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Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business

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Can business activity in itself be morally good and pleasing to God? Sometimes business can seem so shady-manipulating the bottom line, deceiving the consumer, or gaining promotions because of whom you know. But Wayne Grudem introduces a novel concept: business itself glorifies God when it is conducted in a way that imitates God's character and creation. He shows that all a Can business activity in itself be morally good and pleasing to God? Sometimes business can seem so shady-manipulating the bottom line, deceiving the consumer, or gaining promotions because of whom you know. But Wayne Grudem introduces a novel concept: business itself glorifies God when it is conducted in a way that imitates God's character and creation. He shows that all aspects of business, including ownership, profit, money, competition, and borrowing and lending, glorify God because they are reflective of God's nature. Though Grudem isn't na�ve about the easy ways these activities can be perverted and used as a means to sin, he knows that Christians can be about the business of business. This biblically based book is a thoughtful guide to imitating God during interactions with customers, coworkers, employees, and other businesses. See how your business, and your life in business, can be dedicated to God's glory.


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Can business activity in itself be morally good and pleasing to God? Sometimes business can seem so shady-manipulating the bottom line, deceiving the consumer, or gaining promotions because of whom you know. But Wayne Grudem introduces a novel concept: business itself glorifies God when it is conducted in a way that imitates God's character and creation. He shows that all a Can business activity in itself be morally good and pleasing to God? Sometimes business can seem so shady-manipulating the bottom line, deceiving the consumer, or gaining promotions because of whom you know. But Wayne Grudem introduces a novel concept: business itself glorifies God when it is conducted in a way that imitates God's character and creation. He shows that all aspects of business, including ownership, profit, money, competition, and borrowing and lending, glorify God because they are reflective of God's nature. Though Grudem isn't na�ve about the easy ways these activities can be perverted and used as a means to sin, he knows that Christians can be about the business of business. This biblically based book is a thoughtful guide to imitating God during interactions with customers, coworkers, employees, and other businesses. See how your business, and your life in business, can be dedicated to God's glory.

30 review for Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Watkins

    This book was given to me by a good friend of mine. Very short, basic book on the goodness of business. The chapters on Inequality of Possessions and Effect on World Poverty were especially good. For those already familiar with the Protestant work ethic there probably isn't anything in here that you are not already aware of. This book was given to me by a good friend of mine. Very short, basic book on the goodness of business. The chapters on Inequality of Possessions and Effect on World Poverty were especially good. For those already familiar with the Protestant work ethic there probably isn't anything in here that you are not already aware of.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Mangrum

    A must read for anyone who wrestles with guilt from owning a profitable business. Excellent!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    Grudem, Wayne. Business for the Glory of God. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003. This is an outstanding primer in applied ethics that hinges upon good creation theology. Work is good because God mandated it prior to the Fall. Godly labor allows us to image God in terms of responsibility and authority. Even the more criticized aspects of business, such as profits and wages, are allowed by Scripture (and in any case, unavoidable). This is also a good corrective to much of the wokism plaguing Evange Grudem, Wayne. Business for the Glory of God. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003. This is an outstanding primer in applied ethics that hinges upon good creation theology. Work is good because God mandated it prior to the Fall. Godly labor allows us to image God in terms of responsibility and authority. Even the more criticized aspects of business, such as profits and wages, are allowed by Scripture (and in any case, unavoidable). This is also a good corrective to much of the wokism plaguing Evangelical theology. In reading this short volume, wokists will learn that they have no clue how wages and profits work. Pace Marxists, having someone work for you isn’t exploiting them. In any case, Jesus didn’t have a problem with it. Prices and profits are inevitable. Just wage talk is a mirage. Prices reflect the desires (and limits of those desires) on the market. If I charge $2 for a loaf that cost $1, I am not exploiting you. That extra $1 covers the cost of labor, time, and resources Some Criticisms Grudem lets his idiosyncratic views on the Trinity mar an otherwise fine discussion. For example, he says that business allows us to image God’s authority. It trains us for responsibility. What a great statement. He then ruins it by seeing it mirrors the authority relations within the (presumably, eternal) Trinity.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan D

    An excellent articulation of the Bible’s perspective on what constitutes God-pleasing business. Grudem is not articulating they ethics of good business, specially, but he is defending such elements as possession and ownership/stewardship, profit, money, borrowing and lending, and even inequality of resources. He remained very balanced in articulating the intrinsic value of business without making it an issue of the great commission or transformationalism.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adam Calvert

