Books for Business People — and other workers. ON SALE

It has been a while since we’ve sent one of our Hearts & Minds newsletters to you.  We’re sorry for any worries this might have caused — we know you need your book updates.  Ha.

We’ve been super busy. Yes, we’re glad for good opportunities to work and to talk books. We’ve been blessed with some nice travels, encouraging friends — special thanks to the warm and enthusiastic dinner company at the fund-raiser for Messiah College Murray Library!  And thanks to those who allow us to set up room full of book tables to enhance your events. Our legs and backs are a bit achy from book lugging and we’re a little punchy from the late hours and juggling these authors, that event, those publishers, them darned deadlines.  Pray for us; seriously, please do.

One of the places I really enjoyed being a few weeks back — sharing thoughts about life and times as a Christian business person and holding out a vivid vision of work as a high and holy calling — was, as I mentioned in the last BookNotes, the Colorado Christian Business Alliance.

Not only did I do a keynote presentation at that stellar event, I got to do two passionate workshops about the importance or reading, learning, thinking Christianly about our life in the world, even work and business and economics.

I wanted to share the handout I did for that seminar, and although not everyone will need the books on just business and the role of profits and reforming capitalism and whatnot, I do think this is a valuable resource. We don’t have time to put in all the book covers, so it’s a bit old-school — an honest to goodness bibliography.  I did annotate it and tried to offer hints at the value of each work chosen. Hope you find it helpful.

(A little disclaimer: I could have, and actually wanted to, list more titles in each category. We only had room for two, two-sided pages to hand-out and with a bit of color printing, it looked pretty nice. But I had to limit it to what I thought might work with this particular gathering. It pains me to skip some important authors and excellent books.  I wonder what you think I missed??)

You know we believe that reading good books can be transforming and we hope this gives a reminder about the sorts of resources we collect and curate here at our Dallastown shop.  Let us know if you want to chat or if we can serve you further — about this, or whatever you’re interested in. And do consider sending this list along to any business people you know.  We’d love to sell some of these important, vital tools for marketplace ministry.

By the way, for more on this topic, see this column and also the links I offered there to older, classic Hearts & Minds lists.  At the CCBA workshop, you may want to know, I also gave a shout-out to the visionary, remarkably artful DVD curriculum For the Life of the World. (A friend from the Acton Institute was doing a workshop on that material in another room.) Aso, I mentioned the fabulous and substantive DVD set (described in that link, above) from Regent College in Vancouver called Reframe: Connecting Faith and Life.  Each are really, really good in their own way.  And, of course, we stock ’em. Good videos to get good conversations started, which might lead to even more serious reading in this field. Let’s hope.


CCBA Conference September 2017

Denver, Colorado


All Things New: Rediscovering the Four-Chapter Gospel Hugh Whelchel (The Institute on Faith, Work, & Economics) $5.99     This is a six-week Bible study showing the Scriptural story unfolding through creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. Nothing like it in print–eye-opening and life-changing.

What Is a Christian Worldview?  Philip Ryken (P&R) $4.99     A short, handsome booklet, perfect to give out. This is the most succinct book on the subject of worldview.

Heaven is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God  Michael Wittmer (Zondervan) $16.99     One of our favorite, upbeat, and visionary books about the nature of a Christian worldview and why it matters.  Good discussions questions, too.

Creation Regained: The Biblical Basis for a Reformational Worldview Al Wolters (Eerdmans) $15.00     Often cited as the best introduction to a Biblical perspective for all of life. A careful, mature study.

The Transforming Vision: Developing a Christian Worldview Brian Walsh & Richard Middleton (IVP) $22.00   One of the classics, an in-depth look at where dualism came from, why the Bible demands a wholistic vision, a critique of the idols of the age, and a call to think deeply about our public lives. Serious, thoughtful, vital; some might call it prophetic.

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling Andy Crouch (IVP) $22.00     One of my all-time favorite books, inviting us to realize we are called to make something of the world in which we live, imaging God by cultivating our gifts and purpose. Brilliant, wise, inspiring.

Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power Andy Crouch (IVP) $25.00     If we are culture-formers and history-makers, as he explained in Culture Making, we must eventually grapple with a faithful view of institutions and  how to wisely use power. This is the best book on the subject. Highly recommended.


What Is Vocation? Stephen Nichols (P&R) $4.99     This attractive booklet is the shortest, most lovely little study of this topic in print, perfect to give, showing a Biblical view of calling, vocation, and the dignity of work.

Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Meaning of Being Human John Mark Comer (Zondervan) $16.99     This is an ultra-cool presentation by a hip young pastor who offers extraordinary insight about the nature of our calling to serve God in our work and to realize our deepest reasons for being alive. Fantastic.

