The Spiritual Career – Wayne Back

From Chapter one – ‘Embracing a calling driven career’
“A calling-based approach to our career introduces a different approach to our work. We not only think about the needs of our career, but we also think about how the Lord wants to bring Heaven to Earth through our career. We consider ourselves called, we pray for our calling, we listen to the Spirit and others for guidance about our calling, we expect trials for our growth and we build our faith for our calling. Above all, when we pursue a career from our calling, we approach our work with faith of God’s blessing through it. How then do we get started to pursue our calling in the workplace?”

From Chapter two – Using gifts and passions in your career: The key to personal effectiveness’
“Let’s think of your unique calling as comprised of three aspects mentioned in the preceding Scripture – your gifts, your ministries and your activities. Your gifts are the endowments of grace from God that are deposited at birth and through spiritual empowerment. Your ministries are the arenas you are involved with and should be a reflection of your passions. Your activities are the tasks you do and should be a reflection of the way in which you like to work. Our calling can be found at the intersection of our gifting, ministries and activities.”

Wayne Back is the founder and Managing Director of Management Training Australia (www.mtaustralia.com) and Organisational Development International (www.odi.net.au). He was converted as a result of a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit whilst doing research in atomic physics at the University of Western Australia. He has been a minister in Christian City Churches in Canberra and Melbourne, Australia for 20 years, serving as a Senior Pastor for 13 years and Executive Pastor for 5 years. During this time he started several churches and ministry training colleges and well as managing the staff of one of Melbourne’s largest churches. He is the author of the books “Understanding the witness of the Spirit”, “Understanding the anointing of the Holy Spirit” and “Building Spiritual Enterprises.” He holds an Honours degree in Physics, a Diploma of Ministry and a Masters in Management. Wayne lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife of 26 years. He has three daughters and a grand-daughter. He writes a blog on Christian Business at www.wayneback.com

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Billy Graham – Evangelist

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare… We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.. We have abused power and called it politics… We have coveted our neighbour’s possessions and called it ambition.. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honoured values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free.. Amen!”

– Billy Graham, at 90 years old

Mike Collins – Apollo 11

I think if you do something that’s drastically different, like flying to the moon and coming back again,everyone tells you how important it is, how wonderful it is, and how important, important, important. Then by comparison, a lot of other things that used to seem important don’t seem quite as much so. I’m not saying that I’m able to face life with greater equanimity because I’ve flown to the moon. But I tried to and maybe some of our terrestrial squabbles don’t seem as important after having flown to the moon, then they did before.

Richard Chartres – Bishop of London

clip_image002Richard Chartres, Bishop of London
I believe in God because He has both revealed and hidden Himself in so many different ways: in the created world, the Holy Bible, the man Jesus Christ; in the Church and men and women of God through the ages; in human relationships, in culture and beauty, life and death, pain and suffering; in immortal longings, in my faltering prayers and relationship with Him. There is nothing conclusive to force me into believing, but everything sug­gestive, and constantly drawing me on into the love of Christ and to “cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt”.

David Alton – Lib Dem peer

clip_image002David Alton, Lib Dem peer
The notion that humanity and the cosmos are an accident has always seemed implausible. A world littered with examples of complex genius – from developments in quantum theory to regenerative medicine – points us towards genius more perfect and more unfathomable than ourselves. The powerful combination of faith and reason led me as a child to believe in God.

Unsurprisingly, as I matured into manhood, that belief has not been immune against the usual catalogue of failure, sadness and grief; and belief has certainly not camouflaged the horrors of situations I have seen first hand in places such as Congo and Sudan. Paradoxically, it has been where suffering has been most acute that I have also seen the greatest faith.

By contrast, the more we own or have, the more difficulty we seem to have in seeing and encountering the Divine.

Professor Stephen R L Clark – Philosopher

clip_image002Professor Stephen R L Clark, philosopher
I believe in God because the alternatives are worse. Not believing in God would mean that we have no good reason to think that creatures such as us human beings (accidentally generated in a world without any overall purpose) have any capacity – still less any duty – to discover what the world is like.

