Resources

Books and Articles

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Spirituality and Work Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
Toward A More Biblical View of Matter by L.T. Jeyachandran
"C. S. Lewis has remarked that if he had not turned to Christ from atheism, his other alternative was Hinduism. This comment is striking because he made it in the 1930’s, long before eastern religions and philosophies had come to be the influence they are today. Lewis perceived that only these three alternatives are possible: No God; Christ is God; All is God.  My plea in this essay is to identify the most plausible of these three views that would bring about the right perspectives on work. In rather paradoxical ways, both the atheistic and Hindu views deny hierarchy in matter. Atheism is reductionistic and therefore sees nothing other than matter in the entire universe. Hinduism, on the other hand, elevates all of matter to the level of the divine. It will be clear as we go along that views that deny hierarchy in the nature of matter eventually end up introducing hierarchy in work and thus ultimately affect our attitude to work. "
English
The Recovery of Creation Theology by Philip Wu
Sample

The Recovery of Creation Theology as the Horizon of Marketplace Theology Movement

Philip Wu

President, VocatioCreation Ltd., Hong Kong

In this essay, I try to stretch in very brief terms the possible relationships between creation theology and marketplace theology movement from my experience as an advocate of the movement, a business executive, and a student of the Old Testament.

There are at least three incidents or resources that cause me to consider the possible close relationship between OT creation theology and marketplace ministry. The first one goes back to my seminary years and in fact continues into the present moment. Over the past several decades, a shift in emphasis has taken place in OT theological studies. This change marks a paradigm shift from a once exclusive stress upon the mighty salvation of God in history to God’s formative and sustaining ways in creation. On a related front, we notice another important development in OT scholarship, namely, a renewal of wisdom studies. It is fair to say that wisdom studies had long been an orphan in OT scholarship. Starting from the 1960s, however, a vigorous new effort in wisdom studies was undertaken. In a general analysis, wisdom theology has the ongoing, generative order of creation as its subject, and itself is a confessional reflection upon creation, its order, its gifts, its requirements, and its limits. The recovery of creation in OT theological studies seems timely to the emergence of marketplace theology movement.

English
Against the Powers of Death by Bert Cameron

The role of a Christian health professional in high technology health care

Bert Cameron

Head of the Division of Nephrology, University of British Columbia.

Board of Governors, Regent College

 

All health care professionals in the high technology medical system of western culture are confronted with an array of conceptual and ethical challenges. However, Christian health professionals have a particular challenge. They are called to develop and to project Christian perspectives that are relevant to social and moral issues of advancing  medical technology. In this context, one of the most significant issues is the technologic battle that modern medicine is waging against the power of death. This article comprises personal reflections about the nature of our health care system and the qualities of thought and action that Christian health professionals bring to this institution that is dedicated to the extension of physical life through technology....

English
Advertising: A Roman Catholic Perspective by Jon Escoto
"We had a very interesting discussion on Advertising, slanted towards its feeding on the “greed” of man.  I found the Catholic Church’s Handbook on Ethics in Advertising” quite interesting.  As I browsed through it, I found the following points significantly striking:..."
English
The Creation of True Wealth by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

The Creation of True Wealth

R. Paul Stevens

God came to earth as a worker. Jesus was born in the marketplace, in fact in a hotel. Not actually in a nicely prepared suite but in the underground parking garage because the inn already had full occupancy. He was wrapped in a towel provided by the laundry service and placed in the back seat of a car.  He grew up in a working-class home. As a young man he learned a trade and before he had worked a miracle or preached a sermon he pleased the Father so much that at his baptism the Father said, “You are my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”  Of Jesus’ 132 public appearances in New Testament, 122 were in the marketplace. Of the 52 parables Jesus told, 45 had a workplace context. Jesus called 12 normal working individuals, not clergy, to build His church. And some of them had questionable professions (tax collector, zealot). How can this be? Can we be human beings that are rich toward God and be so in the marketplace? What does it mean to create true wealth? And what is the true meaning of our lives, especially our lives in the workplace? Jesus doesn’t merely welcome these questions. He positively demands that we ask them, and he does so through parables.

