Page 118 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

118 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY Chapters two through five describe “the events that constitute the build-up to Jesus’ perspective on greatness.” Enlow proposes that the topic of greatness by Jesus arose from interactions among the disciples in four preceding incidents. First, resentment among the group arose when Peter made his confession that Jesus was the Christ at Caesarea-Philippi (Matt. 16:13-20). Second, the other disciples felt excluded when Jesus invited three of the twelve to join him on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1). Third, those excluded followers developed a sense of failure when they were unable to heal the boy in Jesus’ absence (Mk. 9:28-29). The final provocation came when they took offense at Peter’s “presumption of eminence” when he stepped up and answered Jesus’ question about paying the temple tax (Matt. 17:24-17). These four inciting incidents, according to Enlow, set the stage for Jesus’ question about the disciples’ dialogue on the road and the reasons that led to a discourse on greatness in His kingdom. Enlow’s reading of these inciting events holds together well under his guidance but does challenge conventional interpretation of the passages. He admits that his “analysis of the background, including the disciples’ emotional and interpersonal dynamics, involves some plausible conjecture” (26). Yet, Enlow’s unique perspective should not override the invaluable insights he has gleaned from the disciples’ interactions. Resentment, exclusion, failure, and presumption of eminence are typical issues within all leadership groups and can pollute the leadership culture. The next six chapters of the book unpack Jesus’ teachings from Matthew 18 on “what it really means to be great” and is “but a six-point sermon” on greatness. This is the core and strength of Enlow’s book. While the collection of teachings is clearly addressed to Jesus’ disciples, the singular subject of greatness as the sole topic of the sayings is not commonly accepted. The discourse clearly contains instructions for relationships among Jesus’ followers, and it begins with a teaching and example to address the disciples’ misguided understanding of greatness in Christ’s kingdom. Enlow has knit them together well to address the single topic of greatness among kingdom leaders. According to Enlow, Matthew 18 contains six characteristics of kingdom greatness that describe a kingdom leader. The first characteristic has to do with how “you regard yourself and how you regard others” (65; Matt. 18:4). Conflating John’s rebuke of someone other than themselves driving out demons in Jesus’ name from Mk. 9:38-41 into Jesus’ discourse, Enlow offers that the second characteristic of greatness is evidenced by expressing joy, not envy, over the accomplishment of others (79). Enlow bases his third lesson of greatness on Jesus’ warning about causing “these little ones” to stumble and the amputation of those things that may lead a disciple astray (Matt. 18:6-10). Great kingdom leaders will not abuse their power. BOOK REVIEWS