The gospel gives Christians “a deep and layered vision of human flourishing that often enables” us to work “in ways distinct from those around us.” Yet, an “unbalanced emphasis on worldview” has its dangers, says Tim Keller in Every Good Endeavor.
It “can lead us to privilege white-collar work over blue-collar work” since we have a hard time seeing the relevance of the Christian worldview “to the assembly-line worker or the craftsman or technician” and what day to on a daily basis. “To think of work only in worldview terms…can subtly imply that the Bible’s view of work is less relevant to those of the working classes,” and lead Christians to “undervalue the good work done by nonbelievers.”
The healthy counterbalance comes from the biblical and Lutheran “conception of work as a vehicle for God’s loving provision for the world,” undergirded by the doctrine of common grace — i.e., “God works in the broader reaches of cultural interaction to bestow certain blessings on all people — blessings that provide the basis for Christians to cooperate with, and learn from, non-Christians.”
Without this understanding of common grace, Christians may end up disengaging from the popular culture wrongly believing Christian activities occur “only within church activity,” or believe the popular culture must only be engaged “overtly in” Jesus’ name.
Keller calls instead for “an integration of faith and work,” marked by “both humble cooperation and respectful provocation” when working alongside non-Christians.