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Book Review: Doing Virtuous Business, by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

  • Thomas Nelson
  • March 2011
  • 176 pp.

Recommended. An intellectually stimulating treatment of the centrality of virtue in the workings of business.

If you’re interested in the intersections of faith and work, and if you enjoy a good romp through a business book every now and then, you’ll like Theodore Roosevelt Malloch’s Doing Virtuous Business: The Remarkable Success of Spiritual Enterprise.

First of all, however, you need to know that this isn’t a gospel-centered book. I love books that are explicit about how the gospel changes everything in life, from the way we live at home to the way we conduct ourselves in secular jobs. Yet, Malloch doesn’t spend time explicating the centrality of the gospel to the realms of business and economics. Instead, in the book’s introductory matter Malloch clarifies who he is and who he is writing for:

I write as a committed Christian, but what I say does not reflect a narrow or specifically sectarian Christian theology. Throughout the book I draw examples of virtue and spiritual enterprise from other faiths, and I heartily believe that spiritual enterprise is often conducted from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and other perspectives, and that every religion and spiritual tradition offers blueprints for building spiritual capital in its own distinctive way.

While I do appreciate Malloch’s honesty–he abandons ambiguity and seeks to clarify his purpose and approach–the universal flavor of some sections of the book limits its effectiveness for Christians.

However, I still recommend Malloch’s book if one has a capacity for discernment and an eye for the goodness of God. Doing Virtuous Business is an intelligent testament to the biblical truth that God is the center and creator of all reality. Just as God made the physical world with governing principles like gravity, relativity, and atomic structure, there are principles that make up the fabric of moral reality. These principles, when applied to business, naturally create what Malloch calls spiritual capital. Upon developing this concept, Malloch spends the remainder of Doing Virtuous Business exemplifying how virtues like faith, honesty, gratitude, perseverance, compassion, and more create viable capitalistic enterprise.

For Christians who view wealth and capitalism as intrinsically against the gospel, Malloch will give you a healthy, biblical challenge. For those who work in the business world outside of the Christian bubble, you’ll find this book a refreshing and engaging look at why God’s ways work in the workplace. And for any public school teachers out there, there is plenty of useful food for thought in Doing Virtuous Business.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

2 Responses to Book Review: Doing Virtuous Business, by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Doing Virtuous Business, by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch | Home Business Ideas at TiagoFMCosta.info

  2. Pingback: Book Review: The Integrated Life, by Ken Eldred « The Other Criminal

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