Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church
Horrible atrocities have been done in the name of Christ. This should not be. In Redeeming Power by Diane Langberg defines power, addresses the various ways power has been abused in the church, and shows how power can be redeemed. Power rightly used is Christ-like power. Power abused, however, is “power used for the control and coercion of the victim” (93). This abuse of power dehumanizes, damages all involved, and “does untold damage to the body and name of Christ” (3).
In the book, Langberg addresses topics such as racism, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and spiritual abuse. It can be tempting to turn away from seeing these evils, but this book spurs the reader to instead enter in and to care for others. This is how Christ used his power; he entered in and acted on our behalf. Throughout the book, Langberg never fails to connect what is true and right back to Jesus himself. What has been destroyed by power abused, he uses his power to rebuild, and invites us to participate in his redemptive work (117).