Authority: How Godly Rule Protects the Vulnerable, Strengthens Communities, and Promotes Human Flourishing

By Jonathan Leeman

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Accessible Guide from 9Marks Equips Believers to Steward Their God-Given Authority

In every position of power—from executives and world leaders to church elders and parents— lies the potential for life-giving leadership or destructive corruption. Driven by sinful pride or opportunism, many people abuse their God-given influence, harming the ones they’re called to lead and contributing to an intense angst against authority. The answer to bad authority, however, is not no authority, but good authority—the kind that, according to Scripture, causes those under it to flourish.
In this compelling guide from 9Marks, Jonathan Leeman shows that authority, done biblically, is not only good, but is essential to human flourishing. Through Scripture and many first-hand stories, he presents 5 attributes of positive authority and warns against sinfulness that corrupts leadership. Pointing to Jesus as the ultimate model of good authority, Leeman equips readers to pursue godly influence in their personal and professional lives. 

  • Applicable: Challenges readers to identify weaknesses in their own leadership style and offers 5 attributes of godly authority
  • Engaging: Filled with compelling stories that illustrate key points
  • A Great Resource for Pastors, Employers, Officers, and Parents: Helps readers understand how to practice godly authority in church, at home, and in the workplace


Jonathan Leeman

Jonathan Leeman (PhD, University of Wales) is the editorial director for 9Marks and cohost of the Pastors’ Talk podcast. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books and teaches at several seminaries. Jonathan lives with his wife and four daughters in a suburb of Washington, DC, and is an elder at Cheverly Baptist Church. You can follow him on Twitter at @jonathanleeman.

Product Details

Format: Paperback
Page Count: 240
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 9.0 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-8763-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-8763-4
ISBN-UPC: 9781433587634
Case Quantity: 10
Published: September 12, 2023

Table of Contents

Prelude: A Prayer of Confession
Introduction: Our Angst over Authority
Part I: What Is Authority?
Chapter 1: Authority Is God’s Good Gift for Sharing Rule and Glory
Chapter 2: Authority Is Satan’s Sinister Scheme for Supplanting God
Chapter 3: Authority Is Christ’s Claim to Rescue and Redeem
Part II: What Is Submission?
Chapter 4: Submission Is the Path to Growth, Authority, and Likeness to the God-Man
Chapter 5: Submission Is Never Absolute and Always Has Limits
Part III: How Does Good Authority Work? 5 Principles
Chapter 6: It’s Not Unaccountable, but Submits to a Higher Authority
Chapter 7: It Doesn’t Steal Life, but Creates It
Chapter 8: It’s Not Unteachable, but Seeks Wisdom
Chapter 9: It’s Neither Permissive nor Abusive, but Administers Discipline
Chapter 10: It’s Not Self-Protective, but Bears the Costs 
Part IV: What Does Authority Look Like in Action?
Chapter 11: Two Kinds of Authority: Command and Counsel
Chapter 12: The Husband (counsel)
Chapter 13: The Parent (command)
Chapter 14: The State (command)
Chapter 15: The Manager (command)
Chapter 16: The Church (command)
Chapter 17: The Elder (counsel)
Conclusion: Equality and the Fear of God