Reformed Reflections

On The Job: the Christian 9 to 5 by Fred Catherwood.
Zondervan Publishing Corporation,
Grand Rapids Mich. 185 pp.

Our changing times have left nothing untouched. Attitudes toward work and business have been affected by the spirit of our age. What can the church do to redirect the times? Her primary task is to spread the Gospel, but it is also essential to show the way of obedience to God in daily life.

On The Job explores ways in which Biblical teaching and Christian values work out in the spheres of labour and business. What is the social responsibility of big business and labour unions? What is the Christian attitude toward work, wealth, economy and inflation? May the Christian “play” the stock market? May a Christian ever resort to strike action? What is a good employer and a good employee?

Fred Catherwood, a prominent British industrialist and a member of the European parliament, draws from his own experience working in Industry and commerce. Of the Christian view of work he writes that it should be to the creation of wealth, not by destruction of the world’s natural resources, but by their proper use. The author does not mince words as he discusses both the external and internal causes of poverty. His well-informed opinion may be unpopular to all who put the blame for the Third World’s economic and social ills squarely on the shoulders of the developed West, but they are worth nothing. He believes that the biggest problem is the lack of financial integrity in high places. Bribery, the cancer of corruption, lack of discipline on the part of the workers, the refusal of peasants to apply innovative agricultural methods – all contribute to the perpetuity of grinding poverty.

Catherwood does not give pat answers. He challenges Christians to apply their faith to every area of life. The Christian faith is relevant for our times! On The Job should be read by every Christian worker and businessman.

Johan D. Tangelder