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Every Job a Parable by John Van Sloten

23 February 2018

Work is a reflection of God, says Ruth Walker

THIS delightful book opens the reader’s eyes to God in fresh ways. Packed full of stories, it uses laypeople’s terms and experiences to help you grasp a practical theology of work. Looking at faith through the lens of work leaves the reader with a better understanding of the richness of God.

The book is divided into four sections that cover: how to image God at work; how work is a parable; how God reveals himself to us through our work; and how to live out faith effectively through work. The chapters reveal that God is present in all things, and how he can and does use work specifically.

The author digs deep into some fresh theological perspectives. For example, the chapter on the iconic nature of the vocational parable gives a new route into exploring how God reveals his nature through different vocations, and how to engage with work more deeply.

John Van Sloten says that “one of the best ways to learn how to identify the spokenness of your own job is to listen to what God might be saying through another person’s work”. He gave me an appreciation of how God’s image could be seen in the work of others.

Van Sloten suggests that “when someone’s work benefits you, you become more yourself. When you are more yourself you are more of who God made you to be.” I can testify that this gave me a new appreciation of my hairdresser: as I trust her to make me look a new woman, she models something of God, who makes me new as I trust in him.

The use of 48 contemporary workers’ stories helps the reader grasp the depth of our worker-creator God. These stories grabbed my imagination and my heart, and accessibly gave me fresh insight into the theology of work.

Ruth Walker is the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity’s Transforming Work ambassador.


Every Job a Parable: What farmers, nurses and astronauts tell us about God
John Van Sloten
Hodder & Stoughton £13.99
Church Times Bookshop £12.60

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