In Showing the Spirit, Carson speaks to one of evangelism’s most troublesome issues: spiritual gifts. The book expounds the crucial passage, 1 Corinthians 12–14. Partisans on both sides of charismatic issues are challenged by the unbiased consideration of nuances in the Greek text found in 1 Corinthians. Carson interacts with some other Christian doctrines, as well as with findings of linguists, social anthropologists, and historians. The concluding chapter integrates material from other portions of Scripture—especially the Book of Acts—so that the author’s conclusions reflect all of the biblical evidence. “We must even-handedly attempt to weigh all the relevant evidence,” Carson writes, “even while we insist that the authority of Scripture must prevail.”
“In short, the purpose of 12:1–3 is not to provide a confessional test to enable Christians to distinguish true from false spirits, but to provide a sufficient test to establish who has the Holy Spirit at all.” (Page 27)
“Paul’s point is to draw a sharp contrast between what those who have the Holy Spirit (i.e., Christians) say about Jesus, and what those who do not have the Holy Spirit say about Jesus.” (Page 31)
“Third, the dominant focus of these chapters is the conduct of the church as it is assembled together.” (Page 19)
“First, one of the common denominators in the problems at Corinth was overrealized eschatology.2 It is a commonplace that Paul places the church in dynamic tension between an ‘already’ view of what God has done, and a ‘not yet’ view of what he is still to do.” (Page 16)
“On balance, then, the evidence favors the view that Paul thought the gift of tongues was a gift of real languages, that is, languages that were cognitive, whether of men or of angels. Moreover, if he knew of the details of Pentecost (a currently unpopular opinion in the scholarly world, but in my view eminently defensible), his understanding of tongues must have been shaped to some extent by that event.27 Certainly tongues in Acts exercise some different functions from those in 1 Corinthians; but there is no substantial evidence that suggests Paul thought the two were essentially different.” (Page 83)
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.
Carson lectures in academic and church settings around the world, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Exegetical Fallacies, Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel According to John, The Gagging of God, Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12–14 and the Intolerance of Tolerance. He is the editor of the Pillar New Testament Commentary series, and coedited of the Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament with G.K. Beale, and the Studies in New Testament Greek series with Stanley Porter. You can find more of Carson’s work in the Baker D.A. Carson Collection (15 vols.).