Denying that “God exists” while still maintaining a belief in the power of reason is, in my view, ridiculous.My belief is that we need to add both that God is at least possibly incarnate among us, and that the better description of God (with all possible caveats about the difficulty of speaking about the infinite source of all being and value) is as something like a society. In other words, the Christian doctrine of the incarnation, and of the trinity, have the philosophical edge. And once those doctrines are included, it is possible to see that other parts of that tradition are important.

Stephen Green – Director, Christian Voice

clip_image001Stephen Green, director of the fundamentalist pressure group Christian Voice
I came to faith in God through seeing the ducks on a pond in People’s Park, Grimsby. It struck me that they were all doing a similar job, but had different plumage. Why was that? Why did the coot have a white beak and the moorhen a red one? Being a hard-nosed engineer, I needed an explanation that worked and the evolutionary model seemed too far-fetched and needful of too much faith!

I mean, what could possibly be the evolutionary purpose of the bars on the hen mallard’s wings, which can only be seen when she flies? Or the tuft on the head of the tufted duck?

So I was drawn logically to see them as designed like that. I suppose I believed in an intelligent designer long before the idea became fashionable. So, that left me as a sort of a deist. But God gradually became more personal to me and I was drawn against all my adolescent atheist beliefs deeper and deeper into faith in Jesus Christ.

Professor Derek Burke – Biochemist

clip_image002Professor Derek Burke, biochemist and former president of Christians in Science
There are several reasons why I believe in God. First of all, as a scientist who has been privileged to live in a time of amazing scientific discoveries (I received my PhD in 1953, the year Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA), I have been overwhelmed by wonder at the order and intricacy of the world around us. It is like peeling skins off an onion: every time you peel off a layer, there is another one underneath, equally marvellously intricate. Surely this could not have arisen by chance? Then my belief is strengthened by reading the New Testament especially, with the accounts of that amazing person, Jesus, His teaching, His compassion, His analysis of the human condition, but above all by His resurrection. Third, I’m deeply impressed by the many Christians whom I have met who have lived often difficult lives with compassion and love. They are an inspiration to me.

Peter J Bussey – Particle Physicist

clip_image002Peter J Bussey, particle physicist
God is the ultimate explanation, and this includes the explanation for the existence of physical reality, for laws of nature and everything. Let me at this point deal with a commonly encountered “problem” with the existence of God, one that Richard Dawkins and others have employed.
It goes that if God is the ultimate cause or the ultimate explanation, what then is the cause of God, or the explanation for God? My reply
is that, even in our own world, it is improper to repeat the same investigatory question an indefinite number of times. For example, we ask, “Who designed St Paul’s Cathedral?” and receive the reply: “Sir Christopher Wren.” But, “No help whatever,” objects the sceptic, “because, in that case, who then designed Sir Christopher Wren?” To this, our response will now be that it is an inappropriate question and anyone except a Martian would know that. Different questions will be relevant now.

So, likewise, it is very unlikely that we know the appropriate questions, if any, to ask about God, who is presumably outside time, and is the source of the selfsame rationality that we presume to employ to understand the universe and to frame questions about God.
What should perhaps be underlined is that, in the absence of total proof, belief in God will be to some extent a matter of choice.

Reverend Professor Michael Reiss – Bioethicist

clip_image002Reverend Professor Michael Reiss, bioethicist and Anglican priest
At the age of 18 or 19, a religious way of understanding the world began increasingly to make sense. It did not involve in any way abandoning the scientific way. If you like, it’s a larger way of understanding our relationship with the rest of the world, our position in nature and all those standard questions to do with why we are here, if there is life after death, and so on. That was reinforced by good teaching, prayer and regular reading of scripture.

Peter Richmond – Theoretical Physicist

clip_image002Peter Richmond, theoretical physicist
Today most people reject the supernatural but there can be no doubt that the teachings of Jesus are still relevant. And here I would differentiate these from some of the preaching of authoritarian churches, which has no doubt been the source of much that could be considered to be evil over the years. Even today, we see conflict in places such as Africa or the Middle East – killings made in the name of religion, for example. As Christians, we recognise these for what they are – evil acts perpetrated by the misguided. At a more domestic level, the marginalisation of women in the Church is another example that should be exposed for what it is: sheer prejudice by the present incumbents of the Church hierarchy. But as Christians, we can choose to make our case to change things as we try to follow the social teachings of Jesus. Compared to pagan idols, Jesus offered hope, comfort and inspiration, values that are as relevant today as they were 2,000 years ago.

