The Way Of Life / Edition 1

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Overview

The concept of vocation is often at the heart of religious experience, yet suprisingly few serious theological studies have been written about it. The Way of Life seeks to remedy this oversight and to outline a sane alternative to the more questionable versions of the idea of vocation found at the popular level. Beginning with the Bible, and drawing on theological sources both Protestant and Catholic, Gary Badcock develops a constructive theology of Christian vocation, rescuing it from both secular and sacred distortions.
Badcock argues that Christian vocation is essentially the call to love God and neighbor. Through a consideration of several theologians, including in particular Martin Luther and Hans Urs von Balthasar, Badcock links this theme to another ruling idea of Christian spirituality - discipleship in the way of the cross. Viewed theologically, Christian vocation finally comes to be seen as a sharing in the reconciling mission of Jesus. Vocation should be seen as a way of life - indeed, as the way of life, the way which follows Jesus himself. A Christian's vocation is not, therefore, to be confused with with an occupation. Even though work itself is of great significance, vocation is fundamentally less about what one does than about what one is. For those struggling to discover a proper sense of vocation in a society obsessed with prestige and financial gain, this volume provides a solid, readable, and theologically informed account of what it truly means to be "called of God".
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Editorial Reviews

Theological Book Review (U.K.)
Badcock's study on a theology of vocation fills a much needed niche amongst the sociological studies and popular self-help books on gleaning meaning out of work.... This book lends itself to be an excellent study for theological colleges or undergraduate theology courses and contains a good bibliography for further study.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802844903
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/10/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 0.37 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Vocation and Christian Theology 1
Vocation as a Religious Question 1
Vocation in the Bible 3
Work and Human Dignity 10
2 Faith and Work 14
Approaches to God 14
Action and Meaning 19
Troeltsch and Weber 21
Work as Response to God 29
3 Calling 32
Luther 32
Providence and Vocation 39
The Ethic of the Kingdom 44
4 Identity 53
Vocation in the Theology of Karl Barth 54
Sharing Christ's Mission: Hans Urs von Balthasar 58
Between Barth and Balthasar 67
5 The Source 71
God as Source 71
The Role of the Bible 74
The Voice of God 77
The Will of God 81
6 Sacred and Secular 84
The Heavenly Calling 84
Religious Vocation 89
The Call to Ministry 93
Ministry as Service 95
Lay Ministry 99
The Secular "Calling" 105
7 Love 108
"The Greatest of These" 108
Love in Theology 110
Carrying the Cross 113
Community 116
Sanctity 121
8 Choosing 124
A Parable 124
Vocation and Career Choice 126
Virtue Theory and Religious Knowledge 128
The Struggle 134
Vocation and Mission 136
The Way of Life 139
Select Bibliography 143
Index 145
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