John C. Knapp’s new book How the Church Fails Businesspeople (and what can be done about it) has been starting conversations around the web.
Michael Kruse is writing an in-depth, chapter-by-chapter discussion series on the book (he’s on chapter six today), which is cross-posted at Scot McKnight’s Jesus Creed blog. In his opening to the series, Kruse wrote:
Tina Turner once asked “What’s love got to do with it?” Today, many businesspeople are asking “What’s God got to do with it?” For some, the question is a facetious way of saying that God really has nothing to do with business, but for many Christians it is a very real question . . . a question for which the church is of little help.
The Birmingham News (Birmingham, AL) also recently ran a feature on the book — “Samford professor’s book says church fails many workers” — on page one of its Sunday Local News section. You’ll definitely want to read the entire article, but here’s one brief excerpt:
“Many people have a great desire for their work to connect with their faith,” Knapp said. “We don’t speak so often about someone being called to be a barber, accountant or to work for the county government. That conveys a message of what’s most important to God. It demeans daily work. The work of so many is never mentioned, never held up as obeying God’s call.”
Many times there is an implied devaluation of any work that is not Christian ministry, he said.
“We will go to great lengths to set aside time to pray for people going to do a short-term mission project in Mexico; this is seen as doing the Lord’s work,” Knapp said. “Do we take time to pray for a person who is starting a new job? Do we pray for new college students looking for a career? Do we commission them for discipleship in those contexts?”
Lastly (for now), How the Church Fails Businesspeople will be featured as the Center for Christian Business Ethics Today’s April “book of the month.” In anticipation of this discussion, the CCBET has posted a short promo video in which Knapp explains the book and its goals:
What do you think? Is John Knapp right? Does the church fail businesspeople? And if so, what can pastors, church leaders, and Christian businesspeople do to bridge the faith-work chasm?
Update: After this post went live, we were informed about two more excellent blog discussions of John Knapp’s book, by Chris Armstrong and Byron Borger. If we become aware of others, we’ll be sure to add them, too. (If you discover blog discussions about this or any Eerdmans books before we do, feel free to leave a comment here or contact us on Twitter @eerdmansbooks.)