Archive for February, 2018

28
Feb
18

Book Review: The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus

Image result for the farewell discourse and final prayer of jesusSeveral years back, Albert Mohler wrote something that stuck with me:  “Here is a simple rule to keep in mind:  When D. A. Carson writes a book, buy it.”  At the time I was not very familiar with Carson’s work.  Nine years later, I can affirm the wisdom of Mohler’s rule.

The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus is a commentary on John 14-17, a well-loved section of Scripture recalling Jesus’ last words to his disciples before his betray, trials, and crucifixion.  Carson has already dealt with this at length in his outstanding commentary on John.  But the commentary is rather technical and is dealing with questions at an academic level that many are not looking for.

This book is a commentary as well, but it doesn’t get bogged down in grammatical issues or fighting through the vast history of interpretation of the Gospel according to John.  Instead, it focuses on a straightforward explanation of the text. I found it enormously successful, using it as devotional material in the mornings for the most part.  Carson does such a great job of presenting the truths of the Scripture and constantly connecting them to the lives of modern readers.

Throughout the work, Carson turns to the lyrics of old hymns.  Several times he breaks forth into his own poetry.  This is worship, even as it brings the words of our Lord to life. And throughout Carson writes with a pastor’s heart, constantly pointing people to the very real impact these ancient words have on the lives of Jesus’ people today.

This book was originally published in 1980, but as Christians should know, old works do not mean less valuable works.  Carson’s explanation of John 14-17 has the ring of truth and the power of the Spirit.  I highly recommend it … but I will give a small disclaimer.  Carson writes for a more mature Christian who will understand terms like parousia and who are not intimidated by vocabulary like otiose or proleptically.  That doesn’t mean that you won’t benefit greatly from reading the book anyway if you are a newer or younger reader, but it does mean that the book will push you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker in exchange for an honest review.  There was no expectation of a favorable review, but I give one anyway.  Take Albert Mohler’s advice … when Carson writes a book, buy it.

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