Strong And Weak: Flesh and Bones

Strong And Weak: Flesh and Bones July 28, 2016

41xwTnbrPYL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_So for the next few days, I want to do a kind of book review/summary of Andy Crouch’s great new book “Strong and Weak.”

If you’re not familiar with Crouch, he’s the Executive editor of Christianity Today, and the author of a couple of other great books “Playing God” and “Culture Making.” And if that doesn’t impress you, than maybe the fact that Lacrae wrote about him in a song lyric will.

He’s one of my favorite authors and thinkers out there right now, and I highly recommend his new book. It’s a short read, and it’s packed with great insight for what it means to be in a leadership role as a Christian.

Now I know some of you might be thinking. “Great another book on leadership. Just what the world needs.”

I get it. I’m not a huge fan of leadership books either, but I loved this one, and I think if you’ve been called into any kind of leadership role in your life, this is a terrific resource for you.

Crouch’s basic premise is that leadership is a paradox that requires both power and vulnerability. And that the default temptation of humanity is to emphasize one and neglect the other. It can be that we pursue power without vulnerability and become a tyrant, or we can (in the name of humility) emphasize vulnerability and neglect the God-given power that we’ve been given to help others around us flourish.

Here’s how Crouch puts it:

I used to think that what we feared was vulnerability—the “weak” part of the paradox. But in the course of writing this book and talking with many others about the paradox of  flourishing, I’ve realized that we fear authority too. The truth is that we are afraid of both sides of the paradox of flourishing—and we especially fear to combine them in the only way that really leads to real life, for ourselves and others.
This paradox of both God-given authority and also the vulnerability that we all face in the world is where true Jesus-like leadership occurs. This is what it has always meant to be humans made in God’s image.
In the beginning, God made Adam and Eve and made them c0-regents of God’s good world, but they also had a vulnerability woven into their nature.
Walter Brueggemann pointed out many years ago, the way the original man in Genesis 2 recognizes the original woman as his suitable partner, after seeing so many other creatures that would never suffice, is with this outburst of poetry: “ is at last is bone of my bones and  flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). Bones—hard, rigid, strong. Flesh—soft, pliable, vulnerable. We image bearers are bone and  flesh—strength and weakness, authority and vulnerability, together. -Crouch pg 45
I liked this book so much, I asked Andy Crouch to come in and present the material to the Highland church leadership (the church I serve), and it was incredibly helpful for us, so I hope a brief introduction to his ideas will be helpful here, and hopefully encourage you to check out this great book.
So for the next few days I want to walk through the paradox of leadership that is strength mingled with weakness. Next up: The 2×2 grid that will change your life.
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