Does work really matter to God? Most people believe that God cares about how people relate to one another, how people relate to him, and whether they cheat, steal, lie or break the Ten Commandments, but are surprised to think God wants us to work a certain way. God cares a great deal about our work. In fact, work is a major topic in the Bible, beginning with the statement in Genesis 2:15 that God created people to work. Not as a punishment, but as a pleasure and a way of relating to God himself.
This collection of commentaries written by a team of collaborators deals with the theology of work. Gain a new perspective on God’s plan for Christians’ working lives and learn how to incorporate vocation into worship with this applicable study.
For more focused reflection on theology, see the Theological Studies Collection (22 vols.).
“What is the difference between being smart and being wise? Wisdom goes beyond knowledge. It is more than a catalog of facts; it is a masterful understanding of life, the art of living, and an expertise in good decision-making. We can be smart yet never become wise.” (Volume 2, Page 155)
“In the case of Boaz, Ruth, and Naomi, the gleaning laws worked as intended. If it weren’t for the possibility of gleaning, Boaz would have faced two alternatives once he became aware of Ruth and Naomi’s poverty. He could let them starve, or he could have had ready-made food (bread) delivered to their house. The former is unacceptable, but the latter, while it may have alleviated their hunger, would have made them ever more dependent on Boaz. Because of the opportunity of gleaning, however, Ruth not only could work for the harvest, but she would also be able to use the grain to make bread through her own labors. The process preserved her dignity, made use of her skills and abilities, freed her and Naomi from long-term dependency, and made them less vulnerable to exploitation.” (Volume 2, Page 37)
“In particular, how can we provide opportunities for people to gain access to the means of productive work rather than being smothered by dependency or exploitation?” (Volume 2, Page 38)
“in Genesis there is no sharp distinction between the material and the spiritual.” (Volume 1, Page 4)
“There is simply no support in Genesis for the notion, which somehow entered Christian imagination, that the world is irredeemably evil and the only salvation is an escape into an immaterial spiritual world, much less for the notion that while we are on earth we should spend our time in ‘spiritual’ tasks rather than ‘material’ ones. There is no divorce of the spiritual from the material in God’s good world.” (Volume 1, Page 7)
The Theology of Work Project is providing desperately needed resources to pastors and the entire church on what the Bible has to say about our work. I hope that every pastor will preach regularly on how the Gospel changes the way we work and sometimes the work that we do. And I hope that every Christian will see the ways their work connects to God’s work!
—Tim Keller, senior pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
Did you ever wonder what your work has to do with your faith? The short answer is everything, and now you can read all about it in the Theology of Work Bible Commentary, now in print for the first time. Heartily recommended.
—Eric Metaxas, New York Times Bestselling author, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
The Theology of Work Project is an independent, international organization dedicated to researching, writing, and distributing materials with a biblical perspective on work. Its mission is to help people explore what the Christian faith can contribute to ordinary work, and to develop resources for the most significant topics in today’s workplace, such as calling, ethics, truth and deception, motivation, compensation, and more.