James Davison Hunter in To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World, p. 248
Sunday, April 29, 2012
The Sovereignty of God . . . Over Some of Life?
"In the 'defense against' paradigm, it is the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists who have fashioned a somewhat unique approach to these issues (revolving around the relationship of faith to vocation and culture). The backdrop for their approach is the dualism created by the division between public (secular) and private (and religious) life inherent in the modern world. As we know, this dualism is both embedded within social institutions and legitimated by political philosophy and they mutually reinforce each other in powerful ways. Though in theory Evangelicals and Fundamentalists believe God is sovereign in all of life, in practice their traditions of pietism actually reinforce this dualism. All of this has resulted in a peculiar approach to faith and vocation. For generations of faithful Evangelicals and Fundamentalists, vocation in the secular world was at best a necessary evil. To the extent that work had 'kingdom significance,' it was a platform for evangelism. The mark of true piety for a committed believer whether in skilled or manual labor or in the realms of business, law, education, public policy, and social welfare, was to lead a Bible study and evangelize their associates in their place of work. In this paradigm, work was instrumentalized- it was regarded as simply a means to a spiritual ends."