Christian Stewardship

For a devoted Christian, stewardship of life should include
everything in life, in all of the many opportunities provided by God,
who gives us time, abilities, knowledge, money, and relationships,
plus the earth's environment and natural resources, and more.



Christian Stewardship of Life as a Worldview

      We see important ideas, spanning a wide range of life experiences, in Staying on the Road Less Traveled: Fulfilling a Vocation by Keith Miller & Ruth Miller, who "see stewardship as... a worldview that encompasses all of life... including what we feel (e.g., arts, aesthetics, relationships, worship), what we think (e.g., philosophy, theology, history, science), and what we do (e.g., technology, work, finances, social action, spiritual disciplines)."
      These ideas are outlined with more detail — in sections for Stewardship as a Worldview, Stewardship of Human Knowledge, Environmental Stewardship, Ethics of Technology, Social Responsibility, and Art for the Glory of God — by Keith, who (along with Ruth) "views stewardship as a comprehensive concept including all aspects of practical living and the life of the mind," in an overview of Stewardship as a Christian Worldview.

      Christian Stewardship as a Whole-Person Way of Life:  This is a website for whole-person education, and a whole person lives in a way that effectively integrates all aspects of life.  How?  Cal DeWitt explains the mutual interactions between scientia (How does the world work?), ethics (What ought to be?), and praxis (Then what must we do?) in The Professor and the Pupil: Addressing Secularization and Disciplinary Fragmentation in Academia.  (brief summary plus full article)
      The homepage about WORLDVIEW EDUCATION FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING ends by stating that "fully living a Christian worldview involves a CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP of everything in life, including our opportunities (which depend on time, abilities, knowledge, money, relationships,...) and our environment."  Various aspects of "fully living a Christian worldview" are explored below, for a stewardship of our OPPORTUNITIES and ENVIRONMENT.

This website is being developed by the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA);  its main feature is LINK-PAGES, such as the one you're now reading, that combine introductory overviews with links to content-pages — some from ASA members, but most written by others — where you can explore ideas in more depth.

• Christian Stewardship of our OPPORTUNITIES

God gives each of us unique opportunities, which occur during time, in situations.  An essential part of "life stewardship" is making wise decisions about how to most effectively use our opportunities.  A links-page about CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP OF OPPORTUNITIES looks at various aspects of life:
      TIME"do not squander time, for it's the stuff life is made of," said Ben Franklin.
      ABILITIES — Each of us has unique abilities (physical, mental, emotional, relational) given to us by God.  We can understand our abilities more fully by developing a personal awareness (by noticing what we're skilled at doing and what we enjoy doing) combined with contemplative reflection (and prayer in which we ask God for guidance) that leads to self-knowledge.
      KNOWLEDGE can be internal (with improved self-understanding) or external (when we improve our understanding of the world);  members of ASA believe that the world was designed and created by God, and that scholarship (in all fields that seek to understand the world, including science & technology) can be a religious vocation, and that there are many ministry opportunities for CHRISTIANS IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY.   {note: Jews and Christians, due to our shared foundation of Judeo-Christian scriptures and beliefs, have many similarities in our worldviews, but ASA is a Christian organization, and this part of the website will focus on Christian stewardship. }
      MONEY — financial resources can be useful in achieving practical goals, and economic factors often play an important role in our decisions about what to do and how, in our efforts to be better stewards;  currently, wise use of money is the most common focus of Christian stewardship, although (as emphasized in this page) God wants us to define stewardship more broadly, to include everything in life.
      RELATIONSHIPS — according to Jesus, the second-greatest commandment is to "love your neighbor as you love yourself."  One way to love people is by evangelism, locally or globally, when we "go and make disciples of all nations."  Another way is to love people by serving them, by helping them meet their practical needs, as in serving the poor by using science and technology.  The solid foundation for Christian stewardship of life is the greatest commandment — to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind" — because this is our most important relationship.   {the two great commandments}

Care of Creation:  The creation of God includes people (as in "relationships" above) and our environment (the focus below).

