Wealth Creation and the Stewardship of Creation

Executive Summary

The care of creation is one with wealth creation, and wealth creation is key in stewarding creation. First, intentionally stewarding their businesses following the creation mandate, wealth creators witness Christ’s love for his creation to others, and presages creation’s full restoration. Second, wealth creators can apply their innovation and ingenuity to meet the environmental challenges we face.

Wealth creators realize environmental stewardship is a spiritual exercise. It is a reconversion to conservation. It is a spiritual battle against the forces of greed and selfishness with weapons of grace through the creation of wealth for the common good. Seeing creation as good, realizing creation is not ours to own but to steward, realizing we have been commanded to work the ground and prosper from its fruits, gives us the perspective of love as we use all the talents God has given.

The basic biblical premise for man’s interaction with creation and creation with dignified work is clear. In the beginning, God worked to make his creation.[i] We acknowledge him as Creator. His creative work gave us the resources ‘to work it and keep it’ (Gen 1:15). We are stewards. It had been given to us as a good gift to use and care for.

A creation steward sees business as a web of relationships, not a linear progression. The premise of this web comes from an ecological understanding of everything being related to everything else.

This paper is a call to action. It is a call to action for Christians to lead the charge in creation care, to bring back hope to the debate of environmental stewardship. It is a call to collaborate with all people of goodwill to take care of our common home. It is a call to organize scientists and wealth creators to work together to provide solutions for environmental problems. It is a call to provide practical guidelines to help wealth creators to run their businesses and personal life as environmental stewards.


[i] Timothy Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work (New York: Penguin Books, 2016), 34.

Stewardship of Creation

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Wealth Creation: Biblical Views and Perspectives

Executive Summary

This paper explores biblical perspectives on the theme of ‘wealth creation for holistic transformation’: its biblical meaning, basis, purpose, and implications. It first looks at the very meaning of these terms—what is meant by ‘wealth’ and by ‘holistic transformation’. It then moves on to examine the biblical foundations for wealth creation, observing that wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator (Genesis 1 and Psalm 104) who purposed us to express his creative nature through work and carrying for the garden (Genesis 2).

There is, however, good work and bad work, good business and bad business. Thus this paper next explores biblical principles for ‘good’ business. In doing so, it focuses on the concepts ‘shalom’, the ‘common good’ and a business’ ‘proper purpose’—a purpose which is far broader than simply maximizing return on investment.

The subject of wealth and economics is full of thorny issues. These cannot and should not be avoided. Thus, the paper goes on to tackle three contentious issues: partnership with non-Christians in business, simplicity as command or calling, and shared-rewards in the capitalist economic system.

Regarding partnership with non-Christians, the two sides—warnings and encouragements, be in the world but not of it—are both presented. Regarding the question of whether simplicity is a command for all or rather a calling for some, this paper argues strenuously for the latter. And finally, regarding the subject of shared-rewards, the writer here looks at the business implications of 1 Corinthians 9:9-10, ‘For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.”’ The apostle Paul was clear that this biblical injunction was never meant merely for animals. It can and should be applied to business, this paper suggests. Doing so, might well alleviate many of the tensions currently tearing apart our societies worldwide.

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Wealth Creation within Global Cultural Perspectives

Executive Summary

This paper examines culture’s impact upon the biblical mandate to create wealth for holistic transformation, and it does so in four steps. First, it examines the concept of culture itself: what is it and how should Christians respond to it? We are called to be both in the world and not of the world—to have one foot in eternity and transcendence with the other foot firmly in time and immanence—and this is the tension explored in section one.

Next, the paper examines the ‘anthropological temptation’: the temptation to idolize culture, and to overreact by freezing it in time, thus preventing the organic change that is natural to culture. Economic development is an aspect of and partner to culture; and at the same time, it is a challenge to culture. Exploring the push-pull relationship generally between business and culture serves as an introduction to our next section.

The third section of the paper develops further the business-and-culture tension by first scrutinizing three values thought to be key to business development—efficiency, entrepreneurship, and self-help—and asking whether they are biblical and universal or simply culture-specific. Second, this section reminds us of the danger involved in cross-cultural business through a case study of nineteenth-century Hawaii, which lost its independence largely through the failure of business integration. And third, this section then asks whether interior cultural change is key to business success or outer legal structures, concluding that both are important.

Lastly, the paper moves from these big picture foundational issues to addressing the specific attributes for individuals and organizations seeking to actually engage in cross-cultural wealth creation. Attributes such as integrity, hard work, communication styles and the importance of a local mentor are addressed. Only when Christians adopt these attributes can we begin to tackle the cultural challenges involved in addressing one of the many purposes of God’s heart: wealth creation for the holistic transformation of peoples and nations.

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