Resources

Books and Articles

The books listed here are either free to download or can be purchase by going to the link provided. All documents are free to download.
Click on the + sign next to the title to find the links to download or purchase.

Spirituality and Work Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
Is There a Biblical Definition of Economic Justice? by Ronald J. Sider
Sample

Is There a Biblical Definition of Economic Justice?

Ronald J. Sider

How do we as Christians discern the nature of economic justice?  Whether or not we realize it, some normative system of values partially determines every economic decision we make.  The Bible provides norms for thinking about economics in two basic ways: the biblical story and a biblical paradigm on economic justice.

THE BIBLICAL STORY

The biblical story is the long history of God’s engagement with our world that stretches from creation through the fall and the history of redemption to the culmination of history when Christ returns.  This biblical story offers decisive insight into the nature of the material world, the dignity and character of persons, and the significance and limitations of the historical process.  For example, since every person is made by God for community, no one will ultimately be satisfied with material abundance alone, or with material abundance kept for oneself.  Since every person is so important that God became flesh to die for her sins and invite her to live forever with the living God, economic life must be ordered in a way that respects this God-given dignity.

English
Is Business A Calling by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

IS BUSINESS A CALLING?

DOES SCRIPTURE WARRANT REGARDING ENGAGEMENT IN COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY AS A PARTICULAR CALLING OF GOD?

R. Paul Stevens

“The Christian Church has never found it easy to come to terms with the marketplace.”
Brian Griffiths[i]

INTRODUCTION

This subject is of great interest to me because I grew up in a business home where my father conducted himself in business as a company president as though this was a calling of God. But he never spoke of it that way. In fact he always verbalized that it would have been a better thing for him to have gone into pastoral ministry. The subject is of some importance to Regent since a significant number of people come to Regent from business life but leave it and find their way into pastoral or parachurch ministry. They do this, often, on the basis of what Calvin called “a secret call,” a call within the general call that all Christians have received. A few go the other way. But behind some of this occupational transition is not only the question, Is business my calling? But is business anyone’s calling? This question is certainly important for the church. By and large the church honours the call of the pastor and missionary but does not speak of, or commission to, serve roles which people undertake in civic life or commercial enterprise. My friend William Diehl puts it this way in his earlier book, Christianity and Real Life when he was sales manager for Bethlehem Steel: ...

 


NOTES

[i] Brian Griffiths, The Creation of Wealth (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1984), 9.

English
Envy and Leadership Insecurity by Jon Escoto
Sample

Envy and Leadership Insecurity

Jon Escoto

 
Leadership + Insecurity = Corporate Suicide
 
I haven’t had so much Math since I graduated from my Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.  I’ve always consigned the work of deriving mathematical formulas to the Galileo’s and Pythagoras’s of this world.  Not until today.  I just wrote one above as I reflected on the following drawing...

 

English
Drivenness by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

Drivenness is behind one of the most respectable of all addictions—workaholism. But it is also expressed in a wide variety of addictive behaviors not covered in this article: chemical abuse, religious zeal, sexual addiction, perfectionism and fitness, which are all subject to the law of diminishing returns as people try to meet their deepest needs in these ways. The condition of drivenness usually arises from sources deep within the human personality, as well as systemic problems in our society. Drivenness reveals a spiritual dysfunctionality usually associated with a failure to accept the unconditional love of God. Driven people tend to focus all their energies on an activity that feeds their inner dysfunction, and this activity becomes an addiction.

English
Day at Work: Love-Recovering the Christian Amateur by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

LOVE: 

RECOVERING THE AMATEUR STATUS OF THE CHRISTIAN

"To discover God in the smallest and most ordinary things,   as well as in the greatest, is to possess a rare and sublime faith.  To find contentment in the present moment is to relish and adore the divine will in the succession of all the things to be done and suffered which make up the duty to the present moment."
Jean-Pierre De Caussaude[i]
 
"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God."
Luther[ii]

"Does God work?" Willie MacMichael asks his father in George Macdonald's book for children. His father answered biblically:

"Yes, Willie, it seems to me that God works more than anybody - for He works all night and all day and, if I remember rightly, Jesus tells us somewhere that He works all Sunday too. If He were to stop working, everything would stop being. The sun would stop shining, and the moon and stars; the corn would stop growing; there would be no apples and gooseberries; your eyes would stop seeing; your ears would stop hearing; your fingers couldn't move an inch; and, worst of all your little heart would stop loving."


[i]. Jean-Pierre De Caussaude, The Sacrament of the Present Moment Kitty Muggeridge, trans.(Glasgow: Collins, l981), 84.

[ii]. Martin Luther, quoted in Roland Bainton, Here I Stand......

English
Work by Gordon Preece
Sample

Work, whether in its presence or absence, is a pervasive part of everyday life. One of the first things we want to know about people is what they do. The waking time of most adults is taken up with work, and a person’s passing is often noted in terms of their workplace achievements. Work and worth, industry and identity, are very closely related in contemporary culture. This article deals with work in this modern context. It will examine (1) a wider definition of work, (2) a biblically integrated view of work, (3) the disintegration of work and faith, (4) reintegrating spirituality and work and (5) redirecting Sunday towards Monday.

