In his new book, Risky Gospel, Owen Strachan calls Christians to an active life filled with faith and risk, cautioning us away from complacency and comfortability, whether in our churches, jobs, families, political witness, or in the deeper workings of our spiritual lives.
“We must give up our man-made plans for worldly peace and prosperity,” he writes. “We must relinquish anxious management of our daily existence. We must break with a ‘play it safe’ mentality and embrace a bigger vision of our time on this earth.”
Though the thrust of such a thesis feels reminiscent of what Matthew Lee Anderson recently summarized as the ”new radicalism,” Strachan’s contribution has a particular emphasis on how such risk plays out in the ordinary and mundane aspects of our lives. In his chapter on vocation and economic engagement, for example, Strachan offers a rather balanced approach for thinking about Christian stewardship.
The Christian life is one filled with entrepreneurial pursuit, Strachan argues, but such a journey is designed and pre-destined for participants of all shapes and sizes, from the assembly line worker to the small business owner to the board-room executive:
God has commissioned us…to build and create. We are, if you will, gospel entrepreneurs. Instead of operating in a beaten-down, scared-to-risk, sitting-on-our-hands mentality in which we passively wait for the world to act upon us, we can, like the faithful servants from the parable of the talents, build godly vocations and careers for God’s glory. This kind of existence is driven by and dedicated to the gospel. Everything we undertake and create is from the outflow of God’s mercy delivered to us by the body and blood of Jesus.
God is pleased, then, by your actual work—by figuring stuff out, troubleshooting, analyzing, planning, ordering, structuring, thinking, and making stuff. He is delighted when you work unto him and find pleasure in your vocation. You are merely doing what he does, after all—working and laboring and creating. This does not apply only to entrepreneurs or artists though; it applies to anyone solving assembly-line problems, fixing plumbing issues, untangling math calculations, teaching children new words, cutting hair a new style, figuring out a better base-stealing method, and too many other work responsibilities to count.
As you think and analyze and make things better, you’re showing who you are: a being made in the very image of almighty God.
You can grab the book here.