John C. Purdy is a retired minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), which he served for 26 years as an editor of curriculum resource. He is also the author of Parables at Work (Westminster) and God with a Human Face (Westminster/Knox).
Returning God’s Call was published in l989 by Westminster/John Knox Press. This material was prepared for Religion Online by John C. Purdy.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Based on passages from the Gospel of Matthew, this book considers what it means to be “called” in a time when Christians have so many competing claims for their time, love, and commitment. Ten challenges to Christian living are explored, among them: calls to adventure, perfection, costly obedience and fidelity.
- Chapter 1: Hearers of the Call (I Corinthians 1:1-2, 9, 26a)
In Jesus, the call of God comes to us in two ways: in the example of his own obedience, through which the world is saved from sin; and through his verbal calls. We may say then in answer to the question, Who is this Jesus who calls to us from the pages of scripture? that he is the one who in both deed and word summons us to fulfil our Creator’s intent.
- Chapter 2: The Call to Adventure (Matthew 4:17-22)
Those who choose to follow Jesus will find the workplace a place of high adventure.
- Chapter 3: The Call to Perfection (Matthew 5:38-48)
Jesus’ call to perfection is a call to act as God acts.
- Chapter 4: The Call to Secret Service (Matthew 6:1-18)
Christ calls us to a piety that is a private matter between the believer and God.
- Chapter 5: The Call to Mirror a Ministry (Matthew 9:35-10:8a)
Christians are called in various and sometimes curious ways to fight against sickness, death, and evil.
- Chapter 6: The Call to Extend the Family (Matthew 12:46-50)
In family matters, we are called to give first loyalty to the company of the faithful.
- Chapter 7: The Call to Costly Obedience (Matthew 16:24-28)
The Call of Christ is a summons to costly obedience, to challenge the ruling powers that have the power to imprison and kill.
- Chapter 8: The Call to Fidelity (Matthew 19:3-9)
The call of Christ is to life-long fidelity in marriage.
- Chapter 9: The Call to Dispossession (Matthew 19:16-22)
The story of the Rich Young Man tells us that we must be prepared at any moment to share what we have, even to the last penny, with others who are in need.
- Chapter 10: The Call to Servant Leadership (Matthew 20:20-28)
Christ calls us to servanthood–to seek the welfare of others.
- Chapter ll:The Call to Universal Mission (Matthew 28:16-20)
All disciples of Jesus are called to participate in a universal mission.