Monday, March 31, 2008

Definition of the Call/Calling

Dr. George N. Malek must be one of South Africa's most abstruse theologians. Among his many publications is a fourteen-page booklet titled The Calling to the Priesthood. A common view of calling is that it is to see what will be, i.e. it is synonymous with vision. It is "a vision from the Lord" (Halcomb J, Hamilton D and Malmstadt H 2000:65). In contrast, Malek considers that the calling is to see what is not -- in fact, to see what cannot be through human agency. He introduces "the nature of the calling" with the well known passage Isaiah 6:3-8. This includes Isaiah's words: "Woe is me! For I am lost ..." Malek writes: "The nature of the calling begins not by 'hearing a call from God', but by seeing, perceiving the condition of man without God" (Malek G N 1997:1). This includes the condition of ministry without God. He warns of the call that departs from this, and "turns into ethics" (:11). The calling is about "the point of banishment" (:9) -- again, to see what is not, and cannot be through human agency -- and therefore the calling has to be "involved in the reality of God" (:8). "A call is the total poverty of man in the hands of Almighty God" (:7). QUESTION: How is such theology applied?

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