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Book Reviews

Interpretive Charity and Innovative Leadership

forgiveness. The book also illumines how resilience is a virtue crucial to the formation of character, the renewal of the human spirit, and the gift of exemplary leadership, in addition to the will to survive against unimaginable odds. Zamperini, still alive at the age of 95, has embodied in his adult life the interpretive charity to which I hope all Christians aspire.

Living Into CommunityChristine Pohl’s Living Into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us offers theological wisdom to enable people to discover and maintain life-giving relationships. Pohl describes four practices: embracing gratitude as a way of life, making and keeping promises, living truthfully, and practicing hospitality. She offers rich descriptions of each, then analyzes complications involved in practicing them. She also addresses both what weakens and what strengthens our ability to live into those practices. Pohl’s analysis has significant implications for shaping pastoral ministry, and it is also a guide for leaders of Christian institutions and Christian leaders of institutions. We will lead people in life-giving ways only as we ourselves embrace gratitude, make and keep promises, live truthfully, and practice hospitality -- and as we cultivate communities and institutions that do so. Pohl’s analysis builds on her earlier book Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition , and together they offer an important Christian witness to our fragmented culture, including inside the church.

I conclude with an article that provides a useful introduction to the thinking of Clayton Christensen. The May 14, 2012, issue of The New Yorker includes the profile “ When Giants Fail: What Business Has Learned from Clayton Christensen ,” an insightful overview of his pioneering work on disruptive innovation. Christensen’s insights started with a focus on for-profit businesses in his classic book The Innovator’s Dilemma , and recently he has written books applying his theory to health care, K–12 education, and higher education. I have found these books immensely helpful, and Christensen’s theory offers cautionary tales for leaders of any institution. It should be understood by Christians thinking about how we engage faithfully in the work of renewing our existing institutions and creating new ones.