Business and the church a symposium PDF book 1926 by Jerome Davis

Business and the church a symposium PDF book 1926 by  Jerome Davis

Business and the church a symposium PDF

Excerpt from the introduction:

For decades ministers have been trying to tell businessmen what is God’s will for them. Visit the shelves of any great university library: there sit the sermons, row on row, in lonely and dusty solemnity. Nor are they all ancient sermons; among the modern variety are One Hundred Best Sermons for Special Days and Occasions, Best Sermons 1924, and the excellent collection of the sermons of the twenty- five foremost American living preachers.

Is there not a pressing need for a frank and clear message from forward-looking businessmen as to what is their own conception of the will of God for themselves and for the church? Some people con¬ sider business a pagan institution and feel that the man who is called to serve his fellows must of necessity enter the ministry or another of the professions.

What if the business is just as sacred a calling as a religion? What can the church do for business and what for labor? Perhaps we can reverse the question and ask, “What can business and what can labor do for the church?” Perhaps neither can do very much for the other, but both can do more than any of us dream •with each other. In order to have an authoritative expression of the relationship between business and labor to the church, twenty-one individuals were selected from among the outstanding leaders in America. They were asked to give the heart of the philosophy or practice which they had worked out in the give-and-take of community life. The result is a collection of sermons and facts from businessmen and labor leaders who have a compelling power far beyond any mere rhetorical effort, no matter how beautiful or sincere. The contributions are all the more valuable be¬ cause they represent such a wide variety of opinion. It is quite encouraging to find also a central core of fundamental agreement running through the chapters.

Apparently, there is an overwhelming consensus of opinion in favor of the supremacy of the human side of the business. A crying need of our time is to get away from mere platitudinous idealism to its practical translation into the working realm of day-by-day life. Mr. Graham Wallas has strikingly illustrated the fact that the beautiful theory is often quite valueless. In his younger days, as a radical socialist, he became involved in a bitter dispute with a businessman, who suddenly asked, “What is your attitude toward the trade-unions?” Not having thought much about the subject, he replied that he did not believe in them. Instantly the businessman extended his hand in friendship, saying, “If you and I agree about the trade-unions we can get on together.” It makes a small difference what fine-spun ideals we profess in the abstract, provided we cooperate with the devil in the details of life.

 The great test of our age is whether we can be loyal to the spirit of Jesus in our daily community life. It is easy to pray about our love for God and sing hymns about “My faith looks up to Thee,” but it is hard to ad¬ venture with God in the realm of the commonplace, seven days a week. Our task as Christians is to make concrete the Christ way. This means that we must translate our loyalty into our daily performance record; our actual achievement must come near to our theoretical standard. But how can we apply our loyalties?
What is the relationship between business and the church to the process? Is it not possible that the will to exploit may have such a bewitching appearance that we shall mistake it for the will to serve? What is the duty of the employer? If he should pay adequate wages, what is adequate? These and other questions are convincingly answered from different points of view in this volume. There are those who think it impossible to get the employer and the worker together at the conference. Here, at any rate, they are bound together, and he who reads may judge as to the relative merits of their respective standards and policies. Sermons may come and sermons may go, but the business practice goes steadily on. How far are pagan actions in the commercial and financial world imperative? Is it not high time that we really try to Christianize business?

Author: Jerome Davis  Publication Date: 1926 
[Download This PDF Book ##download##] the book 31 MB


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