[The following is reposted from the Acton Institute’s blog:]
In a lecture at Acton University titled “Business and the Common Good,” Dr. Scott Rae of Biola University examined the role of business in serving the common good.
Rae began by examining some of the common criticisms lobbed against business, namely, that it promotes greed, inequality, and consumerism. As Michael Miller often notes, these are human vices, not economic ones, and thus business, properly understood, is not immoral in and of itself.
On the contrary, business has great potential for serving and contributing to the common good. Though some believe profit-seeking enterprises are only valuable insofar as they can “give something back” out of what’s leftover, Rae emphasized how business advances the common good right from the get-go.
Rae offers four primary ways this occurs:
- By peaceably providing needed goods and services that allow human beings to flourish and enhance their well being
- By providing meaningful work that allows human beings to flourish and enhances their well being
- By facilitating wealth creation and economic growth
- By enabling the poor to lift themselves out of poverty
By leveraging business, we not only yield profits that can be used for the glory of God outside of business, we can serve our neighbors in the here and now. “God is not just redeeming individuals,” Rae concluded. “He is redeeming all of creation. He is redeeming the marketplace.”
To listen to Rae’s lecture, you can purchase “Business and the Common Good” here.
Purchase Rae’s book, Business for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace
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I’d like to share part of a fascinating article (thanks to Drew Cleveland of the Kern Family Foundation for bringing this to my attention) on the special “body knowledge” and skills required of the long-haul truck driver. It’s called “Dignity and the Professionalized Body: Truck Driving in the Age of Instant Gratification” and is by Benjamin H. Snyder. I find it eye-opening, compelling, even moving. It is an excellent specimen of the journalistic species of the “creative nonfiction” genus.
The article sure made me stop and think of the ease with which I hit that “order” button in Amazon.com. I sure don’t think about what the truck driver will quite possibly go through to get that package to me, or indeed the indignities he will suffer as he does so. Here’s a taste of the article, which is from UVA‘s Hedgehog Review. For the whole thing, go here.
3:32 a.m. Over the last hour and a half, we have stopped at three more truck stops and one rest area. They have all been completely full. We pull into another truck stop—a fifth attempt at parking tonight. Yet again, it is full. Alvaro tries to remain optimistic. He turns to me with a wry smile and says, “looks like we’re going to Little Rock, man!” Continue reading
Posted in Work with purpose
Tagged business, dignity, driving, economics, embodiedness, embodiment, Transportation and Logistics, truck driving, trucking, vocation, work
If you’re interested in the new global movement of “Business as Mission,” Mats Tunehag is your guy. He is Senior Associate on Business as Mission for both the Lausanne Movement and for the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, and founder and co-leader of the first global think tank on Business as Mission (now in its second multi-year session). Recently on his blog, and re-posted on the Bam Think Tank blog, Mats gave us a pithy but penetrating run-down of 12 dimensions of BAM.
In case you haven’t run across the term before, before I share a summary of Tunehag’s piece, here is how BAM is defined at http://www.businessasmission.com: Continue reading
Looking south from Top of the Rock, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here’s a fascinating article on a Manhattan network that funds Christian-owned startup companies. And not surprisingly (to me), Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church is involved, providing seed funding to a bunch of startups already.
A couple of snippets, then the link:
The scene at the Faith and Tech meetup group is part of a small subculture of the tech world that supports Christian entrepreneurs. In contrast to the hard-partying, get-rich-fast lifestyle portrayed in a new Bravo reality show on Silicon Valley, these entrepreneurs and investors not only pray together, but also give financial support to faith-based startups and discuss how to build religious companies that are both financially successful and socially responsible.
. . .
In New York City, Redeemer Presbyterian Church has funded 20 startups over the past seven years as part of its annual small business competition. The church sees its investments as an outgrowth of its mission to serve the city, said Calvin Chin, director of entrepreneurship initiatives at Redeemer. To enter the competition, the business founder must be Christian — a rule meant to ensure that each startup operates in line with church values, Chin said. Continue reading