Darrow Miller and Friends

Great Commission Utilitarianism, Part 4

Work and Wealth

In the biblical framework of oikonomia, work and the creation of wealth are intrinsically good and are to contribute to the end – the telos – to which all of history is moving: the Glory of God, and the return of Christ and his kingdom.

The work of human beings is carried forward from time into eternity, from the “old earth” to the new heaven and new earth. To say it differently, the work of human imagination and man’s hands, godly ideas and artifacts, will transcend with the redeemed from time to eternity, earth to heaven.

As Revelation 21:23-26 discloses: “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it” (emphasis added). The wealth of the nations will be brought into the garden-city as a tribute to Christ the king.

This wealth may consist of the natural treasures of a nation that have been cultivated by the people of the nation, such as gold, frankincense, or cedars of Lebanon. It may be material artifacts that were born from human creativity such as art, music (from Bach and Handel to the harmonies of Africa), beautiful fabrics, sculpture, as well as beautiful human artifacts such as furniture built by the Shaker communities.  It may be the discoveries of human beings such as the ancient civilizations’ creation of the wheel, the 2nd century creation of paper by the Chinese, or the 17th century English scientist Robert Hooke’s invention of glass. It may be the ideals birthed in nations, the ‘Dignity of Labor’ in Germany, ‘Peacemaking’ in Norway or ‘Freedom’ in the USA.

-Darrow L. Miller

Our next post will be the final in the series.

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).