A Quick Review: Dan Doriani’s “Work That Makes a Difference”

Dan Doriani, Professor of Biblical Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary, has proven himself to be a worthy contributor, yet again, to the world of faith-and-work writing with his latest book, Work That Makes a Difference. This short book invites a wide audience to engage (ideally as a cohort) their own experiences as workers through a broader biblical theology of work. Dan has managed to provide an accessible book—fit for a variety of different readers of practically any station—that takes seriously the difficulties of work in a fallen world while attending to the inherent dignity of work in creation.

In so doing, he has managed to avoid one of the common pitfalls of faith-and-work writing which often quickly paves over the everyday futility of menial labor. This book is not simply for those who find themselves with different sorts of options and trajectories of new work but for those who find themselves stuck in ordinary, trivial work. Whatever the situation, Dan provides a helpful framework for discerning what one might consider next and how to do honest work faithfully.

This attentiveness to a wide-scope of jobs and callings (and the frequent dissonance between the two!) demonstrates a clear familiarity with the lives of many in a plethora of different working contexts. Though Dan is an academic, this book models a certain on-the-ground level of dialogue and experience which I expect has much to do with his robust pastoral background and managing of The Center for Faith and Work in St. Louis. I heartily recommend this book to the worker frustrated, content, or confused in his or her work as this book is sure to provide encouragement, wisdom, and direction for those deliberating upon what God has for them in their current work or ministry.