I would like to take this opportunity to publicly repent.
I have maintained in the past that reading D.A. Carson is like dragging a cheese-grater across my eyeballs. I had a bad experience.
In my adult life, I have rarely been so entranced by a (respectable) book that I’m unable to put it down, finishing it in one day. I think the last one was Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen. But Exegetical Fallacies is one such book. So here it is: Don, I’m so sorry I said that reading your books is like dragging a cheese-grater across my eyeballs. You’re a wonderful man.
Not only is this book concise, easy to understand, full of clear examples, and extremely helpful to all those called to the ministry of the Word; it’s also incredibly funny, in a dry, Don Carson-like way. Here are some quotes which I thought were just funnier taken out of context:
“Perhaps we should play a laugh-track while the offering plate is being circulated” (p. 34).
“Who is going to bear the babies? Or do I know get my turn?” (p. 92).
“Unfortunately, the letter writer was unable to understand this point” (p. 101).
“…our cross becomes… (God forgive us!) a joke” (p. 103).
What a gem.
Seriously, this book is full of Carson gold. Because he uses so many examples of bad exegesis from so many different debates and issues, one bonus in this book is just being able to see Carson weigh in on everything from gender relations to dispensationalism to historical criticism, offering a sentence or two here, a paragraph there. Very enlightening and engaging.
I have some questions about some concepts he introduces in the beginning, and there are some fallacies I would like to have seen fleshed out more, but I would heartily recommend this book to anyone serious about reading the Bible and discerning its meaning rightly.
Dr. Carson, I hope you read this post someday, and accept both my apologies for ever doubting you as well as my suggestion to write a part deux to your book, covering all the headings you raised in the last chapter. You’re my hero.
One thought on “Worth Reading: Exegetical Fallacies”
Dan: I had the same experience of Exegetical Fallacies when in seminary. Highly recommended chiefly because it helped expose wrong ways of viewing many commonly misapplied verses. The lover of truth is always glad when truth pushes error aside (or blows it up) even if the purveyor of that error is oneself!