Editor’s Note: Dr. Jeff Straub’s articles occasionally appear in lieu of Dr. Bauder’s regular column.
I don’t suppose any of us aspire to be ordinary. We would like to excel at something … a hobby, sports, trivia, literature, and particularly, our vocation. We want people to think well of us. We want to be highly esteemed, to be regarded among our peers as men of high character and high gifts. We struggle with the desire for recognition and praise. It’s a part of our sin nature, to be sure, but struggle we do. No one really wants to be just ordinary!
For this reason, D. A. Carson’s recent biography on the life of his father, Tom Carson, is so helpful. A pastor friend recommended Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor (Crossway, 2008) to me several weeks ago, and since Tom Carson pastored in Quebec, Canada, and knew T. T. Shields, I was initially interested in the book for its historical insights. While the book has a number of interesting details regarding Shields, one of Canada’s most colorful Baptist preachers, it is far more than a valuable historical treatise. I ordered the book and began reading it shortly after it had arrived. So engaging was its story that I was finished in no time. It is the kind of a book one could read in one sitting, if one had a bit of time. I finished it in two sittings.
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