Full-Time: Work and the Meaning of Life with David Bahnsen

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At a Glance

We have an active, working, creative God who created humanity to be like Him. As such, our daily work should be a source of meaning and purpose in our lives. Yet, even among believers, work is often approached as a burden that remains an unfortunate means to a better end, like the weekend or even retirement.

In contrast, the Bible often equates our work with our worship. When did we forget this? Over the last decade, the rate of prime-aged men in the U.S. not working has been lower than it was during the Great Depression! However, unlike during the Great Depression, most of these men are choosing not to work. In the words of today’s guest, we are undergoing an epidemic of worklessness. Why is this? What happened? Is the church partially to blame for this? 

Today’s guest David Bahnsen has an inspiring biblical worldview that encompasses all areas of his life. He is simultaneously named one of the top financial advisors in America by Barron’s, Forbes and the Financial Times while teaching and writing about the integration of faith and economics on the side. In his newest book, Full-Time: Work and the Meaning of Life, Bahnsen makes the case that our work plays an integral part in providing meaning and purpose into our lives and is one of our most important avenues of discipleship and influence. This discussion is for you if you are searching for ways to integrate theology into every part of your daily work.

Special Guest

David L. Bahnsen is the Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, a national private wealth management firm with offices in Newport Beach, New York City, Bend, Nashville, Minneapolis, Austin and Phoenix, managing over $5 billion in client assets. David is consistently named one of the top financial advisors in America by Barron’s, Forbes and the Financial Times. A frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC and Bloomberg, he is also a regular contributor to National Review and World and appears weekly on The World and Everything in It podcast, where he discusses the week’s economic and market news. David is a founding trustee for Pacifica Christian High School of Orange County and serves on the Board of Directors for National Review. Passionate about the integration of faith and economics, he has lectured and written for years about a theology of wealth and the marketplace. His late father, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, was a renowned Christian apologist and is David’s personal hero and mentor. David is the author of several best-selling books including Crisis of Responsibility: Our Cultural Addiction to Blame and How You Can Cure It (2018) and There’s No Free Lunch: 250 Economic Truths (2021).

What You'll Hear

Using the link above, you can read the transcript or listen along while highlighted text follows the podcast audio.

"Work was not valuable because it enabled you to do valuable things. Work was the valuable thing."

David Bahnsen


We have an active, working, creative God who created humanity to be like Him. As such, our daily work should be a source of meaning and purpose in our lives. But is it? Join David Bahnsen in our new podcast episode from "Ideas Have Consequences."

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The Monday Church Course

The Church is not a building or a Sunday-morning activity; it is the Body of Christ on mission in every sphere of society, every day of the week.

The Monday Church course explores the greatest tool God has given you to impact the world: your work. God intends for your daily work to be for the service of man, the blessing of the nations, and the glory of God.

Monday Church provides a biblical framework for each of us to establish a meaningful, integrated understanding of our life and work. Whatever your work or vocation, God calls you to a new way of living – fully in His presence and for His glory. Also available in Spanish and Arabic!

Get started now with our completely free Monday Church course!

Full-Time: Work and the Meaning of Life

By David L. Bahnsen

We were created to work, and our work provides unique meaning and purpose in our lives. Yet today we are living in a crisis of apathy and ignorance regarding work’s theological and existential nature.

There is no shortage of books pleading with people to work less, to find “balance,” to think less of career and more of the things that bring them “happiness.” Likewise, there is no shortage of books making the case that work matters a great deal—that good things come from fruitful labor. This book belongs in neither of those categories.

In Full-Time: Work and the Meaning of Life, David Bahnsen makes the case that our understanding of work and its role in our lives is deeply flawed—we are unmoored from what he calls “created purpose.” He argues that the time has come to stop tip-toeing around the issues that matter, that separating one’s identity from what they do is demonstrably false, and that this era of alienation is for many a direct result of a low view of work. It is in work—effort, service, striving—of every kind that we discover our meaning and purpose; a significant and successful life is one rooted in full-time productivity and cultivation of God’s created world.

This book is not your normal “defense of work” book. Whether you are a leader, a follower, a boss, an employee, in a white collar or blue collar job, highly paid or “just getting by,” this book is for you. A life of meaning is right under your nose, and with it the joy and peace of a life well-lived.

For more, check out the book’s mini podcast, “On the Hook.”

LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day

By Darrow L. Miller

We’ve lost the framework in which it is understood that our lives and work are in relationship – in relationship to God through worship, to others through service, and to creation through stewardship. Our lives and work have largely been separated from their mission, and this ultimately stems from a loss of the biblical worldview.

LifeWork lays out the thought background for each of us to establish a meaningful, integrated understanding of our life and work. Whatever our work or vocation, God calls each of us to a new way of living – fully in His presence.

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Christian nationalism was recently denounced by John MacArthur as a faulty viewpoint. He says things will get continually worse on Earth. Unfortunately, this view cultivates apathy and even discourages cultural influence. In contrast to this view, Christ teaches us to pray: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” If things will only get worse, then what was the justification for the profoundly positive influence of Christian leaders like William Wilberforce? And why should we, as Christians, work to eradicate slavery, human trafficking, and abortion? Wherever God has placed you, whether in a family, school, political office, or bakery, you are called to faithfully represent Christ and His Kingdom in everything you do. It’s time for a faith that is active, not passive, in the face of challenges.

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