Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

NIV Faith and Work Bible BOOK CLUB

faith-and-work-bibleNIV Faith and Work Bible, Edited by David H. Kim. Zondervan. 1,632 pages. 2016

I couldn’t be happier to see this new Faith and Work Bible, as a passion of mine is to help people integrate their faith and work.  Tim Keller, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in New York City, writes the Foreword. It was Keller’s excellent 2012 book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work that started me on my own faith and work journey. This journey has included holding faith and work events at my church, reading a number of books about faith and work, and leading a faith and work book club in my workplace. I have already shared information about this wonderful new resource with my fellow book club members. David H. Kim is the Pastor of Faith and Work at Redeemer. He is also Executive Director of the Center for Faith & Work. It was in Every Good Endeavor that I first heard of Redeemer’s Center for Faith & Work.

This new Bible has the following features:

  • 66 book introductions highlight the application of each book’s teachings to faith and work.
  • 75 Deeper at Work stories deliver strength and encouragement from the real-life experiences of people facing the same daily challenges and opportunities we all face. I have enjoyed reading some of these stories, edited by Bethany Jenkins, on the Gospel Coalition’s excellent Faith and Work
  • 45 Core Doctrine articles feature teachings from Christian leaders throughout the ages to help you learn the Biblical basis for integrating your faith and work.
  • A 31-day journey through the Biblical narrative helps you grasp Scripture’s overarching storyline.
  • 4 essays by David H. Kim, Richard Mouw, Nancy Ortberg, and Jon Tyson connect the gospel to your daily work life.
  • Full text of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking at the special features included in this new resource. This week we look at Tim Keller’s Foreword:

  • Why do we need to understand how to integrate the Christian faith with our daily work? Why is there a need for a Bible like this?
  • Christians do not cease to be the church when the public gatherings are over. They are called to be the church and to represent their Lord throughout the week in every area of life, including the workplace.
  • When we think out the implications the gospel bears on our work—how it changes our motivations for work, relationships at work, and the way we imagine the work itself—we are better enabled to live distinctively Christian lives in the world.
  • To be on mission requires that lay Christians be discipled by their churches to do three things: (1) be a verbal witness to their friends and colleagues; (2) serve the needs of their neighbors, and especially the poor, whether they believe as we do or not; (3) integrate their faith with their work and engage culture through their vocations.
  • Most Christians have not learned to read the Scriptures while always asking
  • “How does this text inform my public life and vocation?” Over the years, some Christians have complained that the Bible doesn’t really give much help for how to be a believer on the job. Within these pages, your eyes will be opened to how God’s Word does give “everything we need for a godly life” (II Peter 1:3).

Faith and Work by David Kim:

  • We all integrate faith into our work, but most of the time we’re completely unaware of what faith underlies our work.
  • Faith is an indispensable part of work, whether that work is paid or unpaid.
  • Being a faithful Christian at work involves looking for opportunities to tell non-Christians about the saving work of Jesus, and also being a “good example” of a morally upright person in our daily tasks and decisions.
  • The gospel is intended to penetrate our motivations, relationships and the very world we engage with day-in and day-out.
  • Starting with our motivations, the gospel challenges the reasons why we work.
  • Many of us now look to work as the source of our identity instead of the expression of it.
  • In the gospel, work again becomes an expression of our identity as God’s children. Instead of us trying to earn a sense of worth, security, and meaning from our work, our work becomes the opportunity for us to demonstrate in big and small ways the beauty and wonder of what it means to be created in God’s image.
  • The gospel transforms all of our motivations so that we may work to bring God glory, and so that when others see the work of our hands.
  • Second, the gospel transforms our relationships in such a way that we can begin to honor everyone we encounter, knowing that they too are created in God’s image.
  • Renewing our relationships at work begins with a transformation of how we view and love those with whom we work.
  • Christ’s love compels us to push the boundaries of what it means to love the people with whom we work, even while respecting the appropriate boundaries of a workplace relationship. Christ’s love challenges us to consider what it means to care for others, seeking their good as well as our own.
  • How unfortunate that we so often have to remind ourselves that the individuals with whom we work are not a means to an end. They are not merely fellow employees paid to do work or resources that we can exploit in order to climb the corporate ladder. Rather, they are fellow image-bearers.
  • Society as we know it today has been shaped and significantly influenced by faithful Christians living out their faith in their daily work.
  • Work is an expression of our identity as people created in God’s image.
  • Christians should be the people who care most deeply about the work they do, because they care deeply about God’s glory being made known in all the world.
  • The articles and notes in this Bible are directed toward a faith and work revival that takes seriously how the gospel actively transforms and renews all three of these areas—our motivations for work, our relationships in work, and how our work renews and impacts this world.

