Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Timothy Keller on Why Work Matters

I’ve just listened to a short talk by Tim Keller (available here) on ‘Why Work Matters’.

He begins by saying that he will deal with two points:

(1) Why your work matters to God.

(2) Why God matters to your work.

His reflections on ‘why your work matters to God’ focus particularly on Martin Luther’s teaching that God loves us and distributes his gifts to others through our work. There were some fresh insights here for me, nicely presented.

His reflections on ‘why God matters to our work’ cover a number of points. He notes the need to strike some balances between extremes (e.g., between triumphalism and withdrawal in our relationship with our surrounding culture). He also says that we need to avoid saying that there is a ‘Christian’ way of doing everything. A Christian baker may not bake bread any differently from an atheist baker, but a Christian playwright isn’t likely to write plays like an atheist does. He also encourages churches to accumulate wisdom as a community, working out together what it means to be a Christian at work in different fields.

The talk ends with a brief commission of, and prayer for, workers of all kinds.

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