Book Review- “The Intolerance of Tolerance” by D.A. Carson

Have you ever found yourself wondering if the highest virtue in modern society is tolerance? Have you ever noticed that it seems like the tolerant people are only tolerant of those who toe a very specific and narrow line of cultural values? If you have wondered about those things and how a Christian should address the pervasiveness of intolerant tolerance than you definitely need to pick up this book.

D.A. Carson has written a book that manages to walk the delicate balance of being both academic and accessible. The book is devoted to exploring the essential differences between between the “old tolerance” (accepting the existence of different views) and the “new tolerance” (acceptance of different views). At first glance the difference between those two definitions might look like a big deal but as Carson unpacks the ramification of the shift it becomes clear that the latter view actually leads to a far more intolerant culture.

What really makes this book hit home is that Carson fills the pages with illustrations from newspapers, magazines, and television about what the new tolerance looks like in real life. These alone are worth the price of admission because it provides a one stop shop for finding examples of just how intolerant the new tolerance is and can serve as a good launching point for discussion and further research. This is a book you will want to keep handy because it does not look like this issue is going to disappear and instead it will require Christians to become far more shrewd in how we approach the topic of tolerance. “The Intolerance of Tolerance” is a great starting point for anyone looking to engage with this issue in an intelligent and helpful manner.


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