Wisdom from Babylon: Leadership for the Church in a Secular Age
Title: Wisdom from Babylon: Leadership for the Church in a Secular Age
Publisher: InterVarsity Press (IVP)
What does it mean to provide leadership for the church in an increasingly secular context? When religion is privatized and secularism reigns in the public square, Christians are often drawn toward either individualist escapism or constant cultural warfare. But might this context instead offer a fresh invitation for the church to adapt and thrive?
Gordon Smith is passionate about the need for capable, mature leaders to navigate and respond to a changing society. In this book, he draws on his extensive experience as a university president, pastor, and international speaker to open a multidisciplinary conversation about the competencies and capacities essential for today's leaders.
After analyzing the phenomenon of secularization in the West and charting common Christian responses, Smith introduces four sources of wisdom to help guide us through this new terrain: the people and prophets of Judah during the Babylonian exile, the early church in its pagan environment, contemporary churches across the Global South, and Christian thinkers in post-Christian Europe. From these resources he identifies practices and strategies—from liturgy and catechesis to mission and hospitality—that can give shape to faithful, alternative communities in such a time as this.
In cultures fraught with fear and division, Smith calls for leaders who can effect change from the margins, promote unity and maturity among Christians, and provide a non-anxious presence grounded in the presence of Christ. Educators, church leaders, and those seeking to understand the times will find this book to be an indispensable resource for cultivating distinctively Christian leadership.