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The Call Os Guinness 1998 Chapters 1-9. 2 Introduction  “…truth does matter, all claims have consequences, and contrast is the mother of clarity.” (p.

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Presentation on theme: "The Call Os Guinness 1998 Chapters 1-9. 2 Introduction  “…truth does matter, all claims have consequences, and contrast is the mother of clarity.” (p."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Call Os Guinness 1998 Chapters 1-9

2 2 Introduction  “…truth does matter, all claims have consequences, and contrast is the mother of clarity.” (p. viii)

3 3 Introduction  The “Big Three” Answers  1. The Eastern Answer  2. The Secularist Answer  3. The Biblical Answer

4 4 Introduction  1. The Eastern Answer  Hinduism and Buddhism  “…freedom is not freedom to be an individual but freedom from individuality— through detachment and renunciation by one path or another” (p. viii)

5 5 Introduction  2. The Secularist Answer  Includes atheists, agnostics, naturalists, and humanists  “We don’t discover it [purpose]—we decide it.” (p. ix)

6 6 Introduction  3. The Biblical Answer  Common to Christians and Jews  The major force that defines purpose that is characteristic in Western civilizations.  Final reality is not:  chance  an impersonal ground of being  Final reality is:  an infinite, personal, creator God in whose image we are created and with whom we are called to have a relationship.  Our Purpose is “who we are created to be and who we are called to be” (p. ix)

7 7 The Ultimate Way (Chapter 1)  3 Factors of the Search for Significance  One of our deepest issues  We can live purposeful lives  Thwarted by no consensus of what the purpose of life is (p. 3)

8 8 The Ultimate Way (Chapter 1)  Knowing who we are NOT is a first step in knowing who we ARE (p. 6)

9 9 Seekers Sought (Chapter 2)  True Seekers  They have a sense of purpose and idealism  Something has caused them to look for the answers (p. 10)

10 10 Seekers Sought (Chapter 2)  True Seekers  4 Perspectives  The pursuit is the end  Desire is evil  Eros  Agape (pp. 11-14)

11 11 Seekers Sought (Chapter 2)  God is the Bridge (p. 14)

12 12 Seekers Sought (Chapter 2)  Seekers and Sought (p. 16)

13 13 The Haunting Question (Chapter 3)  Our own identity  Responsibility (p. 18-19)

14 14 The Haunting Question (Chapter 3)  Calling  “The notion of calling, or vocation, is vital to each of us because it touches on the modern search for a basis for individual identity and an understanding of humanness itself” (p. 20)

15 15 The Haunting Question (Chapter 3)  Human Individuality  “constrained to be”  “the courage to be”  “constituted to be”  “called to be” (p. 21-26)

16 16 Everyone, Everywhere, Everything (Ch 4)  “Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service” (p. 29)

17 17 4 Essential Strands of “Calling”  In the Old Testament  1. calling has a simple, straightforward meaning of to communicate  2. “to call” = to name = to make  In the New Testament  3. calling = salvation  4. calling = discipleship

18 18 Primary and Secondary callings  Primary Calling  “... as followers of Christ is by him, to him, and for him” (p. 31)  Secondary Calling  “... considering who God is as sovereign, is that everyone, everywhere, and in everything should think, speak, live, and act entirely for him” (p. 31)

19 19 The challenge  1. Hold the two ideas of primary and secondary calling together  2. Keep them in the right order: primary calling comes first  Distortions:  The Catholic Distortion  The Protestant Distortion

20 20 The Catholic Distortion  The “two-tier” view of life  spiritual dualism: spiritual is better than secular  elitism  higher versus lower  sacred versus secular  perfect versus permitted  contemplation versus action  Only “full-time Christian ministers” have a calling  Monasticism  from reforming mission to relaxing effect  Abraham Kuyper:  “There is not one square inch of the entire creation about which Jesus Christ does not cry out, ‘This is mine! This belongs to me!’” (p. 35)

21 21 By Him, to Him, for Him (Ch 5)  Studs Terkel, Working:  Found that most people “live somewhere between a grudging acceptance of their job and an active dislike for it” (p. 36)

22 22 The Protestant Distortion  Secular form of dualism  Elevates the secular at the expense of the spiritual  calling = vocation = work = trade = employment = occupation  “The original demand that each Christian should have a calling was boiled down to the demand that each citizen should have a job” (p. 39)  Work is entirely good => the Protestant work ethic  the problem: the notion of “calling” without a foundation in the Caller

23 23 Do What You Are (Chapter 6)  “God normally calls us along the line of our giftedness, but the purpose of giftedness is stewardship and service, not selfishness” (p. 45)  “To make the choice of career or profession on selfish grounds, without a true sense of calling, is ‘probably the greatest single sin any young person can commit, for it is the deliberate withdrawal from allegiance to God of the greatest part of time and strength’” (p. 46)

24 24 John Cotton’s 3 criteria for choosing a job  1. Warrantable calling – for our own and the public good  2. We are gifted for the job  3. We are guided toward it by God “Giftedness that is ‘ours for others’ is therefore not selfishness but service that is perfect freedom” (p. 47)

25 25 Key distinctions to remember  1. the individual/particular call versus the corporate/general call  2. our original, ordinary calling versus a later, special calling  3. central to the calling versus peripheral to the calling  4. clarity of calling versus the mystery of calling  Soren Kierkegaard: life is lived forward but understood backward (p. 52)

26 26 A time to stand (ch 7)  “the church’s deepest challenge is... spiritual and theological and comes to a head where behavior expresses belief and deeds express words” (p. 57)  “Calling is certainly a truth that touches our personal lives intimately, but it also touches cultural life potently. Calling is more than purely cultural, but it is also more than purely personal” (p. 58)

27 27 Let God be God (ch 8)  The revealed truth: “I am who I am”  “Words are the deepest, fullest expression in which God now discloses himself to us, beginning which his calling us. So it is in listening to him, trusting him, and obeying him when he calls that we ‘let God be God’ in all of his awe and majesty” (p. 64)

28 28 The dimensions of God’s primary call  There are always two dimensions to the call:  Summons and invitation  Law and grace  Demand and offer  “Disciples are not so much those who follow as those who must follow” (p. 65)

29 29 The Audience of One (Ch 9)  “A life lived listening to the decisive call of God is a life lived before one audience that trumps all others—the Audience of One” (p. 70)  Two different orientations:  The Puritans: an “inner-directed world”  Modern Society: “other-directed”

30 30 General Charles Gordon  “I live before the Audience of One. Before others I have nothing to prove, nothing to gain, nothing to lose” (p. 74)

31 31 Coming up... November 8: Guiness chapters 10-18 On the horizon: 11/22: Critical Essay #3 (PPT format)

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