The Weight of “Calling” (Podcast)

This is my first time publishing a podcast rather than a written blog. I don’t intend to make it a regular thing, but we’ll see. Clearly, I have struggled to write on this blog for a while (it’s been nearly 4 months), but I hope to emerge soon from various other projects and resume. In the meantime, I’ve joined an old friend on his podcast twice over the past few months, and the link below is the latest installment.

This episode is mostly concerned with the obsession over one’s Christian calling or purpose that many are prone to in the Christian Evangelical movement. Joey Papa (host of the podcast) and I share our experiences with this phenomenon and discuss it at length. Take a listen; it’s just under an hour long.

Podcast link:

YouTube Link:

4 thoughts on “The Weight of “Calling” (Podcast)

  1. Phenomenal!! I listened to the episode as a subscriber to the podcast itself, however I listened (again) the episode titled “Eat, drink and be merry” (Season One, Episode 12); which in my opinion was a BRILLIANT explanation of both the Book of Job and Ecclesiastes if you’re a follower of Christ. Adding “Sun Maker” in Ecclesiastes helps me immensely and puts the (otherwise bleak book) into perspective. Additionally, knowing that Solomon was older during his reflection on life somehow makes sense as well (because I was reared by older parents, and quite as old as Abraham and Sarah, but close enough 🤪 and I digress…)
    Anywho, #Kudos on BOTH episodes!!! 💪🏾💪🏻🫶🏾🫶🏻👊🏾👊🏻

  2. Eric, This podcast was excellent. I was raised an Evangelical, attended Westmont College and Gorden-Conwell Seminary, and spent most of my 28 year career (after a stint in an unsought for pastoral position) as the director of the career center at Westmont. As you can imagine, this notion of “going big for God” through one’s calling was a huge issue there, with many chapel speakers presenting that ideal, which very few (dare I say none?) could live up to. This led to discouragement, disappointment with oneself (and God) and a sort of giving up even trying. Which of course spirals downward. In my position at Westmont, it took me a while to look at the fallacy and unbiblical nature of this view of calling when I found Jerry Sittser’s book (among some others), The Will of God as a Way of Life and eventually brought him to campus. He does a great job of punching holes in all that. I realized that the dynamic of the evangelical approach to evangelism has some similarities. At Westmont both as a student and when I was on staff, I heard the strong message that we are all evangelists, peeple are falling off the edge of the earth into hell, so how dare you sit on your butt and not spread the good news? Speakers who did seem to have the gift of evangelism would recount amazing stories of people they had brought to the Lord, in taxis, elevators, restaurants, etc. So in a feat of what I call “gift projection,” the message would be: “I did it and so can you!” As a young introverted and insecure person I would say in one voice, ” I guess I can,” and in another more compelling one: “not on your life!” And so without even realizing it, I gave up any attempt to share my faith as I suspect the majority of my peers did as well. As now an Orthodox Christian convert (of about 25 years), I experience real freedom in both these areas (though not without some residual baggage), and see the toxic nature of the “calling” myth you so well exposed. Appreciate your insights reflected in your blogs and podcasts. Thanks! Dana Alexander

  3. Hello Eric,
    I found this discussion about evangelical callings very interesting. It is a fascinating subject and one that I have pondered for several decades. An
    interesting talk indeed.

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