Is preaching or being a missionary on a foreign field the highest calling one can have? Do we have callings other than in the workplace? Does one's work end upon retirement? These are just a few of the questions to which the author speaks in terms of sound scriptural reasoning.
Drawing much upon Luther's writing as a basis for his thinking, Veith begins by reminding his readers that God works through our vocations, our calling. Thus the Christian is to see his calling as one way in which he loves others through service in his job. God works through Christians in their faithful labors to minister to others.
Christians must realize they have a number of callings. Within the home they are called to be husbands and fathers, wives and mothers, and children. Each vocation involves responsibilities which can be neglected only to the detriment of the family and ultimately society at large. Outside the home, many have callings in a workplace for which God has given them certain talents to be employed for His glory. Within a nation, we are citizens and thus have a vocation of obedience under God. This vocation includes speaking out in the midst of clear national sins. Church is another area of vocation in the Christian's life. Therein we hear God's word through pastoral proclamation. Therein we use our God-given gifts once again to build up the body of believers into which we have been called. In so doing we build up the covenant body at large.
We live in a fallen world. Therefore many questions focusing on vocation become knotty. The author does an excellent job of using the fingers of God's word to untangle these questions. He realizes there are no perfect spouses, churches or jobs. He provides apt advice to steer those who dreamily expect such away from these mirages. He provides consistent counsel that the reader can apply to his various vocations in this world. The reader can rightly expect him to deal with job loss, the priority of our multiple vocations, ethics within our callings and even that last calling God gives us, with the exception of those alive at Christ's return, the vocation of death.
The Protestant Reformation occurred almost one-half millennium ago. Biblical principles then realized and applied, revitalized society in manifold ways of which we are among the benefactors. However, now some five hundred years later we have in many ways lost an understanding of biblical vocation. We work for a paycheck, the weekend and/or ourselves. Lost in this is the primacy of working for God's glory and a desire that elements of Gospel witness would work themselves out through us for the purpose of aiding others physically and also aiding others spiritually by pointing them to God whom we serve with joy through our vocations. Veith's book points us to the One for Whom we should labor and who has equipped us for such work. In our vocations, God works through us for His glory.
This volume is part of the Focal Point series of which the author is the General Editor. His writing is reader-friendly. It is clear and concise, practical and pointed. It is evident that the writer is not only a servant of God but one who has also had to grapple with many of the aspects of vocations he opens up in this volume. The fruit of his thinking in terms of the Bible is now available for the ordained and laymen to use in their own lives and for their counsel to peers and instruction of their covenant seed. Readers should be thankful that the author saw the importance of penning this volume as part of his vocation.
- Byron Snapp
Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia. He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina. He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren.