...[C]oncern about the [inherited doctrine of vocation and its relevance for modern life] was generated out of the complexities and frustrations especially of industrial life, and it has produced a voluminous literature of a popular and semi-popular kind which has served to drive home the problem of daily work upon the conscience of contemporary Christians, and also to provide certain resources for handling it. In addition to this varied literature, the last years have also seen a very general discussion of the question at every level of church life: in ecumencal conferences, in the curricular material of the major denominations, and in conferences and study groups of all kinds.
About the urgency and importance of the problem of vocation there is now no doubt. But now we find that the rather simple formulae in which we have been dealing with it do justice neither to the Biblical and Reformation inheritance, nor to the profound dilemmas that appear not only in industry, but in every area of professional and commercial life. The problem now is not only to equip our lay-people with fuller theological resources for the understanding of the meaning of discipleship, but to utilize their practical experience of day-to-day dilemmas and day to-day decisions.
...Gustaf Wingren's conscientious analysis of Luther's teaching on the matter...remains our prime resource for the understanding of the relation of faith and works.
Nothing could exceed the patience and thoroughness with which Wingren has combed through the Luther corpus.... [I]t will serve to put the full range of Luther's insight at the disposal of those who care for theology as part of their care of all the Churches.
Alexander Miller, Stanford University
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