Biblical Leadership: Theology for the Everyday Leader edited by Benjamin K. Forrest and Chet Roden is a foundational volume that brings biblical theology to the arena of leadership resources. Most Christian leadership books on the market focus on practical principals or applicable models of personal experience. This approach is both helpful and needed, but visibly oversaturated even by a cursory glance on Amazon. It is here that Forrest and Roden fill a significant void and offer a unique exploration of Christian leadership through biblical-theological lenses that observe the Old and New Testament as divinely inspired Scripture.
Biblical Leadership brings together over thirty leading evangelical scholars to survey the whole Bible in order to draw out its practical and relevant leadership lessons. Most of the contributors come from the Baptist tradition and many from Liberty University. Other contributors include Robert B. Chisholm Jr., Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Tremper Longman III, Andrew E. Hill, Benjamin Merkle, Stanley E. Porter, William D. Mounce, Andreas J. Köstenberger, Peter H. Davids, and more. This list of contributors unlikely to grace the pages of any other leadership book on the market, and, if I’m honest, reason enough for many readers to find this volume enjoyable.
Biblical Leadership boasts thirty-three chapters—nineteen concentrated on the Old Testament and fourteen concentrated on the New. Not surprisingly, like other most multi-authored works, the usefulness of the chapters is fairly variegated although the scope is rather comprehensive. I found the New Testament contributions significantly more evenhanded than the Old, though the Old Testament did have a few standout chapters, such as Kaiser on Psalm 23 and Longman on leadership in Ecclesiastes. Still, despite some inconsistencies (and, to be fair, this is somewhat of a subjective description), the overall biblical-theological emphasis of the volume is strong and needed in the marketplace.
As a former student of Liberty University, I have had classes with or interacted with the content of many of these authors, including both Forrest and Roden. I have witnessed first-hand how the contributors of this volume not only articulate biblical leadership but live biblical leadership in the classroom and beyond. Still, the strength of this volume is discovered in the gap that it fills. Forrest and Roden have uncovered a foundation of leadership that should become the bedrock of all Christian leadership—a basis on which practical principals or applicable models of personal experience ultimately make sense.
For this reason alone that Biblical Leadership: Theology for the Everyday Leader edited by Benjamin K. Forrest and Chet Roden merits a place on the bookshelf of every aspiring Christian leader—professional and laity alike.