The Christian at Work

Corporate Board Member Roundtable

Archibald Alexander Hodge (1823 – 1886) was a leading Presbyterian theologian and denominational statesman in the nineteenth century. The son of Charles Hodge, A. A. Hodge carried forward his father’s legacy in his role as a professor at Princeton Seminary and a trustee at Princeton College.

As the industrial revolution was changing the nature of America’s economy, A. A. Hodge challenged the idea that “ministry” was restricted to clergy and denominational officers. All of a person’s work should be presented as a holy sacrifice to God. Specifically, the Princeton theologian sought to disabuse Christians of the notion that a Christian could separate his life into two spheres: a private life of piety toward God and a public life of secular values and practices. According to Hodge, one either should demonstrate his obedience to the Lord in the marketplace or he should not accept the name Christian.

A Christian is just as much under the obligation to obey God’s will in the most secular of his daily business as he is in his closet or at the communion table. He has no right to separate his life into two realms, and acknowledge different moral codes in each . . . The kingdom of God includes all sides of human life, and it is a kingdom of absolute righteousness. You are either a loyal subject or a traitor. When the King comes, how will he find you doing?1


1 A. A. Hodge, Evangelical Theology (1890; reprint, Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997), 280-281.

About the author

Chris Castaldo (PhD, London School of Theology) is the lead pastor at New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. He is the author of Talking with Catholics about the Gospel and coauthor of The Unfinished Reformation.