Nathan H. Gunter
The simultaneous globalization and demographic shift of the Church to the Global South has produced an unprecedented climate for theological work. Pastors and theologians are confronted with the task of developing theological systems that are faithful to the authoritative standard of Scripture, tailored to the increasingly complex needs of their local contexts, and sensitive to the ongoing dialogue of other leaders around the globe. In light of the increasing cross-cultural dialogue among scholars and pastors within a globalized church and a corresponding desire to encourage greater ‘diasporadic consciousness’ therein, this article presents the biblical-theological shepherd-leader motif as a primary metaphor for understanding the distinct nature and role of pastoral leadership. This article presents shepherd leadership as a robust metaphor of pastoral leadership by reviewing Scripture’s use of the metaphor and recent significant works on the subject. In the second section of the article, I propose a model profile of the biblical shepherd-leader based upon the insights of the biblical-theological review.
Timothy Paul Jones
It has become widespread, not only among pastors and conference speakers but also among scholars such as Vern Poythress and John Frame, to utilize the threefold offices of Christ as a typology for church leadership. According to this application of the threefold office, different church leaders possess prophetic, priestly, and kingly capacities in differing degrees, and the most appropriate role for each leader depends on which of these capacities happens to be strongest. According to some proponents, the offices of prophet, priest, and king function as leadership personality types, with prophets identified as those leaders who are gifted as teachers, priests as those who care for people’s needs, and kings as planners and organizers. This article undertakes an exploration of these three leadership roles and contends that, though the munus triplex itself is a venerable and biblical structure, the appropriation of prophet, priest, and king as typological categories for church leadership is not. Through examination both of relevant Old Testament texts and of New Testament appropriations of these offices of leadership, it is demonstrated that the typological categorization of leaders as prophets, priests, or kings falls far short when it comes to biblical support. Particularly absent in Scripture is any clear identification of these offices with specific traits that different church leaders possess in differing degrees. Kingship and priesthood in particular are not individualized traits but a communal identity, shared by the whole people of God and grounded in union with Christ
Jeffrey M. Horner
The apostle Paul employed many techniques that demonstrated his leadership. One of the most understated instances of that is in his ‘Fool’s Speech’ in 2 Corinthians 11:16- 12:13. Paul flaunted his rhetorical skills in calling attention to his own shortcomings, in lampooning his opponents, and in revealing the source of his assurance for foolishness. This article evaluates Paul’s rhetorical masterpiece calling the Corinthians to humble submission to his apostleship by synthesizing the work of both Jennifer Glancy and Lawrence Welborn with Don Howell. [All Scriptural quotes are taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1977]
Amy L. Crider
In his Gospel, John reveals this key leadership principle: effective leaders harness the power of narrative to illuminate the metanarrative and connect people to it. John uses narrative techniques to make invisible spiritual realities visible and thus succeeds in connecting people to the metanarrative. John forges a link between people and the metanarrative by showing individuals how their own stories fit into the biblical metanarrative, fulfilling his purpose: ‘These are written that you may believe…’ (20:31). The church is transmitted through the ages by leaders who write. Because the metanarrative is a story and story is accessible to all audiences, the biblical metanarrative is not dependent on culture, time, or context; it transcends the ages, enabling John to lead and write from the present as well as for the future. Thus, John illuminates the metanarrative not only for the infant church but for all Christians to come. Christian leaders today also need to communicate so their people can see their place in the metanarrative of Scripture.
Justin L. Glenn
John Amos Comenius was a revolutionary leader in both the church and the academy in 17th century Europe. Born and raised in Moravia and firmly grounded in the doctrine of the United Church of the Brethren, Comenius rose from obscurity in what is now the Czech Republic to become recognized around Europe and beyond as an innovative and transformational leader. He contributed to efforts such as advocating for universal education, authoring classroom textbooks (most notably in Latin education), shepherding local churches and his entire denomination, and working for unity and peace among Christians across Europe. Though for many decades after his death he seemed to be lost to time, there has been a resurgence of scholarly interest in the ideas and methods of Comenius. His life and work can serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration to church and educational leaders today.
What is successful Christian leadership? How should leadership be developed within a Christian context? This article encourages Christian leaders to seek to identify with Jesus’ mission and paradigm in developing leaders by examining the Scriptural passage in Mark 3:13-19. Jesus’ example in leadership development was based on succession of leadership primarily accomplished through personally shaping his disciples in close, mentoring relationships. This article, in particularly examines Jesus’ practice of having his disciples near him in order that they might best accomplish the task he had purposed for them. Currently, this pattern of leadership development has been given diverse definitions from servant-based leadership to transformational leadership, but to Jesus, developing leaders was best accomplished through simple mentoring. Jesus’ desired goals for his disciples were realized through an intentional nearness to the lives of the twelve. For Christian leadership to be healthy, its success depends on close relationships being developed between the mentor and the mentee. The indispensable mark of Christian leadership is the combined effort of action and agenda while purposing to influence others
Jonathan D. Stuckert
In Matthew 23:1-3, Jesus commands His disciples and the crowd to listen to the scribes and Pharisees even while not imitating their actions. Many modern interpreters have lessened the force of Matthew 23:1-3 by an assumption of irony on the part of Jesus. We presume that God could never ordain this for His people. However, this easier reading may not be the best reading. A more straightforward interpretation, but one that is difficult to hear, suggests that at times we may need to sit under bad leadership as means of receiving God’s Word. Pre-critical and modern interpreters provide an understanding of the words of Jesus that is consistent with a theology of God’s providence in times of transition and bad leadership. In addition, there are instances of His direction in both the Old and New Testaments that reinforce this challenging path. It is through this more faithful stance that we grow and flourish in difficult times.
Eva Toulouze and Nikolai Anisimov
The authors had the opportunity, during their fieldwork, to attend spring rituals in Varkled-Böd’ya village. The week before the Great Day (Bydjynnal, coinciding with Orthodox Easter) is a dense ritual week: there are young people to be initiated, boys first and girls at the concluding ritual, who thus become adults; there are evil spirits to be chased away from the space of the living; there are kin relations to be reinforced through reciprocal visits, prayers and ritual deeds. These four rituals are the focus of this article, which provides an ethnographic account as well as a general analysis of the critical dimensions observed.
Tyler Dalton McNabb
Molinists generally see Calvinism as possessing certain liabilities from which Molinism is immune. For example, Molinists have traditionally rejected Calvinism, in part, because it allegedly makes God the author of sin. According to Molina, we ‘should not infer that He is in any way a cause of sin’. However, Greg Welty has recently argued by way of his Gunslingers Argument that, when it comes to God’s relationship to evil, Molinism is susceptible to the same liabilities as Calvinism. If his argument is successful, he has undercut, at least partially, justification for believing in Molinism. While I concede that Welty’s argument is successful in that it does undercut some justification for believing in Molinism, this concession does not entail that, as it relates to the problem of evil, the Calvinist and the Molinist are in the same epistemic position. In this article, I argue that, when it comes to God’s relationship to evil, the Molinist is in a superior epistemic situation to the Calvinist. I do this in two steps. First, I argue for what I call the Robust Felix Culpa Theodicy. Second, I argue that the Robust Felix Culpa Theodicy is incompatible with Calvinism.