In This Issue
No doubt readers sometimes put down articles which analyze the dilemmas which face Christians and the church with the frustrated sense that: “It’s easy enough to describe the problems; why don’t they give more answers?” That response is almost appropriate for this issue of Direction.
The lead article by Cal Redekop identifies some major ethical questions which must be addressed to our economic system as a whole and to the individuals who participate in it, whether as the providers of goods and services or as consumers. Comments on this article have been prepared by professional managers, teachers, and a pastor. A provocative article by Arthur Block on the need for Christians to pursue business careers as a Christian vocation and a biblical study by Allen Guenther address the theme of this issue.
Three things need to be said to the potentially frustrated. In the first place, it is not really easy to analyze problems accurately. Solutions to clarified problems may be a long time coming. But unclear problems may never be solved. Readers who dispute the accuracy of the analysis or who wish to offer further comment are encouraged to respond.
In the second place, some helpful guidelines are offered. And several writers urge that the time has come for the church to offer the context for serious discussions on the ethics and theology of our participation in the economic sphere.
Finally, the competence and the sensitivity of the writers give promise that such discussions among Mennonite Brethren would now be productive. If one may judge from these articles, we have both “prophets” (or, at least, teachers and theologians) and business people who have sufficient experience to understand the short and long range significance of our modern economy. Those who have this insight and who also are willing to think and pray together would be able to form a community of discernment which could help the rest of us to discover how to be Christian also in the economic spheres each of us inhabits.
Neither Harold Jantz nor the editors planned his article to be a contribution to business thought. But it can be considered a description of the free market of Bible schools and an analysis of the sort of merchandizing that attracts our Canadian youth.