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In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership Paperback – October 1, 1992
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More About the Author
Henri Nouwen wrote over 40 books on spirituality and the spiritual life that have sold millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages. His vision of spirituality was broad and inclusive, and his compassion embraced all of humankind.
He died in 1996. His work and his spirit live on.
Henri Nouwen pronounced his name "Henry Now-en." For more information on his life and work, please visit www.henrinouwen.org .
Top Customer Reviews
Essentially, in his simple and loving manner, Nouwen tells us that we've got it all wrong and that we need to get back to the basics. "Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead." This quote by Nouwen not only hits the nail on the head, it pinpoints the problem of serving God in an official capacity. Many have insulated themselves from relationships, often under the impression that they must show only their good side as a minister of the gospel; thus they wrestle alone with the sins of the flesh.
This short book attempts to refocus leaders' eyes on the basics...and the basics, as viewed here in poignant and startling clarity, take a lifetime to learn. Nouwen manages to make this all seem not only possible, but desirable. Not only helpful, but necessary. Each time my mind began to get in the way, his words brought me back to the responses of the heart.
To start and finish this book, Nouwen tells us about his mentally-handicapped friend Bill. By tucking his message between the very real love and efforts of his own life, Nouwen punctuates his words and shows us that they can, indeed, impact our own lives.
Even if it takes me 81 years to get it all figured out.
There is no question that among Henri Nouwen's books that I have read, "In the Name of Jesus" was definitely the most meaningful and helpful to me. I suspect that my resonance with this book is connected to his starting assumptions. Rather than struggles like fear and loneliness which are largely unknown to me and which were so central to several of his other books, I definitely identify with the temptations, described in "In the Name of Jesus," to be relevant, spectacular, and powerful. Each of these three is very attractive to me, so the book seemed to be speaking directly to me in ways that the other books simply did not.
The first issue that Nouwen addressed is relevance. Nouwen offers a helpful corrective to our frequent obsession with relevance, suggesting that we need to make sure that our pursuit of relevance is subservient to our pursuit of God. On page 24, he says, "The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus?...Do you know the incarnate God?" That is a message that we continually need to hear, so that we keep focused on the most important thing of knowing God while continuing to give appropriate attention to the less important things like relevance.
The second temptation, to be spectacular, is a big one for me.Read more ›
The author of this book comes from an intersting background: he is a highly educated priest in the Catholic church, served on influential boards, and became a professor at Harvard University. Then, he gave it up and took a job working among mentally handicapped people in Canada. This book, a speech in its original form, is part Nouwen's process of adjusting to his new life and part a chronicle of lessons he's learned working among the developmentally disabled.
This book is primarily speaking to Christian pastors, emphasizing the need to "get back to the basics" of faith, especially not letting yourself get caught in the trap of thinking too highly of your own importance. However, it is an excellent read for pleasure as well. I would highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book opens a door to a new level of understanding of Christian leadershipPublished 3 days ago by thomas
It's been a bit since I've read this. But I love Henri Nouwen. I was very involved in church and lead a small group. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Ashley Wo
This is an excellent, short work in reminding Christian leaders that God calls us to be like Christ, giving up power and prestige.Published 26 days ago by Jim
This book is so inspiring and should be required reading for every believer!!! So many powerful lessons Nouwen gives!Published 2 months ago by S. Bethea