Most helpful critical review
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Not as Good as It Ought to Be
on December 26, 2002
It may help to know that I am a conservative, Evangelical pastor and doctoral student, and a fan of most of Carson's exegetical books. However, I am astonished at the praise this bloated and simplistic book has received. For all its length (which is excessive by far), it really is not any more insightful than other books available. Carson takes a rather simplistic and incindiary view of post-modern pluralism (ala G.E. Veith), and then offers his own simplistic response. Carson tries to cover nearly everything which pluralism may touch, but often in too much detail (or rather unecessary detail), and then contrastingly in too little detail (i.e., the other reviewer's comments about Carson's flimsy understanding of Hauwerwas are correct). I do think the book is mistitled, if it is intended for a non-Evangelical audience. But, since it is almost certainly aimed at Evangelical Bible College students (or first year sems), I guess it will have to do as a means to rally the troops. For myself, I would title it : Carson's Simple Encyclopdedia of Pluralism, or Everything Don Carson Thought You Need to Know about Post-Modernism. What really puzzles me is why this book recieved any kind of award since it is neither well-written, nor well-edited. In fact, the book is poorly edited being vastly too long and oftens seems like a disjointed or patchwork collection of previous essays. Of course, these are the same people who keep giving awards to the idiotic and sub-Christian, The Prayer of Jabez! (see especially Wilson's The Mantra of Jabez). In conclusion, if you ever wondered what D.A. Carson thinks about a cultural topic, consult this book. If you want an insightful, well-written, well edited and reasonably concise introduction to Christian view of post-modern pluralism, look elsewhere.