Integrity is often discussed, challenged, occasionally vindicated; but what does it look like? Sometimes the best highlight of the diamond is the velvet against which it is cast. Likewise, narrative artistry subtly depicts flaws in character and flaws in leadership. When some ancients moved from insignificant provincials to emperors in a generation, why did those of the United Monarchy of Israel only achieved the "mini-empire" (Kitchen) and varying degrees of regional influence? Dr. Vreeland maintains that how leaders respond to God's rules of engagement and how they treat people make the difference between greatness and mediocrity. Lest this book be confused with a commentary, it must be said that it can be read ad loc. However, each section is designed to be a stand-alone essay that might be read ad seriatim. Throughout, Dr. Vreeland endeavors to be personable but professional, playful but pointed, impassioned at times but always thought provoking. Dr. Vreeland received his Ph.D. from Trinity International University in Theological Studies (Old Testament) in 1994. After raising support as a missionary he served for four years at the Nairobi International School of Theology. He was then invited to be part of the faculty of Northwest Baptist Seminary. He has concluded six years there (July '07) as Associate Professor of Semitic Languages and Biblical Literature. He teaches Hebrew and English Bible and other special topics. So far as the church in America is concerned, his love is serious biblical study as related to integrity and leadership - hence this work on First Samuel and its sequel in Second Samuel. Dr. Vreeland has been married for 26 years to the love of his life, Donna - who is the finest English Bible scholar on the planet and to whom this volume is gratefully dedicated. They have 3 grown children.
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