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...]

Vocation and Epistemology

More and more Christians are discovering, or re-discovering, the doctrine of vocation, and the richness of that teaching means that vocation can illuminate countless dimensions of life.  Now the noted Christian philosopher John Stackhouse has written a book entitled Need to Know:  Vocation as the Heart of Christian Epistemology (that last word referring to the philosophy of knowledge–how we know what we know, how we know that we know, etc., etc.).   Excerpts from a review after the jump. [Read more...]

An evangelical pastor discovers vocation

We Lutherans don’t go in for “personal testimonies” very much, but after the jump is a “testimony” from a pastor who discovered the doctrine of vocation and tells about the difference that has meant in his ministry. [Read more...]


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