Matt Carter serves as the Pastor of Preaching at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, which has grown from a core team of 15 to over 7,000 attending each Sunday since the church began in 2002.
Matt has co-authored multiple books including The Real Win, a book on biblical manhood co-authored by NFL quarterback Colt McCoy, and two group studies, Creation Unraveled and Creation Restored, which traced the gospel message through the book of Genesis.
He holds an M.Div. from Southwestern Seminary and a D.Min. in Expositional Preaching from Southeastern Seminary. He and his wife Jennifer have been married for 20 years, and they have three children, John Daniel, Annie, and Samuel.
1. What previous research and/or personal interests led you to this project and helped prepare you to write this commentary on John?
When I planted The Austin Stone Community Church 15 years ago, we began the very first week with John 1:1. We then spent the next 5 years preaching through John, going verse-by-verse.
2. Who is the intended audience for this commentary? Would it benefit pastors? professors? students? lay Christians in the local church?
The Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series are aimed for every level of ministry, so they’re useful for pastors and small group leaders, but also accessible to lay Christians for personal study or devotions. We had in our mind the believer that’s looking more for a devotional commentary, but also for the pastor who is looking for help in sermon prep.
3. What is unique about this commentary? What contribution does it make to studies of John?
What’s different about this commentary is that it is written in sermon form, so it’s less academic and more driven devotionally. As stated above, it’s accessible for both personal devotion and sermon prep. Also, this commentary series is Christ-centered in focus, so we take every text and tie it back to the larger story of the gospel.
4. What section or passage of this commentary was particularly memorable to research and write? Why?
I love how John begins his gospel with addressing the deity of Christ, and not simply starting with some event or aspect of Jesus’ life. John starts with Jesus’ character. That sets the stage for everything else that happens in the gospel, all viewed through the lens of his authority and divinity.
5. What personally edified you in writing this commentary, increasing your affections for Christ?
When writing a commentary, you’re able to go to depths of a text you normally wouldn’t if you’re just studying it. After writing this commentary, I am convinced more than ever that Jesus is exactly who he says he is.
6. Besides your commentary, what are your top recommended books (commentaries or otherwise) on John?
I would recommend D.A. Carson’s commentary on John in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series, and The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on John. Carson’s will give you academic depth, while MacArthur is great for practical application.
7. What is next for you? What project are you currently working on? How can people follow your work and ministry?
I just co-authored a novel of historical-fiction called “Steal Away Home,” which released in September. It is a story based on the real-life friendship between the English preacher Charles Spurgeon and former-slave-turned-missionary Thomas Johnson. Otherwise, I’m the pastor of preaching at The Austin Stone Community Church, and in my free time, I coach my son’s high school football team.
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