Certain books possess such exceptional quality that they engross readers to an extent where stopping becomes unthinkable. Then there are some books that are so outstanding like “The Scandal of Leadership” that comprehending the entirety of the author’s intended message becomes extremely challenging due to the multitude of intricate aspects which require not only careful examination but a number of stopping points to digest the material.
According to open ai:
“The Scandal of Leadership” by JR Woodward is a book that delves into the issue of power abuses in the church and offers a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics at play. Woodward provides a deeper diagnosis of the root issues behind domineering leaders, shedding light on the powers of domination within the church.”
Once again this week, I embarked on a journey of viewing YouTube interviews, where I found myself equally enlightened by the profound discussions and plagued by self-doubt regarding my ability to articulate these complex ideas in a blog post. The scope of their magnitude is extensive. The subject matter they are discussing is profound. What more could I possibly contribute to this conversation than a lamens’ explanation?
At this point I’ve consumed so much today I can’t quite put my finger on when he said it… it was in one of the interviews that I listened to (I will link several of them! They were all incredible, mind blowing conversations.) Dr. Woodward was asked why did you write this book when there are so many books on this subject already. He responded with that all of our books on leadership so far our leadership books are mirroring what the world is teaching us… the world is creating domineering leaders. But… Christ-like leaders are different. There is no command and control… I was saddened by the reality he discussed on how the Church also tends to mirror what happens in the world.
There are a few leaders that he mentions throughout the book that I thought I would bring further explanation to:
-He is the foundation for the Powers that Woodward expands on.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
— Ephesians 6:2 (ESV)
-He is the founder of the Mimetic Theory that Woodward discusses. One of my favorite things that Girard says in summary is that desire is not instinctual, it’s not individualistic, it’s mimetic (imitating) & social.
There are three parts to this:
- Mimetic Desire- The big picture is that memetics is Humans imitating the desire of the model. For example a puffer wanting to be a king, or an associate pastor wanting to be the lead pastor. This can create a rivalry in which leads to the next part….
- Scapegoat Mechanism – In ancient times, the way they were likely to resolve this was by eliminating the situation completely. AKA … OFF WITH HIS HEAD!
- Uniqueness of the Bible- Compared to all of the other works
“The practice of the Christian life consists of the discernment of (the seeing and hearing), and the reliance upon (the reckless and uncalculating dependence), and the celebration (the ready and spontaneous enjoyment) of the presence of the Word of God in the common life of the world.”
-Human rights activist who will be forever remembered as a role model for bravery, fairness, and standing in solidarity with the less fortunate. He became a Saint in late 2018.
“We will either become a scandal to those that look up to us as leaders or we will choose to imitate the scandalous way of Christ?” Jr Woodward
I thought it would be interesting to conclude by delving briefly into the word Scandal. Did you know the Greek word for scandal is stumbling block? It is an action that causes you to sin or could damage your reputation. Girard claims that we become a scandal when we become an obstacle to those we lead. In an interview, Woodward pointed out, ” THE SCANDAL was using the world in a Girardian sense.” So I ask you….What can we do to avoid repeating history?
“Summarize the Scandal of Leadership”, November 9, GPT-3.5, OpenAI, November 14 2023, chat.openai.com/chat
Goodreads. (n.d.). A private and public faith quotes by William Stringfellow. Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1168148-a-private-and-public-faith
Interviews that I watched: (I really enjoyed the second interview… I had a hard time following the first because it seemed the interviewer had not collected this thoughts.)