As Christ Submits to the Church by Alan G. Padgett, a review

Hot button topics. I love them. One of my favorites concerns  leadership and authority in the contemporary Church.

As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission, by Alan G. Padgett, Baker Academic, 2011, 151 pages. Interest Group: Religion/Christian Church/Theology

As Christ Submits to the Church: A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission by Alan G. Padgett presses that button. Actually, he presses that button to the tune of each page in this release from Baker Academic.

The author engages in an excellent cumulative style that makes the academic data accessible for most readers. Far from an easy read, the information is systematically is made digestible  with a summary and review style at the end of each chapter. This approach to the data disseminates and repeats the information previously read. The author accomplishes his task of proving his thesis very effectively and I would enjoy reading more of his works for the fun of it.

This book was paced efficiently and remained concise while breaching a topic that is broad and expansive in arena of Christian conversation. Far from a tome owed to the topic of leadership, authority, and mutual submission, this concise volume contains satisfactory references in the footnotes and a bibliography to keep any reader busy for an entire year. The measure of the author’s resolve concerning this topic is summarized in some his closing statements at the end of this book:

“Against too many church leaders in the evangelical movement, we must resist reductionist prooftexting in our efforts to understand the full will of God. Only the whole of Scripture, read as a whole, is a firm foundation for the reform of the church and the life of daily discipleship.”

As the author embarks on a journey to survey the evangelical approach to gender roles, male dominion, mission and submission, headship, and justice for today, he keeps several topics in the common denominator. Christ’s earthly ministry, relationship with mankind, and his association with the disciples. Through these areas of concern the author illustrates the posture of submission Christ intended for his Church. Alan Padgett begs the question in each chapter by demonstrating the power of Christ’s ministry and posture toward others as a tool of understanding true submission. In the end, the books title proves its worth and earns its placement on the front cover.

I found this book helpful for my own personal study. Endeavoring to discover the required posture of submission, whether it be in my relationship with my wife or members of the Church, I am eager to replicate Christ’s behaviors and desires for mutual submission to one another. The engaging style, diligent academic study, and careful attention to detail regarding the Lord’s life and ministry in this book will provide an effective and refreshing new approach to an age-old debate. I did not agree with all points made with the author, even when he was making them well. I did appreciate this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in resolving their own view concerning submission in today’s Church.

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I love writing about books, theology, and the Kingdom of God. I also enjoy viewing my vocation through a biblical lens. It is here at Seeking A Kingdom that I aim to hash out my thoughts on all these things.

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