Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Calling and Clarity

This is the author's version of a work that was submitted/accepted for publication in the following source:

Catholic Library World V. 85, No. 4 June 2015: 272-273.

Calling and Clarity: Discovering What God Wants for Your Life
By Doug Koskela, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2015, 120 pp., ISBN 978-0-8028-7159-6, $15.00 (paper).
A college student went to see her professor in her office one day. She asked her professor: “I want to serve God with my life, but I don’t know where to begin. It’s not clear to me what major would be best for me or in what career I can best serve God. How can I discern God’s calling for my life (xi)?” Many young adults experience both confusion and frustration in trying to discover God’s plan for their life. Doug Koskela, associate professor of theology and associate dean for undergraduate studies in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University, in his book, Calling and Clarity: Discovering What God Wants for Your Life, seeks to provide clarity on the different kinds of callings: Missional Calling, Direct Calling, and General Calling. In addition, he wants to “relieve some of the frustration” (xv) that young adults experience in seeking God’s direction for their life.
Calling and Clarity includes five chapters which discuss three different kinds of calling, a chapter on discerning one’s vocation, and a chapter on the God who calls. Chapter one discusses “the concept of missional calling.” The term “missional calling refers to the main contribution that your life makes to God’s kingdom” (2). This calling can be expressed in various way throughout your life. It may overlap with your career, but it is distinct from it. This is the calling that aligns with your gifts, passions, and opportunities. The author believes that it “usually takes significant time, prayer, and communal involvement to discern” (5). Koskela emphasizes various times on the importance of the community in finding one’s calling.

Direct calling is discussed in chapter two. The author states that “instances of direct calling involve specific tasks that God directs the individual to do” (25). This call is usually very clear and the only question is how to know it is from God. Confirming this call with the help of other people is essential. The last type of call is general calling. This is what God expects of every believer.

Koskela does an excellent job of describing the three different types of call. Calling and Clarity l provides helpful assistance to the young adult or older adult seeking to discern God’s will for their life. This reviewer wishes this book was around when he was a young college student. This book is recommended for all libraries.

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