Monthly Archives: June 2013

  • Vocation, part 5

    In the second half of his book, Keller confronts the problems we face at work. Because of the lingering effects and presence of sin, work can become fruitless, pointless, selfish, and an idol. Taking up the third in that list, Keller reminds us that it is far too easy for us to find our identity in our vocations. We no longer think of ourselves first as human beings and as Christians. Instead, we think of ourselves as carpenters or doctors or gardeners or whatever it is that we do. For some of us this is a source of pride and for others of us it is a source of despair. Both cases, however, reveal selfishness. Perhaps a good diagnostic is to think about the way you approach a gathering of people you will meet for the first time. Do you … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog
  • Vocation, part 4

    It is in and through our vocations that we love and serve our neighbors. And it is in our vocations that God works. We are, therefore, the masks of God. When a milkmaid milks the cow, Luther said, it is actually God milking the cow. But how can we love and serve best? The simple answer is that we love and serve best and that God works through us best when we are competent in our callings. In other words, we need to strive to be really good at our jobs. The best, even. To some, this sounds like it could take us down the road to pride. But if we understand the doctrine of vocation, it will most certainly not. Dorothy Sayers gets at another threat to competency when she writes the following:

    “The church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter … Read More »

  • Vocation, part 3

    Thus far our thesis has been that one of the ways that we love our neighbors is by attending to our vocations. One of the reasons for this is because through our vocations, we are being used to build and serve creation and human civilization. Keller appeals to Genesis 1:28 and God’s command that Adam fill and subdue the earth. This is often referred to as the cultural mandate. Sometimes Christians have read this as simply a command to have a lot of kids. But it is more than that. Again, to quote Keller, “[I]t means civilization, not just procreation. We get the sense that God does not want merely more individuals of the human species; he also wants the world to be filled with a human society.”

    As we saw last week, this calling comes to us because we are … Read More »

  • Vocation, part 2

    Any discussion about vocation needs to begin with a reflection on the God who works and on goodness and dignity. For the Biblically literate this is not surprising because this is actually the way the Bible begins. Once our eyes light upon the pages of Holy Scripture we are introduced to a God who is hard at work (Gen. 2:2-3; John 5:17). In fact, “The Bible begins talking about work as soon as it begins talking about anything” (Keller, 33). What’s more, as we continue to read, we hear of the way God continues to work in providing for and upholding his creation. These works of God are what we call creation and providence (WSC Q. 8). The fact that God works, by itself, demonstrates the goodness and dignity of work. This may have even been a point of the … Read More »

  • Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself: Vocation – Part 1

    Once Jesus was asked, “Teacher, what is the great commandment in the Law?” It’s a good question. His answer? “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the Prophets” (Matt. 22.36-40). In the next few weeks we will consider the second commandment together. I will suggest that one of the ways we love our neighbor is by faithfully attending to our God-given vocations. As a guide, we will lean upon Tim Keller’s recent, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work.

     I will suggest that one of the ways we love our neighbor is by faithfully attending to … Read More »

    Posted in: Pastor Brian's Blog