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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Emerging Leadership in the Pauline Mission: A Social Identity Perspective on Local Leadership Development in Corinth and Ephesus
Barentsen, Jack

Eugene: Pickwick, 2011 pp. xviii + 378. $44.00

Series Information
Princeton Theological Monograph Series


Description: Where did Paul find leaders for his new churches? How did he instruct and develop them? What processes took place to stabilize the churches and institute their new leadership? This book carves a fresh trail in leadership studies by looking at leadership development from a group-dynamic, social identity perspective. Paul engages the cultural leadership patterns of his key local leaders, publicly affirming, correcting, and improving those patterns to conform to a Christlike pattern of sacrificial service. Paul's own life and ministry offer a motivational and authoritative model for his followers, because he embodies the leadership style he teaches. As a practical theologian avant la lettre, Paul contextualizes key theological themes to strengthen community and leadership formation, and equips his church leaders as entrepreneurs of Christian identity. A careful comparison of the Corinthian and Ephesian churches demonstrates a similar overall pattern of development. This study engages Pauline scholarship on church office in depth and offers alternative readings of five Pauline epistles, generating new insights to enrich dogmatic and practical theological reflection. In a society where many churches reflect on their missional calling, such input from the NT for contemporary Christian leadership formation is direly needed.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Early Church Origins, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by Jan Van Der Watt
Published 1/24/2014
Citation: Jan G. van der Watt, review of Jack Barentsen, Emerging Leadership in the Pauline Mission: A Social Identity Perspective on Local Leadership Development in Corinth and Ephesus, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).


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