Vocation vs. occupation: 4 callings in the Christian life

Is there a difference between “vocation” and “occupation”? The term “vocation” comes from the Latin, “vocare” – to call or receive a call. For almost two millennia in Christian-influenced communities and cultures, vocation referred to a religious calling: a monastic order, missionary work or parish labor. Continue Reading...

Reordering the loves: How vocation redeems our self-interest

“The economic order, in light of the doctrine of vocation, becomes a complex network of individual human beings loving and serving each other according to their God-given gifts and abilities. The division of labor is transfigured into a labor of love.” –Gene Veith “Martin Luther” by Lucas Cranach der Ältere (Public Domain) In his latest book, Working for Our Neighbor, Gene Veith explores a Lutheran understanding of work, vocation, and economics, concluding that, for the Christian, work and vocation are God’s design for serving the people around us. Continue Reading...

Called to the coalfields: How an Appalachian church is spurring economic action

Due to a rapidly changing economy and a range of excessive regulations from the federal government, the American coal mining industry is facing serious challenges. For states like West Virginia, the effects are particularly painful, as mining towns and communities struggle under a projected 23% decline in related jobs in recent years, leading vast numbers of residents to leave the state altogether. Continue Reading...

The fruit of toil

In an Acton Commentary two years ago, I wrote about the significance of toil: In the midst of the now-common Christian affirmation of all forms of work as God-given vocations, the image of Sisyphus, vainly pushing his boulder up a hill in Hades, only to watch it roll back down again, might serve to remind us of the reality of toil, the other side of the coin. Continue Reading...

What Christians can learn from Adam Smith’s ‘paradox of value’

In a new video from TED Ed, Akshita Agarwal provides a quick lesson on Adam Smith’s “paradox of value” and the differences between “value in use” and “value in exchange.” For Christians, there’s a crucial lesson here about the best way to meet human needs in the economic order, whether through trade policy, reducing price controls, or any number of other areas.  Continue Reading...

Imago Dei—male and female

The PowerBlog welcomes Lisa Slayton with her review of A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World by Katelyn Beaty. Slayton joined Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation in 2005 to develop a leadership offering, the Leaders Collaborative, that integrated a biblical worldview with vocational discipleship and organizational effectiveness for the flourishing of our city. Continue Reading...