An actor speaks of faith & calling

Whether or not Selma is fair to LBJ, it’s supposed to be a powerful movie.  (I haven’t seen it yet.  Can anyone comment on that?)  And I’m told that the actor playing Dr. King, the Nigerian/British actor David Oyelowo turns in an amazingly good performance.  It turns out, Mr. Oyelowo is a zealous, committed Christian who is not afraid to talk about his faith.

After the jump, I have an excerpt and a link to an interview with Mr. Oyelowo that first appeared on Patheos and was picked up by Time (which also has a link to our discussion of the LBJ controversy).  I don’t vouch for the theology–for example, that God spoke to him directly–but he is also talking about vocation (a.k.a. “calling”), and we hear a perspective that is kind of refreshing coming from Hollywood. [Read more...]

Martin Luther King, Jr., on Vocation

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I offer you something he said about vocation:

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.

via Martin Luther King, Jr. Quotes, Page 2.

Symposium on Vocation

As I said in my own contribution, Patheos has put together a symposium on vocation, involving blogs on the Faith & Work channel and the Evangelical channel.  Since Luther’s doctrine of vocation is a major theme of this the Cranach blog, I took part, and I invite you too to join the discussion.  This may introduce you to other blogs you’d like to follow, and since together we have thought long and hard about these issues here, I hope you will contribute your insights.  So, for the symposium, go here:  My Faith and My Calling | Patheos.

The “big questions” of vocation

The Faith and Work channel at Patheos is sponsoring a symposium with other blogs interested in the subject.  That would have to include us at the Cranach institute, since one of the major themes here is the doctrine of vocation.  The topic is the “big questions” of vocation, as raised by the quotations posted here.  Interestingly, the writers quoted are all from the Roman Catholic tradition, but I think the struggles they are articulate are common to evangelicals and other Protestants as well.  Here we can see just how helpful Luther’s distinctive take on vocation really is.

Read the quotations, read my thoughts on them after the jump, then join in on the discussion, both here and on the other participating blogs. [Read more...]

Is being a tightrope walker a Christian vocation?

Nick Wallenda is the tightrope walker who recently walked on a wire–blindfolded–between two skyscrapers in Chicago.  He is a Christian and often talks about his faith, praying before his stunts (which have included walking across the Grand Canyon and the Niagra Falls) and calling on Christ for help.  So is being a tightrope walker a Christian vocation?

David Murray has an interesting discussion about this, concluding that, no, it is not, on the grounds that it does not follow four criteria that he says are necessary for a true Christian vocation.  I don’t think I agree.  I suppose part of it is that he is articulating a Reformed view of vocation, which is not quite the same as the Lutheran one, which I hold to.   And yet, though I’m not sure that these are the right criteria to evaluate a calling,  I’m thinking that Wallenda does, in fact, meet them.   At any rate, I tend to think that the origin of such a wild and strange and wonder-inspiring talent could only come from God.  When I see or hear about something so extraordinary and someone so fearless, I do glorify God.  A tightrope walker does love and serve his neighbors by filling them with awe.

What do you think? [Read more...]

Using our military to fight Ebola

Some 1,000 American troops have been sent to Africa to help in the fight against Ebola.  Plans are to send as many as 3,900.  As with others who care for Ebola patients, these military men and women risk catching the disease themselves.  And then they will come home.   So the Pentagon is requiring all troops that have been part of this mission to be put into a 21-day quarantine upon their return.

This is a commendable duty on the part of the servicemen and women who are risking their lives–as they do in so many other ways–to protect others.  And yet, is this a proper task for our military?  They are trained to fight human enemies, not viral ones.  I suppose many of those sent over have medical specialties, but still, this seems an odd use of our military might.  Is this a violation of vocation?  Also,  the danger to them and to those they return to is considerable.  Again, I honor these men and women, and I commend our country’s efforts to battle the disease in Africa, and maybe the military is the only manpower that can be easily accessed for the job.  But still. . . .What do you think? [Read more...]


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