People often fail to recognize the numerous business opportunities that can be used to glorify the God. In Business for the Glory of God, Grudem illustrates how business is primarily connected to glorifying the God. The book may not be an absolute resource for a Christian man or woman in business, but it highlights some vital topics, which are relevant in business. The volume is concise, but detailed with biblical theology and philosophy. For instance, Chapter 6 and 7 focus on money and wealth inequality; topics, which are vital for the success of businesses. The author considers the fast-paced society we are in today, and keeps the chapters brief and straightforward, while presenting how biblical truths fit in the business realm.
Grudem views every topic via a biblical worldview, shows how and where business can be misused, and provides ways, in which it can be applied to bring glory to the God. The main topics come from the initial nine chapters, which include ownership, employment, commercial transactions, profit, productivity, borrowing and lending, money, competition, and inequality of wealth. Chapters Ten (Attitudes of the Heart) and Eleven (Effect on World Poverty), summarize the above nine key points, and show how they affect the heart, and can be employed to eradicate poverty in the world. The abuses of every topic that Grudem discusses do not go unseen. Business owners, who are Christians, usually do not realize that they are operating on God’s time and resources, not theirs. The book presents both the good business aspects, as well as areas that provide chances for straying from God’s plan. This is evidenced by the author’s statement at the book's early chapters, when Grudem says that business is, “fundamentally good and provides many opportunities for glorifying God, but also many temptations to sin” (2003, p. 19). Grudem concludes the book by providing hope for ending poverty in the world. He claims that when businesses are done in alignment with the values of God, world poverty is likely to be reduced significantly, or even eliminated entirely.
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From the reading the entire book, it is evident that the key theme is that human beings can use businesses to glorify God. Grudem professionally and concisely answers questions that Christians usually have against businesses. Using biblical viewpoint, Grudem gives explanations to a wide range of topics, such as poverty, employment and borrowing among others.
Early in the book, the author admits the fact that glorifying God has not been associated with the business world, as it is with the church. He, however, fails to agree with the statement, since glorifying God is not limited to the church only. He says that people can give the God glory anywhere, even in the business boardrooms. Grudem states that the overall purpose of human beings is to glorify God. He goes ahead to show how business offers an avenue for this commitment. The author maintains that some people are called by God, to become business leaders, and as such, they are offered an opportunity to perform well in business. He cites the book of Colossians, which says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that, from the Lord, you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). From the book, it is apparent that business can be ethically proper, but if handled incorrectly, can lead to misconduct and sin. Grudem points out this fact early in the book, when he states that a person, “will find that in every aspect of business there are multiple layers of opportunities to give glory to the God, as well as multiple temptations to sin” (2003, p. 17). From this argument, we get to learn that businesses that are done honestly bring glory to the God.
Chapter Six talks about money; a topic that is usually linked to greed, however, according to Grudem, there is no biblical support for this claim. He points out clearly that what is evil is the love of money, and not the money itself. Money is simply a medium of exchange that offers people the opportunity to afford their wants and needs. It is vital that people realize that God is the giver of all their earthly possessions, meaning He is extremely wealthy; therefore, they ought to stop thinking of having money as sinful. In addition, a majority of renowned biblical personalities, such as Abraham, David, Job, Solomon and Moses among others were extremely wealthy with the riches that God gave them. Matthew 7:11 indicates that God gives only good gifts. If God chose to give the above mentioned personalities wealth, then, money is not evil as some people think. People should use the money to advance the work of God and His kingdom through tithing and other ways, to assist the less fortunate people in the society.
Businesses often bring different inequalities and imbalanced quantities of riches. Grudem talks about inequality of possession in the seventh chapter of his book. This is a topic that many Christians find difficult to talk about, or support, but we regularly find people talking in favor of equality. Grudem goes beyond these barriers to explain that, “the Bible teaches that there are varying degrees of reward in heaven”, and “the idea of inequality of stewardship in itself is given by the God and must be good” (2003, p. 51). To back his argument, Grudem cites exceedingly many passages within the Old and New Testaments, all of which show that all types of inequality exist in Heaven. For example, the Bible says that, during Jesus' second coming, He will reward his servants with different crowns. This indicates that God assigns various amounts of stewardships to people. Grudem maintains that inequalities are essential in a world with a wide variety of jobs to be done. Other than the author’s support for inequality, chapter 7 challenges the numerous popular arguments on biblical prosperity, such as early communism, equal possession and wealth and health possession. Grudem’s disagreement with equal possession is based on the fact that people have different lifestyles, and even if all the money all over the planet Earth were accumulated and then distributed to people equally, it would only take a while before it becomes unequal. This is because people’s spending and saving habits are varied; some are heavy spenders, while others know how to save. I unreservedly agree with Grudem’s reasoning; therefore, we should expect inequality to continue existing. All people ought to do is to utilize it to bring glory to God by contributing to the advancement of His work here on Earth. An example of how to promote the God’s work is by financing preachers to spread the Gospel to the entire world.
Despite the various strengths of this wonderful book, it has some flaws. For example, the book fails to talk about governmental regulations, as well as the practical ways, in which businesses can be utilized to advance the church’s mission. It is vital to note that while Grudem explains how various business subjects can either be abused or utilized to glorify God, he does not mention the government’s role in all the discussed topics. The government has a role in regulating productivity, collecting taxes, printing money, and encouraging borrowing & lending among others. Even though businesses may embark on a righteous pursuit of the topics Grudem discusses, failure on their part to conform to the governmental regulations is likely to affect the business. Therefore, the government is a key determinant in the way business is used to glorify the God.
The book also lacks a response to businesses and churches. Though businesses are rarely viewed as spiritual activities, they can be utilized to finance and advance Christian ministries all over the world. Pastors usually hold congregations on Sunday, and sometimes on Wednesdays; but businesses have these same congregations throughout the week. That is why businesses ought to be taken seriously since Christians spend most of their time and effort there. From businesses, we get finances that are essential for promoting the God’s work.
In general, Grudem’s Business for the Glory of God is a priceless resource to businessmen and women and does an exceptional work in providing businessmen with realistic knowledge, which is filtered via a biblical worldview. Grudem makes a theological and apologetic defense for businesses. According to him, businesses can be ethically sound, but if handled incorrectly, can lead to misconduct and sin. This shows that businesses that are done in an honest manner bring glory to the God. Grudem provides a concise, but detailed overview of the teachings of the Bible regarding how businesses can be used to enhance the God’s work and exalt Him. Businesses offer Christians a glance into the abundance of the God’s creation, human wickedness and corruption, as well as the hope of restoration. All the wealth that people acquire in businesses is the God’s generous provision, and it is their duty to use it for His glory. Through more than one hundred and seventy Bible verses, Business for the Glory of God verifies the calling and the relevancy of businesses.
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