Work in the Spirit 9

imgresWhile the Old Testament shows “the purpose of work was not merely sustenance, but also cultural development,” “we search in vain in the New Testament for a cultural mandate, let alone for the ‘gospel of work.’”  How are we to “interpret [this] silence of the New Testament about the possible broader significance of human work”?

In Work in the Spirit, Miroslav Volf proposes that we not take the New Testament’s silence as “an implicit discouragement of cultural involvement.”  Rather, it is “an expression of a singleminded concentration on a different kind of work needed in a particular period of salvation history.”  He concludes:

The significance of secular work depends on the value of creation, and the value of creation depends on its final destiny.  If its destiny is eschatological transformation, then, in spite of the lack of explicit exegetical support, we must ascribe to human work inherent value, independent of its relation to the proclamation of the gospel (human work and the proclamation of the gospel are each in its own way directed toward the new creation).

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