This is from a letter written by D.A. Carson to Eerdmans editor Milton Essenburg (November 27, 1992) on what he envisioned as one of the distinctives of the Pillar Commentary Series:

I think that there is an enormous market (and need!) for commentaries that are warm — that is, written from a perspective in which the author attempts no artificial ‘objectivity’ but writes as a Christian at a high level of competence but with devotion displayed in the way he or she shapes sentences and paragraphs.

Within such a framework some overt application or useful historical parallel can be slipped in to strengthen the nurturing component in the book.

The unique factor in the Pillar series, as I see it, is that the series as a whole is not too technical, and every volume has as a goal not merely the conveying of information but something of nurture and edification as well.

Ideally, the Pillar series should be first-class exegesis capturing the flow of the argument, with sufficient interaction with the secondary literature to ensure that the work is current, while at the same time reflecting unselfconscious warmth, a certain spiritual vitality that shows itself in the form of expression and in unobtrusive application.”

One of the reasons that Carson’s own commentaries are so edifying.

HT: Scot McKnight