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The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective Paperback – July 5, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stevens speaks about God’s church as not made up of laity and ministers. Rather, the whole church is called to minister and be a minster. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Richard P. Sanchez
It is not up to the par for the calibrate that I was excepting to be according to the auther.Published 18 months ago by Don R. Bingham
I really liked this book. The title made me think of the the six days that God took to create the Heavens and the
Earth. Read more
I found this book quite interesting, even though it really emphasized different theological positions that at times were not all that related to the subject of work. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tim Welch
This book gives excellent Scriptural reasons for WORK being WORSHIP. I found it an easy read although it may stretch those who don't have theological training.Published on January 23, 2009 by T. Graham