In The Legend of the Merchant and the Monk, writer Terry Felber suggests twelve keys to successful living that can guide a Christian in his or her personal, business and family life. Setting his parable in 15th century Italy, Felber uses Antonio, a successful Venetian merchant, as the spokesperson who communicates these principles to his grandson.
The historical approach is interesting and provides a good setting to discuss the complementary roles of the secular and the sacred in society. Antonio is a man of faith but he struggles to know the best way to use the resources that God has placed in his hands. He is helped along the way by Allesio, a merchant who becomes his mentor.
The principles themselves deal with all areas of a person’s life. They encourage one to make the most of one’s gifts and to be a good steward of the blessings that result. Although they are common sense principles, Felber presents them in such a way that they seem fresh and challenging. Taken together, they provide a sound theology of vocation.
The book includes a twelve-session study guide for use in a group. It is a good read for an individual or as the resource for a discussion group.
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