Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Absence of God

My researches have brought me to the “absence of God” in the Global North leadership literature. This is by no means a universal feature of the literature, but it is a common one. Here are some examples: Paul D. Stanley and J. Robert Clinton (1992:130) consider that Numbers 27 describes “Moses’ sponsorship of Joshua”. Yet the Scriptural emphasis is absent: “So the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take Joshua the son of Nun ...'” J. Oswald Sanders (1994:73) considers that Joshua “used wonderful tact” in dividing up the Promised Land. Yet the Biblical perspective is missing: “So the Israelites divided the land, just as the Lord had commanded ...” Viv Thomas (1999:33) considers that David found his strength through “organic friendship”. Again he fails to note the Scriptural theme: “David found strength in the Lord his God.” Doug Murren (1997:200) states that Jeremiah was “a biblical change agent”. Again the Biblical perspective is missing: “The word of the Lord came to him.” Ted W. Engstrom (1976:34) comments on Nehemiah’s leadership ability: “How great he was ...” And again the Biblical emphasis is absent: “The God of heaven [gave him] success”. Myles Munroe (2005:106) considers that, when Jesus sent out the Seventy, He was excited because “he saw humanity exercising power”. Yet he omits the Scriptural theme: “in your [Christ’s] name”. Similar examples cover several pages of my thesis. While some such examples might be dismissed as being overly critical, the “weight of evidence” is considerable. QUESTION: Why this “absence of God”? What does it signify? What implications does this have for Christian leadership theory? The photo shows Ted W. Engstrom’s classic, The Making of a Christian Leader.

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