Item description for The Creation of Wealth: Recovering a Christian Understanding of Money, Work, and Ethics by Fred Catherwood & H. F. R. Catherwood...
Overview This is the heart of Sir Fred Catherwood's message. He draws on his vast experience in business and international politics to show how vital Christian morality is to our work, our handling of money, and even in the international scheme of things. As he discusses the global economy and the effects of e-commerce on it, the role of governments and politics, and the leadership qualities that are needed to help recover the Christian virtues throughout society, he also communicates the consequnces we suffer when we neglect those virtues. You'll find this book to be a biblically minded guide to understanding the essentials of economics and how Christian beliefs can be integrated into the commercial world.
In every realm of life, the Christian ethics and moral orderthat powered the West to prosperity are under attack. Our new moralmentors have been telling us that there is no absolute right orwrong, that there are many gods, that ours is a chaotic universeand thus we need not regard the value of human life, self-discipline, or stewardship. But recent events have made usmore aware than ever of the corruption and the evil that existwithin our world. Sadly, these worldviews have seeped into ourwork, and it has cost us greatly as a civilation and asindividuals.
The right course for Christians is to "earn our way back" to aplace of respect by taking care of the human problems that havebeen created by the secular humanistic agenda. The core beliefsthat made the Western world are Christian beliefs, and these mustbe restored and put back into practice today.
This is the heart of Sir Fred Catherwood's message. He draws onhis vast experience in business and international politics to showhow vital Christian morality is to our work, our handling of money, and even in the international scheme of things. As he discusses theglobal economy and the effects of e-commerce on it, the role ofgovernments and politics, and the leadership qualities that areneeded to help recover the Christian virtues throughout society, healso communicates the consequences we suffer when we neglect thosevirtues.
You'll find this book to be a biblically minded guide tounderstanding the essentials of economics and how Christian beliefscan be integrated into the commercial world.
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.68" Width: 6" Height: 0.54" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Oct 7, 2002
Publisher Crossway Books/Good News
ISBN 1581343523 ISBN13 9781581343526
Availability 0 units.
More About Fred Catherwood & H. F. R. Catherwood
Fred Catherwood has deep experience as an Industrialist and in Government. He served as Vice Chairman of the European Parliament from 1989-1992. He is a long-time member of a baptist church, and a respected Bible teacher. Sir Fred is man with a big dream, as you will see. He urges all Christians to stand against corruption, for if we did so the world would have to take notice.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Creation of Wealth: Recovering a Christian Understanding of Money, Work, and Ethics?
Still Good for Discussion May 21, 2004
While Sir Fred Catherwood has plenty of experience for a book like this-a CEO of an international company, a member of a government trade committee, and a member of the European Parliament for Cambridgeshire, England-he hasn't written a strong book.
From his preface, he purports to examine the reasons some countries are wealthier than others. "It is easy to see why Christian respect for the dignity of the individual could lead to democracy; but why, when Christians are taught not to set their hearts on riches, is Western society ten times richer than the rest of the world? Why, too, after half a century of aid, have poor countries not even begun to catch up?" He points to the Bible commentaries of John Calvin for revealing Scriptural truths to Western countries in a more applicable way than the Catholic church had done-perhaps even more than it currently does. The Bible teaches principles such as the holiness of common work, trust and honesty in the marketplace, and our duty to care for the poor, orphans, and widows among other things. Those are principles even modern Christians need a better handle on.
In his chapter on wealth, Catherwood describes his core principle. "Practicing Christians are likely to be richer than their neighbors. We are taught to work harder, be more trustworthy and responsible, and develop our talents to the full; we are not to gamble or waste our money on conspicuous consumption-it would be odd if all this did not put us ahead. And looking around the world, the Western democracies, rooted in this ethic, all have personal incomes far greater than anywhere else. If those with the skill overspend, leaving no capital to invest, then the rest of the world will suffer. The West is the dynamo of the world economy, and we have no right to squander all the wealth on ourselves. The rich should not get richer by making the poor poorer" (p 40).
As a practicing Christian, I agree with his estimate, though there are many believers who are not following even these simple principles. I also agree that some American businessmen are increasing their wealth off the backs of poor and middling-waged workers, both domestic and foreign. But I don't agree that our general working environment helps the rich get richer while pushing the poor to be poorer, especially using the definitions often used by those who employ these words. Based on this assumption, Catherwood argues that employers must protect their workers and treat them fairly so that wealthy businessmen cannot build their empires on the bodies of poor laborers. He reminds us that 19th Century Christians fought for laws which would guarantee some safeguards for workers against employers who may exploit them. But I throw out a caution flag when such mandated protections become overbearing on the employer. They cease to be worker protections at that point and become the entangling entitlements of a socialist state. Is it not better to keep such protections at a minimum and enable workers to protect themselves to best of their ability, thereby freeing both employer and employee to use their incomes wisely?
Using income wisely is another of Catherwood's themes. In the above quote, he says the world will suffer if the West squanders its wealth instead of investing it; but elsewhere in the book, he explains why foreign aid doesn't work. "Corruption is the main single reason why income per capita in most countries is only a tenth of that in the industrial democracies" (p 54). Without the moral basis for good business and sound government, foreign aid will continue to throw good money after bad. So, why does the author generalize about squandering wealth? Maybe he is encouraging us to give generously to those ministries and organizations that teach a moral basis.
Generosity is one of the good ideas present in The Creation of Wealth along with frugality, saving, and investing. With them, however, the author praises the American media for its truthfulness, urges Christians to "protest" the environmental misuses causing global warming, and calls for supporting the taxation needed to fund public education and health care. I doubt these latter reasons will sit well with many conservative Christians and will prevent them for recommending the book to their friends.
Writing about money, work, and politics is controversial ground without trying to apply biblical concepts, so I suppose I should anticipate conflict when reading this book. And I think that controversy, if not the subject alone, inhibits the book's wider acceptance. I have no doubt there are thousands of Christian businessmen who do not have an adequate understanding of how to apply God's Word to their specific business decisions. This book may not be the one for them. It may be one for non-Christian, though religious, businessmen, but I'm not sure about that either.