Or, rather, review of the 20 CDs of Vision Forum's "Best of the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp" set.
A few years back, I (rightly or wrongly) perceived that Vison Forum was really strong on presenting Biblical masculinity in its ramifications for boys and men for the relationships with their families and the government, but seemed in some respects to neglect a man's position vis a vis his work, and the possibility or imperative of running his own business.
As if reading my mind, Vision Forum announced that they would be holding an "Entrepreneurial Bootcamp" that summer. Although I wasn't financially able to attend, I was able to buy the set of CDs they offered. Or, rather, my wife got 'em for me, but since I'm the one earning the wages, you can do the math. :^)
In a nutshell; it's well worth the money. I appreciated especially the discussion of pitfalls into which entrepreneurs could fall--most notably loss of family time and the various debt/other instruments by which many entrepreneurs fall victim. Many of the speakers presented artfully the reality that their success was not just an artifact of chance, but that even many of the conditions under which they'd prospered occurred under God's leading. The concept of man taking dominion over Creation was a common, repeated, theme.
My favorite speaker was Joel Salatin, operator of a very interesting farm in Virginia and advocate of a more "natural" method of farming. Check it out. Salatin more or less argues that modern farming is fighting with the created order, with the result that it's not only unprofitable (unless we're making our maize into corn likker for my truck), but it's also an environmental, family, and societal disaster.
That said, there were certain things that left me with questions that I hope they work to answer. I know for sure that I'm going to try. Here are some thoughts:
1. The conference had a few spiritually young speakers. I don't think they went over any lines, but they would do well to explain (even more than they did) how their business views are different due to their conversions.
2. The speakers were generally those who had succeeded in putting bigger ventures together. A little more discussion on smaller ventures, or more speakers who had been successful in these, would be great.
3. A bit more about the Biblical instruction in this matter would be good. Is "buying your freedom" that Paul speaks of equivalent to "start your own business" today?
4. A bit more variety in businesses presented would be good.
Hopefully Vision Forum or others will start filling this in. All in all, it's a great start, and I pray that it doesn't end as just a start.
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