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God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  706 ratings  ·  91 reviews
When you understand it properly, the doctrine of vocation—"doing everything for God's glory"—is not a platitude or an outdated notion. This principle that we vaguely apply to our lives and our work is actually the key to Christian ethics, to influencing our culture for Christ, and to infusing our ordinary, everyday lives with the presence of God. For when we realize that t ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published March 22nd 2002 by Crossway Books
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Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I took some notes on calling/vocation and found them so helpful for me at this juncture in my life. I imagine they'd be helpful for others too, so I'm sharing them here.

1. Your calling(s) are for the sake of others.

2. Your job does not necessarily equal calling. You can be unemployed and still have a calling.

3. We can have multiple callings, even within one vocation (e.g., family as grandmother, mother, wife, etc.).

4. Callings change.

5. Callings are unique.

6. Callings can be confirmed and consi
Todd Wilhelm
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book stands opposed to the frenetic books "Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus" by Kyle Idleman and "Follow Me" by David Platt. In those books you are left with the impression that unless you are preaching the gospel in some faraway land where your life is in constant danger because you are a disciple of Christ you are really not living a life sold out for Christ.

In Veith's book he brings a much needed voice of reason, much like Matt Redmond does in his book "The G
Oct 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
So I’m trying to get over this terrible slump with theology books, the attitude of “ugh I already know all that crud I don’t want to read it” slump. The fact is, no I haven’t memorized all those supporting verses, Luther quotes, other theologian quotes. I’m better for having read them again.

I’m also making sure to take notes in a journal and summarizing important thoughts to aid in memorization and future teaching.

Vocation is such a fundamental part of Christianity that books like this seem pa
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Content was excellent! Very good perspective on life and work. Only rated four stars because the writing style wasn’t my favorite, hope that’s ok :)
Glenn Crouch
Mar 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
We Lutherans, I think we are often a bit ignorant of Luther’s work on the Doctrine of Vocation. I know I was! In this book, Veith presents an engaging overview for 21st Century audiences (though he bases his book on the older work by Gustaf Wingren: Luther on Vocation). I think this is an excellent read for all Christians.

Luther argued that locking yourself away to serve God was not some higher calling. From the beginning, God has called us to be Husbands and Wives as well as Parents and Childre
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My interest in this book came with my transition into a new career and my desire to serve God through my work, but I quickly found that the scope goes far beyond professional life and, as the subtitle promised, it helped me gain a greater understanding of my Christian vocation in all of life. The doctrine of vocation was a cornerstone of the Reformation, but has been largely lost in our culture where the Sunday to Monday gap has grown and people tend to compartmentalize life into categories like ...more
Sarah Baughman
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a great exposition on vocational living. Methodical and detailed in how he explains it all, but not at all dry reading. In fact, I teared up several times at various things he said about God’s work in our lives and the lives of others through vocation.
Becky Pliego
2020: Read again and again it was good.

2014: Such a good -and easy to read book. It is the first time I actually read about the doctrine of vocation and I was stirred up to keep pursuing the good calling of God in my life.

Some good words:

"The doctrine of vocation encourages attention to each individual's uniqueness, talents, and personality. These are valued gifts of God, who creates and equips each person in a different way for the calling He has in mind for that person's life." (p.21)

"The pu
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith-related
Amazing book. The doctrine of vocation is terribly misunderstood in American Christianity, and the true doctrine of vocation is the answer to so many of the problems the church is currently having. This book was a breath of fresh air, even though talking about the things I do, because it puts them all in light of the Gospel and encourages me to consider what God has already put in my life as my vocation; no need to feel a higher calling to a great life work in order to be fulfilling God's plans ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Veith's book is simple and straightforward, but filled with great reminders about the many practical vocations to which God has called so many of us. The vocation of family (whatever one's specific role) is particularly important, in my estimation. I appreciate how Veith emphasizes this vocation among many. ...more
May 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, practical
A good intro, some helpful gems but not necessarily thorough.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
One of the best theological books I have read.

J Daniels
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyone needs to read this book, Christian or not. I highly recommend it for a positive outlook on life and guidance.
Ryan Watkins
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
A helpful book explaining the doctrine of vocation.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
What is God’s will for my life? What is God calling me to do? I know that every Christian has asked those two questions a thousand times. What do those two questions reveal about the heart? It reveals that everyone, no matter if they are a follower of Christ or not, wrestles with this idea that they were born for a purpose. Many people spend their entire life trying to figure out their purpose. Why is that? A.W. Tozer would argue that we all search for our purpose, because God has innately wired ...more
Jon Pentecost
Nov 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful modern application of Luther's understanding of vocation. This radically reshaped the terrain of the Christian church by elevating (restoring?) the importance of 'secular' vocation in the Christian life.

I personally profited from this book. I think it's all the stronger for showing how your work-vocation is only one of the vocations God has given you in your life. I think it's a very important book for college students and full-time ministry workers, in order to put other mor
Oct 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
Something of a distillation of Gustaf Wingren's Luther on Vocation. Veith signed my copy in Fall 2014 when I read a paper at a conference at Patrick Henry College, where he was provost at the time. ...more
David Harris
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
Quite good.
Bill Pence
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this helpful book, Gene Veith gives us an exposition of the doctrine of vocation, and then he applies that doctrine in a practical way to life in the twenty-first century. He begins by looking at the nature of vocation - what is the purpose of vocation, how to find one’s vocation, how God calls us to different tasks and how He is present in what we do in our everyday lives. He then addresses specific vocations and specific problems common to them all. His treatment of vocation is drawn mainly ...more
Stephen Escalera
Dec 21, 2010 rated it liked it
In evangelical Christian circles, you might often hear the encouragement to "do everything to the glory of God," an exhortation taken from 1 Cor. 10:31. But just what this means or how this is to be done more often than not goes unsaid and ends up coming across as a meaningless platitude. While Christians should indeed pursue the glory of God in everything they do, how to go about doing this can sometimes remain a mystery.

