Wayne Grudem provides an explanation on how business and God’s glory are connected in his book, “Business for the Glory of God.” Using a well-stated and unique approach, the author addresses nine controversial areas, basing his argument on the Scripture to show the Biblical functions. According to him, business is no longer considered an important avenue to glorify God; as such, he shows how business can be used for or against God’s glory. Throughout the book, Wayne concentrates on Scripture where he states the importance of God’s glory and how we should seek it from our hearts. The author makes observations of our daily lives and complies them into manageable chapters, which are comprised of solid materials that provoke reflection and thoughts on the reader. Wayne addresses issues such as private ownership, competition, inequality of possessions, and borrowing and lending.
Wayne promotes the idea of business as a calling and believes that people working in the business world should think of business as a moral good whose activities bring glory to God. According to the author, human beings represents God’s sovereignty as they have power over His creation. Moreover, in the book of Genesis, God created man and intended him to work and develop the earth for his good and for God’s glory through work. Therefore, when we draw up and care for our possessions, we observe God’s attributes such as knowledge, wisdom, creativity, kindness, and love for others, among others (Green, 2005). Additionally, the desire to own things and gain wealth is not wrong as it is a reflection of our bestowed desire, which is divine to be sovereign over things. As such, manufactured goods and services enables us to discover and appreciate the wonders of God’s creation since we have been able to make such things from the earth.
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This is a reasonable argument since doing productive work makes the earth useful to us, which is simply subduing the earth as God instructed man. For this reason, rather than seeing business as evil or an enterprise that is driving the fall of man, Wayne understands that this is a God-given blessing to humanity. However, he also recognizes that most often than not, people misuse or manipulate businesses to become a mean to sin. To support his claim, from the book of Exodus, the Scripture validates personal ownership by commanding that we should not still. In addition, the Bible encourages generous giving, an aspect that assumes ownership (Grudem, 2003). However, ownership can be used for evil purposes, for instance, when the government imposes complex regulations that inhibit people from improving their lives by owning land or business. It is up to us to ensure that we use our ownership in a manner that glorifies God.
The second area that Wayne addresses in his book is competition, which agrees with market forces of demand and supply. According to him, competition helps the society to assign jobs and various responsibilities to those who are best suited in their qualification. This in turns ensures that quality products and services are provided in different sectors affecting our daily lives since qualifies people are in charge. Consequently, in the marketplace, competition rewards business performance as it ensures that only the best products remain, thereby ensuring that people buy the best goods and services (Kim, Fisher, & McCalman, 2009). For instance, a bad painter will not be referred to other clients, which will require him to find another area where he can perform better. Furthermore, over time, competition decreases the prices of goods and services down, thus increasing the standard of living for every individual. In areas of sports and academics, competition also plays a significant role as it encourages and rewards excellence in such areas.
Competition, as discussed by Wayne, fits in our daily lives, although many people do not incorporate its morality aspect. Wayne supports his argument with the Scripture by referring to the teachings of Jesus on stewardship. Here, God ordains inequality of abilities, where some people will excel in specific areas, and others perform better in different areas. Therefore, competition encourages a person to find a specific role that they are best at, for their good and for the good of others. However, it is also likely for people to use competition for evil intentions and for their selfish goods (Gardner, 2007). For example, different businesses will make deals to reduce competition, which raises the price of items while others employ unfair and unethical practices for competition. It is, therefore, individual responsibility to ensure they compete in a health and fair manner to create a better life for everyone on earth.
Inequality of Possessions
It’s hard to agree with Wayne’s argument on inequality of possessions due to the unfamiliar language used to explain the concept. The author argues inequality is acceptable and fundamentally serves to give glory to God. However, it is not clear at what point should a person agree to inequality. Essentially, in the above areas, Wayne encourages ownership and competition, in efforts to gain wealth and money to every individual (Grudem, 2003). Moreover, using support from the Scriptures, the author further states that God has given everyone a role, where they can perform best and make a change for themselves and for others. This makes it difficult for any individual to settle on the lower side of inequality with the knowledge that they have the ability to do better. People will go to extreme measures to ensure that they settle for the upper part of inequality so that they do not become poor beggars or peasants working for those with more possessions.
Another person would argue that one might spend a lifetime working hard to gain possessions where God has already decided that they will be on the lower side of the inequality. To support this claim, Wayne quotes several books from the Bible from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The author explains that inequality is necessary in this world since there are a variety of tasks that require being done by people on various levels. According to the Scriptures, God has gifted people in different ways for His glory, and therefore, people should serve at various levels influenced by their possessions (Grudem, 2003). This argument is, however, weak and does not provide concrete evidence of why a person should settle for inequality in a world full of opportunities to help one gain possessions.
Borrowing and Lending
In the chapter about borrowing and lending, Wayne argues that the Bible does not prohibit loans; however, the author makes an assumption that it is a regular part of life. In addition, Wayne notes that institutions lending money charge high interests and that it should be reversed to ensure that such loans serve to help the people in need. In our modern society, every person depends on loan from low socio-economic classes; the difference is the purpose of loans. For instance, while a low-income earner is borrowing money to afford school fees and afford a house, the wealthy are borrowing loans to complete big projects that will translate to huge profits upon completion. At the end of the day, the poor individual may fail to pay the loan, which will eventually lead to losing even the little assets owned in efforts of the lending institutions recovering their money (Kim, Fisher, & McCalman, 2009). On the other hand, the wealthy people will continue to flourish upon completion of their projects, because they will quickly pay their loans.
However, the author focus on aspects of trustworthy and honesty that a person exhibits when they borrow and pay the money. It is important to recognize that even though a person is willing to pay pack, it is not always possible if you do not have the money back. Are such people considered untrustworthy or dishonest due to their inability to pay back an amount of money that they cannot raise? In any case, this is against the Scriptures, which focuses more on the inner intentions of an individual. This is, therefore, nor a sustainable aspect in our daily lives; from the side of the lending institutions, they are in business and looking to make maximum profit, on the other hand, a person borrowing the money is seeking to afford something that they cannot within their normal means (Gardner, 2007). There is a weak interconnection between borrowing and lending money to the glory of God; unless a person willingly decides to help a person without expecting payment in return as God instructs.
This is an excellent book by Wayne where he tries to point abuses of business and how people can turn business activities around to glorify God. He opens the eyes of the reader to the moral goodness of business despite its potential to spread evil. If people pursue business to God’s glory, the positive outcomes will include employment creation and commerce. Also, the book encourages Christians who are working in the business world by providing guidelines on how to start and maintain a productive business. As such, Christians can have a calling to business, continue to glorify God by reflecting His attitudes in running the businesses and helping others. However, the author should provide detailed information to support some weak areas that raise concern such as borrowing and lending, and inequality of possessions. Such arguments seem to have been made from assumptions since he had not provided enough information.
Gardner, B. (October 01, 2007). Business ethics: A Christian perspective. South African Baptist Journal of Theology, 8, 6, 54-58.
Green, M. (January 01, 2005). Why Christianity is the 'religion of business': Perceptions of the Church among Pogoro Catholics in southern Tanzania. Journal of Religion in Africa, 25, 25-47.
Grudem, W. A. (2003). Business for the glory of God: The Bible's teaching on the moral goodness of business . Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books. ISBN: 9781581345179
Kim, D., Fisher, D., & McCalman, D. (November 01, 2009). Modernism, Christianity, and Business Ethics: A Worldview Perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 90, 1, 115-121.