Resources

Books and Articles

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Spirituality and Work Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
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
New Financial Twists by Steve Brinn
Sample

New Financial Twists, Same Old Fallen World

Steve Brinn

Boeing makes cruise missiles, as well as airplanes.  Is an investment in its common stock sinful?  What about day trading?  How much current income should we stash in a retirement account before giving more than a tithe to the church? Are we responsible, in the eyes of God, if the managers of our pension fund invest in unjust enterprises? Is it a trespass to borrow money using multiple credit cards to keep rolling the sum over?  What about making money by selling short?

These questions illustrate why thoughtful Christians can feel overwhelmed today by issues concerning investment.  Many specific quandaries we face simply weren't present during Christ's life on earth. Still we believe God gives us all the guidance we need to faithfully work through both old and new questions regarding financial stewardship. 

Here is a survey of some of that guidance for pilgrims facing new financial twists and turns in the same old fallen world.

English
My Paddles Keen and Bright by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

My Paddle’s Keen and Bright: A Reflection on Canoeing in Canada

R. Paul Stevens is Professor Emeritus of Marketplace Theology, Regent College. He is married to Gail, who canoes from the bow, has thee married children and eight grandchildren.

My paddle’s keen and bright,

Flashing with silver,

Swift as the wild goose flies,

Dip, dip and swing.

At an international party outside Lijiang, the ancient cross-roads of the Silk Road in Yunnan Province China, each person was asked to sing a song from their homeland. Will we sing our national anthem? (A cartoon once showed Canadians singing the anthem with the first line in bold large type and then trailing off in smaller and smaller type until there was nothing coming out of their mouths!) Gail, my wife, and I decided, after a brief conference, on a canoeing song. “My Paddle’s keen and bright / Flashing with silver / Swift as the wild goose flies / Dip, dip, and swing.” The song itself, which we both learned at Pioneer Camp in Ontario as young teenagers, has a rhythm that is evocative of the spiritual journey. It was at that camp that my love for the Canadian canoe and canoeing was birthed. There I learned the “J” stroke, the draw, the circle stroke and the Indian stroke. Now, to be politically correct, it should be called the First Nations stroke—it is a marvellous twist of the paddle so you never remove it from the water enabling you to move forward soundlessly. This amazing craft opened up our vast land of rivers and lakes. One forty pound canoe can carry two adults and a load of gear, and can be portaged over the head by one person with paddles lashed to the thwarts to rest, uneasily to be sure, on the shoulders of the canoeist.

English
Money in Christian History by John G. Stackhouse, Jr.
Sample

Money in Christian History

by John G. Stackhouse, Jr.

Many medieval manuscripts blossom with splendid decorations: fabulous animals frolic within huge capital letters; lush vegetation curls through margins; and intricate abstract patterns form dazzling frames. By the year 1300, however, gothic manuscripts began to present more distasteful sights. In one of these drawings, a worried-looking ape crouches and defecates three coins into a golden bowl. In another, a monster-head vomits gold coins into a golden bowl. The subject of money—the subject Jesus is said to have addressed more often in the Gospels than any other—now shows up graphically in Christian reflection.

It shows up, furthermore, in all of the strong ambivalence that has characterized Christian views of money through the ages. Money is shiny and beautiful, but also somehow related to filth, waste, and evil. Sigmund Freud drew modern attention to the linkage between money and excrement. Our own colloquial speech makes plain our ambivalence and even antagonism toward money: that man over there getting out of the limousine is "filthy rich" or "stinking rich," while the poor fellow leaving the casino penniless has been, ironically, "cleaned out."

English
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
Marketplace Theology Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
Loyalty in a Short-Term World by Peter Curran
Sample
Loyalty in a short-term world
Peter Curran
In a bygone era of stable work structures, when the public sector held many jobs and industries looked invulnerable, loyalty was a two-way street. Many large organizations offered the deal of job security in exchange for loyalty and hard work. If you were loyal to the company by doing your job consistently and conscientiously, doing as you were asked, going the extra mile when necessary, then the company would reciprocate loyalty through security -- continued employment, career progression, and the benefits of lengthening service.
English
Business Ethics by David Gill
Sample
Business Ethics
by David W. Gill
 Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics (New York:Macmillan, 2005)
1. Introduction
“Business ethics” names both a phenomenon (“the ethics espoused and practiced in business”) and the field of study of that phenomenon (“the serious study of business ethics”). As a branch of ethics (or moral philosophy), business ethics is interested in how judgments of right and wrong, good and bad, moral obligation and responsibility, rights and duties, and the like, are made and justified. As a branch of applied ethics it explores how these judgments are carried out in a specific domain, in this case, that of work, commerce, and economic activity.
English
Accurate Weights and Measures by Peter McCaroll
Sample
Introduction
In Larry Burkett’s Business By The Book1, he opens his chapter on “Discounting Decisions” with a case study of a car salesman. Burkett concludes the case study by quoting Proverbs 11:1 (“The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight.”2) and submitting that the car salesman “has a different weight in his bag for different customers.”3
In this paper I will discuss the Biblical concept of “weights and measures,” and specifically the issue of unfair or differing weights and measures, and try to answer the question “what does it mean to use accurate weights and measures?” To do this I will identify and discuss biblical and background information in order to identify and reflect on essential principles that are contained within the biblical material.
English

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