Why Business Matters to God (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed)
By Jeff Van Duzer
Every quarter our Faith and Work ministry recommends a book that will equip you with insights for your work-life. This time we recommend Why Business Matters to God by Jeff Van Duzer (published by InterVarsity Press, 2010).
Jeff van Duzer is both a Christian and Dean of a Business School. Having studied business for many years, he is only too aware of the failings, shortcomings and problems with twenty-first century, capitalist business. But he is also very aware of how business generates the economic capital that enables the rest of society to flourish. This led him to ask a vital question: “What does God think about business?”.
Having studied the topic extensively, Jeff’s book sets out a helpful and thought-provoking analysis of how the four Biblical meta-narratives of creation, fall, redemption and consummation inform an approach to business that reflects a Godly perspective. He concludes that business really does matter to God, but that there are some fundamental flaws in current secular business thinking and practice. He turns conventional economics on its head and suggests that businesses should exist to provide meaningful employment, together with valuable goods and services that enable society to flourish – profit is an essential outcome for business to be sustainable, but profit should not be the primary goal of a Godly business. Businesses should first and foremost serve and support society to flourish and should conduct themselves in a sustainable way.
This is an excellent and helpful book, not least for the discussion in Chapter 3 of what might happen to business in the end, when Jesus returns to establish a new heaven and a new earth. It provides a practical basis to re-think business and enables Christians to work redemptively in secular businesses by finding a fresh motivation. It also provides sound principles for the Christian entrepreneur, founder or business leader to build into their own business model. In short, this book lays out a vision of business that contributes directly to God’s purposes for the world.
Purchase this book here