An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher

The Sacred Meal
Nora Gallagher
Thomas Nelson, 2009
(Ancient Practices Series ed. Phyllis Tickle)
ISBN 978-0-8499-4606-6

This book is part of the eight book Ancient Practices series under the general editorship of Phyllis Tickle.

The sacred meal in question here has been described in many different ways: communion, breaking of bread, mass, eucharist, Lord's meal, etc. Many doctrinal differences surround it: transubstantiation, who may partake, who may serve it; is it merely a memorial, the real; presence of Christ or something else?

Nora Gallagher writes from a Episcopal standpoint. It is this perspective that shapes her ideas and views about breaking of bread. This is very much a personal perspective. The only time she steps out of her seeming denominational bounds are when she asserts that there should be no rules as to who can take it and who cannot.

She writes very well and the book is full of literary allusions and epigraphs. The strength of the book is its narrative format, but that is also its weakness. There is little historical, cultural or theological reflection on the subject; the only exception is the brief chapter 9, 'A history in brief' - unfortunately the chapter is too brief. I would have liked to have seen this chapter developed more. The book is part of the Ancient Practices - but there is seemingly no link between the 'Sacred' meal that Gallagher describes and the ancient i.e. New Testament practice.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dooyeweerd's Opbouw papers

Glenn Friesen has added his translations of three of Dooyeweerd's papers originally published in the journal Opbouw to his website:

A Lay Person's Thoughts on Richard Wagner and his Tristan,”
a translation of “Leekengedachten over Richard Wagner en zijn
Tristan,”Opbouw: Maandschrift in dienst der Christ. Levens-en
wereldbeschouwing, van en voor jongeren
(1914) 5-10; 66-68.

The Disconsolateness of Wagnerianism,” a translation of “De
Troosteloosheid van het Wagnerianisme,” Opbouw: Maandschrift
in dienst der Christ. Levens-en wereldbeschouwing, van en voor jongeren

(1915) 97-112

An Old Debt to a Pariah,” translation of “Een oude schuld
aan een paria,” Opbouw: Maandschrift in dienst der Christ.
Levens-en wereldbeschouwing, van en voor jongeren
(1916) 161-180

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Fasting - Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight
Fasting: fasting as Body Talk in the Christian Tradition
The Ancient Practices Series (Phylis Tickle series editor)
315 KB mobi edition
176 pages
Thomas Nelson, 2009
ISBN 978-0-8499-0108-9

Fasting isn’t a popular spiritual discipline. It’s not the sort of thing people get excited about: feasting, yes; but fasting, no. Particularly at this time of year!
This excellent book by Scot McKnight, part of The Ancient Practices Series under the general editorship of Phyllis Tickle, takes a fresh look at fasting.
Is fasting a form of trying to twist God’s arm? Is it a way of showing God how serious we are? No. McKnight stresses that fasting isn’t a manipulative tool that guarantees results. Indeed results are not important. This approach is refreshingly contrary to many other books on fasting that focus on the benefits and rewards of fasting. McKnight rightly stress that fasting is a response - a response to a grievous 'sacred moment'. These moments include death, grief, impending or actual disaster, the absence of justice, a lack of holiness and so on.

The book is in two main parts: Spirituality and fasting and Wisdom and fasting. The first looks at different aspects of fasting as ...  the second at fasting and... . He notes that fasting is not something we should do lightly as it is potentially damaging to the body. The first part looks at the theology of fasting and the second the practice of fasting.

For many fasting is a way of denying the body so they can focus on the so-called ‘spiritual’; it is for many an outworking of a nature/ grace dualism. However, McKnight contends that that fasting is not popular because we have exiled the body from spirituality. He is wanting an embodied form of spirituality. A spirit/ body dualism has denied the body and so fasting, a bodily function, has been ignored. Rather than denying the body, the kind of fasting that McKnight stresses is one that embraces the body.

There is a brief study guide and a list of recommended reading.
This is certainly the best book I've read on fasting.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Santa exposed!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Odds and sods

Video excerpts from Jamie Smith's University of Ottawa lecture
Berkouwer and Barth on universalism
BBC iPlayer downloader
18 peer reviewed science papers listed
Why is worldview important?