English
Advertising by R. Paul Stevens

and Richard Pollay

"Years ago Marshall McLuhan said, “Ours is the first age in which many thousands of our best trained minds made it a full-time business to get inside the collective public mind . . . to manipulate, exploit, and control” (p. v). Given its pervasive and persuasive character, advertising is without doubt one of the most formative influences in popular culture, shaping values and behavior and telling people how and why to live. It is estimated that the average North American is subjected to over one thousand advertisements daily in one or other of the media (television, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, direct mail) covering everything from perfume to automobiles, from fast food to insurance."

English
The Church and The Marketplace by Steve Brinn
Sample

The Church and the Marketplace:

Naming the Reality and the Challenge

Steve Brinn

An Unhealthy Détente

Over the past 37 years, as several close friends worked faithfully in church and para-church positions, my own journey unfolded in the marketplace. I practiced law, managed a real estate and resource investment company, operated a 3500-acre ranch and currently am leading a medical imaging software start-up. All along the way I have struggled to keep my faith vitally connected to my labors.

I am hardly alone in this: far more saints report every day to work outside the church than inside it. It is true that women and men in all vocations (including priesthood) face the same daily challenge – holding fast to hope in Christ and showing up for work with eyes open, without despair. Yet this common struggle, to approach daily labor with hope though the world groans for salvation, almost always is more difficult for the working laity than it is for their shepherds, for several reasons.

English
Soul by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

In everyday conversation the word soul can mean at least two things: (1) a precious human person (as in “Two hundred souls were lost in the plane crash”) and (2) the eternal or immortal part of a human being, an incorruptible core (as in “We commit the body to the grave knowing that she still lives in her soul”). We will see that the first is actually closer to biblical truth than the second (compare Acts 27:37 KJV). In the Bible soul and spirit are sometimes used interchangeably to speak of the interior of persons, especially in their longings for relationship with God. Add to this confusion one more word: the universal word heart as a metaphor for the motivating center of a person. This complex use of words reflects the contemporary confusion about what makes human beings “tick” and what constitutes a spiritual person. Gaining a biblical view of soul is important for several everyday matters: a healthy and holy sexuality, the nature of true spirituality, how we are to treat our bodies, why we have spiritual conflict and what happens at death. The Old and New Testaments use a wide range of terms to describe the way human beings are made, and these must now be considered.

English
Sayings of the Desert Fathers by Alvin Ung
Sample

Sayings of the Desert Saints: Perspectives on Work

From The Desert Fathers, Sayings of the Early Christian Monks,

trans. Benedicta Ward (London: Penguin, 2003)

compiled by Alvin Ung

p.5 #11

A brother asked a hermit, ‘Tell me something good that I may do it and live by it.’ The hermit said, ‘God alone knows what is good. But I have heard that one of the hermits asked great Nesteros, who was a friend of Anthony, ‘What good work shall I do?’ and he replied, ‘Surely all works please God equally? Scripture says, Abraham was hospitable and God was with him; Elijah loved quiet and God was with him; David was humble and God was with him.’ So whatever you find you are drawn to in following God’s will, do it and let your heart be at peace.

When you desire to follow God’s will, you can do whatever work you want (be it with people or in quiet).

p.5 #12

Poemen said, ‘To be on guard, to meditate within, to judge with discernment: these are the three works of the soul.’

Doing work for the inner life requires watchfulness, meditation and discernment.

p.10 #9

In Scetis a brother went to Moses to ask for advice. He said to him, ‘Go and sit in your cell, and your cell with teach you everything.’

Solitude is the crucible for transformation and learning.

English
Organizational Values by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

In organizational life, values determine what is cherished and important and how an organization is shaped and managed. The human body operates on blood; an organization operates on values, whether good or bad. Ideally these values are thoughtfully conceived and clearly stated in a document that can be read by members of the organization and recipients of the organization’s service. Sometimes the real functioning values of an organization are in conflict with the advertised ones. So the process of getting people to clarify what values are actually operating and what values should be foundational is one of the most important exercises that can be undertaken in organizational life.

English

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