    As the title suggests, this book is about doing business for the glory of God. While not as full as I'd wished it was, it still contained some really good insight from the Bible about the morally good nature of business - that God created it to be a good thing. Man, as a sinner, can (and does) certainly corrupt it into something bad; but contrary to the belief that business (or even profit) is a "necessary evil" Grudem shows that it is truly a good institution that God uses to bring glory to Him As the title suggests, this book is about doing business for the glory of God. While not as full as I'd wished it was, it still contained some really good insight from the Bible about the morally good nature of business - that God created it to be a good thing. Man, as a sinner, can (and does) certainly corrupt it into something bad; but contrary to the belief that business (or even profit) is a "necessary evil" Grudem shows that it is truly a good institution that God uses to bring glory to Himself, and He created it for that purpose. I was a little disappointed at how small the book was, but I'm looking forward to his larger work to which he alluded in this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Josh Crews

    Grudem brings the heat at how awesome business is (or can be) glorifying to God. The main thesis is that business is considered by many Christians to be morally neutral: neither inheirantly good or evil. (Or sometimes it considered outright evil). Grudem brings the biblical case hard that it's morally good and God glorifying and runs through all these topics and how it's God's design/mandate: ownership, profit, productivity, employment, money, inequality of possesions, competition, borrowing (an Grudem brings the heat at how awesome business is (or can be) glorifying to God. The main thesis is that business is considered by many Christians to be morally neutral: neither inheirantly good or evil. (Or sometimes it considered outright evil). Grudem brings the biblical case hard that it's morally good and God glorifying and runs through all these topics and how it's God's design/mandate: ownership, profit, productivity, employment, money, inequality of possesions, competition, borrowing (and more).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marney

    It's poorly written and repeats three things throughout the course of the book. 1) The ability to complete the activities of business separate us from the animal kingdom. 2) The activities of business are not evil in themselves. 3) They can be used to glorify God. It's poorly written and repeats three things throughout the course of the book. 1) The ability to complete the activities of business separate us from the animal kingdom. 2) The activities of business are not evil in themselves. 3) They can be used to glorify God.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Judah Cofer

    Great little book for any Christian in business. My wife also loved listening to it as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Carroll

    While not exactly a bad read, the book's chapters were quite redundant and gave the impression that a short one-page essay could convey the same information covered by the entire book. While not exactly a bad read, the book's chapters were quite redundant and gave the impression that a short one-page essay could convey the same information covered by the entire book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Yoder

    Meh I had to read it for school. Not exactly deep and the arguments were surface driven. Tho, in his defense he seemed to task himself with pointing out the obvious.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Justin Tapp

    Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business This is one of a series of books I am reading related to the theology of work. However, Grudem's work would tend to fall more into economics than it would work/labor or even business. This book is more an extended essay, but Grudem calls it a book and sells it as such, so it's a book. I teach economics to undergraduates and non-traditional college students on Christian campuses and would gladly use this book in Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business This is one of a series of books I am reading related to the theology of work. However, Grudem's work would tend to fall more into economics than it would work/labor or even business. This book is more an extended essay, but Grudem calls it a book and sells it as such, so it's a book. I teach economics to undergraduates and non-traditional college students on Christian campuses and would gladly use this book in my classes as a devotional or weekly discussion material. I'm sad to think back to the number of times I've taught about the importance of money as eliminating the double coincidence of wants without reasoning that that is a gift of God. Grudem argues that the basic components of market economics-- private property, entrepreneurship, trade, competition, employment, profit, money, inequality, lending, even a fractional reserve banking system are not "neutral" as we often assume, but rather inherently God-instituted and God-glorifying (while also containing the potential for misuse and sin). We should therefore "be thankful" for them. "When people ask how their lives can 'glorify God,' they aren't usually told, 'Go into business.' When students ask, 'How can I serve God with my life?' they don't often hear the answer, 'God into business...But that is exactly what this book is going to claim.'" On private property: "(W)hen we care for our possessions, it gives us opportunity to imitate many other attributes of God." It is a way in which we are given by God to exercise dominion to help "subdue" (Gen. 1:28) the earth. Ownership allows us to save resources for others (1 Tim 5:8). The temptation for misuse: Hoarding, polluting and destroying the earth, pride. Productivity: Our production from the earth is also part of the process of cultivating the earth, subduing it, and multiplying what comes from it (Gen 1:28). "God did not have to create us with a need for material things or a need for the services of other people (think of the angels, who apparently do not have such needs), but in his wisdom he chose to do so. It may be that God created us with such needs because he knew that in the process of productive work we would have many opportunities to glorify him." We glorify God by using our talents and creativity to solve problems, invent, and create-- just as He invents, and creates. That gives us an opportunity to shine (Matt. 5:16). By creating a product that others have need of, we serve them. "Work in itself is also something that is fundamentally good and God-given, for it was something that God commanded Adam and Eve to do before there was sin in the world." Temptation for misuse: Focus on material things for their own sake, pride, selfishness, greed, "to produce goods that bring monetary reward but that are harmful and destructive and evil (such as pornography and addictive drugs)." Employment: Gains from trade apply from employment-- you provide something I need, I provide something you need; hence, we become interdependent and are able to obtain more than we could in the absence of trade-- both parties benefit. We are also able to gain from efficiencies through specialization of labor, producing more than what could be done as independent entities. Temptation for misuse: Owner reaping 99% of the benefit to the 1% of the worker. Owner's pride, withholding wages, being unfair (James 5:4). Employee temptation to sin through carelessness (Prov. 18:9), laziness, jealousy, bitterness, rebelliousness, dishonesty, and theft (Titus 2:9-10). Commercial transactions (trade): "Several passages of Scripture assume that buying and selling are morally right." (Lev. 25:14 among others). We "manifest interdependence and thus reflect the interdependence and interpersonal love among the members of the Trinity." "Commercial transactions are in themselves good because through them we do good to other people...because of the amazing truth that, in most cases, voluntary commercial transactions benefit both parties...we can honestly see buying and selling as one means of loving our neighbor as ourself...every business transaction is an opportunity for us to be fair and truthful and thus to obey Jesus' teaching." (Matt. 7:12). Temptation for misuse: Being dishonest in business dealings. Breaking contracts. One party gaining 99% of the benefit to the 1% of the other. Selfishness. Profit: "Profit is an indication that I am making good and efficient use of the earth's resources, thus obeying God's original 'creation mandate' to 'subdue' the earth" (Gen. 1:28). In Jesus' parables, servants who made profit were praised while those who chose not to work towards profit to honor their master were rebuked. The Proverbs 31 woman is praised for profitable merchandise (Prov 31:18). Temptations for misuse: Rent-seeking behavior to protect a monopoly, and exploitation of market power. Money: "Money enables all of mankind to be productive and enjoy the fruits of that productivity thousands of times more extensively than we could if no human being had money, or we just had to barter with each other." "If money were evil in itself, then God would not have any. But he says, 'The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts'" (Hag. 2:8). Temptations for misuse: Accumulating and hoarding too much, serving money as an idol. Inequality of possessions: The Bible teaches us that there are varying degrees of reward in heaven, and that some people--even angels--are given authority while others are not. God has endowed people differently in terms of backgrounds, talents, access to resources, etc. and these "will be part of our life in heaven forever." Therefore "the idea of inequality of stewardship in itself is given by God and must be good." "In the Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25), agricultural land returned to its previous owner and debts were canceled, but there was no equalizing of money or jewels or cattle or sheep." Grudem also rejects any suggestions that the New Testament espouses or exemplifies equality of possessions. While in Acts people gave voluntarily and held things in common, they still owned homes and other property (several passages cited). It's worth noting that Greek and Pauline scholar Rodney Reeves argues that the great famine and poverty that befell the Jerusalem church was a consequence of their attempt to sell their properties and share it amongst themselves. Ie: there was less productivity and saving that would have occurred otherwise, leading to the church's poverty. Nonetheless, we should work to combat poverty. The definition of "poverty" varies among societies, for some it's a standard of living, others it's a gini coefficient-- inequality. Temptation for misuse: Living extravagantly. What about redistribution? "There is no corresponding command in the New Testament to take some wealth away from the very rich, and there is no teaching that a large amount of wealth is wrong in itself. But there are strong warnings against spending too much on ones self and living in self-indulgent luxury" (James 5). Competition: "Competition seems to be the system God intended when he gave people greater talents in one area and gave other people greater talents in another area, and when he established a world where justice and fairness would require giving greater reward for better work." Competition results from incentives. Competition makes us better, causes us to strive to produce more from what we're given (part of the process of subduing the earth), and to be the best we can be. "God has created us with a desire to do well, and to improve what we are able to do." By us doing better, we help our neighbors. Temptations for misuse: Envy, jealousy, cutting corners to get ahead. Borrowing and Lending: "When you make your neighbor a loan..." (Deut. 24:10) presupposes that Israelites would make loans to one another. Psalms 112 and 37 seem to commend lending. Romans 13:8 ("owe no one anything") more accurately means to pay what is owed, when it is owed. Don't be overdue on your debts, pay on time. Lending is the temporary transfer of the control of property, but not the ownership. "The great value of borrowing and lending is that they multiply the usefulness of all the wealth of society." Think of a library book, the process of borrowing and lending multiplies the use of it and benefits more people than if it were not loaned. Grudem anticipates borrowing and lending in heaven to the glory of God. The fractional reserve banking system is seen by Grudem to be a God-given invention that allows us to multiply the amount of money that's available for all to use and borrow. I know some Christians who firmly believe Austrian economics is Christian economics-- and therefore denounce the fractional reserve system as creating the illusion of creating wealth. When a bank loans money that it doesn't actually have, it's seen as dishonest by the Austrian Christians. Grudem seems unaware of this criticism or dismissive. Operating on a cash basis would lower our standard of living. Temptations for misuse: Moral hazard, to borrow and not repay. To not lend due to adverse selection issue. Grudem's last couple chapters deal with attitudes of the heart and world poverty. The best solution to poverty is enterprise-- which requires property rights and incentives. Businesspeople should not feel guilty about business, since it's God-glorifying, and we should therefore see more businesses opened, preferably in locations of poverty where those are needed. Criticisms of this book I anticipate relate to the environment and how educated people can be about where their resources are going in our current market system. For example, while creating an iPhone may be God-glorifying, the elements that make up the microprocessor come from places like Congo where brutal wars are fought over the resources. Likewise with some of the food we eat-- the disconnect between what's on our plate and where it came from and how it was created, whether that's on-net positive or negative, should give us pause. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. It's short, and very useful. It would fit more into economics and does little to advance a more complete theology of work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    It's kind of like a Reformed version of Fransisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian D'anconia's money speech. 