Ardent scholars of religious history will realize that St. Augustine’s assertions concerning Christianity and business are contradictory to the message advanced by this book. For those who have not heard about the fifth century cleric, the author mentions him on several occasions, albeit with contempt.
This is because of his ideologies and the sentiments he espoused, terming business a sin and arguing that Christians should neither own nor run these ventures. As a result, he interrogates the credibility of this allegation and sets out to establish if a business venture can be operated successfully within parameters set be the Christian religion.
The writer acknowledges that business operators are faced with unending challenges, most of which are controversial and may be contradictory to the core beliefs of Christianity. He cites the example of a business venture run by Christians that prioritized service instead of profits.
Fiscal uncertainties forced a merger with a similar minded firm, which in turn merged with another bigger establishment. The result was a clear contrast from the initial objectives of the business as operational principles were utterly overhauled (Chewning, Eby and Roels, 2010).
The writer attempts to address the issue of Christianity among business operators in capitalist societies. He cites the profit driven nature of this set up and the way it contradicts fundamental Christian beliefs of charity and sharing with the less fortunate. He argues that the nature of business is determined by the political and economic environment.
It is disappointing that he fails to advance this argument further and opts to draw conclusions from the bible that he feels address the issue conclusively. He concludes that people should discern the parameters of the socioeconomic system carefully and make decisions that will extol the Christian beliefs they profess (Chewney et al., 2010).
He further argues that accomplishments are not determined by the titles held by persons denoting the capacities in which they serve. He advocates for a different method of measuring success by establishing personal goals, as opposed to indiscriminate competition with rivals. He concludes that prosperity and profitability in business should not be equated to God’s approval and favor, rather it should be perceived as due reward for diligence and discipline in the course of running the business.
He supports this by citing that Christians should set realistic goals for themselves, which are easily attainable and will not tempt people to engage in sinful practices. He closes this argument by citing cases in the bible where Israelites underwent tribulations but still had God’s favor and protection with them, urging Christians to be patient at all times (Chewney et al., 2010).
A new concept is also introduced when he talks about having covenant agreements with employees as opposed to contractual agreements. This implies that employers should focus on what is fair and right when transacting with employees as well as clients. By doing this, all the necessary privileges will be accorded in right proportions to persons who deserve them, ensuring fairness.
Kindness should accompany justice at all times. All situations should be resolved with kindness, irrespective of the factors that initiated the occurrence. Disputes should be settled in the same matter in order to uphold decorum, hence efficiency at the workplace (Chewney et al., 2010).
Employers should exhibit humility when dealing with their juniors. This includes many acts, like giving positive rewards for negative outcomes. Drawing reference from the bible, the author supports this argument laying emphasis on civility when handling negative behavior in the workplace.
The management should be legitimately concerned about employee affairs and communicate their requirements clearly. He chides those with a tendency of participating in simplistic arguments, warning that correction should be administered fairly without bias.
By following these guidelines, the Christian entrepreneur identifies with God and His preferred way of doing things. This makes them competent stewards with the desired administration capacity, hence giving them an authentic identity and behavior fully representative of true Christian entrepreneurs (Chewney et al., 2010).
Chewning, R. C, Eby J. W. & Roels, S. J. (1992). Business Through the Eyes of Faith. Apollos .