Monday, November 9, 2009

Book 46: Servants of the Servant by Don Howell, Jr.

Pages: 307

How it was obtained: I bought it from the bookstore when I was at CIU.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 5 years.

Days spent reading it: Read on and off for 5 years.

Why I read it: Dr. Howell was a professor of mine at Columbia International University. I really respected him, and looked forward to reading his book. Parts of this book were assigned in some of the classes that I was taking during seminary and I thought that they were good chapters.

Brief review: Servants of the Servant is a book about Biblical Leadership. In this book, Don Howell develops a biblical theology of leadership by creating leadership profiles of OT and NT leaders. Howell does a good job of taking the biblical text and drawing out practical applications about leadership. These leadership profiles are a core strength of this book. I especially like how each chapter ends with a one-page summary of the key elements of leadership that are developed in a particular character's life. In addition to these profiles, Howell also looks at the life and ministry of Jesus with an extended treatment. While I thought these chapters on Jesus' ministry were well researched and would probably be considered the heart of the book, they did not interest me as much as the leader profiles. Perhaps I liked the simple patterns of the profile chapters over the longer evaluation of Jesus' ministry and teachings.

Overall I thought this book was well done. The chapters are simple enough for a layperson to understand except for the first two chapters, which are word studies in Hebrew and Greek. However, it is clear that this is a work for the academy. There are copious footnotes and details for this to be a solid resource at the college and seminary level.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn what leadership looks like when developed through a Biblical Theology paradigm. Pastors and those in ministry could certainly profit from many of the leadership profiles that are included in this book. This book might be a bit heavy for the average person, but the time spent is well worth it.

Favorite quote: "Samson's adult life fails to fulfill the promises of his youth as he egregiously violates all three regulations of the Nazarite. Pious parents, a happy youth, early impulses of the Spirit, and a special identity do not guarantee spiritual success in later life. No lasting redemptive fruit survives his demolition activities."

Stars: 4 out of 5.

Final Word: Solid.

1 comment:

Rob said...

One of the few books in your challenge I have also read. Very solid. Of course, we already knew that we are both Howell fans.