Berdyaev on Vocation and Creativeness

The Gospel constantly speaks of the fruit which the seed must bring forth if it falls on good soil and of talents given to man which must be returned with profit. Under cover of parable Christ refers in these words to man’s creative activity, to his creative vocation. Burying one’s talents in the ground, i.e. absence of creativeness, is condemned by Christ. The whole of St. Paul’s teaching about various gifts is concerned with man’s creative vocation. The gifts are from God and they indicate that man is intended to do creative work. These gifts are various, and everyone is called to creative service in accordance with the special gift bestowed upon him. It is therefore a mistake to assert, as people often do, that the Holy Writ contains no reference to creativeness. It does–but we must be able to read it, we must guess what God wants and expects of man.  Creativeness is always a growth, an addition, the making of something new that had not existed in the world before. The problem of creativeness is the problem as to whether something completely new is really possible. Creativeness from it’s very meaning is bringing forth out of nothing. Nothing becomes something, non-being becomes being….

God calls man to perform the creative act and realize his vocation, and He is expecting an answer to His call….

It is a process of interaction between grace and freedom, between forces going from God to man and from man to God….

Nicolas Berdyaev in The Destiny of Man (pp. 127-128)

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