David Miller is author of God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement (2006). He is executive director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture at Yale Divinity School and assistant professor of business ethics. CT editor at large Collin Hansen spoke with Miller in New Haven, Connecticut.
How did your business experience help you conceive your book?
Business is my first language, because I was in banking and finance for 16 years. Then I discerned this call to study theology, which took me to Princeton Theological Seminary, where I studied first for an M.Div., and then for a Ph.D. in ethics. That's when I learned my second language, God talk.
Many business people are hungry to know how to integrate their faith into work. Unfortunately, most clergy don't know how to help those parishioners, and they often show benign neglect, or even outright hostility, toward the marketplace.
I have a photograph showing myself holding a Bible in my left hand, and a Wall Street Journal in my right. One is the "Bible" of the business world, and one is the Bible of the people of God. I argue that these two Bibles have everything to do with each other.
What have we as Christians lost by not integrating faith into the workplace?
We've lost a whole generation of people who either go through the motions when they go to church or just don't go to church anymore. My research shows that sermons seldom wrestle with biblical teachings and theologies of work, which is where most people in the pews are spending their time.
Why don't pastors preach that way?
Many pastors I have interviewed will privately tell me, "You know, I'm all for trying to talk to them about their workplace, but frankly I'm intimidated by these folks. They come in a ...1
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