1. "Owning possessions is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin." 2. "Producing goods and services is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorify God, but also many temptations to sin." "The distortions of something good should not allow us to think that the thing itself is evil. Increasing the production of It's kind of like a Reformed version of Fransisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastian D'anconia's money speech. 1. "Owning possessions is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin." 2. "Producing goods and services is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorify God, but also many temptations to sin." "The distortions of something good should not allow us to think that the thing itself is evil. Increasing the production of goods and services is not morally neutral, but is fundamentally good and pleasing to God." 3. "Hiring people to do work is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorify God, but also many temptations to sin." "The distortions of something good must not allow us to think that the thing itself is evil. Employee or employer relationships in themselves are not morally neutral, but are fundamentally good and pleasing to God because they provide many opportunities to imitate God's character and so glorify Him." 4. "Buying and selling are fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorify God, but also many temptations to sin." They are means of loving our neighbor. "Commercial transactions provide many opportunities for personal interaction, as when I realize that I am not just buying from a store, but from a person, to whom I should show kindness and God's grace. In fact, every business transaction is an opportunity for us to be fair and truthful, and thus to obey Jesus' teaching." " "The distortions of something good must not cause us to think that the thing itself is evil. Commercial transactions themselves are fundamentally right and pleasing to God. They are a wonderful gift from Him for which has enabled us to have many opportunities to glorify Him." 5. "Earning a profit is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin." "Seeking profit therefore, or seeking to multiply our resources, is seen as fundamentally good. Not to do so is condemned by the master when he returns." "The ability to earn a profit thus results in multiplying our resources while helping other people. It is a wonderful ability that God gave us, and is not evil or morally neutral, but is fundamentally good. Through it, we can reflect many of God's attributes such as love for others, wisdom, sovereignty, and planning for the future. " 6. "Money is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin." "Money is a simply a tool for our use." "The distortions of something good should not allow us to think that the thing itself is evil. Increasing the production of goods and services is not morally neutral, but is fundamentally good and pleasing to God." "The distortions of something good must not cause us to think that the thing itself is evil. Money is good in itself, and provides us many opportunities for glorifying God." 7. "Some inequality of possessions is fundamentally good, and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin. And some extreme inequalities are wrong in themselves. "IT MAY SEEM SURPRISING to us to think that some inequalities of possessions can be good and pleasing to God. However, although there is no sin or evil in heaven, the Bible teaches that there are varying degrees Of reward in heaven and various kinds of stewardship that God entrusts to different people.. . . There will be inequality of stewardship and responsibility in the age to come. This means that the idea of inequality of stewardship in itself is given by God, and must be good. . . . [II Cor 5:10]This implies degrees of reward for what we have done in this life. Many other passages teach or imply degrees of reward for believers at the final judgment. Even among the angels, there are differing levels of authority and stewardship established by God, and therefore we cannot say that such a system is wrong or sinful in itself. Inequalities in the world are necessary in a world that requires a great variety of tasks to be done. . . . God has never had a goal of producing equality of possessions among people, and he will never do so." Jubilee. The word in Acts for fairness cannot be interpreted equality. "In contrast to many admonitions to help the poor, there is no corresponding command in the New Testament to take some wealth away from the very rich, and there is no teaching that a large amount of wealth is wrong in itself. But there are strong warnings against spending too much on oneself, and living in self-indulgent luxury" (James5:1,3,5). "The distortions of something good must not cause us to think that the thing itself is evil. The evils of poverty and self-indulgent wealth must not cause us to think that God's goal is totally equality of possessions, or that all inequalities are wrong. Inequalities in abilities, and opportunities, and possessions, will be a part of our life in Heaven forever, and they are in themselves, good and pleasing to God, and provide many opportunities for glorifying him. 8. "Competition is fundamentally good, and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin. As with other aspects of business that we have considered, so it is with competition. The evil and distortions that have sometimes accompanied competition have lead people to the conclusion that competition is evil in itself, but this is not true." Sports. The grading system guides society and helps students to find what they are good at. "God has created us with a desire to do well and to improve what we are able to do. Competition spurs us on to do better, because we see others doing better, and decide we can do that too. . . . I think God has made us with such a desire to strive for excellence in our work so that in doing this, we would imitate his excellence more fully. The kind of competition to try to do as well as or better than someone else seems to be what Solomon had in mind when he wrote: then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor (Ecclesiastes 4:4). The term translated "envy" in most translations or "rivalry" is the Hebrew word "קִנְאָה" a term that can either have negative or positive connotations, depending on the context, much like our terms jealousy or zeal. Here it seems to have the sense "competitive spirit." The verse does not say that this is good or bad, only that it happens. A different word, ___, is used in Exodus 20:17 when God says "you shall not covet." People see what someone else has, and they decide to work harder themselves, or to gain better skills. In this way, competition spurs people on to better work, and they themeslves proper, as socieyt prospers. 32r "Competition seems to be the system God intended when he gave people greater talents in one area, and gave other people greater talents in another area. And when he established a world where justice and fairness would require giving greater reward for better work. Competition brings many opportunities to glorify God as we try to sue our talents to their full potential and thus manifest the godlike abilities God that he has granted to us, with thankfulness in our hearts o him. Competition enables each person to find a role in which he or she can make a positive contribution to society, and thus a role in which people can work in a way that serves others by doing good for them. Competition is thus a sort of societal functioning of God's attributes in wisdom and kindness, and it is a way society helps people discover God's will for their lives. "Competition also brings temptations to pride and to excessive work that allows no rest or time with family or with God. There is also the temptation to so distort life values that we become unable even to enjoy the fruits of our labor." "But the distortions of something good must not cause us to think that the thing itself is evil. These temptations to sin should not obscure the fact that competition in itself, within appropriate limits, some of which should be established by government, is good, and pleasing to God, and provides many opportunities to glorify him." 9. "Borrowing and lending are fundamentally good, and provide many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin." "But the distortions of something good must not cause us to think that the thing itself is evil. Borrowing and lending are wonderful, uniquely human abilities that are good in themselves, and pleasing to God, and bring many opportunities for glorifying him. Because borrowing and lending are such good things, I except that there will be borrowing and lending even in Heaven, not to overcome poverty, but to multiply our abilities to glorify and enjoy God. But I don't know what the interest rate will be." 10. "We should be thankful to God for money and profit, but we should never love money or profit. We are to love God or our neighbor instead. And so, all business activity tests our hearts. The good things God gives us, through business, are very good, but we must always remember that God is infinitely better." "The only long-term solution for world poverty is business. That is because businesses produce goods, and businesses produce jobs, and businesses continue producing goods year after year, and continue providing jobs and paying wages year after year. Therefore, if we are going to see long-term solutions to world poverty, I believe it will come through starting and maintaining productive, profitable businesses. In large measure, this will come about by starting businesses in poor countries and in poor neighborhoods in developed countries. Another less visible way businesses help overcome poverty is through increasing efficiency and productivity and thus making quality goods less expensive in the world market." "If the devil himself wanted to keep people created by God in a wretched bondage of lifelong poverty, it is hard to think of a better way he could do it than to make people think that business is fundamentally evil, so that it would avoid entering into it, or would oppose it at every turn. And so, I suspect that a profoundly negative attitude toward business in itself, not toward distortions and abuses, but toward business activity itself is ultimately a lie of the enemy who wants to keep God's people from fulfilling his purposes."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Keren Threlfall

