A Theological Reflection on Exchange and Marketing: An Extension of the Proposition That the Purpose of Business is to Serve

Gary L. Karns

In this paper, Gary L. Karns extends the earlier work of others regarding the biblical purpose of business with a reflective analysis on exchange and marketing as key processes related to the institution of business. Relationships/interdependence, holiness, justice, love stewardship, creativity, hope, and other themes are drawn from the biblical narrative to form a Christian worldview lens that is employed for reflecting upon exchange and marketing as a paradigm. Alignments and misalignments between the purpose, worldview, and effects of exchange and marketing with a Christian worldview are discerned and implications for business practitioners, consumers and academics are identified. While the contemporary exchange and marketing paradigm is rife with misalignments from a Christian worldview, there are some compelling alignments which suggest that the processes of exchange and marketing have theological legitimacy. Commitment to a genuine concern for others is necessary to realign exchange and marketing practices. Mr. Karns is Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in the School of Business & Economics at Seattle Pacific University.

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Last Updated: October 27, 2008
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