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The purpose of this study was to examine how recovering an understanding of Christian calling could be key to de-compartmentalizing the lives of Christians and fostering a spirituality that connects faith with public life in today’s postmodern environment. After examining the current cultural context, the paper considered how and why the evangelical church finds itself so marginalized and explored the consequences of that disengagement. It also looked closely at the way alternative spiritualities are penetrating the business world with alarming effectiveness and then demonstrated the superiority of the biblical theology of creation and calling, particularly as it applies to work.
A significant concern that emerged was the importance of distinguishing between one’s work and God’s building of his kingdom. Although not directly building God’s kingdom, people’s work can still be an indirect vehicle by serving as a witness to the goodness and beauty of the new creation. Another theme was the critical importance of the doctrine of creation and how transforming it is for people’s thinking and behavior in their work. The third discovery was how comprehensive and transformative the idea of calling can be for spiritual formation, particularly in surmounting the pervasive legalism plaguing dedicated Christians. It also provides a subtle but powerful way to interact meaningfully with non-believers. This approach allows conversations to begin with people’s subjective awareness of, curiosity about, and hunger for a sense of meaning and purpose to their lives.
The material in this study points the way to a fresh and timely approach to pastoral ministry by wedding ancient spirituality to the contemporary work environment and providing Christians with an increasingly urgent need for a voice in the public square.
Content Reader: Richard J. Mouw, PhD
Doctor of Ministry
Mouw, Richard J.
Postmodernism; Work; Vocation; Protestant churches; Evangelistic work
Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Boswell, Frank, "Calling, Kingdom, and Cultural Engagement: Recovering Christian Spirituality for the Public Square" (2011). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 43.