I think a part of this that I found most insightful, was the concept of all of us having our own individual kingdoms. That Christ is King of Kings, but this means that there are steps and levels of control that we all have. It's an interesting concept to think about, because in a way it makes a lot of sense. God rules over all, but here on earth we need various leaders to represent countries, other leaders to represent states, others still for cities, even more for business, and the list goes on and on for the many different aspects of life that we have "dominion" (I use this term loosely since all our power and control is from God) over. I really like this as an analogy for us reaching towards shalom. All of our kingdoms, family, work, friends, church, neighborhoods and community, nationally, and internationally are meshed together with God reigning over us. It is a really beautiful idea.
|This concentric circle can be seen as the connecting circles of kingdoms in our lives as God is the overarching circle that encompasses us all.|
As I mentioned before, college is the time for us to be getting our "training" for these kingdoms. Plantinga says, and I agree, that there is a real advantage to going to a Christian college. Educational training for work is a great thing, but it is only one aspect of our vocation. We want to learn how to look at the world from a Christian perspective so we can see where God wants us, and not just where the best jobs are. We are given Christian professors who genuinely care about our well being and who will take care of us. This is a great thing because without guidance we can often fall into dangerous situations that will lead us away from our vocation.
Something I really appreciated that Plantinga mentioned though, was that we cannot just have a Christian education and expect everything to work out. It will require time, energy, and a lot of hard work to achieve anything academically and spiritually. We cannot just swallow the information we are told. We need to decide for ourselves if we believe it so when we step out into the world, we are as prepared as we possibly can be. In addition to this, I also was thankful for Plantinga's mention that non-Christians can contribute to shalom. It is true that it is more an indirect action, or only half the story when they do this, but it is important to always remember that we are not better than anyone else, and God uses all people.
We have a great opportunity here at Calvin to learn in a great environment and have God show us the way to our vocation, all we have to do is listen and have responsible dominion over our kingdom.