The Call: Rediscovering Your Purpose Os Guinness (Word) $17.99     Eloquent, profound, and literary, it may be that this is one of the most important books of our times, setting off a renewed interest in the relationship of faith, vocation, calling, and work. Beautifully written in short chapters, this is an elegant, stimulating, must-read.

Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good Steven Garber (IVP) $17.00     What a rare and richly rewarding book about how to keep on, despite our being implicated in the brokenness of the world. God invites us to long haul, missional discipleship where we care as deeply as God does. Garber tells tender and interesting stories even as he analyzes the culture and calls us to be faithful to our vocations.


Reintegrate Your Life With God’s Mission Bob Robinson (Good Place Publishing) $12.00     There is simply no one book that brings so much together about worldview and creation-restored views of redemption, from visions of vocation to a Biblical view of work, all in short side-bars and pull-quotes. This is a discussion guide designed for small group use in the work-world or in home or church studies. User-friendly, fun, with exceptional content. A one of a kind resource.

How Then Should We Work: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work Hugh Whelchel (The Institute on Faith, Work, & Economics) $10.95     One of the best overviews of a Biblical approach to our callings into the workplace.  This is short, solid, and very helpful.

Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work Tom Nelson (Crossway) $16.99     Tom is a pastor who made a shift in his ministry, intentionally focusing on equipping members to serve God in their jobs and callings in the world. Lots of good stories and case studies of folks in his congregation who related worship and work, Sunday and Monday. A must for pastors, great for all of us.

Every Job a Parable: What Wal-Mart Greeters, Nurses, and Astronauts Tell Us about God John Van Sloten (NavPress) $14.99     One of the best books of 2017, this was inspired by a series of sermons John preached about how various jobs and careers can become parables, teaching us things about God, God’s grace, and our redemption in Christ. What a fun, fun, and truly inspiring book!  There is an index in the back indicating what jobs he refers to, and it is (believe me) a long, fascinating list. Don’t miss it.

A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World  Katelyn Beatty (Howard Books) $14.99     This is the only really good book that encourages women in their work-world service, grounded in a healthy worldview, a deep appreciation for the doctrine of calling, and a Biblical view of work. Good for men or women, it alerts us all to the unique challenges and opportunities facing Christian women today.

Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Work To God’s Work Timothy Keller & Katherine Leary Alsdorf (Riverhead) $17.00     Truly one of the seminal books in this field, an excellent, serious study of why our work matters to God, and how to see “every good endeavor” as serving God’s concerns,  offering mature case studies and suggestions for a profound integration of faith and work.

Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good Amy Sherman (IVP) $18.00     This is a meaty, visionary book inviting us to explore why God wants us to serve the common good, and how our jobs and careers can make a difference in the world. Part of the book offers several different models or approaches, from the most basic to more visionary and impactful. There’s an energetic foreword by Reggie McNeal and a moving afterword by Steve Garber. What a book!

Shop Class as Soul Craft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work Matthew Crawford (Penguin) $17.00     Although not a follower of Christ, Crawford is a mature, serious thinker who left his white-collar job in academics to start his own motorcycle repair shop. This moving, sophisticated book explores what he learned about working with his hands and how, it seems, we are increasingly not training young people for the trades. His next book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, examines the art and craft of a handful of workers who are excellent at their jobs, again, noting the need for specific dispositions and skills and the real-world craft of doing good work.   


Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business Wayne Grudem (Crossway) $16.99     A respected Bible scholar and conservative social thinker offers here a solid introduction to what the Bible says about glorifying God in all we do, including work and business. A short, clear-headed primer.

Why Business Matters to God (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed) Jeff Van Duzer (IVP) $20.00     A serious study of business as if it mattered to God and how God’s purposes can be applied to the business setting. Van Duzer is Dean of the School of Business and Economics (and professor of business law) at Seattle Pacific University. This may be my own favorite business book – very highly recommended.

Business Through the Eyes of Faith Richard Chewning, John Eby & Shirley J. Roels (HarperOne) $24.99     This is essentially a Christian college textbook, written by three seasoned thinkers, which offers basic Christian insights on everything from marketing to pricing, employee relations to management, and more. This is a treasure chest full of Christian thinking about things that matter.

Business for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace  Kenman Wong & Scott Rae (IVP) $26.00  Written to be used as a text for Christian colleges or business ethics courses, this may be the most comprehensive and thoughtful vision for business rooted in an intentional Christian worldview that we know. Excellent for those who want a sophisticated and serious Christian engagement.