The ethics of climate change with Stephen Bouma-Prediger

Philosophy in the Making by Anthony Tol

Philosophy in the Making
D. H. Th. Vollenhoven and the Emergence of Reformed Philosophy

Anthony Tol
Dordt College Press, 2010
ISBN 978-0-932914-86-6
549+vi pp; pbk; US$30
Available from:

Recent years have seen a number of works by and on Vollenhoven. This by Tony Tol is the result of his PhD promoted by A. P. Bos from the Free University (VU). It looks at the development of a neo-calvinist philosophy. Tol pays particular attention to the part played by Vollenhoven in this development.

The book started life as a project to edit Vollenhoven’s seminal work the Isagoge Philosophiae a text Vollenhoven was continually changing and revising; there about a dozen different versions of the text! This book then traces Vollenhoven’s thought as it changed and evolved.

This is a welcome addition to the burgeoning interest in reformational philosophy. Vollenhoven’s work is often dense and opaque. Tol has done much of the hard work in helping us understand Vollenhoven and his ideas better.

1. Vollenhoven’s principled program
2. A bold beginning: theistic and metalogical intuitionism
3. Reforming revisions: from monadology to law-spheres
4. Embarking within bounds of law: the initial definite platform

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Building a Worldwide Network: IAPCHE 1975-2002

Building a Worldwide Network: IAPCHE 1975-2002
John B. Hulst
Dordt College Press, 2009
US$10, 64 pp, pbk
Available here

The International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education (IAPCHE) exists to promote Christian higher education worldwide. This slim booklet provides a brief overview and highlights of its fascinating and turbulent history.

John Hulst was involved with the organisation from its beginnings in 1975 until his retirement as its executive secretary in 2002 and so is well paced to write this inspiring book. The book has its origins as a series of articles in Contact, IAPCHE’s newsletter.

The twelve short chapters take us from proto-IAPCHE in 1973 when the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education (PUforCHE) initiated the idea of a conference in 1975 to examine ‘Reformed Higher Educational Institutions as a Bulwark for the Kingdom of God’. As a result of that conference the seeds for the development of IAPCHE were sown. However, during this time there was conflict between two major Christian Universities, the Free University and the PU for CHE over apartheid. This in part prevented the full development of an international organisation sooner. It wasn’t until 1981 that an organisation, then named the International Council for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education (ICICHE) was formalised. It was in 1992 that the present IAPCHE name was adopted.

Initially rather than an association of organisations it was an organisation of Christian scholars and educators ‘supported by institutions of Christian higher education’. This enabled IAPCHE to maintain ‘its reformational rootage’ and reach out to other s in the broader Christian academic network.

One thing that IAPCHE and its members have stood for is the idea that Christian higher education is about theology and theological schools. Christian education is about all the disciplines coming under the lordship of Christ and being directed by ‘a kingdom of God perspective’.

This is an inspiring read; it narrates the trails and tribulations, the joys and encouragements of establishing an organisation to promote distinctly Christian education. It shows what can be done in the Lord’s strength and with determined, committed and visionary labourers such as John Hulst, Peter Schrotenboer, John VanderStelt, Bennie van der Walt, and many others. Long may it continue!

Music for a Sunday morning

Keith Jarrett's Koln concert

Friday, 17 December 2010

Bob Robinson on God's mission and the Church's mission of reconciliation

Bob at Vanguard Church blog has started an excellent series on God's mission and the Church's mission of reconciliation; posts so far include:

What is the creation? What is God redeemeing?
Entrusted with the ministry of the reconciliation of all things
The holistic mission of reconciliation

This post includes two great diagrams contasting dualistic and a non-dualistic spirituality:

Check out the series - your life will be richer for it!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Monday, 29 November 2010

Katie Price, idolatry and discipleship

What has Katie Price (aka Jordan) got to do with idolatry? Mark Roques suggests that Katie Price does provide a very good role model in his most recent blog at the REALiTYBiTES blog. A salient reminder that what we revere we resemble (Ps 115)

Sunday, 28 November 2010

November's Aspects is now out.

Aspects the newsletter of the Association for Reformational Philosophy is now out. You can see it here.

