An author who’s work I have a very high regard for, and whose book - Choice, Desire and the Will of God: What More Do You Want? - was vital for me, several years ago, at an important stage in my life-journey is Anglican Priest David Runcorn. David sent me an e-mail the other day to let me know that he has a new book out around August-September of this year.
“I am still slightly surprised to have found myself writing on twin themes of leadership and Old Testament ... but my conclusion is that the world of 1 & 2 Samuel and ours have a great deal in common (see attached). The book is a kind of conversation between the two. This narrative is usually read and expounded from within Fowler's stage 3 mindset in churches. But the storyteller himself is clearly stage 4. This is stage 4 story telling...”
I get the sense, not having yet read the book, that the intended audience may well be similar to those that David had in mind when he wrote Spirituality Workbook. It was subtitled: “…A Guide for Explorers, Seekers, and Pilgrims”, those, as he said in his e-mail, who’re kind of on the “edge of church”, exploring faith. Maybe with more questions than answers, more doubts than certainty. Time will tell I guess, and I’ll likely reflect more on it from that perspective when I’ve read it.
The new book, which can be pre-ordered, is titled: Fear and Trust: God-Centred Leadership. It’s published by SPCK.
About Fear and Trust
From the back cover…
“…Anyone remember what we were doing before we discovered ‘leadership’? ‘Leaders’ are everywhere these days. But who decided ‘leadership was the answer for our anxious and challenging times? Is it what we actually need? Do we even really know what we are looking for?
This book explores these questions by seeking a meeting of two worlds – our own and the ancient nation of Israel. Each chapter brings together contemporary stories of leading and being led with personalities and events related in 1&2 Samuel - one of the greatest pieces of story telling from the ancient world.
These peoples have so much in common with their stories of politics and religion, loyalty and betrayal, triumph and tragedy, war and peace. Both are driven by the fears and anxieties of uncertain times. Both are preoccupied with ‘leaders’ as the answer to their problems. Both struggle to understand and trust God in it all. And in both worlds women and men co-exist in significant but unequal partnership.
The gift of the Samuel story is a depth that only comes through long and careful listening. It can teaches us to listen more carefully to our own story. There are profound reflections on the task of renewing a people, their faith and their world. This is story telling by the wise offering wisdom for any age or people who find themselves journeying through prolonged, profound and uncertain transition. So it models for us ways of leading, being led and being God-centred through it all. It traces the vulnerable but essential journey between fear and trust…”
Contents of the Book
Surviving leaders: On journeying beyond certainty
‘In the beginning you weep’: Hannah and the unexpected starting place
‘Here I am’: Samuel, listening and the tinnitus of God
On the perils of conscripting God: Religion, theology and technology
On the desire to be led: Leaders as the people’s dream
‘Selfhood begins in walking away’: Saul the undifferentiated leader
How are the mighty fallen!: When leadership fails
‘What if?’: Jonathan and what might have been
Nobody does it better: David, man and king
‘I AM’: God, hidden and revealed
Waiting among the dead: Vigil, protest and subversion
Calling from the walls: From victim to witness
David had a paper published on the Fulcrum site last year. In it he explores some of the themes that are woven through his latest book. You can find the paper here.
For more on Runcorn, you’ll find Part 1 of a 4-part post, here. Using the Google Function on the blog will help you track down the other three-parts, although at the top of each post, you’ll find a link to the next one and so on.
Download David Runcorn - Book Launch Invite (PDF). Derby Cathedral, 14th August 2011, @ 6pm.