David Myers – Professor of Psychology

clip_image001David Myers, professor of psychology, Hope College, Michigan
[Our] spirituality, rooted in the developing biblical wisdom and in a faith tradition that crosses the centuries, helps make sense of the universe, gives meaning to life, opens us to the transcendent, connects us in supportive communities, provides a mandate for morality and selflessness and offers hope in the face of adversity and death.

Nick Brewin – Molecular Biologist

clip_image002Nick Brewin, molecular biologist
A crucial component of the question depends on the definition of “God”. As a scientist, the “God” that I believe in is not the same God(s) that I used to believe in. It is not the same God that my wife believes in; nor is it the same God that my six-year-old granddaughter believes in; nor is it the God that my brain-damaged and physically disabled brother believes in. Each person has their own concept of what gives value and purpose to their life. This concept of “God” is based on a combination of direct and indirect experience.

Humankind has become Godlike, in the sense that it has acquired the power to store and manipulate information. Language, books, computers and DNA genomics provide just a few illustrations of the amazing range of technologies at our fingertips. Was this all merely chance? Or should we try to make sense of the signs and wonders that are embedded in a “revealed religion”?

Perhaps by returning to the “faith” position of children or disabled adults, scientists can extend their own appreciation of the value and purpose of individual human existence. Science and religion are mutually complementary.

Denis Alexander – Director, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion,

clip_image002Denis Alexander, director, Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, Cambridge
I believe in the existence of a personal God. Viewing the universe as a creation renders it more coherent than viewing its existence as without cause. It is the intelligibility of the world that requires explanation.

Second, I am intellectually persuaded by the historical life, teaching, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, that He is indeed the
Son of God. Jesus is most readily explicable by understanding Him as the Son of God. Third, having been a Christian for more than five decades, I have experienced God through Christ over this period in worship, answered prayer and through His love. These experiences are more coherent based on the assumption that God does exist.

Alan Bean – Apollo 12

Since that time, I have not complained about the weather one single time. I’m glad there is weather. I’ve not complained about traffic. I’m glad there’s people around. One of the things that I did when I got home, I went down to the shopping centres and I’d just go around there, get an ice cream cone or something and just watch the people go by and think, boy we’re lucky to be here. Why do people complain about the earth? We are living in the Garden of Eden.   

Jim Lovell – Apollo 8 & 13

We learned a lot about the moon, but what we really learned was about the earth. The fact that just from the distance of the moon you can put your thumb up and you can hide the earth behind your thumb. Everything that you’ve ever known – your loved ones, your business, the problems of the earth itself… all behind your thumb, and how insignificant we really all are. But then how fortunate we are to have this body and to be able to enjoy living here amongst the beauty of  the earth itself.

Charlie Duke – Apollo 16

A friend of ours got us to go to a bible study at the tennis club and after that weekend I said to Jesus, I said, I give you my life and be real, come into my life and I believe. And he did and I had this sense of peace that was hard to describe. It was so dramatic that we started sharing our story. I say my walk on the moon lasted 3 days and it was a great adventure, but my walk with God lasts forever.

Gene Cernan – Apollo 10 & 17

I felt that I was literally standing on a plateau somewhere out there in space. A plateau that science and technology had allowed me to get to. But now what I was seeing, and even more importantly, what I was feeling at that moment in time, science and technology had no answers for. Literally no answers, because there I was and there you are, there you were, the earth, dynamic, overwhelming, and I felt that the world had just too much purpose, too much logic, it was just too beautiful to have all happened by accident. There has to be somebody bigger than you and bigger than me, and I mean this in a spiritual sense, not a religious sense. There has to be  a creator in the universe who stands above the religions that we ourselves create to go in our lives.