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God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life (Focal Point) Paperback – March 22, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gene Edward Veith Jr. (PhD, University of Kansas) is provost and professor of literature at Patrick Henry College and the director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary. He has been a columnist for World magazine and TableTalk, and is the author of a number of noted books on Christianity and culture, including God at Work.

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Product Details

  • Series: Focal Point (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (March 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581344031
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581344035
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Phil Wade on June 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
You may believe you are called to a job or to a non-profit ministry, but do you think of yourself as called to every other part of your life? Skilled Author Gene Edward Veith points out that an idea presented in the Protestant Reformation, that of the priesthood of all believers, teaches Christians to see all of life as God's call to glorify and enjoy Him. As a citizen, a parent, a spouse, a worker, and a church member, you are called to certain holy responsibilities and benefits. Veith writes, "Every kind of work [including fathering and mothering] . . . is an occasion for priesthood, for exercising a holy service to God and to one's neighbor." Therefore, our lives aren't on hold when the boring parts seem to hold up the enjoyable parts or when business seems to hold up ministry. It's all part of our multiple calling. We have God-given vocations meant to honor and enjoy God in everything we do whether it's in the back office, in the discipling process, or on the ball field.
More than this, the author draws from Martin Luther's writing on vocation to describe God's hidden role in our work. The Lord works through our activity, even the most mundane, to further His kingdom and glorify Himself. Understanding this results in a comprehensive "theology of ordinary life." "Most people seek God in mystical experiences. . . To find Him in vocation brings Him, literally, down to earth, [and] makes us see how close He really is to us."
God At Work is inspiring. It's a well-written handling of an important subject, increasingly important as the world urges us to segregate faith from all public life. Veith argues that God didn't establish secular work apart of the sacred. He designed everything as sacred.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Dan T on April 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Having read other books by Dr. Gene E. Veith, Jr., I knew that this would also be an excellent read. Dr. Veith is culture editor for World magazine and one of the country's foremost Christian thinkers and writers. What unfolded in the pages was a book that I will refer to again and again. In it he tackles the doctrine of vocation. The book answers so many thoughtful questions: What am I supposed to be doing with my life? Why is my job so mundane and seems so insignificant if I am really doing what God wants me to do? How can I find out what I am supposed to be doing for my life's work? and many other pertinent questions that we've all struggled with. The book is based on the theology of Luther who wrote about vocation. It is certainly a missing element in much of today's Christian literature.

Being an artist and art teacher, I felt even more convinced that this is exactly what I was born to do. With this contentment also comes a renewed energy in wanting to do my job as best as I can and to be patient in my job and know that God is using me to accomplish His goals.

The book points out too that often when we are discouraged it is the enemy of our souls wanting us to give up and often when the stress and pressure are the greatest, that is when God is using us the most and that is exactly where we should be. Encountering troubles and struggles is exaclty what Christians are supposed to doing. No flowery beds of ease. It is a fight for those who want to truly live for Jesus Christ.

Dr. Veith writes with a graceful fluidity that is easy on the mind. He deals with a great human issue in a very warm and Biblical way. He knows what he is writing about and he takes the reader down new paths that are thrilling and fortifying.

This book is worth its weight in gold and it is one that you will refer back to many times over. It is a treasure and I only wish it were in hard cover. Then it would be totally perfect!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nathanael C. Milne on March 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a well-written, easy to read introduction to Luther's doctrine of vocation. Veith explores the doctrine of vocation and shows that it not only gives value to work, it is also the key to Christian ethics. In the introductory paragraphs, Veith explains how the doctrine of vocation is how God is at work in the normal day-to-day activities of people's lives. In providing daily bread for his people, for example, God is at work in the human callings of farmers, bakers, truck drivers, factory workers, wholesalers, retailers, etc. Different vocations, then, are rightly understood as secondary means which God has ordained to accomplish his purposes. Veith then devotes a chapter to each of the major vocations: our calling as a worker, our calling in the family, our calling as a citizen, and our calling in the church. In these chapters, he explores relevant biblical texts dealing with each of the vocations and demonstrates their application through real-life examples. To wrap up the book, Veith spends a couple chapters on the ethical implications of the doctrine of vocation and how it works to shed light on controversial ethical questions (euthanasia, abortion, etc.). I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and after reading it, I finally understood clearly how the Reformation eliminated the medieval sacred/secular distinction. It's all sacred. It's God at work.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Nyman on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the first book I've read by Gene Veith, and it was well worth it. He writes that when you understand it properly, the doctrine of vocation - "doing everything for God's glory" - this is not a platitude or an outdated notion. This principle that we vaguely apply to our lives and work is actually the key to Christian ethics, to influencing our culture for Christ, and to infusing our ordinary, everyday lives with the presence of God, for when we realize that the "mundane" activities that consume most of our time are "God's hiding places," our perspective changes.
There are a lot of powerful statements and teaching in this book, and much to be digested and thought through, but one in particular is the comment on the church as a business, which appears to be showing up everywhere these days, especially in this culture.
Veith writes: "Business models can be great for businesses, and being a CEO is a worthy calling in its sphere, but the Church is not a secular institution, but a spiritual one, and the call of a pastor has a specific content and is not reducible to just leading an institution...Acting outside of one's calling is a formula for disaster."
A great read, and well worth the price. Highly recommended!!!
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