Doing God’s Business: Meaning and Motivation for the Marketplace  R. Paul Stevens (Eerdmans) $18.00  As one reviewer said of Stevens, who taught at Regent College in Vancouver, “he is a marketplace theology pioneer. He was doing, thinking, and writing on ministry in the marketplace before most of us even realized what the issues were.” This is a comprehensive collection of essays on everything from personal vocation to globalization, from marketplace mission to finding spirituality for the work-world. See also his very helpful book called Taking Your Soul to Work: Overcoming the Nine Deadly Sins of the Workplace or his good collection of Bible reflections showing different kinds of workers in Scripture called Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture.

People Over Profits: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful  Dale Partridge (Thomas Nelson) $24.99     A young tech start-up entrepreneur who loves Jesus offers a quick but powerful survey of the cycles towards growth and efficiency, greed and deception, that plague most economies, and most businesses. He calls for an unabashed reformation of capitalist values towards people and quality, service and transparency, which he outlines as seven core beliefs. This is clear, compelling, and challenging. (It is not overtly Christian, making it useful for any work-place study group.) A must-read for every entrepreneur and business leader.

The MBA Oath: Setting a Higher Standard for Business Leaders Max Anderson & Peter Escher (Portfolio Business) $24.95     After the banking scandals and financial crisis in 2008, a Christian graduating from Harvard Business School convened a team of students and faculty and created a pledge – similar to the physicians’ Hippocratic Oath – promising to do right by their clients. It was thoughtful and nuanced and, yet, some refused to sign it! That became a news story, and the MBA Oath became a phenomenon and much-discussed document. This book came out of that experience and explores the multi-faceted ways in which corporations and financiers can be honest and do good in the world.

Completing Capitalism: Heal Business to Heal the World Bruno Roche & Jay Jakub (Berrett-Koehler Publishers) $19.95     For several years the family-owned Mars Corporation – the M&M’s people – convened a world-class group of economists (the leaders of which happened to be Biblical Christians) to ask about how the metrics of profit might be expanded to include sustainability and justice for workers and more. This is a studious, thoughtful proposal about corporate responsibility. Peter Block calls it “a major breakthrough…” Their global team uses the language of an “economics of mutuality” to further the research on what it means to do good even as we do well.  Exceptional.

The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Communities Compassion and Capacity Tom Nelson (IVP) $16.00     Many of us admire Tom Nelson for his lovely, inspiring book Work Matters and for his recent leadership resourcing churches and other leaders in the beautiful “Made to Flourish” network. Here he offers a brand new study of Christian views of economics with a balanced, Biblical, practical vision. Tim Keller calls it “a great contribution” and Steve Garber says “it is a book for everyone who cares about the moral meaning of the marketplace.” Wonderful.

The Crisis and the Kingdom: Economics, Scripture and the Global Financial Crisis E. Philip Davis (Cascade Books) $20.00     Few authors are as experienced or qualified to offer a theological assessment of the financial collapse of the late 2000s. Davis is both a world-class economist (with scholarly books on investments on Oxford University Press) and a Baptist pastor. He serves a church in the financial district of London. This is thoughtful and provocative.

The Economy of Desire: Christianity and Capitalism in a Postmodern World Daniel Bell (Baker Academic) $22.00     This is a very serious contrast of capitalism and Christianity, showing that in our postmodern globalized era, Christians should be active in rethinking and reforming the impulses of consumerism that deform desire and erode virtue. The gospel can help us more faithfully and intentionally navigate the global economy.

Just Capitalism: A Christian Ethic of Economic Globalization Brent Waters (WJK) $40.00     This is a substantive and overtly Christian critique of various schools of economics, offering a balanced and nuanced argument for the good of markets (avoiding the tendency to either demonize or idolize them). There are many good books on Christian perspectives on economics, and this is one of the best – even if it annoys many on both the left and the right.

Beyond the Modern Age: An Archaeology of Contemporary Culture Bob Goudzwaard & Craig Bartholomew (IVP Academic) $30.00     This is heavy (co-written by a Dutch economist and a South African philosopher) on the ideas, ideologies, and institutions that have shaped the modern world. There is much here to learn, to ponder, and be inspired by as they offer a multi-dimensional critique of modern economics, presenting how a Christian social philosophy might offer redirection and renewed hope.

Christian Mission and Economic Systems: A Critical Survey of the Cultural and Religious Dimensions of Economics edited by John Cheong & Eloise Meneses (William Carey Library) $19.99     Although designed as a mission book, or at least for those involved in Business as Mission, this is nonetheless a fascinating overview of global cultural folkways and religious aspects of economics and would help us all see our views of money and money-making from other perspectives.


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