There is a short complimentary paragraph about my blogging and website all of life redeemed. It describes me as a 'trailbalzer in social media'! I think that accolade should go to Gideon Strauss or Gregory Baus - both were blogging well before me.

music for a Sunday morning

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Mike Goheen on The True Story of the Whole World

Mike also has a new book out soon: A Light to the nations Baker, 2011


1. The Church's Identity and Role: Whose Story? Which Images?
2. God Forms Israel as a Missional People
3. Israel Embodies Its Missional Role and Identity amid the Nations
4. Jesus Gathers an Eschatological People to Take Up Their Missional Calling
5. The Death and Resurrection of Jesus and the Church's Missional Identity
6. The Missional Church in the New Testament Story
7. New Testament Images of the Missional Church
8. The Missional Church in the Biblical Story--A Summary
9. What Might This Look Like Today?

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Odds and sods

The New NIV is now online - here is a chart that highlights how it is different to its predecessors. [HT Antony Billington]
Michael Patton looks at dealing with doubt
The central theme of Ecclesiastes
The ultimate dropbox guide - if you'd like to try out dropbox click here.
New website on biblical archeology courtesy of Robert Bradshaw
Some excellent books on vocations
Jamie Smith interview
Some excellent Berkouwer resources
OwlB responds to the Bylogos blog

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

B J van der Walt festschrift - Koers 75 (1) 2010

Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap Vol 75, Issue 1 (2010)

Table of contents:

1. Voorwoord / Preamble

Authors: Heyns, Michael; Hoogstad, Helena; Kleinhans, Leandri; Lourens, Susan; Otto, Erika; Lourens, Santie; Oberholzer, Bertha;

Pages: xv-xvii

2. Bennie and IAPCHE : messages of acknowledgement

Authors: Lantinga, N.;

Pages: xix

3. Uit die skatkis van herinnerings : Instituut vir Reformatoriese Studie : erkenningsboodskappe

Authors: Venter, JJ (Ponti);

Pages: xx

4. Professor (BJ) Bennie van der Walt en Filosofie : erkenningsboodskappe

Authors: Heyns, M.;

Pages: xxi

5. Groete - Reformatoriese Beweging van Suider-Afrika : erkenningsboodskappe

Authors: Swanepoel, J.;

Pages: xxii

6. Bennie van der Walt - 'n huldeblyk : erkenningsboodskappe

Authors: Combrink, AL;

Pages: xxiii-xxv

7. Professor BJ van der Walt : a very complex and dynamic configuration of a variety of functions centrally religiously directed in all his actions : personal messages

Authors: Letsosa, R.;

Pages: xxvii-xxx

8. Voor Bennie en Hannetjie van der Walt : herinneringen aan meer dan 40 jaren vriendschap : persoonlike boodskappe

Authors: Bril, KA;

Pages: xxxi-xxxiii

9. BJ van der Walt : consummate educator : personal messages

Authors: Vander Stelt, JC;

Pages: xxxv-xxxix

10. Interview with Bennie van der Walt : perspectives

Authors: Bishop, Steve;

Pages: xli-lxvii

11. 'n Voetpad deur die werklikheid - filosofiese memoires : perspektiewe

Authors: Van der Walt, BJ;

Pages: lxix-lxxxix

12. Een concentratieprobleem bij BJ van der Walt : navorsingsartikel

Authors: Griffioen, S.;

Pages: 1-13

13. Reflecting on our past : reconciling a divided nation through listening : research article

Authors: Ayee, ESA;

Pages: 15-32

14. Professor Bennie van der Walt : a bridge between white Afrikaners and black Africans : research article

Authors: Turaki, Y.;

Pages: 33-51

15. Die sentrale plek van 'n lewens- en wêreldbeskouing : navorsingsartikel

Authors: Strauss, DFM;

Pages: 53-77

16. Religion in education : is there yet another solution? : research article

Authors: Van der Walt, JL;

Pages: 79-98

17. De strijd om de richting van de Westerse cultuur : navorsingsartikel

Authors: Schuurman, E.;

Pages: 99-114

18. A Christian mission of glocal culture within riven societies in God's world : research article

Authors: Seerveld, CG;

Pages: 115-134

19. Towards authentic development : research article

Authors: Fowler, S.;

Pages: 135-147

20. Traces of neo-Calvinism in France and Italy : research article

Authors: Coletto, R.;

Pages: 149-172

21. Reflections on a Christian view of human communication : research article

Authors: Van Belle, HA;