    In his brief book (just under 100 pages), Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business , Wayne Grudem asks readers to consider that business is not intrinsically evil, but an important means of glorifying God. Grudem wants readers to know that business, standing alone, can glorify God — not just when it's harnessed as an evangelistic tool (though he agrees this is can also be beneficial to the kingdom when used in such a manner). This is a helpful m In his brief book (just under 100 pages), Business for the Glory of God: The Bible's Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business , Wayne Grudem asks readers to consider that business is not intrinsically evil, but an important means of glorifying God. Grudem wants readers to know that business, standing alone, can glorify God — not just when it's harnessed as an evangelistic tool (though he agrees this is can also be beneficial to the kingdom when used in such a manner). This is a helpful message for both Christians or secularists who believe business is intrinsically evil, and for Christians who have heard that full-time ministry is the only first-class vocation, and business is for second-class Christians wishing to support "ministry." The book addresses 9 areas of business/financial matters through which God can be glorified, each of these making up a short chapter, and then 2 additional chapters dealing with heart attitudes and the effects of business on world poverty: Own­er­ship Pro­duc­tiv­ity Employ­ment Com­mer­cial Transactions Profit Money Inequal­ity of Possessions Com­pe­ti­tion Bor­row­ing and Lending Attitudes of Heart  Effects on World Poverty In each chapter, Grudem makes clear that each of these areas can be used for evil, but that he believes that when done/viewed properly, are inherently good. (Usually each chapter begins with " ___  is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin." At least once per chapter, Grudem clarifies with this helpful statement, "But the distortions of something good must not cause us to think that the thing itself is evil." Both of these are helpful and important reminders. Concerns Grudem draws from various Old Testament texts to "prove" that each of these areas is inherently good and part of God's plan. Here's where the problems in the book enter. Frequently, the author states that a principle is drawn from Scripture and then moves on to build his argument in such rapid-fire succession that many readers may not take time to examine whether or not this is truly what the Scripture is saying. In some cases, I believe his assessment of Scripture is accurate. In other cases, it would seem that it is a valid argument, but his method of arriving at his conclusion was faulty. In other cases, he seems to be cherry-picking and proof-texting his personal opinions. While some may look at such conclusions and remark, "Wow! I never saw that text in that way," I hope many more will be discerning enough to wonder that they never saw it that way (or heard/read it explained it that way), because that's not what the text is saying. In the first area of consideration, ownership, Grudem draws his readers to one of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:15, "Thou shalt not steal." He quickly rushes to conclude that because God commanded His people to not steal, it is implied that stealing indicates that there should be personal property and ownership. Based on that foundation, he concludes that God ordained ownership, as opposed to communal sharing. Yet, someone could just as easily look at the same text, and quickly say that if God tells us not to steal, then He clearly intended government to own all property. In other chapters, Grudem appeals to passages in Deuteronomy and Leviticus to indicate God's design and the inherent goodness of various of the 9 areas. Again, this can sometimes be a confusing approach, particularly when not rounded out by other reasoning. For example, using the same line of thinking that is used in the book, one could look at Deuteronomy 24, see that it discusses the "how to's" of divorce, and conclude that God instituted divorce. I know that Dr. Grudem would not agree with such a conclusion. (And, clearly, this is not the best example because we have New Testament passages further rounding our certain aspects of divorce.) While there is a difference between the moral laws we consider to be binding today and the laws God gave Israel as theocratic law, this is not delineated in the book, even though conclusions are drawn from both. This makes the logic and argumentation weak, in my opinion. In another section of the book, Grudem asserts, "Competition seems to be the system God intended when he gave people greater talents in one area and gave other people greater talents in another area." To this and similar statements, I also raise an eyebrow. I also read the book while reminding myself that it is difficult to have a well-rounded perspective on the use of wealth, when we live in a land where our commonplace excess can easily impair our perspective. To round out such a perspective, it is helpful to also read the writings of Christians in other cultures, times, and places. Helpfulness of the Book Overall, the book has a helpful perspective on business, though it is broader than just business, since much of it also applies to personal finances. In this regard, Grudem provides constant reminders of the temptations involved with finances, but also explores the many ways in which they can be good and used for good. He also emphasizes that it is the love of money, not money that the Bible calls evil. This book would provide a slightly different perspective than books such as Randy Alcorn's The Treasure Principle , Francis Chan's Crazy Love , or David Platt's Radical. Yet, taken in together and with perspective, I believe each of these books adds helpful insight into the way we should live as Christians. Books like Alcorn's would state that Christians should not put money into savings or invest financially long-term, while Grudem's book would push towards doing so. I believe we need both types of Christians (as well as those who fall somewhere in between), and that the Church thrives with members who have wealth, as well as those who are willing to give up all material possessions and live a life of radical faith. Related: Review of Business for the Glory of God by Daniel Threlfall

