can really excite us, I would recommend this short book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    It’s all about the cross I devoured this book like a hungry child! I couldn’t get enough! This was my first book by this author and I’m excited to read more. He takes us through several chapters in 1 Corinthians and shows from Scripture how life and ministry flow from the cross. So good!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Matt Maples

    A great way to think about ministry DA Carson is certainly one of the greatest New Testament scholars of our era, and this book is full of deep insights into what Christian ministry should look like. While the arguments in the book are not always easy to follow; if you stick with it the rewards will be a better way to think about ministry.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    This book is an exposition of five passages from 1 Corinthians and was adapted from talks presented to an evangelical association. They subtitle indicates they are lessons for leaders; however, they are applicable to anyone seeking to communicate biblical truth. The central theme is the critical importance of keeping the cross central in ministry. That determination comes with the conviction that the message of the cross is God's chosen means of transforming sinners and the expectation that the This book is an exposition of five passages from 1 Corinthians and was adapted from talks presented to an evangelical association. They subtitle indicates they are lessons for leaders; however, they are applicable to anyone seeking to communicate biblical truth. The central theme is the critical importance of keeping the cross central in ministry. That determination comes with the conviction that the message of the cross is God's chosen means of transforming sinners and the expectation that the message will be deemed foolish or offensive by the world. As a writer, I struggle with the tension between trying to be engaging and winsome yet resisting the temptation to be clever and entertaining. This is a valuable exhortation to thoughtfully and faithfully present God's message of the cross while relying on the Holy Spirit to make it effective.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Prydden

    This was the most engaging book of Don Carson's that I've read. The teaching is laid out in depth and with great clarity and is very challenging. Its split up into 5 (what were originally) conference addresses which explore the lessons learnt about the Christian ministry from 1 Corinthians.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Fantastic, read it in 2013. Read through it again Jan 2018, great reflections on pursuing truly Christ-like ministry.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Park

    Recommend Good insight into how the cross of Christ informs ministry. Enjoyed Dr Carson expound parts of 1 Corinthians to prove his thesis

  30. 4 out of 5

    T.J. Telfer

    Bible thoughtfully explored and applied. Read it for its biblical content, not so much as a topical study.

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