Theology of Work

The Promise of Technology versus God`s Promise in Job

Sample
The Promise of Technology versus God's Promise in Job

David Strong

“In our age, nearly everything we confront on a daily basis is either already under control or it is viewed as something to bring under control and to be made use of. In direct opposition to this way of seeing, interpreting, and taking up with things are the creation stories of the Bible and the vision of wild creation in Job. Wild things in these passages do not need to be rearranged, 'developed,' or made use of before they reach the fullness of their being. Wild things in these passages are already as good as they can be, on their own. Recognizing them in their own right, pausing and lingering unselfconsciously before them, makes one receptive to afresh and refreshing vision of our existence. “

It is easy to blame the way we dominate nature in our age on our Greek and Judaeo-Christian roots. Yet no one in these earlier traditions would have predicted that we would interpret the texts of these traditions the way we do, since there are so many other possible interpretations of them. For instance, none of the Hebrews would have guessed that the “message” of the creation story in Genesis 1 would have been heard by the movers and stompers of our age as: “In the beginning God formed a big ball of raw material. On the sixth day He put humans on the Earth and said, 'I didn't quite finish the job. Have at it! I hate to see it go to waste. Build! Reshape it. Develop it into something.' “ Why, then, do we read this kind of interpretation back into the tradition? ...

Providential Work: Esther

Sample
Providential Work: Esther
“I have had five jobs already and am still searching for satisfying work.”
A North American Business Person

At some time or other every one of us feels that we are in the wrong place, at the wrong time doing the wrong thing. Maybe even married to the wrong person! If, we think, we were somewhere else, doing something else we could be useful and deeply satisfied. But the reality is that God has a providential purpose in our lives right where we are. And the Creator has been involved, secretly it often seems, in all the details of our everyday experiences as well as our life-long work trajectory. The early desert fathers and mothers, those spiritual athletes who took to the desert to find God, often told one another, “Stay in your cell. It will teach you everything.” Translated into contemporary English this means:”Don’t go promiscuously from job to job looking for the perfect fit. There is a life-giving divine purpose in your life right where you are.

Hope: Making Our Mark on Heaven

Sample
HOPE: MAKING OUR MARK ON HEAVEN

 

"How can Christianity call itself catholic if the universe itself is left out?"
Simone Weilxxiii
 
"I cannot think of a greater tragedy than to think that I am at home on earth...."
Malcolm Muggeridgexxiv
 
"Only the heavenly-minded are of any earthly use."
C.S. Lewisxxv

Years ago Leslie Newbigin said that "mankind is without any worthwhile end to which the travail of history might lead."xxvi A few believe we are heading into a new world order and paradise on earth but most people nurse a deep foreboding about the future, or refuse to think about it more than they must. The seeming resultlessness of history erodes the nerve of modern persons including, I must add, Christians who have more reason to embrace the future wholeheartedly than anyone. Whether world-weariness and future fright comes from the terrifying prospect of ecological doomsday, or, as is often the case with Christians like the Thessalonians, from the conviction that Jesus will probably come tomorrow, the result is the same for Christians: all work in this world except the so-called "ministry" is viewed as not very significant or enduring.

Love: Recovering the Amateur Status of the Christian

Sample
LOVE: RECOVERING THE AMATEUR STATUS OF THE CHRISTIAN

"To discover God in the smallest and most ordinary things, as well as in the greatest, is to possess a rare and sublime faith. To find contentment in the present moment is to relish and adore the divine will in the succession of all the things to be done and suffered which make up the duty to the present moment."

Jean-Pierre De Caussaude

"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God."

Martin Luther

"Does God work?" Willie MacMichael asks his father in George Macdonald's book for children.

His father answered biblically:

"Yes, Willie, it seems to me that God works more than anybody - for He works all night and all day and, if I remember rightly, Jesus tells us somewhere that He works all Sunday too. If He were to stop working, everything would stop being. The sun would stop shining, and the moon and stars; the corn would stop growing; there would be no apples and gooseberries; your eyes would stop seeing; your ears would stop hearing; your fingers couldn't move an inch; and, worst of all your little heart would stop loving."

