Saturday, July 15, 2006
The moral goodness of business
I have just read Business for the Glory of God by Wayne Grudem. It is short and packs a single, simple punch. Business is a dirty word, associated with all kinds of greed and corruption. Yet, Grudem argues, as Christians we can, and must, affirm that business activities are neither inherently evil not merely morally neutral, but morally good. Good not just for the opportunities that are provided for advancing the gospel, but good in themselves, for through them we can glorify God.
Grudem’s simple thesis is that business activities are fundamentally good and provide many opportunities for glorifying God, although they also provide many opportunities to sin. Of course there are many sinful distortions, but activities such as buying and selling, employing others, competition and making are profit are good.
I found this book very helpful, and would like to respond with two thoughts: firstly, Grudem has encouraged me to view those business-type activities that I am involved with as opportunities to glorify God and love my neighbour. Secondly, Grudem has persuaded me to encourage Christians who work in business or who are thinking of going into business.
In my own attitudes, I want to do what Grudem suggests is rarely done:
“when people ask how their lives can ‘glorify God’ they aren’t usually told ‘go into business’”
“When someone explains to a new acquaintance, ‘I work in such-and-such a business” he doesn’t usually hear the response, ‘what a great way to glorify God!’”
If you’re not convinced by my “review” then perhaps you need to read the book!