Book Review: Basics for Believers by D. A. Carson


D. A. Carson’s book “Basics for Believers” is a study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. The book is split into five chapters, 1) Put the Gospel First, 2) Focus on the Cross, 3) Adopt Jesus’s Death as a Test of Your Outlook, 4) Emulate Worthy Christian Leaders, and 5) Never Give Up The Christian Walk. I like Carson a lot and so I jumped at the chance to read this one. It’s a concise book, just over 150 pages, so it doesn’t require a lot of reading time.

One thing I enjoyed a lot about the book is the level it’s written on. Understandable and clear enough to get the point across but no so much that Carson bores his readers. His style is engaging and interesting, but the new believer should have little difficulty in understanding his points.

About the actual content, Carson brings a solid and sound understanding of the application of the book of Philippians. He portrays both what the text is saying and what it means for the Christian life. Each chapter is broken up into smaller portions expanding on the title of the chapter, such as the centrality of the gospel in fellowship, prayer, aspirations, and self denial in the first.

While the title says “Basics for Believers” it is not strictly for those just learning the basics of the faith. The content actually deals more with the basics of discipline for the Christian life. I would definitely recommend this book for new believers, those looking to re-examine their foundations, or those who just want to study the book of Philippians with the help of scholar D. A. Carson.

Many thanks to Baker books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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