Published on
Thursday, April 21st, 2022

It is good to work and to be invested in our work. Distributism fits well with traditional Anabaptist values, even though it has largely been articulated by Catholic thinkers. Stephen Russell urges us to “look at distributism and see how it fits with what we have traditionally tried to do, and learn from it”. These themes include valuing craftsmanship, family businesses, and widespread ownership of the tools and infrastructure needed for business. 

To hear more discussion on this topic, check out our bonus content episode with Stephen on Patreon or on our website (for Partners only).

 

Recommended Resources:

The Hound of Distributism edited by Richard Altman:

What’s Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton:

Economic Policy Institute, “CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker in 2020.”  

Mandragora Corporation

Guild of St. Joseph and St. Dominique: “Men rich in virtue studying beautifulness living in peace in their houses.”

Social Credit Party

Barbara Peter’s Observations about Mondragon

Pope Leo’s Statement on Distributism 

“Men always work harder and more readily when they work on that which belongs to them; nay, they learn to love the very soil that yields in response to the labor of their hands, not only food to eat, but an abundance of good things for themselves and those that are dear to them. That such a spirit of willing labor would add to the produce of the earth and to the wealth of the community is self evident.” 

Pope Prius XI’s statement on subsidiarity

 “Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.  

Watch Stephen’s testimony about exiting political engagement on YouTube.

 

 

 

 

Published on
Thursday, April 14th, 2022

What does Scripture have to say about loaning money at interest? Do Old Testament prohibitions apply to us? How does collecting interest fit with working with our own hands and being productive? 

Stephen Russell gives us glimpses into how the church has thought about this over the last two millenia, and how Christian thinking changed as economic systems changed. Stephen calls us to see God’s heart as revealed in the Old Testament year of Jubilee.  

Recommended Resource: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/catholics-and-usury-a-tragic-history

Published on
Thursday, March 31st, 2022

Money has rarely been far removed from the biblical narratives or major conversations of the church since the New Testament. Between the close of the New Testament and the protestant reformation, the church had much to say about usury. Stephen Russell, a student of history, orients us to the church’s premodern stance on usury. 

Recommended resource: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/catholics-and-usury-a-tragic-history  

Published on
Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Kevin Brechbill urges business owners to pay employees well think carefully about where to give money, and to build accountability and transparency around their role as business owners.

Recommended Resources:

Money, Possessions, Eternity by Randy Alcorn: https://amzn.to/3ujopoy 

Authored By

  • Marlin Sommers
Published On
Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Part Two of Business as Stewardship

A business person should steward his business abilities and roles. Stewardship is not limited to managing profits that may be gained through business. In Part 1 of this blog, I sketched an overall vision for acting as a servant-manager in business. This second part reflects in a bit more detail on some aspects of the stewardly role of business. I reflect on job creation, on business investment in general, and conclude with a few words about the steward mindset in business.

Job Creators as Servant-Managers 

Some entrepreneurial types are tempted to think that everyone could or should be an entrepreneur. According to this line of thinking no one should need to depend on someone else creating a job for them, because opportunities for profit abound. Anybody prepared to put in the effort should be able to start their own business. But this line of thought, if taken to its natural extent, obscures the fact that job creation is a needed service in society. There are a variety of reasons why it is often good for one person to create a job and another person to work that job. Thus, the entrepreneur stewards his job creating ability for the sake of people who work for him. 

Published on
Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

In this episode Bryant Martin tells his story about starting Sowers Harvest Cafe in downtown State College, Pennsylvania. How can we use business to reach out to the people around us? How can business point people to Christ? Bryant also shares his goals for the cafe as well as a few lessons that he has learned since opening in 2015.

Published on
Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

In this episode, Melvin Lehman explores the rural and agricultural aspects of our Anabaptist heritage. Has our cultural shift to more skills-based careers been a positive change? How might modern agriculture be affecting our sense of closeness and community? Listen as Melvin gives insight into what has changed in our farming communities during the past fifty years, and how we can maintain and improve this valuable part of our heritage.

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