Pages: 173-188

22. Hermeneia : 'n teologiese gesprek oor hermeneutiese vrae met drie Suid-Afrikaanse teoloë : navorsingsartikel

Authors: Van Wyk, JH;

Pages: 189-215

23. Moraliteit, die opdringerige en die voorwaardelike : navorsingsartikel

Authors: Heyns, MF;

Pages: 217-243

24. A reading of TSEliot's Ash-Wednesday : research article

Authors: Sawyer, F.;

Pages: 245-265

25. Geskrifte van BJ van der Walt / Publications of BJ van der Walt 1960-2010


Pages: 267-277

Jack the Blogger: A Hair Raising Idea

My boy's new blog and fund raising attempt Jack the Blogger: A Hair Raising Idea: "Well Basically I have had an idea to try and raise some money for Oxygen, I'm going to cut off all my hair from my head (wet shaved close) a..."

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Odds and sods

Douglas Groothius's full outline for a talk on Bible, science and origins
The new Calvins in The Economist
Anthony Billington has links to talks on Christianity and culture by David VanDrunen
Jon Swales posts his Idolatry of technology talk and slides
Advance ordering for Jonathan Chaplin's new book on Dooyeweerd's political philosophy is now available [HT Paideia]
An interview with Sufan Stevens

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Reformational daily

This is a daily complied (automatically) from my reformational tweet list. If you tweet and are reformational/ kuyperian let me know and I'll add you to the list. Likewise, if you are on the list and don't want to be let me know and I'll take you off.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Rend Collective Experiment - God is Near LIVE RTE1

Idolatry: romantic love

What is love? Love has become confused with a feeling. The idea of romance and romantic love is a distortion of the biblical idea of love. Love is a laying down of a life, love is obedience, love is commitment. The notion of romantic love seen in many films and in this advert - beautifully constructed and directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet - has become an idol. We measure love by romance, by how we feel.
Gary Thomas has written a great book with a brilliant sub-title: Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to make Us Happy? This exposes the idol of romantic marriage. Marriage isn’t all about being happy - it’s a about laying our lives down for our partners. It doesn’t mean that romance isn’t good. All idolatries take something good and distort it; the partial truth becomes the whole truth. But love can’t survive on romance alone. Marriages need more than just romance. Romance is not a basis for a secure and long-lasting marriage.

The Romantic turn, associated with Wordsworth, Blake and Coleridge, and later Shelley and Keats, was responsible for this elevation of romance. They thought it was a crime - against oneself!- to marry for something other than an emotional love.

As C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape says "They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life as something lower than a storm of emotion" (p. 72).
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Sunday, 26 September 2010

The Selfless Gene - a review

The Selfless Gene
Living with God and with Darwin

Charles Foster
Nashville: Thomas Nelson
ISBN 978-0-8499-4654-7
Pbk, 283pp, $14.99

This book review is brought to you courtesy of Thomas Nelson’s Book sneeze.

The Selfish Gene is something of a curate’s egg: good in parts. Reading it I was frustrated, angry, puzzled but it made me think – and that can’t be a bad thing.
Foster in the beginning sets up a conflict between creationsits and naturalistic evolutionsists. He writes polemically: “If few in the business agree with Dawkins, almost nobody thinks there is anything at all in any of the creationist contentions” (p xiii) And yet only a few pages later he writes: ‘An August 2006 survey of British university students found more than a third believed in either creationism or intelligent design’!

“There are no proper evidences for any of the creationist assertions” (p viv) – this left me wondering where is the evidence for this assertion? He then goes on to knock intelligent design as ‘ the fashionable fig leaf’ that paints a strange picture of God. Unfortunately, he doesn’t deal with the more sophisticated views of ID or old earth creationists. He seems content to deal with a straw man and a caricature of creationism.

“Creationism has done untold harm to Christianity, and untold good to Richard Dawkin’s bank balance’ (p 19). But neither does Dawkins escape scathing criticism: “His essential creed – scientism- has a quaintly dated feel about it.” (p. 19)

His main thesis is that creationism and Dawkinsism (Foster’s term) are very dull and cannot explain such a colourful world. So he goes in search of a middle way.

