How do some of the Apostle Paul’s most passionate words help us understand our lives as Christians today? According to Bible scholar D. A. Carson, 2 Corinthians 10–13 clearly reveals Paul’s heart and mind. It contains such well-known passages as Paul’s description of his thorn in the flesh, as well as an intense chronicle of his specific sufferings. This section of Scripture also models Paul’s style of spiritual leadership and warns of false leadership in the church—something of crucial importance to anyone with an influential role in the body of believers.
Carson unpacks Paul’s call for us to embrace discipline and obedience and his thoughts on the nature of spiritual boasting. Through Paul we explore the struggles, opportunities, and intentions of a Christian under fire, journeying with him as he seeks to guide the Corinthian church and speak to us as well.
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Don't miss the Crossway D.A. Carson Collection (7 vols.).
D. A. Carson is a respected professor, author, and speaker. He is currently a research professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has been teaching since 1978. Carson earned an MDiv from Central Baptist Seminary and a PhD in New Testament from Cambridge University. He lectures in academic and church settings around the world.
Carson has written over 50 books, including his popular The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism and Exegetical Fallacies. He has also written commentaries in both The Expositor’s Bible Commentary series and the Pillar New Testament Commentary series.
“1. Because these chapters most clearly reveal the heart and mind of the apostle Paul” (Page 14)
“Paul’s language is steeped in irony because the concrete situation he faces is ironical: the Corinthians are confusing meekness with weakness, gentleness with servility, and utterly ignoring the dominant characteristics of the Redeemer they claim to acknowledge as Lord.” (Page 44)
“What makes this passage unique is the clarity with which it reveals the heart and mind of the apostle Paul” (Page 14)
“When he tells us that his weapons demolish arguments, therefore, he does not simply mean that he can out-debate any opponent and drive him shamefaced from the stage. He means something far more: his weapons destroy the way people think, demolish their sinful thought patterns, the mental structures by which they live their lives in rebellion against God. In his own words, his spiritual weapons tear down ‘every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God’ (v. 5).” (Page 56)
“In one sense, of course, God did indeed answer Paul’s prayer, but not as the apostle wished. Calvin rightly distinguishes between means and ends in prayer. The end that Paul wanted was relief from the thorn, and he simply assumed that the means would be the thorn’s removal. But God granted the ends by another means: he gave relief from the thorn, not by removing it, but by adding more grace, sufficient grace. The Lord promised Paul that in the distress caused by this messenger from Satan, he would always find that divine grace afforded him a sufficient supply to enable him to bear up as a Christian.” (Page 154)