Vocation as runtime modification

It hits me, reading Kuzmic's "Subversive Klesiology," that the difference between the first three orderings, WRT God, fellow-humanity, and fellow-life respectively, are like the way we compile a binary from source for distribution. The creation is a distribution with known runtime dependencies, and we link them in the right order. Following Barth's first three "orders" of creation is simply describing the environment in which all human programs will run. But the fourth, freedom in limitation, allows that God makes runtime modifications to every instance of running code in its unique span of processor time, and that these modifications may differ from the original compiled instructions. We are applied, and reapplied, within our slice of time as God calls us (indeed, we "call" and "invoke" programs, too!). In this way, we need not think of ourselves as "born" to any long-running and consistent purpose in the Thomistic sense. We are capable, flexible, and intelligent code designed for our environment and time, but designed also to adapt. God's ongoing creative action (this is still volume III, remember, ethics of God the Creator) moves us to those good purposes which appear in our time, for our gifts, as we are in Christ.

As Kuzmic distinguishes them, it makes good Barthian sense: our Beruf in the sense that we commonly talk about vocation is always subject to the same white-knuckled grip we apply to maintaining the dry stream bed that is the church. It is likewise always subject to the Berufung that summons us away from there and into something new. And so we sublate Beruf by extracting it from that fierce grip and making it into an over-conception of our life in Christ, subject to Berufung in any time and place of our Beruf.

Ah, but there's more. At every instance where we receive Berufung, as we do the work we Anruf back to God in prayer. Every Berufungspunkt is also an Anrufungspunkt -- which will ring true to all of us who spend long hours praying over our vocational discernment, as well as our vocational performance. Very much in line with the reading done by Nigel Biggar in The Hastening that Waits. The understanding of klesis/Ruf in the Church Dogmatics seems like a rich vein for understanding.


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