Monday, September 7, 2009

Thinking about vocation on Labor Day

From Gene Veith in an article he wrote for Modern Reformation:

“Justification by faith alone” is surely the most important contribution of the Reformation. The second most important, arguably, is the “doctrine of vocation.”

Whereas the doctrine of justification has wide currency, the doctrine of vocation has been all but forgotten. The word vocation can still be heard sometimes, but the concept is generally misunderstood or incompletely understood. The doctrine of vocation is not “occupationalism,” a particular focus upon one’s job. The term means “calling,” but it does not have to do with God’s voice summoning you to do a great work for him. It does not mean serving God by evangelizing on the job. Nor does the doctrine of vocation mean that everyone is a minister, though it is about the priesthood of all believers. It does not even mean doing everything for God’s glory, or doing our very best as a way to glorify God, though it is about God’s glory, at the expense of our own.

The doctrine of vocation is the theology of the Christian life. It solves the much-vexed problems of the relationship between faith and works, Christ and culture, how Christians are to live in the world. Less theoretically, vocation is the key to strong marriages and successful parenting. It contains the Christian perspective on politics and government. It shows the value, as well as the limits, of the secular world. And it shows Christians the meaning of their lives.

Dr. Veith's book God At Work is worth reading. Check it out HERE.

1 comment:

bennyg612 said...

I have found that vocation is a critical topic for our culture. Unlike many cultures in the world, most of us have an abundance of options in our lives: where to go to college, what to do for an occupation, where we want to live, who we want to marry, etc. Knowing our vocation (what I think of as the role God has us to play in His Kingdom), allows us to persevere in times of boredom, uncertainty, and persecution when it would be easier to choose another option. A vocation from God is also a great blessing as he gives us purpose, passion, and fulfillment in things that are eternal. It allows us to take part in what may seem like the most menial task knowing that we are contributing to the body of Christ.