Working Through R. Paul Stevens Essay

Pages: 5 (1694 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

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These alternatives to a "calling" are in sharp contrast to what the Bible says about vocations, Stevens reflects. He uses the words of Martin Luther -- one of the "Reformers" -- to illustrate the importance of ordinary people understanding the value of a calling. Luther criticized those entering monastic situations who believed that they had a "special calling" and that they were "superior Christians" -- while ordinary Christians were supposed to react to the commands of the superior Christians (75).

The call of God "…comes to each at the common tasks," Luther wrote; hence, Luther believed there "simply is no special religious vocation." In fact, Luther's views coincide seamlessly with Stevens, which of course is why Stevens chose Luther's narratives. Luther was known to rage against the attempt of people to "find a superior way beyond keeping the Ten Commandments"; Luther wrote, "Search not for things beyond your ability, but the things that God has commanded you" (75).

How Stevens' Narrative could Influence the Understanding of the Ministry

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Stevens has made his point dozens and dozens of times in his book, and that is, theology can be and should be done today by ordinary people. Ordinary people may in fact be surprised to learn that they are doing theology "much of the time," Stevens asserts. In private conversations when people are sharing the good news about Jesus Christ, or just reflecting on how a neighbor came to the aid of a homeless man in the street who was bleeding, this is a kind of theology. In other words, the ministry has been placed on a kind of pedestal and as a result many loving Christian people have been alienated from that supposedly lofty place. It is time now for laypeople, ordinary people, workers, dancers, garbage men and teachers to realize they, too, have the power of theology, even though they may not see it that way.

Works Cited

TOPIC: Essay on Working Through R. Paul Stevens' Assignment

Stevens, R. Paul. 2000. The Other… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/working-r-paul-stevens/6674749.