Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review - God at Work

In "God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life", author Gene Veith has done a nice job at addressing an important and challenging issue concisely and fairly clearly. He shares about the doctrine of vocation from a distinct viewpoint - that of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. The 'priesthood' of believers was an important outcome from the reformation, and Veith takes the view that this message translates as: "The priesthood of believers did not make everyone into church workers; rather it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling." This view was in strong opposition to the previous view of vocation as something reserved for a chosen few - priests and missionaries. The thrust of God at Work is that every area of our lives is a chance to respond to the call to God. "Our vocation is not one single occupation... we all have callings in different realms - the workplace, yes, but also the family, the society, and the church."

The only minor issue with this approach is that it might be bit too much of a swing in the opposite direction. If everything is a calling, then nothing is. If the term vocation refers to all we do, is it a useful term? (The reader interested in this subject may also want to read The Call by Os Guinness.) The teaching of the book will be of great benefit to many who fail to see how important their work is to God, and how much they can honor Him by fulfilling their purpose in the workplace. Hopefully they won't at the same time see a busy job in the workplace as a reason to ignore the great commission as somebody else's job. Overall, a good read.

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