Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Missing Curriculum: Part 2

The following is the second installment of an article I recently wrote for the May-June issue of Home School Enrichment magazine. The article is titled, The Missing Curriculum:

I was the principal of a Christian school for fourteen years. During those years, it never occurred to me that my school should provide specific instruction for students in the art of God-centered work. Frankly, I did not know there was such a thing as “theology of work,” or anything close to it, that would make up a full curriculum on the topic, as it did in the days of Jonathan Edwards.

For many years, I, like many others, thought only pastors and missionaries did “God-centered work.” I failed to make any connection between selling shoes (which I did part-time while a college student) and the Kingdom of God.

So what does selling shoes have to do with the Kingdom of God?

If we separate the two, we will never understand what the one has to do with the other.

But as the English Puritan Pastor George Swinnock put it, "The pious tradesman will know that his shop as well as his chapel is holy ground."

This is a teaching that we do not often hear today. When was the last time you heard a sermon along the lines that “your shop as well as your chapel is holy ground?”

But as we know from Genesis 1:26-28, God created humans in His likeness and image with one functional purpose in mind: to rule over the earth and all that it contains.

And this raison d’ĂȘtre necessitates all kinds of work! Furthermore, it makes all legitimate work on planet Earth a response to God Himself!

If this isn’t “holy ground,” I don’t know what is.

The Scripture referenced above, Genesis 1:26-28, says: “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our likeness an image, and let them rule…over all the earth.’”

This profoundly important piece of information is often called, “The Cultural Mandate,” or, “The Dominion Mandate.” But I prefer to call it simply, The First Commission.

And what a commission it is! Here we have a commission to rule over the entire globe!

Chuck Colson summed it up this way: “On the sixth day, God created human beings—and ordered them to pick up where He left off!”

Next week: Part 3