In his lectures on Romans, Martin Luther insisted that “every station in society imposes its peculiar requirement, which is neglected if one instead imitates the legend of some holy life,” according to Gustaf Wingren in the introduction to Luther on Vocation.
What exactly is Luther saying? He is engaging in a “polemic against the solitary monastic life, isolated from the family and the life of the world.” In other words, to define “vocation” or “calling” narrowly as referring to “a solitary monastic life,” imitating the “legend of some holy life,” is plain wrong in Luther’s view.
What would be a modern equivalent? How about narrowly limiting “calling” to some prevalent notion of a “holy life” — e.g., being a pastor or missionary, or holding a position of elder or deacon? And what is the flip side? At a minimum, “calling” means more than that. But how much more?