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    To his credit, Grudem argues that business, possessions, money, profit, competition, and all the rest are not evil or even morally neutral, but fundamentally good. As in, blessed by God. (Exempli gratia: the commandment against stealing implies private ownership; the Proverbs 31 woman is commended for earning profit.) Grudem admits that all created goods can be used for evil, but he goes to bat for them, which is commendable. I part ways with him in two places. First, he says that the free market To his credit, Grudem argues that business, possessions, money, profit, competition, and all the rest are not evil or even morally neutral, but fundamentally good. As in, blessed by God. (Exempli gratia: the commandment against stealing implies private ownership; the Proverbs 31 woman is commended for earning profit.) Grudem admits that all created goods can be used for evil, but he goes to bat for them, which is commendable. I part ways with him in two places. First, he says that the free market produces love of one's neighbor because you have to get along in order to do business. I don't think so. Quashing your hatred of the local mechanic so that he'll fix your car is not a good thing. Your hatred needs to be dealt with. I do think that business and trade are good things that will flourish in a place full of confessing Christians. I just don't think the causation works the other direction. Second, Grudem has far too much faith in the free market to solve the world's ills. He tells a story of firing a painter who botched the job of painting the Grudems' living room. Don't worry, he says, I did that man a favor. Eventually, market forces will tell him that he's a terrible painter and he'll find something else to do, something he's good at. Listen to the market and the market will reward you. It will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. Now, a businessman should not feel guilty for firing a bad employee. In some situations, it is a favor to everyone. But the way Grudem explains it here makes it sound like the best thing you can do for someone who's struggling financially is tell them they need to work harder. That's not always true. The market is not kind to everyone. People do get caught in the riptides and go under. Works of mercy require more than telling someone what they've done isn't good enough. Sometimes you have to step in and show them how to do better next time. And, sometimes, you just pay the man and repaint the living room yourself.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rob Brock

