Book Review – Jeramie Rinne, Church Elders
Church Elders is a book „intended to provide a concise, biblical job description for elders.” As he affirmed, Jeramie Rinne has not written a book to argue that the leadership of the church needs to be handled by elders. He assumed this to be the biblical pattern for the church and began to describe what it means to be the elder God intended to be.
He rightly argues that the qualification affirmed in the Bible for elders are, first, about the godly character, and secondary, about skills and gifts. He said that it is „better a godly elder with mediocre leadership gifts than a charismatic leader with glaring moral flaws” (kindle, loc. 177). He does a good job explaining the characteristics of the elder, and has managed to hold a balanced view about them. For example, he states that „being above reproach means that an elder it to be the kind of man whom no one suspects of wrong-doing or immorality” (kindle, loc. 190).
After clarifying the godly character of an elder, he makes the teaching gift the distinguishing mark of an elder compared to a deacon. Also, he is called to protect the church from false teaching, pastoring the people for their wellness in Christ.
The author manages to describe the elder s authority, which is opposed to human way of having authority (lording over the people), as it is, Christlike, manifested through serving people under the authority of the Word of God.
The weak part of the book is that the author never makes a case for the biblical leadership of the elders in the church. Were he to exegete some specific texts to explain the importance of this type of leadeship, the book would be complete.
However, Church Elders is a book worth reading and applying.
Note: I received a copy of this book from Crossway for the purpose of providing a review.