Theological Foundations

  • The Centrality of the Gospel. Grasping the gospel of Jesus Christ is the main point of this Bible.
  • Calling and Work: Definitions. This Bible will address both the concepts of calling and work.
  • Calling (and its Latin-derived synonym, vocation) is a larger category describing God’s purposes for humanity.
  • One of the fundamental premises of this book is that God has in a sense called his people out of this world—a world characterized by sin,disbelief, pride, self-preservation and other ills—so that he can call them back into the world to seek its peace and prosperity.
  • This larger call includes but is not limited to the daily work that we do. This work is what we might call our occupation or job—it is the thing we spend most of our day doing. Maintaining this distinction between calling and work allows us to understand how our larger calling can powerfully inform and shape how we approach our work.
  • Our daily work has been significantly impacted by the fall and its far-reaching effects on our world. This larger calling gives us reason to pursue work with redemptive hope and meaning.
  • This Bible addresses both the larger concepts of calling and the more mundane aspects ofour daily work.

Key Features:

  • This Bible features a thirty-one-day journey through the Biblical narrative so that those who have never read the Bible in its entirety can begin to grasp the incredible story line that ties together these seemingly disconnected sixty-six books.
  • An introduction to and overview of the thirty-one Biblical narrative readings can be found in the Storyline Introduction, and a complete index of the readings is located in the Storyline Indexes.
  • The end goal of this Bible is to help users deepen their understanding and experience of the gospel, and to make them excited to engage their work in a new way.
  • This Bible features historic doctrines that help connect the Bible to our current work context. These doctrines are further divided into subtopics that are applied to the areas of motivation, relationships and world. By focusing on these doctrines, you will learn significant theological truths that provide a framework for deeper understanding rather than simply finding “the right Christian answer.” Studying these core doctrines will equip you to meaningfully apply, in a nuanced way, the gospel to various workplace situations and contexts.
  • This major feature is designed to guide your study. Each of these forty-five features has the following aspects: Deeper in Truth. One of the goals of this Bible is to expose its readers to historic and influential writings that have shaped key doctrines of the evangelical faith. To that end, the editors of this Bible have curated a list of excerpts from the works of various writers to elaborate on each doctrine.
  • This brief section helps connect the doctrinal excerpts to your life today by highlighting key ideas and presenting questions that will illuminate its relevance in your workplace.
  • Deeper at Work. The Bible provides wisdom for all ages and all work. Throughout this study Bible you will encounter applications that present real stories of people from various vocations and demographics who have wrestled with the implications of a given doctrine in their work. These stories are not meant to give you the “right” answer or model what the “ideal” Christian looks like; rather, they highlight real people wrestling with what it means to live faithfully, day by day, in their work.
  • We’ve also included more of the Deeper at Work articles outside of the Core Doctrine features throughout this Bible so that you can see how real-life individuals apply the truths of the Bible to their lives. These “Deeper at Work” articles will inspire you to see the full range of how the gospel can be applied, and how it is at work in your work.
  • Essays In the front of this Bible is included a thoughtful essay by Dr. David Kim, the General Editor of the study materials in this Bible. You’ll also find three more insightful essays that apply the concepts within the study notes to your daily life in the end matter.
  • Introductions for each book of the Bible speak to the many ways that each book is applicable to the daily work that you engage in. Reading these will give you the perspective that is needed as you approach each book of the Bible with a view toward the sometimes-daunting task of living for God in the midst of your workplace.