    This is a short book on a big topic, but I had hoped the book would deliver so much more. I appreciate the authors encouragement to intentionally seek to glorify God in everything we do, including all aspects of business. But I was not convinced by his arguments that many of these activities are fundamentally good and ordained by God. I understand arguing that they are not fundamentally evil, but he stretches the scriptures at many points to try to suggest that the activities of business in a mo This is a short book on a big topic, but I had hoped the book would deliver so much more. I appreciate the authors encouragement to intentionally seek to glorify God in everything we do, including all aspects of business. But I was not convinced by his arguments that many of these activities are fundamentally good and ordained by God. I understand arguing that they are not fundamentally evil, but he stretches the scriptures at many points to try to suggest that the activities of business in a modern capitalist society are somehow God’s ultimate best for us. Rather than letting the Bible inform his view of what business should be, I feel like he started with our current capitalist constructs of business and then tried to demonstrate that this is all from God. The fact that God refers to a worker earning wages does not imply that God gave us a fundamentally good system of employee - employer relations, as the author contends, any more than scriptural references to slaves and masters means that God condoned the US system of slavery. What is true, however, is that no matter where we find ourselves, we should seek to glorify God in everything we do, and on this point, I agree with the author. That said, I think the authors modern American capitalist worldview skews his view of the scriptures, and that is unfortunate.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    This was great. I’m not a business person yet understood it clearly. A very quick and to the point break-down of the different components of business and how they are fundamentally good. Each chapter on these components (including profit, employment, ownership, productivity etc) begins: “X is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin” For anyone interested in Business As Mission as a means to fight poverty the final chapter is especial This was great. I’m not a business person yet understood it clearly. A very quick and to the point break-down of the different components of business and how they are fundamentally good. Each chapter on these components (including profit, employment, ownership, productivity etc) begins: “X is fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin” For anyone interested in Business As Mission as a means to fight poverty the final chapter is especially important. He says “I believe the only long-term solution to world poverty is business. That is because businesses produce goods, and businesses produce jobs. And businesses continue producing goods year after year, and continue providing jobs and paying wages year after year.” He points out that many, both Christian and not, see business as fundamentally evil, and therefore his challenge at the end is: “But what if Christians could change their attitudes toward business, and what is Christians could begin to change the attitudes of the world toward business?”

