Introduction to “Business Ethics” Issue

[1] This issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics deals with business ethics, a topic that impacts the lives of everyone – worker, manager, investor, and/or concerned citizen. Three authors in this issue speak to various facets of this topic. [2] Eric Mount sets forth an argument for recovering traditional norms of covenant, community, and […]

Covenant, Community, and the Common Good: Norms for Corporate Leadership and Culture

[1] It is far from apparent that covenant, community, and common good are ideas whose time has come. [1] Recent scandals in corporate life have sent many companies back to the drawing board concerning their corporate cultures, and some critical observers regard the apprehended executives as only the tip of the iceberg-the larger ice being […]

Servant Leadership: Character and the Ethics of Business

[1] In my book, Ethics in Business: Faith at Work, I included a chapter on servant leadership. It was essentially about how the character of leadership is foundational to the ethics of business in any corporation, company, or firm.[1] In the brief comments that follow I want to look back on that discussion of character […]

Introduction to Economic Ethics in Everyday Life

[1] People never tire of quoting the late Tip O’Neill’s famous statement that “All politics is local.” Perhaps it is not entirely amiss to borrow this idea by stating that “All economic ethics is local.” That is to say, while there is considerable ethical discourse concerning mega concerns of economic justice and monumental failures of […]

Faithful Living: A Biblical Ethic of Financial Stewardship

[1] Financial stewardship is not only a matter of faithful giving but of faithful living. In response to the gospel, we submit our lives to the rule of God, to the lordship of Christ, and to the direction of the Holy Spirit, so that we may be the people God wants us to be and […]

Eating Theology

[1] All Christians think about eating. I’m contemplating the preparation of a mid-morning snack even as I write this. Many Christians say grace before they eat, in this way locating the act of eating doxologically. And some may practice certain vestigial forms of fasting, like eating fish (fry!) on Fridays, or foregoing chocolate during Lent. […]

Economic Perspectives on Ethical Taxation

[1] Ethical concerns about taxation typically cluster around two distinct questions. The first concerns the right of the government to tax individuals in the first place, while the second considers the ethical desirability of alternative tax schemes. Obviously, the first question needs to be settled, and in a particular manner, before proceeding on to the […]

Reflections on What It Means to Be a Tax Exempt Organization

[1] I hadn’t thought much about tax exemption and its implications for our organization and our society until asked to do this reflection. I had basically taken it for granted, even though in recent years our organization has joined others in protesting what seemed like assaults on this status from the IRS and Congress. [2] […]

Rendering to Caesar and to God: Paying Taxes in the Roman World

[1] It has often been said that little is certain in life but death and taxes. In my last article on “Social Movements in Early Christianity,” I dealt at some length with death and burial in the ancient world. With April 15th looming, it seems only right to turn to the second half of the […]

Do Not Steal: A Lutheran Vision of Practice of Economic Justice

“For to steal is nothing else than to get possession of another’s property wrongfully, which briefly comprehends all kinds of advantage in all sorts of trade to the disadvantage of our neighbor. To steal is to signify not only to empty our neighbor’s coffer and pockets, but to be grasping in the market…, wherever there […]