Archived Posts May 2013 - Page 14 of 14 | Acton PowerBlog

busseat“Is there a distinctively ‘Christian’ way to be a bus driver?”

Justin Taylor offers an insightful, varied response, asking six questions to sketch things out. Over at the Hang Together blog, Greg Forster adds another to the list.

In response to the last question — “Is there a distinctively Christian way to think about the particulars of each vocation?” — Taylor offers this:

My sense is that the more intellectual and aesthetically oriented the vocation, the more work has already been done on a distinctively Christian approach. This is, in my part, because the contrast will be more wide-ranging and apparent and because the Bible seems to have more to say directly about these areas. I’m thinking, for example, of areas like philosophy, education, and politics. (For some examples, see Alvin Plantinga’s “Advice to Christian Philosophers,” or the books in the Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition series.) The same would be true for aesthetics, as in music, fine arts, and design. It can be more difficult to see in areas oriented toward manual labor. But there is still much work that can be done in these areas. One of the problems is that intellectuals and philosophers are more inclined to know and study areas they are more interested in, and therefore other vocations become neglected in terms of analysis.

Taylor goes on to give a nod to the influence of Abraham Kuyper on such matters, and indeed, as Kuyper notes throughout Wisdom and Wonder: Common Grace in Science and Art, part of the difference in such “work being done” is due to the distinct differences in the work itself.

The basic techniques of bus driving, for example — steering, using appropriate turn signals, following your route, etc. — will naturally have a broader common consensus to build from, while the basic techniques of more “intellectual and aesthetically oriented” work will require distinctly Christian choices about basic technique. Perhaps one reason we’re more inclined to “know and study” spiritual matters in more intellectually oriented vocations is that they require more spiritual knowing and studying up front.

Now, I say “up front” because, for the Christian, manual labor is bound to drift into the subjective and the spiritual at some point, as trusty as the Big Blue Book of Bus Driver Knowledge might be for ordinary day-to-day activities. (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Is It Crazy to Think We Can Eradicate Poverty?
Annie Lowrey, New York Times

The end to extreme poverty might very well be within reach. But is the bar too low?

Pope tells young to ‘swim against the tide; it’s good for the heart’
Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

In a partially improvised homily at Mass April 28 in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis encouraged young people to hang on to their ideals and pursue them.

Career Advice: Give
Emily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic

Givers focus on others, takers on themselves, and matchers care most about fairness. Studies show that most professional success, not just satisfaction, goes to givers.

How do Markets Handle Sin and Human Nature?
Anne Bradley, Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

As Christians, we should consider how markets and other institutions can bring about higher levels of flourishing, despite their limitations and our own fallen human nature.