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    This book is extremely introductory. Everything is good and correct, just very basic. And while I enjoyed it, there may not be much new information for some readers. So keep that in mind when deciding to read it or not. It was required reading for one of my courses. With that being said, this book would be extremely beneficial for many individuals. This would be great for individuals lacking an understanding of economics or for those that may even think the free market or capitalism can be "bad" This book is extremely introductory. Everything is good and correct, just very basic. And while I enjoyed it, there may not be much new information for some readers. So keep that in mind when deciding to read it or not. It was required reading for one of my courses. With that being said, this book would be extremely beneficial for many individuals. This would be great for individuals lacking an understanding of economics or for those that may even think the free market or capitalism can be "bad", "unjust", or "destructive". I will also note that although much of the info in most of the chapters was rather basic, it was still wise and good. And there are nuggets of particularly wise and a bit less basic ideas scattered in a couple of the chapters. Additionally, the final chapter, 11, was also entirely particularly a bit more complex and wise. Great overall and perfect for his intended audience.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Todd Rose

    This was a quick read and a very targeted, fair, and objective analysis of business concepts and how we can glorify God through our engagement in God’s economy. Even though this book was published 18 years ago, I found it interesting that the author gave more words and weight to the topics of Inequality of Possessions and Competition than the others. His insights here are particularly pertinent in light of our country’s current socioeconomic climate. I think Wayne addressing each topic from a bi This was a quick read and a very targeted, fair, and objective analysis of business concepts and how we can glorify God through our engagement in God’s economy. Even though this book was published 18 years ago, I found it interesting that the author gave more words and weight to the topics of Inequality of Possessions and Competition than the others. His insights here are particularly pertinent in light of our country’s current socioeconomic climate. I think Wayne addressing each topic from a biblical perspective is beneficial for all readers, but, especially believers in Jesus.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Simple, short book on God’s perspective toward all things business and economics — ownership, productivity, employment, profit, money, inequality, competition, borrowing and poverty. Grudem dispels the notion that money is inherently bad, theologically, but asserts that all economics are fundamentally God-given and we can use them for good or for evil. Too often for evil, in fact, but that doesn’t make them fundamentally bad.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gina Mcandrew

    Excellent read with solutions Wayne Grudem’s book should be a supplement to introductory business classes in Christian schools and universities. HIs insights are thought-provoking and profitable for group discussions. His solution to world poverty is excellent, and if used by entrepreneurs worldwide, we would eradicate oppression and poverty.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I find the title deceptive as, “Capitalism and my Biblical basis for liking it” is a better fit. In terms of rendering his arguments, I find that Grudem prefers a dogmatic approach. Andy Crouch’s “Culture Making” does a much better better job (pun intended) of connecting theology to all kinds of work, and recommend it instead.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Roberts

    Short but overly simplistic and just not that great quality of thoughts. You can tell this is an essay expanded out into a short book instead of an idea that's germinated for years in someone that overflows into a wisdom-packed book. Read Every Good Endeavor instead. Short but overly simplistic and just not that great quality of thoughts. You can tell this is an essay expanded out into a short book instead of an idea that's germinated for years in someone that overflows into a wisdom-packed book. Read Every Good Endeavor instead.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adam Gullett

    This book is a simple read but full of biblical Knowledge nuggets about business. If you would like to get a great biblical perspective of business done the way God desires it to be done then read this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Lewis

    It's got some interesting points and provides a basic theological groundwork for business but that's about it. It's got some interesting points and provides a basic theological groundwork for business but that's about it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kingsley Layton

    In a world that expects subjective morals and situational ethics, this is a must read for any Christian running or involved in running their own business.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Mulnix

    I wish this was longer

  27. 5 out of 5

    Justin Cho

    Good! It is simple book but change a lot of misunderstanding on the business. We can wok for the glory of God! We can overcome various temtations related to the business!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Franklin D. Sears

    Good Read Good quick easy read. Would of like more explanations and more focus on solutions to negatives in business. God can bless you through reading this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Short and to the point. Simply said and with reference to back up his points

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Jo

    Had to read it for my Business Law class. It was an easy read. Grudem made a lot of good points and I would say it is overall theologically accurate.

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