He goes on to look at the evidence for evolution – chapter 3 consists of a display of exhibits. From chapter 4 onwards the book gets a little more interesting. Until now it has been rather predictable. Here he looks at the evolution of altruism and community. How can a theory that’s based on the survival of the fittest produce altruism and community? He tentatively suggests that may be there is another force operating alongside natural selection. He then looks at the evolution of religion – how can, given an evolutionary framework, religion exist? He is asking good questions and that is a good step towards finding an answer.

He spends many pages examining the creation and fall accounts in Genesis 1-3. The fall has been a stumbling block for a theistic evolutionary perspective. Foster doesn’t seem to know what to do with the fall. He seems to want to minimise or reinterpret it; he doesn’t see it as a solution to pain and suffering. But then I would maintain it wasn’t meant to be that anyway.

He asserts that ‘nothing remotely like the traditional Christian doctrine of the Fall was recognized either by Jewish scholars or by the early Church’ (p. 171) but gives no evidence in support. He asserts that in the fall ‘the image of God was enhanced. That was precisely the problem” (p. 224). ‘If this was a fall it was a fall up”! “The direct and immediate consequence of the ‘Fall’ is civilization as we know it “(p. 227 – emphasis in original). This is an interesting twist on things.

Foster asks some important questions both of evolutionary theory and of the Genesis text. I’m not convinced by his answers though.

Music for a Sunday morning

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

All of life redeemed update

Added to the website:

David Beldman 'Towards a missional approach to Christian scholarship in the theological disciplines: learning for shalom'

Mark Roques 'Epistemology, story-telling and pedagogy'

Cover and contents of J A L Taljaard Polished Lenses added

Monday, 13 September 2010

We humbly suggest that you can do both

Thomas Clarkson: Mr Wilberforce, we understand you are having problems choosing whether to do the work of God or the work of a political activist.
Hannah More: We humbly suggest that you can do both.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Home alone!

My wife and daughter are off to Uganda this evening for two weeks. You
can read about their adventures here. Susie is a
trustee of the Chilli Children Trust. She will be visiting the Chilli
Children project with some of the other trustees. 

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Cultural callings

The recording of session 4 of the cultural callings seminars can be found here.
Jon Swales looks at George Cadbury and I look at some principles for a Christian approach to (small) business.

Odds and sods

Sean Purcell on 'culture and cultivation'
Rob Joustra 'did a book': God and Global Order ed. Jonathan Chaplin with Rob Joustra.
John Byl at bylogos on 'Science, neutrality and the antithesis'
Reformed Reader takes a look at a piece by Al Wolters on Zechariah
The Sheffield Department of Biblical Studies now has a blog
Sheffield King James Project

Monday, 30 August 2010

Cultural callings 5: work, calling and vocation

Slides from cultural callings session 5.

Dorothy L. Sayers on work and vocation and the business of the church

It is the business of the Church to recognize that the secular vocation, as such, is sacred. Christian people, and particularly perhaps the Christian clergy, must get it firmly into their heads that when a man or woman is called to a particular job of secular work, that is as true a vocation as though he or she were called to specifically religious work. The Church must concern Herself not only with such questions as the just price and proper working conditions: She must concern Herself with seeing that work itself is such as a human being can perform without degradation – that no one is required by economic or any other considerations to devote himself to work that is contemptible, soul destroying, or harmful. It is not right for Her to acquiesce in the notion that a man’s life is divided into the time he spends on his work and the time he spends in serving God. He must be able to serve God in his work, and the work itself must be accepted and respected as the medium of divine creation.

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) 'Why work?' (1942)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Odds and sods

Bob Robinson reviews What is Vocation? My review is here.
Novice philosopher gives some great advice on buying second-hand books
Saving Leonardo the new book from Nancey Pearcey
Bible study on line courtesy of logos: Biblica.comj
Resources for studying the book of Revelation
Themelios 35 (2) is now out with an interesting piece on Warfield and evolution
What is the Bible basically about? [HT Collin Hansen]

Chris Wright discusses The Mission of God's People

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

An educational creed (ARSS)

Believing that Scripture reveals certain basic principles intensely relevant to education, we confess:

1. LIFE. That human life in its entirety is religion. Consequently, scholarly study unfolds itself as service either of the one true God or of an idol.

2. SCRIPTURE. That Scripture, the Word of God written, in instructing us of God, ourselves and the structure of creation, is that integral and active divine Word or Power by which God, through His Spirit, attaches us to and enlightens us in the Truth, which is Christ.

