One of the most encouraging trends in the evangelical Church today is the ongoing discussion about the doctrine of vocation. While many people are talking about the doctrine of vocation not enough people are talking about how the gospel transforms our vocation. Issues such as how we do what we do, releasing us from the cultural pressures of both an all-consuming devotion and a punch-in/punch-out mentality in order to find the freedom of a worth ethic rooted in serving Christ. In order to address these issues and more, Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert have written The Gospel At Work seeking to help Christians think through a biblical-theological framework about how they do their work to the glory of God.
At the heart of this book is the hope “that this book will help some Christians to see a little more clearly why God has given them work to do and how they might be thinking about work in sinful ways. We hope this book will help some Christians forsake both idolatry and idleness in favor of a more biblical way of thinking about work as service to King Jesus” (19). Chapter one looks at the idolatry of work and chapter two idleness in work. Chapter three explores the gospel in the workplace. Chapter four examines the King’s purpose in our work. The book turns in chapter five to look at how one can choose a job, in chapter six, balancing, work, church and family, and in chapter seven handling difficult bosses and coworkers. Chapter eight examines the issue of being a Christian boss. Chapter nine explores sharing the gospel, at work. Chapter ten tackles the important topic of full time ministry jobs being more important than secular vocations. The book concludes with looking at what success means.
There is a lot to be thankful to the Lord for in regards to this book. First, the book aims to help the reader away from workaholism and being lazy to being about the glory of God as one works. The Christian of all people should be one who is motivated by the glory of God. This for the Christian provides the foundation for why they work and seek to do excellent work to the glory of God. Yet, as the authors explore in their book, often time’s Christian struggle with this and it affects their witness. A faithful and consistent Christian witness is needed. In order to do that we need resources like The Gospel At Work to help us think through how we work and what we are motivated by. Finally, this book is drenched in the gospel. While the authors pull no punches and will point out areas perhaps where you struggle—they bring the balm of the gospel to bear on vocation in order to instruct and heal.
While much more could be said about The Gospel At Work space constrains us from going into every point. This is an important book that will help every Christian to understand what place work should have in their lives. In a world where we are overworked more than ever what we as Christian need is a message that our work matters to God balanced with the call to be faithful to God, our families and to our employers. The authors accomplish this goal marvelously by focusing clearly, biblically and in a gospel-shaped way on the importance of work for the purpose of one caring for their families and serving in the Church. The Gospel at Work is an important book that will help Christians of all stages of their walk with God and professional careers to know and serve the Lord with excellence to the glory of God. I highly recommend this book and pray the Lord uses it powerful to help Christians to steward their lives well to the glory of God.
Authors: Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Traeger
Publisher: Zondervan (2013)
I received this for free from Zondervan book review program for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.