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Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work Audible – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 307 customer reviews

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By Alex on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
While others have written more scholarly defenses of the theology of vocation, Every Good Endeavor is the most accessible and helpful book I've ever read on integrating a Christian perspective with our daily work----whether that work be "blue-collar" or "white-collar," physical or mental, menial or high-profile. Moreover, Keller simultaneously (and winsomely) speaks to non-Christians who are trying to make sense of the frustrations and pleasures of their work lives.

Keller begins with God's plan for our work: The idea that work preceded the Fall, that work gives dignity to humankind, and that work allows us to cultivate the created order such that others are served. Keller also relates our vocation to the gospel doctrine of justification by faith alone:

"First, if religious works were crucial to achieving a good standing with God, then there would always be a fundamental difference between those in church ministry and everyone else. But if religious work did absolutely nothing to earn favor with God, it could no longer be seen as superior to other forms of labor.

The gospel of salvation through sheer grace holds a second implication for work....many modern people seek a kind of salvation--self-esteem and self-worth--from career success. This leads us to seek only high-paying, high-status jobs, and to 'worship' them in perverse ways. But the gospel frees us from the relentless pressure of having to prove ourselves and secure our identity through work, for we are already proven and secure."

The second section of the book unpacks the many frustrations of work that the Fall made inevitable. As Christians, however, we can know that while our work in this world will always fall short, "our work in this life is not the final world.
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Format: Hardcover
The Christian Scriptures give us hope for work, but work can be deeply frustrating and difficult, so the spiritual hope must be profound if we are going to face the challenge of pursuing vocation in this world, according to Timothy Keller in this book. Everyone has the experience of imagining accomplishing things but being incapable of producing them. Without God, all our best endeavours ultimately come to naught, but with God our work can be part of bringing about the future healed world.

The book goes on to consider a number of aspects of work and the relationship between work and faith, including the importance of work as an indispensable component in a meaningful human life; the dignity that work gives to us as human beings, regardless of its status or pay; work as a way of cultivating creation; work as an act of worship to the God who called and equipped you to do it; problems with fruitless, pointless and selfish work; the relationship between work and idolatry; and the ways in which the Gospel changes the nature of work.

I was particularly interested in the Epilogue, which describes what the author's church, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, does to help its people integrate faith and work. The church has five primary ministry areas: worship and evangelism, community formation, mercy and justice, church planting, and faith and work. Redeemer's Center for Faith and Work runs an intensive theological and leadership development program for young professionals, an entrepreneurship initiative, vocation groups, retreats and classes, literary publications, art exhibits and performances, and a range of lectures and conferences.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tim Keller has given us another excellent resource. In my 40 years of ministry I have done lots of things, one of those was operate the Job Training Program for an inner city ministry. We had a ten week Theology of Work (written by Dr. Keith Phillips) course that we took our young people through and then helped them to find good employment opportunities.

Until now I have not found a book on the Theology of work that I felt did an adequate job with the subject. Keller's book handles it well, documents the Biblical principles and gives a good practical application for all that he is discussing.

Do you feel as though you have a "job" or a "calling"? That is one of the questions asked by Keller. Most of the time people think of a "calling" as being something a Pastor / missionary / professional Christian worker has from God. But Keller does a great job of reminding us that God put work in place as something for all of us, and it is a "GOOD" thing. Thus we are all "called" by God to do our work in a way that pleases Him and brings honor and glory to His name.

God gives each of us talent and intellect. He gives each of us a "calling" to the work that we do. As such we need to be asking other questions such as, how can I bring honor and glory to God through my daily work? How can I share God with others through my daily work? How will my attitude at work actually be a positive witness to others about my walk with God.

Keller's book is wonderful. It would be a great book for small groups to read together and then discuss. I would recommend that it would even be a great book for you to read, place on your desk at work and see if it will generate discussions with co-workers about your belief that God gave us work as a "good" think not as a punishment.

I believe everyone will benefit from this book.

Enjoy!
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