Worldview and Vocation
by J.P. Moreland
- Title: The Integration of Worldview and Vocation
- Date: 2001
- Source: ACSI Leadership Academy Report
- Article Type: Periodical, Presentation
- Audience: Beginner
- Kingdom Categories: Life of the Mind, Spiritual Formation
Proper worldview integration is not an option for the Christian. If we are to be Christians in our vocations we will have to develop a Christian mind in and about those vocations and we must train our students with the same mind set. To understand what I mean here, we need to draw a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic issues in one’s vocation.
An extrinsic issue is one that is part of one’s general Christian vocation but which has nothing specifically to do with one’s particular career or station in life. We evangelicals have done a decent job at working on these extrinsic issues. For example, we have sought to train people to share their faith at work and to be godly examples in the way they conduct themselves. But note carefully that neither of these—evangelism nor godly living—has anything specifically to do with, say, being a physical education teacher as opposed to being a therapist. What we desperately need is a renewed commitment to training people about intrinsic issues: learning to think and live Christianly regarding issues specific to what I do in my career.
It is important to realize that not all fields of study or career paths are equally in need of thinking Christianly. For example, a Christian psychologist, history teacher, or doctor will need to be more carefully integrated as a Christian than, say, a Christian civil engineer or truck driver. I am not saying that it is unimportant for Christian truck drivers to seek to live and think Christianly in their line of work. But different vocational areas do not interact with a Christian worldview in the same way. A good rule of thumb is this:
The more a field is composed of ideas about the nature of ultimate reality, about what we know and how we know things, about moral values and virtues, about the nature and origin of human beings, and about other issues central to mere Christianity, the more crucial it will be to think carefully about how a Christian should integrate His discipleship unto Jesus with the ideas and practices in that field.
This talk tries to make sense of all of these intricate and important worldview integration matters.
Related Content: If this article interests you, you might also want to consider the following:
- “Developing an Apologetic Character” (article)
- Love Your God with All Your Mind (book)
- Lost Virtue of Happiness (book)
- The God Question (book)
- The God Conversation (book)
- Kingdom Triangle (book)
- It usefully connects worldview integration with the importance of thinking Christianly about vocation.
- It offers practical advice about integration.
- It recognizes the importance of how worldview integration as a disciple of Jesus is meant to be worked out in the ordinariness of life.