Eddie Gibbs. Leadership Next: Changing Leaders in a Changing Culture, Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2005. ISBN 0-8308-3283-1; 216 pages; $14.00; (630) 734-4000 or www.ivpress.com.
Church leaders often are put into positions of leadership because of years of faithful service, but have not had the instruction and training in leadership skills necessary to be effective.
Leadership Next motivates readers to change the way they define what should be the qualities, activities and attitudes of Christian leaders. The thesis of the book is that healthy leaders have moved away from assuming traditional forms of hierarchies and instead operate within a network of leadership teams.
Gibbs is a professor of church growth at the School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of Church Next.
Glover Shipp. Militant Jihad: The Mentality of Muslim Terrorists, Bloomington, Ind.: Author House, 2005. ISBN 1-4208-676-2; 192 pages; $17.50; (800) 839-8640; www.AuthorHouse.com.
For many Christians, it is difficult to distinguish acts of violence from the central tenants of a faith that is held by most Muslims. Shipp’s book is a non-technical introduction to a general overview of Islam’s history, Quran and worldview. He gives special attention to the development of Islamic fundamentalism, the principle of Jihad and the worldview of extremist Muslims. He explains what he sees as basic reasons why extremists act violently against the West and Christianity.
Shipp is a retired editor of The Christian Chronicle and educator. He has authored nearly three dozen books, including many on the relationship between Islam and Christianity. He is an elder of the Edmond, Okla., church.
James L. Knapp. Understanding the Generations, San Diego, Calif.: Aventine Press, 2005. ISBN 1-59330-329-7; 117 pages; $10.95; (866) 246-6142 or www.aventinepress.com.
When ministers and other church leaders seek to effectively minister to the entire congregation, it helps them to see that the congregation is composed of several generations with distinctive characteristics.
Understanding these characteristics often can put tensions and conflicts into a proper perspective. Besides explaining that perspective, Knapp gives attention to how church leaders and others can increase the intergenerational contact that will promote a more loving and respectful congregational life.
Knapp is a professor of sociology at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. He is the author of The Graying of the Flock and is a member at the Western Heights church, Sherman, Texas.
Jimmy Allen. Romans: The Clearest Gospel of All, 2005. 317 pages; $10.00 + $3.00 postage; Jimmy Allen, 3 Magnolia Circle, Searcy Ark. 72143.
This commentary on Romans is intentionally conversational in nature. It is not overtly interactive with the large diversity of the current research in the field. Instead, Allen’s comments on passages are often supplemented with illustrations from his own life. Allen hopes his readers, whom he addresses as if they are members in churches of Christ, will see what he sees as the power of Romans’ central message — God can justify human beings, though they are unrighteous, by their faith in Jesus Christ.
Allen is Professor Emeritus at Harding University and attends the College church, Searcy Ark.
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