A Wider Definition of Work

Over the last two centuries work has become equated with a job.

This is a seismic shift in our understanding of ourselves, our world and even our God. It has had earthquake like effects on people’s emotional, family, social and spiritual life. The tremors have been felt hardest by the overworked, the unemployed, housewives, the forcibly retired and the attention-deprived children.

English
Day at Work: Hope-Making Our Mark in Heaven by R. Paul Stevens
Sample
HOPE:
MAKING OUR MARK ON HEAVEN
            "How can Christianity call itself catholic if the universe itself is left out?"
                                        Simone Weil[i]
"I cannot think of a greater tragedy than to think that I am at home on earth...."
                                        Malcolm Muggeridge[ii]
"Only the heavenly-minded are of any earthly use."
                                        C.S. Lewis[iii]

 

            Years ago Leslie Newbigin said that "mankind is without any worthwhile end to which the travail of history might lead."[iv] A few believe we are heading into a new world order and paradise on earth but most people nurse a deep foreboding about the future, or refuse to think about it more than they must.  The seeming resultlessness of history erodes the nerve of modern persons including, I must add, Christians who have more reason to embrace the future wholeheartedly than anyone.  Whether world-weariness and future fright comes from the terrifying prospect of ecological doomsday, or, as is often the case with Christians like the Thessalonians, from the conviction that Jesus will probably come tomorrow, the result is the same for Christians: all work in this world except the so-called "ministry" is viewed as not very significant or enduring. 


[i]. Quoted in Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion and the Healing of the Global Village, Humpty Dumpty and Us (Minneapolis, Mn.: Winston Press, l979), iv.  Check for original reference - footnote 3 in Fox preface.

[ii]. Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered....p.

[iii]. C.S. Lewis, .....p.

[iv]. Leslie Newbigin, Honest Religion for Secular Man...p.

English
Wealth – Blessing, Temptation or a Sacrament? by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

Wealth: A Blessing, Temptation, or a Sacrament?

R. Paul Stevens

Hardly anyone wants to be poor; most would like to be rich.  Wealth brings power, standing in the community, increased leisure, and freedom from worry--so it is thought.  Not surprisingly in the richest part of the world many Christians are preaching a "prosperity gospel"--that faithfulness to Jesus will lead to personal wealth.  Tragically, this distorted message is now taking root in some of the poorest countries of the world.  Is wealth a sign of God's blessing?  Is money the main measure of wealth?  Does the Bible endorse wealth, promote it or exclude it?  How are we to respond in spirit and action?  Our souls hang on our answers to these questions. 

English
Day at Work: Faith-Discovering the Soul of Work by R. Paul Stevens
Sample
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the   greatest of these is love." 
1 Corinthians 13:13
 
"We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."    
1 Thessalonians 1:3

FAITH: DISCOVERING THE SOUL OF WORK

LOVE: RECOVERING THE AMATEUR STATUS OF THE CHRISTIAN

HOPE: MAKING OUR MARK ON HEAVEN

FAITH:

DISCOVERING THE SOUL OF WORK

            "There is no work better than another to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a souter (cobbler), or an apostle, all are one, as touching the deed, to please God."

William Tyndale[i]

            "Do you like your new job?" It was a foolish question, a very Western question to ask a Kenyan.  But Esther had been my student in a rural theological college in East Africa for three years.  She had hoped, like the others, upon graduation to be placed as a pastor of a church.  Instead she was given the enormously demanding task of being matron for three hundred girls in a boarding school.  It was a twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week job with little recognition and limited remuneration.  So I had reason to ask.  But her answer revealed a deep spirituality, one which I covet for Christians in my home country and myself.  She said, "I like it in Jesus."

 


[i]. William Tyndale, "A Parable of the Wicked Mammon," (l527) in Treatises and Portions of Holy Scripture (Cambridge: Parker Society, l848), 98, 104.

English
Wealth in the Old Testament by V. Philips Long
Sample
GOOD, BAD, OR INDIFFERENT?
WEALTH ACCORDING TO THE OLD TESTAMENT by V. Philips Long
I.  Introduction

Years ago I heard it said that wealth is a blessing according to the Old Testament but a curse according to the New.  This idea has struck me as insufficiently attentive to the continuity between the testaments.  In what follows I shall explore briefly the subject of wealth according to the OT, in the hope of suggesting a more balanced view of the biblical testimony. 

In this effort, I would like to adopt a two-pronged approach analogous to the procedures of modern archaeologists. One prong is the surface survey; the other is the in-depth excavation of a limited area.  In the former, the archaeologist travels quickly over the terrain simply collecting what can be found on the surface.  In the latter, s/he sinks a trench into a particular piece of ground with the hope of extrapolating from that one sample some general features of the larger site.

We begin with a surface survey of the biblical landscape, noting four prominent features (from among others, of course).  We then shall sink a trench in the area of the OT that offers the most practical personal instruction[1] on our topic—namely, the wisdom book of Proverbs.

 


[1] Issues of corporate social justice are addressed more directly in other places of the OT (e.g., the legal and prophetical materials), although the more individualistic instruction of the wisdom books also carries implications in these spheres.

English

Pages