Basics for Believers is for Christians taking their first steps of faith as well as experienced saints reexamining their spiritual foundations. Both will gain exceptional instruction and encouragement from this fresh look at the fundamental disciplines of the Christian life.
To ensure persistent progress in their journey of faith, Carson urges believers to:
Put the gospel first in their relationships, prayer life, career goals, and personal choices.
Take the right perspective on the cross and let it shape their outlook on suffering, witnessing, and persevering for the faith.
Emulate Christian leaders who model compassion, faithfulness, confidence in Christ, and heavenly mindedness.
Resolve never to give up the Christian walk but instead to pursue the same seven virtues Paul enjoins upon the Philippians.This summons to “get back to the basics” lays a solid foundation for withstanding storms that beat upon the house of faith today.
D.A. Carson (b. 1946) is one of the most respected New Testament scholars in the world. A respected teacher, author, and speaker, he is currently research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the president of The Gospel Coalition. He has served as pastor of Richmond Baptist Church and as the first dean of the seminary of Northwest Baptist Theological College, now known as Northwest Baptist Seminary. Logos has collected his sermons—including audio—in the D.A. Carson Sermon Archive.
The Christian life is one that is lived out - not merely thought about. D.A. Carson certainly encouraged believers to live out their faithfulness in his study on Philippians, "Basics for Believers". While there is much practical wisdom in this book that I certainly enjoyed, I found some of the thoughts in the book to be distracting from the overall message (perhaps due to my recent theological shifts).
Carson's theological positions on the cross was a bit to Evangelical/Reformed for my taste (I hold more of a nuanced Christus Victor view). The topic of the cross also seemed to be emphasized more in the book than it is in Philippians itself. Don't get me wrong, the cross is an important topic; it just seems that the enthronement which resulted from Christ's work on the cross was Paul's primary emphasis.
He also mentioned that we prepare for Heaven a few times. While this is true, we tend to think of Heaven as our final destination. It is not. Heaven will one day come to Earth - this is part of the Gospel. This is a part of the whole narrative of the Bible. Leaving it at Heaven tend to cause confusion amongst believers.
Perhaps my critiques seem nitpicky, but there is some theology I'm trying to move away from that I found in this book. Nevertheless, as I mentioned in the beginning, there is much that is good about this book. We need to truly live according to God's ways and not be lazy about it. This book can help us remember to do that.