3. CHRIST. That the Christ of the Scriptures, the Word of God incarnate, is the Redeemer and Renewer of our life in its entirety and therefore also of our theoretical thought.

4. REALITY. That the essence or heart of all created reality is the covenantal communion of man with God in Christ.

5. KNOWLEDGE. That true knowledge is made possible by true religion and arises from the knowing activity of the human heart enlightened through the Word of God by the Holy Spirit, Thus religion plays its decisive ordering role in the understanding of our everyday experience and our theoretical pursuits.

6. SCHOLARSHIP. (a) That the diligent pursuit of theoretical thought in a community of scholars is essential to the obedient and thankful response of God’s people to the cultural mandate, The task of the scholar is to give a scientific account of the structure of creation and thereby to promote a more effective ordering of the everyday experience of the entire community. (b) That because of God’s gracious preservation of creation after the fall, men who reject the Word of God as the ordering principle of life provide many valuable insights into the common structure of reality; nevertheless, the central religious antithesis of direction in life remains. We therefore reject the possibility of the synthesis of scripturally directed thought with any other system of thought.

7. ACADEMIC FREEDOM. That scholarly pursuits are to be undertaken. In the God-given freedom of a complete and voluntary submission to the Word of God and the divine laws that govern human life. The responsible freedom of the scholar must be protected against any constraint or domination of church, state, industry or other societal structure.

8. SUMMARY. That all scholarship pursued in faithful obedience to the divine mandate will heed the normative direction of God’s Word, will acknowledge His Law to which creation in all its spheres is subject, and will bow before Christ’s Kingship over all scientific work.

From Paul G. Schrotenboer (ARSS) 'Integral Christian scholarship' Appendix A.
Lecture delivered at an ASA meeting in August 1965 at The King's College, NY, USA.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Business ethics - David Batstone

David Batstone is a business entrepreneur, journalist and editor of Sojourners magazine. In these short video clips he looks at some issues in business ethics.

Relationships at work

A soul deadening job?

What if I don't fit in at work?

Meteor shower with Sigur Ros soundtrack [HT @sigurros]

Joshua Tree Under the Milky Way from Henry Jun Wah Lee on Vimeo.

Peter Heslam: transforming business

Peter Heslam looks at how entrepreneurial business can help eliminate poverty. He briefly looks at George Cadbury as a model.

Resources for a Christian approach to business

Jeff Van Duzer 2010.  Why Business Matters to God (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed) Downers Grove: IVP Academic.

Bob Goudzwaard

Wayne Grudem 2003. Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2003.

