Let’s start with what I didn’t like, keeping in mind these criticisms are all relatively minor things and probably say more about me than the book and/or Carson:
– Too much poetry.
– Too much Scripture. I know, that sounds really bad (especially when I complained that Keller didn’t have enough scripture in his book a few posts ago) What I mean is that in virtually every chapter Carson quotes and reprints multiple, long sections of Scripture, many taking up many pages. I love the Word, but if I want to read the Word I will read the Word (which I do btw). If I want to read a book about the Word, it better be filled with references to the Word, but to reprint huge sections of Scripture seems lazy.
– Why did he have to use the same name as the classic Francis Schaeffer book?
– I didn’t like the writing style. It felt like it kept switching from a casual conversation (“let me list one or two reasons here” …are you making this up as you go?…weird Canadian colloquialisms…”jolly well”….etc) to lecture notes to a systematic theology. This was distracting and I think is linked with the next, and in my opinion, largest drawback of the book.
– I couldn’t figure out exactly who his audience was – non believers? new believers? students? Pastors? All of the above? At times I felt like I was in a kids Sunday school class only to step into the seminary on the next page. Not understanding exactly who he was trying to address was confusing at times.
Having said all of that I still would recommend this book for it’s excellent content, even if I didn’t like the presentation of it. Many passages were just flat out brilliant in the way they explained simple, beautiful doctrine. Carson does accomplish what the subtitle states – Finding Your Place in God’s Story – making this is a helpful resource for those seeking to understand the overarching themes of God’s Glory and Grace woven throughout the pages of Scripture.