Sunday, December 02, 2007

God at Work

Earlier this year, I read God at Work by Gene Veith, the culture editor of World magazine. It's an excellent book about the doctrine of Christian vocation as it applies in all of life. Even in the introductory chapters, Veith makes some very salient points. Here's an excerpt about the implications of the Reformation on the vocation of every believing Christian.

The Reformation notion of "the priesthood of all believers"...taught that the pastoral office is a vocation...But it also taught that laypeople as well have vocations, callings of their own that entails holy responsibilities, authorities and blessings of their own. The "priesthood of all believers" did not make everyone into church workers; rather it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling.

Veith gladly concedes that he draws much of his insights about vocation from Martin Luther's understanding of the topic.

...for Luther, vocation is not just a matter of the Law...rather, above all, vocation is a matter of the Gospel, a manifestation of God's action, not our own. In this sense, vocation is not another burden placed on us, something to fail at, but a realm in which we can experience God's love and grace, both in the blessings we receive from others and in the way God is working through us despite our failures.

The area of vocation and work/faith integration is much discussed today and is in fact one reason I started blogging at Every Square Inch. I'm also glad to participate in this blog, both as a contributor and reader. However, I find that biblically sound resources on the topic of faith/work are few and far between. This book is one I would heartily recommend and I'll post a little more about it, in the next couple of weeks.

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