Skip to main content

Book: Biblical Leadership

Attempting to catch up on life…and not doing too well with that. Here’s one that’s up against a hard deadline, though, so making progress.

Biblical LeadershipAs we get to today’s book, Biblical Leadership, it’s important to start with an understanding of what the discipline of “Biblical Theology” is. While the source of all the theology we do as Christians should be the Bible, “Biblical Theology” is the specific study of what the Bible has to say in certain sections about a theological topic.

To that end, Biblical Leadership, edited by Benjamin K. Forrest and Chet Roden, is a Biblical Theology text regarding leadership. This is a compiled work from Kregel Academic, with various contributors focusing on different portions of the Biblical text. For example, Joseph Hellerman, author of Embracing Shared Ministry and the EGGNT volume on Philippians, handles the chapter on Pauline theology. As with any multi-author work, some of the authors are more ‘favorites’ than others. Other authors include Andreas Kostenberger, now of Midwestern Seminary and Walter Kaiser of Gordon-Conwell. Forrest and Roden are both at Liberty University, so it is no surprise that several contributions come from their co-workers. (I’m currently trying to shepherd a group project, I’d give a toe to be able to walk into the next office and ask a co-author where his chapter is.)

Now, on to the content: let’s start in the middle. Chapter 20 presents a study in the various words of the Greek New Testament that are used to illustrate leadership. It’s a valuable starting point, even being in the middle of the book, because it links the whole of the text. Further, it helps centralize the study in the text of Scripture. I’ve seen it said that the Bible only speaks around the idea of leadership, but Robert Wayne Stacy’s chapter here is a great counterpoint to that thought.

Each of the Biblical sections are useful, though I found William Osborne’s chapter on the divided monarchy a step above. He had one of the more challenging areas of history to wrestle with, and managed to not have it feel forced or artificial. I also enjoyed Hellerman’s work on Pauline theology, but that may be my predisposition for his viewpoint.

Benjamin Merkle’s chapter on titles and roles in the Early Church is helpful both for leadership and history. He takes note of those who led officially, led unofficially, and those who held authority beyond the local congregation. When dealing with apostles and prophets, he focused on the clear Biblical material without commenting on whether these titles endured past the New Testament.

In all, this a good resource for learning how leadership can seen across the Biblical texts. Rather than starting with leadership principles, it starts with the text and then shows what concepts are there. Stylistically, it is more academic in tone so it will take a bit of attention to the details. It is well worth the effort, but don’t expect to find too many cliches and poster board sayings here.This is for those who want to think deeply about the matter.;

And if my own liking of this book wasn’t enough, the first endorsement blurb is from J. Daniel Hays, Dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies at Ouachita Baptist University. Dr. Hays doesn’t endorse lightly—take it from someone who has had him not grade lightly!—and I will give his endorsement a hearty agreement.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for the review. Kregel Academic provided the book, and I’m greatly addicted to their work.


Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…