[Provided by] From Chapter two, Disciplines of the Hungry Heart (Harold Shaw, 1993)

On Being Kingdom People: Regents of Our God and King

Sample
REGENTS OF OUR GOD AND KING
"Today we cannot claim to know the end and goal of history. Therefore the question of meaning in history has become meaningless."
Rudolf Bultmanni
 
"Now the situation of the Christian in the world is a revolutionary situation. His share in the preservation of the world is to be an inexhaustible revolutionary force in the midst of the world."
Jacques Ellulii

Now we must turn to the intriguing and usually neglected first-half of the phrase "royal priesthood." The kingdom of God is the master thought of Jesus (used over one hundred times in the Gospels in comparison with only three references to the church). The kingdom ministry of all believers expresses the exteriority of every member ministry--how the people of God express the redeeming and life-giving will and influence of God not just in the church but in the whole of creation.

A View from the Ground: The Great Commandment Company in the Philippines

Sample
A VIEW FROM THE GROUND:
The Great Commandment Company Journey in the Philippines
[An Advent Season Reflection on the Philippine Market Place]

Jon Escoto

I don’t have exact figures. This is not an extensive research on the “state of work” in the Philippines. Points below, however, are not at all an ignorant man’s unfounded conclusions based on uncritical and gullible perceptions. 

I used to be the Market Development Manager of an American multinational company SC Johnson and Sons, then the Regional Business Director of the British multinational company Danka, then the National Sales and Marketing Manager of the Australian office CDT Asia, before finally becoming my own janitor, utility man, messenger, maintenance engineer, marketing and sales, customer relations person, and president, all at the same time, of my own company.

Reading the Bible in the Global Marketplace

Sample
Reading the Bible in the Global Marketplace
R. Paul Stevens
Professor Emeritus, Marketplace Theology,
Regent College

“What do you teach at Regent College?” This seemingly innocent question was broached by the guest master of an Orthodox monastery. I had undertaken a four-day pilgrimage on Mount Athos, the monastic peninsula of the Eastern church. In the course of praying my way from monastery to monastery I struck up a soul friendship with one of the guestmasters. “Marketplace theology is what I teach.” “What’s that?” - his inquisitiveness now aroused by something foreign, he thought, to the spiritual life. “It is the integration of Christian faith with work in the world.” “It’s not possible,” he retorted.  “That’s why I am a monk.” I can understand how he came to that erroneous view. It has to do with how we read the Bible, how we regard the spiritual life and whether the God-coming of Jesus was really into the work-a-day world that we inhabit.

Organizational Culture and Change

Sample

Culture is a dimension not only in the life of countries and ethnic groups but also in organizations. Every organization has a corporate “feeling” or environment that communicates to new and old members what is important and what is permitted. This is true of businesses, small groups, clubs, churches, nonprofit and parachurch organizations. The minute a person walks into the meeting room, the store, the office or the sanctuary, he or she picks up a nonverbal message that is more powerful than such mottoes as “The customer is number one”; “We exist to give extraordinary service”; “This is a friendly, family church.” Culture turns out to be profoundly influential in determining behavior, expressing values and enabling or preventing change.

Work

Sample

Work, whether in its presence or absence, is a pervasive part of everyday life. One of the first things we want to know about people is what they do. The waking time of most adults is taken up with work, and a person’s passing is often noted in terms of their workplace achievements. Work and worth, industry and identity, are very closely related in contemporary culture. This article deals with work in this modern context. It will examine (1) a wider definition of work, (2) a biblically integrated view of work, (3) the disintegration of work and faith, (4) reintegrating spirituality and work and (5) redirecting Sunday towards Monday.

A Wider Definition of Work

Over the last two centuries work has become equated with a job.

This is a seismic shift in our understanding of ourselves, our world and even our God. It has had earthquake like effects on people’s emotional, family, social and spiritual life. The tremors have been felt hardest by the overworked, the unemployed, housewives, the forcibly retired and the attention-deprived children.

Theology of Work – Executive Summary

Sample

Executive Summary

Most of the difficulties we face in mobilising the people of God towards marketplace ministry are due to an inadequate understanding regarding the theology of work. This shortcoming basically arises out of a less-than-comprehensive theology of creation, redemption and eschatology.

God the Worker

God not only authored work but he himself was a worker (Gen 1, 2; Jn 5:17; Rev 21:5). Throughout the Bible, we see different images of God as a worker namely, shepherd (Psa 23), potter (Jer 18:6), physician (Matt 8: 16), teacher (Psa 143:10), vineyard-dresser (Isa 5:1-7) etc. God is as active and creative today – creating, sustaining, redeeming and consummating – as God was when this five billion light year universe was begun.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Theology of Work