“A call from God.”
The Making of the Christian Mind
Professor Patricia J. Mercier, D.Min.
God uses people not just Christians to advance the Kingdom of God. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5). Does this mean that God knew Christians before they were formed in the womb or does this mean he knew everyone, believers and non-believers? “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13) If God is all knowing then that means he knew us all. We are destined to be who we are, believers and non-believers. The Webster dictionary defines vocation as “a summons or strong inclination to a particular state or course of action; a divine call to the religious life; an entry into the priesthood or religious order.” Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” “God’s calling on our lives entails a balanced, holistic, and transformational engagement with human life and culture—including our vocational and occupational decisions—avoiding certain extremes that undermine God’s program of redemption (Mercier, slide 1).We must remember that our vocation to and for the kingdom is a life long journey and we will fall short but this does not negate the call God has placed on our lives. “ for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” ( Romans 3:23) God has used drunks, prostitutes and even cowards to advance his kingdom.
Gods Commission to man comes from the book of Matthew 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Will we all follow this commission? Not all have chosen this path. Plantinga considers those who accept this commission to be good citizens but a person who accepts this commission with enthusiasm to be a prime citizen of the kingdom (Plantinga p.108). He explains that a “Christians main vocation is to become a prime citizen of the kingdom of God…” (Plantinga p.108) A prime citizen of the kingdom would be someone who is actively involved in a Christian church and who eagerly yearns for shalom (Plantinga p.108, 112). Shalom being the webbing together of God, humans, and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight. (Plantinga p.14) “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
“Setting forth a biblical model of work requires a balanced(or better, holistic) approach—one that both understands and embraces three important convictions: (1) work is a creational blessing and mandate (individually and corporately), not resulting from the Fall or sin (therefore, human flourishing through work is God’s will); (2) vocation supersedes occupation (therefore, our calling as Christ-followers and regents of God’s kingdom ought to be motivating force for our particular work/station in life); and (3) work is but one aspect of personal and communal life (therefore, our occupations ought not be our central or sole identity)” (Sherman p.1). Many in society today have made their identity in this world about their work. Their work has become their idols. Plantinga uses the example of caring for the earth, he states that non-Christians often lead the way, showing more enthusiasm for good earthkeeping than conservative Christians who claim that “the earth is the Lord’s, “ but who don’t act or vote that way (Plantinga p.111, Hoezee). “Christians and Jews say, “the earth is the Lord’s.” Materialist pantheists say, “the earth is the Lord.” But, ever the master of irony,...