Peter Heslam:
2002. Business &Freedom, Gospel & Our Culture Network, Summer 2002
2003. Global Economic Justice & The Sabbath Principle, Greenbelt Insight, Oct 2003
Online resources by Peter Heslam, the director of Transforming Business, that relate to the transformative role of business include the following:
  • 'Transformative Business', Spirit in Work, issue 3, Jan 2005. Briefly introduces Transforming Business at the launch of the project. Here.
  • 'George and the Chocolate Factory' - on the transformative potential of the chocolate industry. The articles recalls the work of George Cadbury and was sparked by the launch of the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sept 2005.Here.
  • 'The Corporation' - on the film The Corporation, which infuriated many business leaders because of its sheer negativity about big business. Peter Heslam used this opportunity to provoke a more fruitful discussion about the role of business in today's complex world. Connecting with Culture, Nov 2005. Here.
  • 'Standing up to Big Business' - on David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative Party in the UK, who claimed that as Prime Minister he would stand up to big business. Connecting with Culture, Jan 2006. Here.
  • 'Ending the History of Poverty', Spirit in Work, issue 6, March 2006. Here.
  • 'Prosperity Through Economic Empowerment', Faith in Business, vol 10.1 (Spring 2006). Here.
  • Review of John Ashcroft and Michael Schluter (eds) Jubilee Manifesto, Faith in Business, vol 10.1 (Spring 2006).Here.
  • 'Buffeting the Gates of Heaven: Can Philanthropy save the Poor, or only the Rich?', Faith in Business, vol 10.2 (Summer 2006). Here.
  • 'Enterprise Solutions to Climate Change', Spirit in Work, issue 7, July 2006. Here.
  • 'Musings of a Market Moralist' - an interview with Dr John Meadowcroft (Institute of Economic Affairs) about his bookThe Ethics of the Market (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2006), Enterprise Excellence, 2. Here.
  • 'A Convenient Truth' - a response both to Richard Branson's pledge to give Virgin profits to developing green technology and to An Inconvenient Truth, the film by Al Gore, Connecting with Culture, Sept 2006. Here.
  • 'Banking on the Poor: The Banker who is Changing the World, One Micro-Loan at a Time', Faith in Business, vol 10.3 (Autumn 2006). Here.
  • 'An Affluence for Good' - prompted by the decision by the Governor of the Bank of England to print an image of Adam Smith on new £20 notes, Connecting with Culture, Nov 2006. Here.
  • 'Doing Business with Purpose' - reflecting on the legacy of the Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman on the occasion of his death, Connecting with Culture, Nov 2006. Here.
  • 'Universal Affluence: Adam Smith's Radical Vision', Spirit in Work, issue 8, Dec 2006. Here.
  • 'William Wilberforce: How Transforming Business can Turn the Tide of History', Faith in Business, vol 10.4 (Winter 2006-07). Here.
  • 'Setting the Captives Free' - a reflection on the relationship between spirituality, enterprise and poverty alleviation, drawing on the vision of William Wilberforce, Connecting with Culture, March 2007. Here.
  • 'Entering the Circle of Exchange: Catholic Social Teaching and the Role of Business in the Eradication of Poverty', co-authored with Ben Andradi (CEO of Servita). Published on the website of the John Ryan Institute, University of St Thomas, Minnesota, USA. Here.
  • 'Can Christianity give a Positive Value to Wealth: An Engagement with the Early Church Fathers. Published on the Transforming Business website here.
  • 'Flirting with Corruption' - a discussion of the development implications of Paul Wolfowitz's admission that he showed favouritism towards an employee who was also his female companion, Connecting with Culture, April 2007.Here.
  • 'A Silent Revolution' - a reflection on the way in business is embracing social and environmental concerns as a strategic opportunity, Connecting with Culture, July 2007. Here.
  • 'The Emerging Wisdom-Based Economy', Spirit in Work, issue 9, July 2007. Here.
  • Anita Roddick - a tribute to Britain's most successful female entrepreneur, Connecting with Culture, Sept 2007.Here.
  • 'Tomorrow's Global Company: Rewarding Humility', Faith in Business, vol 11.1 (Sept 2007). Here.
  • 'Enterprise with Attitude: Anita Roddick, Great Dame of British Business, Faith in Business, vol 11.2 (November 2007). Here.
  • 'The Business of Peace: The Role of Commerce in Peace-Building', Faith in Business, vol 11.3 (Autumn 2007) Here.
  • 'Thrift as Solution to the Credit Crisis', Faith in Business, vol 12.1 (October 2008). Here.
  • 'Unleashing Entrepreneurship' - a reflection during Global Entrepreneurship Week on the role of entrepreneurship within the current economic malaise Connecting with Culture, Nov 2008. Here.
  • 'Creating Wealth to Build Peace' - prompted by the 2009 New Year message on peace through commerce by Pope Benedict XVI, Connecting with Culture, Jan 2009. Here.
  • 'Entrepreneurship: Spreading the Spirit of Enterprise', Faith in Business, vol 12.2 (January 2009). Here.
  • 'Magnanimity and Magnificence: Entepreneurial Responses to the Economic Crisis, Faith in Business Quarterly, vol 12.3 (May 2009). Here.
  • 'From eBay to Social Entrepreneurship' - on Jeff Skoll, the founder of eBay, Connecting with Culture, 27 March 2009. Here.
  • 'How I Caused the Credit Crunch', Connecting with Culture, 1 May 2009. Here.
    'Godly Globalization: Why do faith and business seem to go together like oil and water? New Wine magazine, Autumn 2009, pp. 42-43. Here.
  • 'The MBA Oath', Connecting with Culture, 2 October 2009. Here.
  • 'Getting Tough on Poverty: How pocket-sized solar panels and investments in agriculture are changing the fortunes of Africa', Faith in Business Quarterly, 12.4 (Dec 2009). Here.
  • 'Democracy is Changing', Connecting with Culture, 16 April 2010. Here.
  • Transforming Capitalism: Entrepreneurship and the Renewal of Thrift (Grove Books, 2010). At only 32 pages, this book is designed for busy people and is available either for download as an ebook (click here) or as a hard copy (clickhere).

