The Purpose of Business: the Viewpoint of IMITATIO DEI (IMITATING GOD)
The thesis of this paper can be summarized with the following propositional statements: A) The image of God established at Creation has been marred; B) God’s plan of redemption includes the restoration of His image; C) the restoration process involves imitating the character of God; D) the character of God is expressed conceptually in the Ten Commandments, visibly in the life and work of Jesus Christ, and through the “grand themes” of the Bible; E) business is a setting where God restores His image and where the grand themes can be expressed; F) the grand themes are the fundamental principles of business; and G) the purpose of business is directly related to this restoration process. Contemporary secular discussions about the purpose of business are dominated by concerns over maximizing wealth. These dominant ideas are contrasted with the biblical perspective as expressed in grand biblical themes. Twelve biblical themes emerge from the study of Bible passages that describe the character of God, passages that describe the identity and work of Jesus Christ, and passages that provide instructions to believers. Implications are drawn for business practice and for higher education.