In God At Work, Gene Edward Veith seeks to help Christians in understandin
Dr. Chad Newton, PhD-HRD
I found this work rather somewhat informative and simultaneously disappointing. Professor Veith, Jr. attempted to give a definition of vocation primarily from a Protestant perspective. He stated that "the term vocation comes from the Latin word for 'calling'" (Veith, Jr., 2002, p. 17). Although Professor Veith, Jr provided passages to support his claims, he failed to explain his method of interpretation. A major part of Christian scholarship pertains to the act of exegesis: the act of deriving m ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jj-fellows
I thought this book was very interesting, if not a bit simplistic (not that there's anything inherently wrong with being simple). I thought Veith touches on a variety of interesting points, but perhaps shies away from some of the more controversial topics. He kind of introduces them and & then moves on. Still, I think it's a valid response to why all Christians aren't explicitly missionaries (but also how they are missionaries in a sense). Anyhow, interesting read, fairly quick read, but I'm not ...more
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
God at Work is a great exposition, very accessible to the general Christian reader, simply on work, or more specifically all the various ways that Christians are called to work in their lives. This is about the doctrine of calling, which perhaps, is initially understood by many as calling by God to exclusive spiritual work, like preaching or some other direct type of church ministry.

Gene Veith is an academic dean at Patrick Henry College, and a frequent writer on the importance of Christians se
Sarah E
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Luther said that faith serves God, but works serve our neighbor."

That's an early sentence out of Gene Veith's short book, which resurrects Martin Luther's teachings on the workaday world for the 21st-century audience (who, like me, has probably never read a word that Luther actually wrote, besides the hymn "A Mighty Fortress" anyway). And with it, Veith launches into a clear outline of what Luther and others taught about the holy pursuit of... plumbing.

Veith covers the vocations of work, citize
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has undergone multiple quarter-life and third-life crises, this book was a salve to my soul. Vocation goes beyond simply having a career or job. It encompasses all the roles and callings a person has. Moreover, each of these vocations is meaningful and necessary in God's work to care for the world and one's neighbors. The mundane is redeemed in a beautiful picture of life and work. ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short book on the doctrine of vocation. If you've never done any reading on vocation, this serves as a good introduction. Vocation is not just about work, but also our callings as family members, citizens, or church members. If you've ever been curious about what it means to be a christian employee, american, wife, child, grandparent, etc., I would recommend this book. Here's an excerpt that I thought summarized the content of the book:

What is distinctive about Luther's approach is that instea
Jim B
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Vieth makes the point that the emphasis on vocation in the Reformation led to the great social changes that followed. Vocation is not restricted to callings within the church, but to every task in society. For this reason, the Reformation did not confine reading, for example, to reading the Bible, but promoted a "liberal" education -- exposure to the wisdom for all of life in order to "free" (root of liberal) people to serve their callings in the best way. Veith points out other good books on vo ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living
My personal reason for reading this book was to put my current work status in a Christian perspective. For the past year, I struggled to find a job that is both enjoyable and worthwhile. I struggled under the societal pressure that I needed a job that made “good money” or was “within my college degree.” After much prayer and family guidance, I am slowly coming to peace with my choices and this book reaffirms my increasing peace.

Gene Edward Veith, Jr. lays it out plain and simple: the doctrine of
In this concise and well-directed book, Veith covers the topic of Christian vocation. He includes excellent chapters on calling, the purpose of vocation, finding your vocations, the vocation of worker, vocation in the family, vocation as a citizen, and vocation in the church, among other related concepts. Borrowing from the Reformers, and particularly Luther (mainly Gustaf Wingren's work, Luther on Vocation), Veith summarizes the doctrine of vocation in layman's terms for very practical understa ...more
Kelli Christenberry
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
God at Work by Veith is actually a focused narration of Gustaf Wingren’s work “Luther on Vocation”. Veith states in the Preface that “Wingren’s book is a complex, specialized theological treatise, somewhat heavy-going for those of us who do not have a theological or pastoral vocation… My book sets forth what I learned from Wingren and Luther in much simpler (and arguably sometimes oversimplified) terms for laypeople like myself.” So after the slight nose flair and eye squint subsides, remember w ...more
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Gene Edward Veith Jr., is the Culture Editor of WORLD MAGAZINE. He was formerly Professor of English at Concordia University Wisconsin, where he has also served as Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. He is the author of numerous books, including Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture, The Spirituality of the Cross: The Way of the First Evangelicals, and God at W ...more

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14 likes · 3 comments
“Luther says that vocations are a “mask from God. That is, God hides Himself in the workplace, the family, the Church, and the seemingly secular society” 6 likes
“The priesthood of all believers” did not make everyone into church workers; rather, it turned every kind of work into a sacred calling.” 4 likes
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