G. J. de Klerk 1993. ‘Can the business of any business be only business?’ Integral Christian Scholarship: Exploratory Reflections on the African Situation. Orientation vol 67-70. Potchefstroom: IRS.

L O K Lategan 2003. ‘What is business ethics?’ Journal of Christian Scholarship

L O K Lategan 2004. ‘Good business or good business? The role of values in business Journal of Christian Scholarship

R Paul Stevens 2006. Doing God's Business: Meaning and Motivation for the Marketplace. Grand rapids: Eerdmans.

B. J. van der Walt 1993.6 ‘Do we not perhaps need more than (business) ethics?’. In Window on Business Ethics: a Challenge to Christians/ Venster Op Bestuursetiek. Reeks F3 no 43. Potchefstroom: PU vir CHO.

Kenman Wong and Scott B. Rae 2011. Business for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace. Downers Grove: IVP Academic.

Journals and Organisations 

Cardus business articles

Faith in Business The Journal of Faith in Business and the Industrial Christian Fellowship

Transforming business – a research and development project based at Cambridge looking at issues such as: 

  • How does the convergence of Christian faith and enterprise help tackle poverty?
  • How do Christian business leaders understand their vocation and how can they inspire and equip those considering a call to business?
  • What would a theology of entrepreneurship look like and what practical value would it have?
  • How does Christian belief and practice foster innovation, integrity, responsible risk-taking and entrepreneurial aspirations, especially amongst young people?

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Gordon Spykman on the Bible

"Scripture as living Word of God serves as the abiding religious norm which undergirds the total educational enterprise, giving direction to the entire teaching-learning process and shaping all the activities of the school. The Christian character of the school depends most fundamentally upon this perspectival function of the Bible. The fidelity of the Christian school depends upon how fully and consistently the Bible is brought to bear upon the total operation and allowed to function comprehensively in shaping the entire educational enterprise.

"The Bible is the dynamic, overarching standard which governs the life of the school in a comprehensive way. The basic convictions upon which the school is founded and the religious perspectives within which it operates are anchored in the Scriptures. Its fundamental articles of faith as formulated in principles of education arise from the Biblical teachings concerning God, man, and the world."
Gordon J. Spykman

Two new articles by Gordon Spykman, both dealing with the use of the Bible in education, have now been added to all of life redeemed. Available here.

1977. 'The place and role of the Bible in school'. In G. J. Steensma and H. W. Van Brummelen (eds.) Shaping School Curriculum: A Biblical View. Terre Haute: Signal Publishing ch 1.

1977. 'Biblical studies'.  In G. J. Steensma and H. W. Van Brummelen (eds.) Shaping School Curriculum: A Biblical View. Terre Haute: Signal Publishing ch 7.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Woodbine Willie on God in church and factory

"If finding God in our churches leads to us losing Him in our factories, then better we tear down those churches for God must hate the sight of them."

Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy (aka Woodbine Willie)

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Lesslie Newbigin on cultural callings

Jon Swales and I are doing a series of seminars at St Michael's Stoke Gifford on cultural callings. Here is the handout from the first session.
Jon has the slides from the second session here.

Nothing is irrelevant

"You cannot evade the issue of God, whether you talk about pigs or the binomial theory, you are still talking about Him. Now if Christianity be. . . a fragment of metaphysical nonsense invented by a few people, then, of course, defending it will simply mean talking that metaphysical nonsense over and over. But if Christianity should happen to be true - then defending it may mean talking about anything or everything. Things can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is false, but nothing can be irrelevant to the proposition that Christianity is true."
    G.K. Chesterton Daily News 12 December 1903

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Pierre-Charles Marcel forthcoming publications

Pierre-Charles Marcel, a Pastor of the French Reformed Church, Editor-in-Chief of La Revue Réformée and Vice-President of the Calvinist Society of France, was a French scholar who produced a French summary of Herman Dooyeweerd's work. Unfortunately, it has never been published and at present are only available in typewritten form. Colin Wright, however, has been working on these and will make the French versions available at the end of 2010 and English translations will follow. For more details check out the new website: