I’m really looking forward to Hugh Whelchel’s recent book How then Should We Work?: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work. I’ve had a chance to dip into it a bit, and one of its stand-out features is a very helpful, succinct, and clear history of the different views on work and calling through the ages. I especially love his summary of Luther’s recapturing of the biblical view, especially his points that:
- Vocation is the specific call to love our neighbors. That’s the essential meaning of the doctrine of vocation.
- We live out this calling in the world, not by retreating from it. “Accord to Luther, we respond to the call to love our neighbor by fulfilling the duties associated with our everyday work.”
- “We can only truly serve God in the midst of everyday circumstances, and all attempts to elevate the significance of the contemplative life are false.”
Hugh is executive director of the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, whose mission is to equip Christians with a biblical theology of work and economics. They are doing excellent work, and I highly recommend them and their work.