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"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Kingdom Calling - Introduction

My copy of Amy L. Sherman's Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good has just arrived. My first impression is that this book is a dynamite! If it it delivers what it promises then it will certainly be one of the books of the decade!

The introduction starts by looking at the depressing picture portrayed in Michael Lindsay's Faith in the Halls of Power. Lindsay interviewed 360 evangelicals who are in top jobs, he found that their lifestyles were no different for their peers. In some cases the only difference their Christianity made was a plaque on the wall or a cross around their neck. She contrasts this with Proverbs 11:10a: 'When the righteous [tsaddiqm] prosper, the city rejoices...' She maintains that this implies that 'by the intentional stewardship of their time, talent and treasure the tsaddiqm bring nothing less than foretastes of the kingdom of God into reality.

For this to happen we need to 'take vocation more seriously' (p. 20).

She coins the brilliant term 'vocational stewardship', by this she means:
the intentional and strategic development of vocational power - knowledge, platform, position, influence, skills and reputations - to advance foretastes of God's kingdom.
She sees vocational stewardship as an essential strategy and she has written this book to help implement that strategy.


Foreword by Reggie McNeal


Introduction: The Glorious Vision of Proverbs 11:10

Part I: Theological Foundations
1. What Does a Rejoiced City Look Like?
2. What Do the Righteous Look Like?
3. Why We Aren't the Tsaddiqim
4. How the Gospel of the Kingdom Nurtures the Tsaddiqim

Part II: Discipling for Vocational Stewarship
5. Integrating Faith and Work: The Status Quo is Inadequate
6. Inspiration
7. Discovery
8. Formation

Part III: Pathways of Vocational Stewardship
9. Deploying Vocational Power: Four Pathways
10. Pathway 1: Bloom Where You're Planted
11. Pathway 2: Donate Your Skills
12. Pathway 3: Launch Your Own Social Enterprise
13. Pathway 4: Participate in Your Church's Targeted Initiative

Conclusion: Rejoicing the City
Afterword by Steven Garber
Appendix A: Key Theological Themes Undergirding Vocational Stewardship
Appendix B: A Discussion Guide for Congregational Small Groups
Appendix C: For Further Information
Appendix D: Index of Profiles by Vocation

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