Graduate Papers/Theses

Date of Award

6-21-2021

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

Department

School of Theology and Seminary

First Advisor

Vincent M. Smiles

Subject Categories

Religion

Abstract

Utilizing the mindset of theology defined as faith seeking understanding, this paper will explore the apostle Paul’s theology on vocation and calling in relation to the “Body of Christ.” It will first aim at exploring Paul’s theology on calling and vocation of the Body of Christ by highlighting 1 Corinthians 12, followed by zooming out to consider recent scholarship on more general Pauline theology. It will then demonstrate how interpretations of Paul’s theology have been utilized and/or critiqued over time in its implementation in relation to vocation and calling. It will conclude with an analysis of newer perspectives of how the present Christian community is “called” to respond to vocation and calling interpretations in order to better carry out our faith as the Body of Christ.

This paper aims to support the thesis that there is unity in the Body of Christ as baptized Christian believers to each carry out God’s will and to grow and transform together as the Image of God, as well as diversity in where and how we are to do so through the church and secular social structures we are a part of. Additionally, God calls us all to live our faith in Jesus Christ through loving and serving our community, in diverse ways through using/embracing different (yet equally bestowed) Holy Spirit-given gifts, while in the numerous and diverse roles we play in the world. This thesis can be distilled into three main themes that can be seen throughout the researched interpretations and that emphasize the interdependence of the Body of Christ, also known as all Christian believers: unity, diversity, and community.

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