Business & Economy

It's Possible to Balance Beliefs and Aspirations


Colleen Carroll Campbell

An ongoing New York Times series entitled God and Mammon asks prominent Christian thinkers, “Has contemporary American capitalism become incompatible with Christian values?” The answers from these thinkers cover the spectrum from pro- to contra-capitalism, reminding us how controversial the topic is even within the Christian church. Arguments made in favour of capitalism include its lifting large parts of the globe out of poverty over the last two hundred years and increasing average life expectancies, and the reliance of capitalism on law and moral virtue to operate. Arguments against capitalism point to rising inequality and consumerism and the reliance of capitalism on self-interest to operate.

Colleen Carroll Campbell’s article captures well the pros and cons of capitalism. However, her conclusion, that “Christians must constantly wrestle with the tension of worshipping a God who became poor while living in a culture where money talks,” falls short. For the Christian has the opportunity to be salt and light in that culture, pointing out faults and offering alternatives.

How can Christians be salt and light in a business culture where, at times, the profit motive takes priority over all other motives?

Is Michael Hodson right that there is such a thing as “a distinctive Christian enterprise”? How might Christian business-people incorporate this vision into their business?

Source: The New York Times

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