The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant by Terry Felber is an interesting parable about how to be a faithful businessman, practicing Christian principles while in the pursuit of profit.
The story is a grandfather telling his grandson the story about him and his business mentor. Every three years, the mentor and the grandfather would meet to catch up and for the mentor to share another “key”, or two or three, to help direct your business affairs well.
Frankly, the book just isn’t it. It starts with a weak theological concept that we’re to be either “priests or kings”, which didn’t bode well for the rest of the book. While I can support the idea that if you work hard, take care of your family, and offer your fruit to God, the notion that doing so as a casual relationship with financial prosperity is misguided.
Sure, if we do those things, riches may come our way. There are plenty of jerks out there making a lot of money too. In the end, the principles we put in place to guide our lives shouldn’t be directed toward financial goals, but toward finding fulfillment. In Christian thought, that fulfillment is in Christ.
The book, though, makes financial gain an end goal through spiritual talk.
Beyond the lessons taught in the book, the structure of a grandfather telling his grandson throughout the book of conversations and experiences between him and another person made it harder to follow than it needed to be.
Positively, the book’s setting of Rome before the Reformation was smart, as it allows it be accessed as a Christian work while completely skirting the vast majority of the denominational questions (the Great Schism being the only one, really, by that time).
In the end, I’d skip this book. There are more interesting, more thought-provoking books on how to live a principled life in business.
I received this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review nor did the publisher review this review prior to publication.