Believers in Business is widely acknowledged as the authoritative study of the impact (or lack thereof) of personal faith and organized Christianity in the business world, specifically among Christian CEOs. Dr. Nash makes a sympathetic, yet critically rigorous, analysis of her interviews with 85 CEOs. She explains the paradox of why many business people say their faith is crucially important to their business practice, yet talk so little about the specific impact their faith has made in particular decisions. The apparent gap between their claims and their actions makes them vulnerable to a stereotyping that Dr. Nash attempts to explode. She examines seven tensions that serious, self-aware Christian business leaders must navigate to integrate their faith with their business life.
Dr. Nash also demonstrates that organized Christianity has almost no impact on the practice of business, even though the personal faith of some business leaders does. The reason is that church leaders, especially clergy, have not learned how to engage the business world on its own terms. Lacking a real understanding of business, the churches are doomed to fail in their attempts to influence the business world. Dr. Nash offers a way forward through serious engagement between the church and the marketplace, an endeavor in which she continues to provide academic leadership as Director of the Institute for Values-Centered Leadership at Harvard Divinity School.
The book is distinguished from the usual over-earnest, under-critical works in the faith-and-business genre by its top-quality intellectual rigor, in-depth data acquisition, crisp and enjoyable prose, and gently ironic good humor. Among all the other books in the field that take themselves so self-importantly, where can you find another that dares to use a pun as its title? Yet this is the one with the real meat.
Review by William G. Messenger, Director, The Mockler Center for Marketplace Ministry
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary South Hamilton, Massachusetts
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc (Nov. 1994)