THE GOD WHO IS THERE: FINDING YOUR PLACE IN GOD’S STORY, by D. A. Carson

Published on September 23, 2015 by Todd Scacewater

Baker, 2010 | 240 pages

If you still haven’t read this you really need to catch up! It’s not often you can find a single book that provides a well-informed yet entry-level introduction to the Christian faith in a way that traces the story of redemption through the Bible. But this book does it. Here well-known preacher-scholar-theologian D.A. Carson surveys the unfolding of redemptive history and introduces the reader to the essentials of Scripture and its message.

 

Table of Contents

1  The God Who Made Everything
2  The God Who Does Not Wipe Out Rebels
3  The God Who Writes His Own Agreements
4  The God Who Legislates
5  The God Who Reigns
6  The God Who is Unfathomably Wise
7  The God Who Becomes a Human Being
8  The God Who Grants New Birth
9  The God Who Loves
10  The God Who Dies – and Lives Again
11  The God Who Declares the Guilty Just
12  The God Who Gathers and Transforms His People
13  The God Who is Very Angry
14  The God Who Triumphs
 

From Carson’s Preface

If you know nothing at all about what the Bible says, the book you are now holding in your hands is for you.

If you have recently become interested in God or the Bible or Jesus but quite frankly you find the mass of material rather daunting and do not know where to begin, this book is for you.

If you have been attending a Christian church for many years in an indifferent fashion – it’s a nice extracurricular activity now and then – but have recently come to the conclusion you really ought to understand more than you do, this book is for you.

If you have quite a few pieces of the Bible stored in your mind but have no idea how the exodus relates to the exile or why the New Testament is called the New Testament, this book is for you.

If in your experience the Bible has lots of data but you do not see how it conveys God to you or introduces Jesus in a fashion that is utterly humbling and transforming, this book is for you.

This book is not for everyone. The person who does not want more than a bumper sticker introduction to Christianity may find this book a bit much. What I have tried to do here is run through the Bible in fourteen chapters. Each chapter focuses on one or more passages from the Bible, unpacks it a little, and tries to build connections with the context, drawing the lines together to show how they converge in Jesus. By and large I have assumed very little prior acquaintance with the Bible. What I do assume, however, is that a reader will get a hold of a Bible and have it near at hand.
 

Recommendation

The God Who Is There serves very well for both individual study and group study-discussion (for which an accompanying Leader’s Guide is available also), for evangelism, and – to boot – provides excellent fodder for a pastor’s series of sermons. Video recordings (DVDs) of Carson’s presentation of these messages at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis are available also.

It is a startling thing to learn how the Bible’s own “story” has been lost to recent generations of Christians and how its basic claims are so little understood. How familiar are you with all this? The God Who Is There uniquely fills this need, providing in 14 chapters an essential grounding in the Christian faith. It’s one of those books your entire church should read – or be led through. Very highly recommended.  

Fred Zaspel

Buy the books

The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place In God’s Story

Baker, 2010 | 240 pages