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January 1982 · Vol. 11 No. 1 · pp. 56–57 

Book Review

The Christian Entrepreneur

Carl J. Kreider. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1980. 211 pages.

Reviewed by Don Kroeker

A Christian entrepreneur is more than just an entrepreneur who is a Christian. As Dr. Kreider points out, many people do not see any difference in the ethics of business people who call themselves Christians and those who do not. A Christian entrepreneur is one who wants to be faithful to Christ his Lord, integrating all his entrepreneurial activities with his stewardship responsibilities to God.

Carl Kreider says that the decision of the level of wages to be paid is probably the most agonizing one to be faced by many Christian entrepreneurs. Judging by all the labor unrest and dissatisfaction this is probably true for all employers. Though the just wages, profit sharing, and fringe benefits encouraged by Dr. Kreider are important in employee relationships, these are merely part of the implementation of a Christian attitude to our employees. We must begin by seeing them as people, not just inputs.

I have problems with one of Dr. Kreider’s specific applications of Christian ethics, namely the issue of trading with South Africa (pp. 101-104). He admits to being guilty of over-simplification. I think his stand may also be inconsistent. If we believe that we should only do business with the “good guys,” we should start at home and go all the way. Internationally, the atrocities of many nations are greater than those of South Africa.

My biggest ethical problem is that of looking after my own interests without adequate regard or concern for others. Dr. Kreider says, “It requires a leap of faith to believe that Christ’s love can transform men and women from selfish, egocentric individuals to loving persons . . .” An even greater leap of faith is to believe that such a transformation is really in our own best interest. This change must occur, however, if we are to be truly Christian entrepreneurs.

In the area of a Christian standard of living, Dr. Kreider goes beyond the entrepreneur and gives advice to all Christians. He. outlines many, but not all, of the apostle Paul’s principles of giving.

A few pages later Dr. Kreider suggests that our church buildings need to have well-designed Christian education facilities; we need physical facilities for a youth ministry; large gifts are needed for both the capital expenditure and the operating budgets of our schools, colleges, and seminaries.

Is this working towards equality of opportunity for Christians all over the world? I believe that this is an impossible goal. {57}

The application of Paul’s principle of equality needs further thought and clarification. It needs to be viewed in the light of Acts and Paul’s other letters.

I like his encouragement to be creative in finding ways to use our businesses to serve the needs of people. We must remember that these and the many other helpful suggestions in this book are potential tools that we can use in implementing the basic decision that we want to honor God in and through our businesses by being Christian entrepreneurs.

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