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The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective Paperback – July 5, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

R. Paul Stevens is professor emeritus of marketplace theology and leadership at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans; F First Paperback Edition Used edition (July 5, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802848001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802848000
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the recommendation from a friend. I have been looking for a book that would give a theological framework to what is now called the "marketplace movement". I was also looking for a book to encourage bussiness people and university students that their "work" is of real significance to God. I have not been dissapointed.
What is significant about "The Other Six days" is it's approach. This is not a popular critque of the seperation between work and worship, mission and ministry, clergy and laity. Instead it reconstructs a unifying theology welling up out of scripture, flowing out of the Trininty providing a paradigm of vocation, work, ministry and mission as an intergrated whole. The outcome is all the people of God participate in the Trinities work, mission and ministry.
The book is broken into three parts. Part 1 A people without "Laity and Clergy" Part 2 Summoned and equipped by God and Part 3 For the life of the world.
Each part traces ideas down through the church`s history which now discolour our thinking and practice on the issues addressed. Secondly the contemporary context is explored. The author then gets under the skin of these issues through sound biblical exgesis and an applied theology of the Trinity.
What resulted for me is a dynamic new way of understanding "calling" , work, ministry and mission. It has revitalised my understanding of the church and its work in society.
I found the discussion questions at the end of each chapter to be excellent. There are readings to examine, contemporary case studies to explore, situations to evaluate and examples to analyse. These are excellent for group or individual study, reflection and interaction.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
R. Paul Stevens uses this book to step back from common assumptions about Christian life and re-assess how all of God's people contribute value to his kingdom.

Stevens' major argument is that there should be no high separation between clergy and laity within the church. To clarify: he recognizes different gifts and roles, and by all means the pastor should be the pastor and the janitor should be the janitor; but before God they are qualitatively the same, rather than one being an 'ordained position' that God can really use, and the other a lay position that's only out there so that the ordained guy can do what really matters.

Stevens treats this topic quite extensively. He examines the scriptures and finds no support for distiction between layity and clery within the new testament, and thoughtfully considers the implications of the old testament structures for the new testament. He then looks at different points within the early Fathers and subsequent church history and analyses how a distinction of clergy developed; his obvious implication is that it shouldn't have.

Stevens spends a fair amount of thought on a person's calling and ordination. There is much that would be valuable for the church to consider here. A sampling of thoughts:
* If we ordain people that live out their Christian work as pastors, let us also ordain people that live out their Christian work in other roles: let us ordain the salesperson to be a salesperson to the glory of God as he ethically promotes commerce, the painter be a painter to the glory of God as he explores meaning and creates beauty, the farmer, the manager, the home maker ...
* The call to be a pastor is typically not a mystical experience; the Damascus road experience of Paul was the exception, not the norm.
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Format: Paperback
In The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work and Ministry in Biblical Perspective, Paul Stevens addresses the subject of theology for the Christian life. He aims to give a comprehensive biblical foundation for the Christian's life in the world as well as the church by developing three particular aspects of Christian theology: vocation, work and ministry. His audience ranges from the "ordinary" Christian, untrained in academic theology, to historians and theologians alike. From the start, he makes it clear that he is looking to engage those who are interested in wrestling with what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus here and now, both at home and in the workplace. Even his title - The Other Six Days - reveals his desire to explore biblically whether or not all of life, apart from Sunday or Sabbath, is infused with meaning. His main contention is that the conventional way in which the clergy and laity are distinguished, which he argues emerged from history in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, deepened from the 4th to 16th centuries, and remained through the Reformation even until today, must be abolished and instead a new understanding of "the whole people of God" must be constructed using a full Trinitarian approach.

In the proposal of his ideas, there are at least four assumptions from which Stevens is arguing his points. First, he is writing in response to what he believes to be an unbalanced and fragmented theology for the Christian life that needs to be unified. Second, he is dissatisfied with similar attempts that deal only with Christians while at church; rather Stevens is interested in translating the word of God into situations where people live and work, including the "menial, the trivial and the necessary.
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