Work in the Spirit 19

imgresSome Christians are against attempts to humanize alienating work, sometimes arguing for a type of “virtue [in] suffering” and other times noting the futility of all such attempts, observes Miroslav Volf in Work in the Spirit.

Volf himself recognizes that “the inescapable reality of human sin makes work unavoidably an ambiguous reality: it is both a noble expression of human creation in the image of God and a painful testimony to human estrangement from God.”  He acknowledges that this calls for realism.  But he believes this also “prohibits quietism in relation to alienating work.”  For “those who acknowledge Christ’s lordship,” the presence of the Holy Spirit “gives hope that work also can be transformed in ever greater correspondence” to its ideal — “pleasant, and full of delight, entirely exempt from all trouble and weariness” (quoting John Calvin).

So, it is our tasks as Christians to “hope against all hope and strive in the power of the Spirit to make work ‘full of delight.’”

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