- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books (March 10, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830836667
- ISBN-13: 978-0830836666
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good Paperback – March 10, 2014
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"Every generation wonders at its place in the world. Every adolescent agonizes over the 'purpose of my life.' But in such a time as ours―with the world at our fingertips and seemingly endless opportunities to choose from―such questions are particularly fraught. Into these questions of calling and vocation, Steven Garber steps with characteristic grace. Part prophet, part pastor and part teacher, Garber reminds the reader that to be alive on this earth is to be called―to be implicated in the common good of your time and place. Now that you know what you know, what will you do? he asks. Garber helps Christians―young and old―press into their vocation as a response to the wounds and burdens of their particular context. This compelling and convicting book does not give easy answers but instead offers a robust definition of vocation to which Christians can cling no matter their age, location or circumstance." (Roxanne Stone, vice president of publishing at Barna Group, Outreach Magazine's Resources of the Year, March/April 2015)
"Many Christians struggle with envisioning what it is to be and to work in the world. Garber offers stories and wisdom that affirm the goodness and rightness of Christians pursuing callings in areas not traditionally considered ministry but that may be missional nonetheless." (Rachel Marie Stone, Christianity Today 2015 Book Awards, January/February 2015)
"Visions of Vocation will be considered a classic of our time, inspiring many to care more deeply and live out their own passions with vitality and integrity." (Byron Borger, Hearts & Minds Bookstore, Dallastown, Pennsylvania)
"Garber fills in the fuzzy ideas about vocation and calling with stories of friends who have thoroughly and thoughtfully discerned how loving God's world plays out in real life. As a preacher I benefited from this vision of vocation that extends to every person in the pew." (David Swanson, Leadership Journal 2015 Book Awards, Winter 2015)
"American Christians regularly emphasize the roles of faith and piety in our personal interactions over the actions of care and love we can perform for the cities and towns in which we do our daily work. When Garber quotes Jeremiah 29:7, 'Seek the well-being of the city―when it flourishes, you will flourish,' he advocates a position that will likely prove counter-cultural and unpopular―and thought-worthy―in such times of division as these." (Daniel de Roulet, The Covenant Companion, May 2014)
"Garber's breadth of knowledge, his ability to integrate ideas, and his beautiful and engaging writing make this book well worth reading, but his honesty and his concrete evidence of every person's ability to love the world and take responsibility for it hold the reader accountable. The book should come with a warning: You won't walk away unchanged." (Carolyn Dirksen, CCCU Advance, Fall 2014)
"Visions of Vocation asks the most compelling and human questions about how to love the world once you come to truly know it. These pages are packed with stories of wisdom and grace, serving as a vocational compass for anyone seeking true guidance in the midst of a complex world. I am grateful for the mentorship of Steve Garber's words, and I know you will be too." (Jena Lee Nardella, cofounder, Blood:Water Mission)
"If you have ever heard Garber speak in public, you know that he does so with a soothing, lyrical style that tips his audience to his fondness for music and poetry. He often notes that 'the artists get there first,' and his writing reflects this inclination, weaving in stories that begin as seemingly separate strands. Yet in Garber's chapters they are woven together to form a tapestry that reveals how vocation is integral to the mission of God. "This book is not for the faint of heart. Despite Garber's poetic style, his words pack a punch, challenging the reader to consider what it means to be 'implicated.'. . . Living with a full understanding of vocation means choosing to see the wounds of the world and responding with a heart of flesh rather than a heart of stone. It means choosing the better but not the easier. . . . "Visions of Vocation invites readers into what feels like a fireside chat with poets, musicians, and artists of all kinds on living a life of significance. It is a chat that feels preliminary but substantive; the kind of conversation you leave looking forward to the next one. . . . "If angst-filled young adults are looking for a formula to discern their future, it cannot be found in this book. Likewise, if theologians are looking for a systematic treatise on vocation, they too will soon be disappointed. However, what they will find is probably more valuable: a book that causes readers to think about their lives in new and challenging ways, exploring questions which, when answered in good conscience, comprise a fabric of faithfulness." (Drew Moser, Jess Fankhauser and Jeff Aupperle, Books & Culture, September 2014)
"Steve Garber is one of the few consistent sources of wisdom that I rely on personally for my journey as an artist and as a Christ-follower. Like Magi's stars to the weary travelers in faith and culture, Visions of Vocation is a clear manifestation in the dark skies of our complex times that points to an integrated source of wisdom, delight and hope." (Makoto Fujimura, artist)
"Steve Garber has a way of making me feel spiritually rich. What he thinks and says is what I need. I realize this because he does both so well. His exceptional biblical insight and profound humanity increase my hunger for God and the ways of God. I am left seeking Gods calling into a more genuine human life and believing God intends this as part of the common good for which we are made and redeemed. Feast on this book and be fed." (Mark Labberton, president, Fuller Theological Seminary)
About the Author
Steven Garber is the principal of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture, which is focused on reframing the way people understand life, especially the meaning of vocation and the common good. A consultant to foundations, corporations and schools, he is a teacher of many people in many places. The author of The Fabric of Faithfulness, he is also a contributor to the books Faith Goes to Work: Reflections from the Marketplace and Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalogue. He lives with his wife, Meg, in Virginia.
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"Visions of Vocation calls its readers to make a commitment to a journey, one of calling and courage that will challenge not just your mind but also your heart and your soul. This remarkable book will cause you to desire a whole new way of knowing and seeing. Steve Garber is a scholar, a teacher, and a man who thinks and speaks with rich visual imagery. In the last fifteen years the conversation on calling has been animated by many voices, and never far from these important dialogues you will find Steve Garber, asking the questions that have shaped and informed the trajectory of his work: What does it mean to be human? How are we to live? What truly matters? God calls us to engage this world in all its brokenness. We engage the world through our vocations, unique in many ways and yet common as well. Vocation, as Steve teaches us, is not less than our jobs, our careers, our craft. But so much more as we trace it back to the Creation narrative-the Imago Dei. How then do we embark on this journey of not just our heads, but our hearts. Visions of Vocation is a gracious and faithful companion for this journey, much like its author. Having known Steve for many years, I count myself privileged to have learned from him, been mentored by him and to call him friend."
Lisa Pratt Slayton, CEO, Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation
If you have ever had the occasion to spend any time with Steven Garber, you will recognize him throughout this book. It is unhurried, yet very much to the point. It is gentle in spirit, yet brutally honest. It is scholarly, yet very readable. It raises more questions than answers, yet does not leave us feeling lost. I am indebted to Steve for the time spent with him and his writings.