Another helpful aspect of Dr. Mark Noll's lecture was his attempt to bring a theology to bear on everyday life. He used the theology of atonement as a grid, taking different aspects of paschal substitutionary atonement and distilling what it tells us about God, Humanity, Creation, Vocation, etc. Very helpful.
if God is willing to Incarnate Himself in order to Rescue us from our insistent Rebellion against his Rule,
and if God is willing to Be the Sacrifice He Requires to Remove the Penalty of Sin from us Onto Himself,
and if God is willing to Die a Death we Ought to Die so that we might Live a Life he Created us to Live,
what does that tell us about God, Humanity, Life and Death, Creation, Vocation, etc?
It tells us many things, for example: God is radically loyal to his creation, not desiring that any should perish in their rebellion but be given an opportunity for reprieve.
Humanity is worth saving!
Creation is worth restoring, Creation is worth being rescued from our rebellion towards God and his Way.
If God's work is about rescuing people from their Rebellion and their Harmful ways towards one another, then our Vocation is at its best when it contributes to helping people escape that Rebellion and Harmful Way AND living in the way of Hope and Healing, in Alignment with God's Way.
What does this kind of Vocation look like as a business owner? an educator? a mayor? a janitor? a parent? an athlete?
It was a helpful attempt to bring the theology of atonement to bear on everyday life. Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion, scorns the idea that theology would have anything helpful to say to our everyday life. His scorn is probably fueled by either shoddy attempts in the past, or the lack of attempts in the present.
Does theology matter? Yes. Part of my vocation is to help my family and friends connect the dots between theology and everyday life.
Thanks Dr. Noll for the the theological inspiration.