A New Vision for Faith, Work, and Economics
Richard H. Bliese draws on historic architecture of eight-sided churches to call attention to an important but often overlooked emphasis on the eighth day of creation. Early Christians were focused on God's new creation that began in Christ's resurrection on Sunday, the first day of the week. But these Christians understood resurrection as the continuation of God's creative and redemptive activity. So the first day of the week became the eighth day of creation, and therefore the day of resurrection work and time to join with Christ in transforming the world. Christian disciples do this work by living out their baptismal vocations, especially in their daily work and through their ethical economic choices.
The author turns to Martin Luther and the Reformation to outline an evangelical spirituality that invested in people and their vocations as worker-priests. Daily life, work, and family were underscored as the place where discipleship came alive. Bliese describes this as an architectural "design" for faithful living. He further draws on parts of Luther's Small Catechism (Ten Commandments, Apostles' Creed, and Lord's Prayer) as keys to this evangelical design. Five additional architectural designs for eighth-day disciples are included.
The final chapter describes how eighth-day disciples are called to live by faith in freedom and responsibility. Making disciples today needs to revolve around a gospel story that links one's personal faith with one's work and economic life. Such faith gives us ears to hear God's unfolding drama and eyes to see the needs of the neighbor.
The book includes a study guide for personal reflection and group conversation.