Gary D. Badcock
The concept of vocation is often at the heart of religious experience, yet surprisingly few serious theological studies have been written about it. The Way of Life seeks to remedy this oversight and to outline a sane alternative to the more questionable versions of the idea of vocation found at the popular level. Beginning with the Bible and drawing on theological sources both Protestant and Catholic, Gary Badcock develops a constructive theology of Christian vocation, rescuing it from both secular and sacred distortions.
Badcock argues that Christian vocation is essentially the call to love God and neighbor. Through a consideration of several theologians, including in particular Martin Luther and Hans Urs von Balthasar, Badcock links this theme to another ruling idea of Christian spirituality — discipleship in the way of the cross. Viewed theologically, Christian vocation finally comes to be seen as a sharing in the reconciling mission of Jesus. Vocation should be seen as a way of life — indeed, as the way of life, the way which follows Jesus himself. A Christian’s vocation is not, therefore, to be confused with an occupation. Even though work itself is of great significance, vocation is fundamentally less about what one does than about what one is.
For those struggling to discover a proper sense of vocation in a society obsessed with prestige and financial gain, this volume provides a solid, readable, and theologically informed account of what it truly means to be “called of God.”
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