It’s not the size of the book in the fight, but the size of the fight in the book. Pardon the terrible pun, but that is what I found myself thinking as I read D.A. Carson’s From the Resurrection to His Return. This short, 47 page book (which is in reality only 42 pages of solid text) does justice in teaching it’s subtitle – living faithfully in the last days. Carson unpacks a familiar passage of Scripture, 2 Timothy 3:1–4:8, in a way that will leave you motivated to live out your days in a godly manner.
The book is broken down into 5 chapters: the first one serves as a descriptive backdrop to the text, and then the next four hold out the commands for our lives sourced in the text. Carson views “the last days” as being from the time of Christ’s first to his second return. Then he explains the descriptions that Paul gives of those who live in this time period. The following is a list of the four commands, along with a brief description.
Hold the right mentors in high regard. Carson states a convincing case for a mentality that looks for godly mentors to place oneself under. I appreciate his focus on being under the godly influence of others instead of living a maverick lonely Christian life.
Hold few illusions about the world. Here, Carson urges believers to realize that this is a sin-cursed world in these last days. Sin should not surprise, but it should always horrify. Believers should not live life acting like they are not different from the world around them, as that is pure blindness to reality.
Hold on to the Bible. This refreshing command comes straight out of the fourteenth verse of 2 Timothy 3. Carson does not back down from holding the Bible as the sole authority for our thoughts and actions. Such a high view of Scripture is sadly becoming rare in these last days.
Hold out the Bible to others. Not only is the Bible good for our own lives, but it is also worth spreading out to others, as Carson presents from 2 Timothy 4. I appreciate that he encourages Christians to “think aggressively” about how this is done in every area of their lives.
This valuable gem of a book can be finished in less couch-time than any modern movie consumes, but it is immensely more profitable to one’s life than the effort it takes to read it.