Resources

Books and Articles

The books listed here are either free to download or can be purchase by going to the link provided. All documents are free to download.
Click on the + sign next to the title to find the links to download or purchase.

Spirituality and Work Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
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
Envy and Leadership Insecurity by Jon Escoto
Sample

Envy and Leadership Insecurity

Jon Escoto

 
Leadership + Insecurity = Corporate Suicide
 
I haven’t had so much Math since I graduated from my Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering.  I’ve always consigned the work of deriving mathematical formulas to the Galileo’s and Pythagoras’s of this world.  Not until today.  I just wrote one above as I reflected on the following drawing...

 

English
Drivenness by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

Drivenness is behind one of the most respectable of all addictions—workaholism. But it is also expressed in a wide variety of addictive behaviors not covered in this article: chemical abuse, religious zeal, sexual addiction, perfectionism and fitness, which are all subject to the law of diminishing returns as people try to meet their deepest needs in these ways. The condition of drivenness usually arises from sources deep within the human personality, as well as systemic problems in our society. Drivenness reveals a spiritual dysfunctionality usually associated with a failure to accept the unconditional love of God. Driven people tend to focus all their energies on an activity that feeds their inner dysfunction, and this activity becomes an addiction.

English
Day at Work: Love-Recovering the Christian Amateur by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

LOVE: 

RECOVERING THE AMATEUR STATUS OF THE CHRISTIAN

"To discover God in the smallest and most ordinary things,   as well as in the greatest, is to possess a rare and sublime faith.  To find contentment in the present moment is to relish and adore the divine will in the succession of all the things to be done and suffered which make up the duty to the present moment."
Jean-Pierre De Caussaude[i]
 
"What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God."
Luther[ii]

"Does God work?" Willie MacMichael asks his father in George Macdonald's book for children. His father answered biblically:

"Yes, Willie, it seems to me that God works more than anybody - for He works all night and all day and, if I remember rightly, Jesus tells us somewhere that He works all Sunday too. If He were to stop working, everything would stop being. The sun would stop shining, and the moon and stars; the corn would stop growing; there would be no apples and gooseberries; your eyes would stop seeing; your ears would stop hearing; your fingers couldn't move an inch; and, worst of all your little heart would stop loving."


[i]. Jean-Pierre De Caussaude, The Sacrament of the Present Moment Kitty Muggeridge, trans.(Glasgow: Collins, l981), 84.

[ii]. Martin Luther, quoted in Roland Bainton, Here I Stand......

English
Work by Gordon Preece
Sample

Work, whether in its presence or absence, is a pervasive part of everyday life. One of the first things we want to know about people is what they do. The waking time of most adults is taken up with work, and a person’s passing is often noted in terms of their workplace achievements. Work and worth, industry and identity, are very closely related in contemporary culture. This article deals with work in this modern context. It will examine (1) a wider definition of work, (2) a biblically integrated view of work, (3) the disintegration of work and faith, (4) reintegrating spirituality and work and (5) redirecting Sunday towards Monday.

A Wider Definition of Work

Over the last two centuries work has become equated with a job.

This is a seismic shift in our understanding of ourselves, our world and even our God. It has had earthquake like effects on people’s emotional, family, social and spiritual life. The tremors have been felt hardest by the overworked, the unemployed, housewives, the forcibly retired and the attention-deprived children.

English
Day at Work: Hope-Making Our Mark in Heaven by R. Paul Stevens
Sample
HOPE:
MAKING OUR MARK ON HEAVEN
            "How can Christianity call itself catholic if the universe itself is left out?"
                                        Simone Weil[i]
"I cannot think of a greater tragedy than to think that I am at home on earth...."
                                        Malcolm Muggeridge[ii]
"Only the heavenly-minded are of any earthly use."
                                        C.S. Lewis[iii]

 

            Years ago Leslie Newbigin said that "mankind is without any worthwhile end to which the travail of history might lead."[iv] A few believe we are heading into a new world order and paradise on earth but most people nurse a deep foreboding about the future, or refuse to think about it more than they must.  The seeming resultlessness of history erodes the nerve of modern persons including, I must add, Christians who have more reason to embrace the future wholeheartedly than anyone.  Whether world-weariness and future fright comes from the terrifying prospect of ecological doomsday, or, as is often the case with Christians like the Thessalonians, from the conviction that Jesus will probably come tomorrow, the result is the same for Christians: all work in this world except the so-called "ministry" is viewed as not very significant or enduring. 


[i]. Quoted in Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion and the Healing of the Global Village, Humpty Dumpty and Us (Minneapolis, Mn.: Winston Press, l979), iv.  Check for original reference - footnote 3 in Fox preface.

[ii]. Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered....p.

[iii]. C.S. Lewis, .....p.

[iv]. Leslie Newbigin, Honest Religion for Secular Man...p.

English
Wealth – Blessing, Temptation or a Sacrament? by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

Wealth: A Blessing, Temptation, or a Sacrament?

R. Paul Stevens

Hardly anyone wants to be poor; most would like to be rich.  Wealth brings power, standing in the community, increased leisure, and freedom from worry--so it is thought.  Not surprisingly in the richest part of the world many Christians are preaching a "prosperity gospel"--that faithfulness to Jesus will lead to personal wealth.  Tragically, this distorted message is now taking root in some of the poorest countries of the world.  Is wealth a sign of God's blessing?  Is money the main measure of wealth?  Does the Bible endorse wealth, promote it or exclude it?  How are we to respond in spirit and action?  Our souls hang on our answers to these questions. 

English
Marketplace Theology Resources
Title & Author Language Links Tags
Business as a Calling and Profession Part B by Gordon Preece
Sample:

Having surveyed the relatively positive biblical view of material work and clarified the difference between status wealth then and now and productive wealth, it is important to examine some of the Greek philosophical and historical factors disparaging work and business, against which Protestant notions of vocation subsequently reacted.

English
Business as a Calling and Profession Part A by Gordon Preece
Sample:

Note: adapted from the above title in Samuel Gregg and Gordon Preece, Christianity and Entrepreneurship; Protestant and Catholic Thoughts.  (St. Leonards NSW: Centre for Independent Studies, 1999) printed here with permission. 

All Bible references are NRSV unless noted.

Introduction

            A retired Protestant businessman told me recently how he had once spoken about business at an Anglican church only to be told by two young men that a Christian could not possibly be engaged in such a sordid activity. They would not be alone. A large number of Protestant Christians today would be uneasy with the claim that business can be an avenue of one's Christian calling. Given the bad press that many transnational business corporations get, and some deserve, this feeling is understandable. Yet, I will argue, it is ultimately misguided, representing an amnesia about one of Protestantism's great distinctives, the doctrine of the universal calling or vocation of all believers, in whatever biblically lawful places of service these believers find themselves.

English
Theology of Work – Executive Summary by R. Paul Stevens
Sample

Executive Summary

Most of the difficulties we face in mobilising the people of God towards marketplace ministry are due to an inadequate understanding regarding the theology of work. This shortcoming basically arises out of a less-than-comprehensive theology of creation, redemption and eschatology.

God the Worker

God not only authored work but he himself was a worker (Gen 1, 2; Jn 5:17; Rev 21:5). Throughout the Bible, we see different images of God as a worker namely, shepherd (Psa 23), potter (Jer 18:6), physician (Matt 8: 16), teacher (Psa 143:10), vineyard-dresser (Isa 5:1-7) etc. God is as active and creative today – creating, sustaining, redeeming and consummating – as God was when this five billion light year universe was begun.

English

Pages