Rediscovering Redemption

Chronicling the work of Redemption in the lives of Followers and Leaders. Articles, research and meditations from the writings of Dr. Joseph J. Bucci. Get blog updates by following Joe on Twitter @Re_Redemption

Joseph J. Bucci

Offering Second Changes: The Spirit is Willing, But….

In a story about a jobs program for the homeless in Annapolis, MD (Davis, 2012) the writer told of the struggles that returning drug addicts and criminals have in finding work to complete their restoration back into life outside of prison and away from addiction. The program, called “We Care and Friends,” is not a religiously-affiliated program. Yet the Program Director actively describes his work as being about redemption (Davis, 2012). The program’s purpose is to support former addicts and former prisoners with food, clothing, counseling and employment, particularly when there is nowhere else to turn (Davis, 2012). One of the more interesting aspects of this effort is the fact those having paid the price through prison time or through surviving a drug treatment program, and now looking for work as a part of their restoration and re-integration, those with criminal records are generally people for whom the record of past sins paid is not enough to allow them to find work.

Blog author Ben Gray quotes Dallas Willard from his book, The Divine Conspiracy, as noting that “winter [times of hardship] comes but nothing irredeemable can happen to you. Nothing beyond the redemption of God can happen to you” (Gray, 2011). According to Zablocki (2011), the working of Christ’s redemption not only saved and redeemed mankind. The action of redemption was meant also to set the creation free from its captivity to the decay of sin and allow for the renewal of the temporal order (Zablocki, 2011). Zablocki then suggests that man’s work can be a redemptive force in bringing this broken world more closely into alignment with the plan of God (Zablocki, 2011). The Reformed view of the Christian faith sees very clearly the message of the gospel and the purposes of the church in redeeming man and restoring God’s creation in preparing for the eventual return of Christ (Wolters, 2005).

So man’s work is intimately linked to the restoration of creation, and this embodies the full scope of the redemptive plan of God. Work, according to Wong and Rae (2011), is not a necessary evil, but a way that God has designed for mankind to fulfill a part of its destiny (Wong and Rae, 2011). Man was challenged in the Garden of Eden to take responsibility for stewardship over creation (Genesis 1:28). This commission seems to be renewed in the passage from Romans Chapter 8, with a much greater dependent relationship, evident in the mirrored groaning experienced by man and creation under the bondage of sin (Romans 8:22-23); and also in the marvelous blessing of the Holy Spirit through our cooperative effort at restoration (Wong and Rae, 2011). Our work releases us and creation to pursue our prescribed spiritual destiny in full redemption. This is not simply affecting our personal redemptive story but also has the opportunity through the providence of God to affect the lives and destiny of others (Wong and Rae, 2011).

Acts of redemption by transformational leaders have the opportunity to impact all of society with the repercussions of these redemptive activities (Tumblin, 2002). Recent research by the author suggests that faith-oriented managers more often allow faith to guide their decision-making (Bucci, 2013). However, the survey results suggest that there is no noticeable difference in faith-oriented managers as compared to a group of managers from a general population regarding the offering of second chance opportunities. Yet literature here, from both faith-oriented and non faith-oriented authors, support and encourage the actions of the manager to consider a redemptive leadership intervention based on the mission of Christ Himself, “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:13, NASB).

* Gray, B.F. (2011). Nothing’s irredeemable! Vocations4Life. Retrieved December 22, 2012, from www.vocations4life.com.au/all-articles/nothings-irredeemable.html
* Tumblin, T. F. (2002). Towards a redemptive organization. Journal of Religious Leadership, 1, 31-52. Retrieved February 25, 2008, from http://www.arl-jrl.org/
* Wolters, A. M. (2005). Creation regained biblical basics for a reformational worldview. Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans Pub.
* Wong, K.L. & Rae, S.B. (2011). Business for the Common Good. Madison, WI.: InterVarsity Press.
* Zablocki, E. (2011). Work as Sharing in God’s Redemptive Activity. Work Commission Resources – Secular Franciscan Order. Retrieved December 22, 2012, from http://www.nafra-sfo.org/work_commission_resources/wrkart8.html.

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Joseph J. Bucci

Biography link below: https://www.regent.edu/faculty/d-b-a-joseph-j-bucci/
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