The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, June 02, 2006
Who Are You Working for?
from "God's Calling and our Daily Work " by John Armstrong:

Luther’s view opened the door for real change, but it did not go far enough. Whereas Luther argued that vocation was “a station in life,” Calvin developed this thinking further and concluded that “one can change the world through vocations” (Gritsch, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, p 245). For Luther the law showed what we could not do but for Calvin it did more, showing us what we should do and could do, by the power of the Spirit. Calvin further connected vocation to the doctrine of predestination, arguing that one proved their calling and election by the “posterior signs” of a divine call which were linked to one’s specific calling, or vocation, in this life. Simply put, the whole Christian life should be lived for the glory of God thus the believer who lives under God’s grace, in his or her vocation, “confirmed their calling and election” (2 Peter 1:10). This background is the context for the oft-debated “Protestant work ethic.”


[Most modern Christians] simply don’t know who they work for. As a result of this failure to understand our purpose we live our daily lives without meaning. We do not know why we work, struggle with the effects of the fall, or serve our neighbors. Because we have no one to work for, in terms of God’s calling, we find little meaning in what we do.