Adam and Eve worked. Jacob and Joseph worked. So did Ruth, David, Daniel, Jonah, Martha, Priscilla and Aquila, Paul ? and most people in the Old and New Testaments. In Work Matters marketplace theology expert R. Paul Stevens revisits more than twenty biblical accounts ? from Genesis to Revelation ? exploring through them the theological meaning of every sort of work, manual or intellectual, domestic or commercial. Taken together, his short, pithy reflections on these well-known Bible passages add up to a comprehensive, Bible-based theology of work ? one that will be equally useful for seminars, classes, Bible studies, and individuals seeking to grasp more fully the theological dimensions of their daily labor.
ps... here is little bit about Paul Stevens taken from his website:
From 1999 until 2005 Paul was the David J. Brown Family Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership at Regent College, Vancouver, BC. His mission is to empower ordinary people to integrate their faith and life from Monday to Sunday. He does this through teaching, coaching, advocating and publishing. He is married to Gail, has three married children and eight grandchildren. Gail and Paul have resided in Vancouver since 1969 and travel to all continents (except Antartica) to teach, learn and contribute.
This marketplace theologian takes the reader through more than twenty biblical accounts of some of the character profiles in the bible and brings out the purpose of their work and how it fits into God’s plan for the world. Out of all the delightful stories in this book one of the many worth commenting on is that of Joseph. His account in the scriptures reads like a modern day soap opera. We see Joseph begins his career as a shepherd following in the footsteps of his father. Then Joseph after being sold by his brothers into slavery ends up in Egypt with a new job working as a slave in house of Potifphar. Then finally Joseph is elevated to the highs position in the land right under the pharaoh and this is where he finds his calling and final vocation. He is trusted with the task of caretaker of all of Egypt’s produce in order to be able to survive the foreseen famine that was to come to Egypt.
But his vocation served to not just protect Egypt but a people and not just any people God’s chosen people. His family being the sons of Jacob and the people of Israel would be care for by his vocation in Egypt. In this R. Paul Stevens reminds us that God is first constantly at work and that as people created in God’s image we to are coworkers with God as he accomplishes his purposes.
I believe in this volume by Stevens through his reflections of these well known Bible passages gives a biblical based theology of work to deal with the question that many who work may be wondering, “Why work? What is the point anyway?” I would recommend this is a great addition to any library as study help to assist in further understanding the Christian theological aspects of our daily labor.
Through no particular fault of the book itself, it took me an excessively long time to work my way through it. Despite appreciating the overall message, the effort Stevens makes to approach the topic from several different angles, and a number of insightful passages I encountered along the way, I just couldn't seem to get into it for extended periods of time. I suspect that I am more at fault than the book itself, though, and so I would still recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.