In this issue…
Is theology relevant to business? Are business and economics relevant to theology? FiBQ 20.1 gives us opportunity to discover.
In June Richard Higginson attended the Lausanne Global Workplace Forum, a major international gathering. He was inspired by hearing about the work done by the Center for Community Transformation in Manila and by Sinapis in Kenya. So we are delighted to publish two major articles on theology inspiring business to transform society, in the Philippines and in Kenya.
Recruiting, mobilising and equipping change-agents is key in both countries. Ruth Callanta in Manila asks how business can help transform a nation rich in natural resources but with many people so poor. After trying several proposed solutions, Callanta sees ‘changed hearts, empowered by the Holy Spirit’ as the secret to effective, continuous development. Development is very much at the heart of Courtney Mills’ experience in Nairobi, Kenya. She places Christ-like leadership, resulting in thoroughly ethical business as the only solution to changing negative cultural practices, with trained and transformed entrepreneurs equipped as the catalysts.
Sue Halliday’s review of Kenneth Barnes’ Redeeming Capitalism shows why theology and economics must interact, while John Lovatt assures us that our work towards God’s kingdom on earth – albeit imperfect – ‘has an eternal dimension, [with] significance beyond this life into the new creation.’ Phil Jump argues for another look at the theology of original sin, which might cast light on some of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s pessimism about the malign uses of the Internet.
In tackling environmental challenges Peter Heslam urges us to affirm the positive role played by plastics, and in his regular column makes a strong plea to recognise the £30 billion contribution to GDP from employee ownership, as shown by three companies whose entrepreneurs have turned their employees into part-owners of their businesses.
Simon Barrington and Rachel Luetchford’s Leading the Millennial Way receives a mixed reception from Richard Higginson. But Paul Valler’s sermon at the close of this year’s Faith in Business Leadership Retreat carries an important message of abiding in Christ to a younger generation of business people.