Business for the Glory of God
The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business
Publisher: Crossway Books
Reviewer: Discerning Reader Team
I own quite a few books written by Wayne Grudem and most of them vary between being long and very long (not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing). Grudem takes on difficult and controversial subjects such as Bible translation and the roles of men and women in the church and covers them both thoroughly and biblically. It was with some surprise, then, that I received Business for the Glory of God and noted that it is a mere 96 pages – the perfect size to read in a single evening. Its size may be deceiving, for this little book contains some powerful teaching about the value of business.
Grudem says, rightly I’m sure, that when people ask how their lives can glorify God, they are rarely told, "Go into business." Students, when they ask, "How can I serve God with my life," don’t often hear the answer, "Go into business." This little book claims just this, that "many aspects of business activity are morally good in themselves, and that in themselves they bring glory to God – though they also have great potential for misuse and wrongdoing." Dr. Grudem examines business under the following headings:
- Commercial transactions (buying and selling)
- Inequality of possessions
- Borrowing and lending
- Attitudes of hearing
- Effect on world poverty
Through each chapter Grudem shows that the topic he discusses is fundamentally good, whether it be ownership, profit, or inequality of possessions, and that each one provides many opportunities to glorify God, but also many temptations to sin. The temptation to sin by making an idol of money, for example, does not negate the fact that money is fundamentally good and is a God-given gift. As we have come to expect from Grudem’s books, this one is filled with references to the Bible and in fact is driven by Scripture.
What the reader will come to understand is that business, as fundamentally good as it is, is not an end in itself. Business and all the elements that comprise it, are instruments God uses to bring glory to Himself. God is glorified when we use our gifts and talents to employ others, to make money and to turn a profit. God is glorified when we borrow and lend and compete. God has entrusted these tools to us and expects us to use them in a way that honors Him. The book concludes with a reflection on the effect of business on world poverty. "I believe the only long-term solution to world poverty is business. That is because businesses produce goods, and business produce jobs. And business continue producing goods year after year, and continue providing jobs and paying wages year after year. Therefore if we are every going to see long-term solutions to world poverty, I believe it will come through starting and maintaining productive, profitable businesses."
Business for the Glory of God is a wonderful little book that is sure to edify whoever reads it. As we approach the Christmas season, this may be a book you would want to consider purchasing as a gift (or stocking-stuffer depending on your budget) for the man or woman in your life who is involved in business, or even for the teen who is wondering how he can use his life to bring glory to God. I enjoyed this book and am happy to recommend it.