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Fall 2003 · Vol. 32 No. 2 · pp. 229–233 

Recommended Reading

On Vocation

Wally Kroeker

Banks, Robert, and R. Paul Stevens, eds. The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity: An A-to-Z Guide to Following Christ in Every Aspect of Life. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1997.

An unusual book with help for finding a faith connection where it may be least expected. It’s an encyclopedia of everyday topics— from chocolate to credit cards to sex—with down-to-earth guidance on how Christianity illuminates daily life.

Bystrom, Ray. “Ten Words for Those Who Work: Seeing Daily Ministry Through Biblical Eyes.” A series of ten articles published in The Marketplace magazine, 1994-1996.

Ray Bystrom of Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary looks at ten biblical themes from the perspective of Monday-to-Friday work: kingdom, church, ministry, worship, creation, spirituality, vocation, evangelism, leadership, and community.

Chewning, Richard C., John W. Eby, and Shirley J. Roels. Business Through the Eyes of Faith. San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1990.

Mennonite educator John Eby contributed heavily to this college-level book (part of a series from the Christian College Coalition) that aims to show how business can be a legitimate field of Christian service.

Diehl, William E. Thank God, It’s Monday. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1982.

Based on his many years as sales manager for Bethlehem Steel, William Diehl, an evangelical Lutheran, provides many useful {230} insights into how Christian faith can animate one’s performance on the job, including commentary on competition, materialism, and “principalities and powers.”

Diehl, William E. The Monday Connection: On Being an Authentic Christian in a Monday-Friday World. San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco, 1993.

Many Christians have trouble linking the lessons of Sunday with the actual work of Monday. Diehl shows how lay people can live out their faith all week long, and thus extend the ministry of the church.

Halteman, James. The Clashing Worlds of Economics and Faith. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1995.

James Halteman, a Mennonite who teaches economics at Wheaton College, provides an accessible introduction to economic theory as well as compelling insights on how today’s Christians might understand what the Bible says about economics and money.

Hammond, Pete, R. Paul Stevens, and Todd Svanoe. The Marketplace Annotated Bibliography: A Christian Guide to Books on Work, Business and Vocation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2002.

Two decades ago this book would have been very thin, as books on the integration of work, business, and vocation were scarce. Now there are hundreds, and more than seven hundred are annotated here providing a handy guide to the best writing available on the ministry of daily life.

Kreider, Carl. The Christian Entrepreneur. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1980.

When the late Carl Kreider, then economics professor at Goshen College, wrote this book, he was a pioneer in the exploration of what it might mean to see entrepreneurship from a Christian perspective. Even after all these years, this book still stands tall.

Kroeker, Wally. God’s Week Has Seven Days: Monday Musings for Marketplace Christians. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1998. {231}

A collection of fifty-two weekly reflections on what the “priesthood of all believers” might mean for Christians in the daily workplace.

Nash, Laura L. Believers in Business Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1994.

Can faith and business be reconciled? Are Christian values like charity and selflessness out of place in the executive suite? Laura Nash examines eighty-five Christian CEOs to find what they say about the link of business and faith.

Nash, Laura, and Scotty McLennan. Church on Sunday, Work on Monday: The Challenge of Fusing Christian Values with Business Life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

Two scholars (from Harvard and Stanford) examine the “uneasy detente” between business and the church and issue a wake-up call “to take the relation of spirituality, faith, and business more seriously.”

Pierce, Gregory F. Augustine. Spirituality@Work: Ten Ways to Balance Your Life On-the-Job. Chicago, IL: Loyola, 2001.

The former president of the National Center for the Laity provides helpful comments on how to expand a sense of God in one’s place of work. These range from congratulating coworkers to creating some sacred office space to building community with coworkers.

Redekop, Calvin, Stephen C. Ainlay, and Robert Siemens. Mennonite Entrepreneurs. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

Are Mennonite entrepreneurs black sheep in the church, or trailblazers seeking new ways to express faith in ways that others can’t? These authors suggest that Mennonite businesspeople, though suspect by some, actually lead the way in adjusting our faith values to a culture in flux.

Rudy, John H. Moneywise Meditations: To Be Found Faithful in God’s Audit. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1989. {232}

A collection of short, homey meditations on money. John Rudy says money doesn’t have to seduce and dominate but can be used for sharing, building the church, and exercising Christian compassion.

Salkin, Jeffrey K. Being God’s Partner: How to Find the Hidden Link Between Spirituality and Your Work. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights, 1994.

A rabbi shows “how God can enter what many dismiss as the most mundane aspect of our lives—our work,” reminding readers that the Old Testament prophets preached in the marketplace, not from a pulpit. A “theological first cousin” to imitating God is to be God’s partner, he says, “picking up where God left off.”

Sherman, Doug, and William Hendricks. Your Work Matters to God. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1987.

This has become an oft-quoted handbook on the theology of work from an evangelical perspective. The authors explore why faith and work have lost their connection and argue compellingly that even work outside the professional ministry is important to God.

Sprunger, Ben, Carol J. Suter, and Wally Kroeker. Faith Dilemmas for Marketplace Christians. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1997.

These thirteen small-group studies provide down-to-earth cases from life on-the-job. One of the book’s greatest strengths is the way it brings the workplace into the church and provides a comfortable context for discussing the challenges of living for Christ Monday to Friday.

Stevens, R. Paul. Liberating the Laity: Equipping All the Saints for Ministry. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1985.

Few scholars have done more to promote ministry in daily life than R. Paul Stevens. Here he argues that every church has far more work than any one person can do. That’s why Scripture teaches the priesthood of all believers. Here’s help in seeing every member as a minister in thawing out the frozen assets of the church. {233}

Stevens, R. Paul. The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999.

The clergy-laity division is not only biblically wrong but also counterproductive. All Christians are called to be part of God’s mission, he says, and none should be second-class citizens in the kingdom of God.

Sutherland, John R. Going Broke: Bankruptcy, Business Ethics, and the Bible. Waterloo, ON: Herald, 1991.

Here’s help in seeing the problem of bankruptcy in Christian terms. John Sutherland explores what Scripture says about usury, forgiveness of debt, and how congregations can respond in the most helpful way.

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