From the author: The purpose of this book is to help Christians begin to reconnect their lives and their work to the advancement of God’s Kingdom. A key for achieving this is developing a biblical worldview that enables us to understand our work in terms of calling and vocation, and thus live our lives in a way that more consistently glorifies God.
This process then transforms our lives and work into what I call our lifework—the relationship of one’s life and work to God and to the unfolding of His Kingdom. LifeWork is a tool to help Christians, worldwide, achieve such transformation. Then they may begin to “Kingdomize” their work, whatever that work may be, and thus influence their cultures and societies. (more)
Table of Contents
PART 1: THE FAULTY PARADIGM
- Worldviews at Work
- How Did We Get Here? Dualism throughout Church History
- The Sacred-Secular Dichotomy: An Entire Worldview
- One Lord, One Realm: A Parable
- Coram Deo: Before the Face of God
PART 2: FIRST STEPS TOWARD A BIBLICAL THEOLOGY FOR VOCATION
- The Need for a Biblical Theology of Vocation
- The Essential Metanarrative
PART 3: THE CULTURAL MANDATE
- Culture: Where the Physical and Spiritual Converge
- Elements of the Cultural Mandate
- The Fall, The Cross, and Culture
PART 4: LifeWORK
- The Call: LifeWork
- The General Call to Life
- The Particular Call to Work
- Characteristics of our LifeWork
PART 5: THE ECONOMICS OF OUR LIFEWORK
- Stewardship: The Protestant Ethic
- The Economics of Giving: Generous Compassion
PART 6: INTO THE WORLD
- The Kingdom Advances from the Inside Out
- The Gates of the City
- The Domains
- The Great Commandment
PART 7: CHURCHES WITHOUT WALLS
- Serving as Gatekeepers
- The Body of Christ: Churches without Walls
- Occupy Till I Come
I’d like every student to read Darrow Miller’s chapters on worldviews at work and the need to battle dualism and the sacred-secular dichotomy. He brilliantly shows how to live and work before God and why it’s so important to grasp the biblical theology of vocation. His summary of the Bible’s essential meta-narrative is pitch-perfect, and his application of that to cultural pursuits is exactly what those who waver need to hear.
Editor-in-Chief, World Magazine
Against the narrow, individualistic conception of the gospel that unfortunately gets preached in many evangelical churches, Miller offers the biblically accurate—and exhilarating—description of the gospel of the kingdom. Miller paints a picture of how to connect all of our life and work now to our glorious future on the New Earth. LifeWork enlarges vision and passion for taking up our high calling of culture making, joining King Jesus on his mission of healing our broken planet.
Amy L. Sherman
Author and Director, Center on Faith in Communities
Having worked among the poorest of the poor, Darrow Miller has credibility when he writes about the sources of poverty. With his characteristic thoroughness and gentleness, he builds a case for the worldview basis of work and wealth creation.
Author of multiple books including Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity
Finally here is a book that captures the foundational teaching on worldview that Darrow Miller has shared so effectively across the globe with Christian leaders for many years. The fruit of his work can be seen from the foothills of Nepal to the plains of West Africa, where Christians have been enabled to move beyond the church building to impact their communities because of what they learned and then applied.
President/CEO, Development Associates International
(Continued) Among those I especially wish to reach with this book are those who want to be what I would call marketplace Christians but who question the value or faithfulness of such a choice. Millions of Christians, especially in the West, have a sense of “calling” to the marketplace, to work in one of the so-called secular domains of life. The trouble is that many of these Christians have learned to think about work within a Christianity that teaches, or implies, that if you are not in “the ministry,” you are a second-class Christian; you are not “spiritual.” And so they feel guilty about whatever secular work they may be doing. Others, perhaps some who became Christians after starting their careers, leave their secular work not knowing that it may have been their God-given calling. They are taught to vacate “the world” to pursue work that is deemed to be “more spiritual.” In the Bible, this sacred-secular dichotomy does not exist; there is only a consecrated or an unconsecrated life.
The second audience I particularly want to reach is pastors, ministers, nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers, social activists, and missionaries who have been called to labor among the world’s poor. One of the greatest causes of poverty in the developing world is the lie that work is meaningless, or even a curse. A major component of the Judeo-Christian worldview, however, is the dignity of labor, and this is one of the key tools for lifting people out of poverty. If you are working among poor people,
my hope is that you will come to understand that what these friends and sojourners need more than money to solve their problems is Christ and a biblical way of seeing the world—a biblical worldview.
Ultimately, I wrote this book to help those who want to live an intentional Christian life—who are ready to ask tough questions and seek answers from Scripture, and who want to examine the meaning and place of their lives and work within the Kingdom of God.
-Darrow L. Miller, author of LifeWork