• Christian Stewardship of our ENVIRONMENT

Now and in the future, what can Christians do to improve the quality of our environment, to decrease pollution (and other human impacts that diminish our quality of life) and help the earth be more capable of sustaining natural ecosystems & human social systems, to meet the energy demands of our modern lifestyles, and minimize the harmful effects of climate changes?

Christian Environmental Stewardship — Christian Ideas & Actions

• A links-page will help you learn about ideas-and-actions for ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP that is based on a Christian worldview, that will help us more effectively care for a world created by God.  This links-page describes educational and pragmatic actions by Christians, including members of ASA who are trying to be good stewards through actions in our lives, talks in our meetings (about Serving the Poor by using Science & Technology plus other stewardship topics), pages in our websites, and papers in our journal:
      In Preparing the Way for Action (1994), Cal DeWitt describes Stumbling Blocks [for Christians] to Creation's Care and Keeping:  "While convicted by environmental degradation and scriptural teachings on environmental stewardship, we may find ourselves hesitating to do what must be done.  Stumbling blocks and pitfalls often prevent Christians from engaging in stewardly care and reconciliation of creation.  Once identified and recognized, these things need no longer stand in our way, and we can proceed to act on our knowledge and beliefs about creation and the environment."  And more recently, two interviews with Cal DeWitt in 2006 — by Buzzsaw Haircut and Gristmill — and a talk (mp3).
      In Cultural Transformation and Conservation (2006), Fred Van Dyke describes Growth, Influence, and Challenges for the Judeo-Christian Stewardship Environmental Ethic:  "In a period of less than thirty years, the Judeo-Christian tradition was transformed from being perceived by scientific and popular culture as the cause of the ecologic crisis to being viewed as a major contributor to its solution.  The increasing attention and respect given to the Judeo-Christian environmental stewardship ethic is in large part a result of careful scholarship and effective activism in environmental ethics and conservation by the Christian community."

Christian Environmental Stewardship — Reducing Pollution & Improving Quality

• a links-page about CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVES on REDUCING POLLUTION in our air, water, and land, plus other types of pollution (thermal, radioactive) and things (like sound in our ears, chemicals in our food, loss of natural beauty, loss of species & ecosystems) that decrease our quality of life.
• At the annual meeting of ASA in 2000, "The second plenary speaker...was Susan Drake Emmerich, a Christian anthropologist who became involved in Tangier Island, a closed island the Chesapeake Bay with a population of about eight hundred people.  Susan spoke of the way in which she was able to become accepted by the Tangier fishing community.  The watermen would indiscriminately pollute the bay with trash and oil.  Susan convinced them to enter into a covenant to preserve the bay by changing their waste disposal habits.  She did this by appealing to their already-established beliefs, connecting in their minds their faith in Jesus (their Pilot on the water) with their caring for his creation." (from the ASA Newsletter)  You can learn more about this fascinating story in her own words [oops, link is broken, but I'll try to find it again] and from NOAA Coastal Services.

Christian Environmental Stewardship — Energy Conservation & Resources

• a links-page about ENERGY CONSERVATION & ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES has overview-summaries about energy conservation (it's a powerful tool in policy decisions about energy, at the levels of individuals & governments) and non-renewable energy (fossil fuels: oil/gasoline, coal, natural gas) and renewable energy (solar, wind, biofuel, hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal, and nuclear fusion) plus other alternative energies (hydrogen, nuclear fission).
• Energy is a concern for many members of ASA, and the theme of ASA's annual meeting in 2005 was Alternative Energy Resources & Energy Conservation.  And in our 2003 meeting, the presidential address of Kennell Touryan emphasized the need for productive action to cope with a variety of problems, including energy balance in a future with increasing demand and decreasing supplies.

Christian Environmental Stewardship — Global Warming & Climate Change

• a links-page about GLOBAL WARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE — CHRISTIAN VIEWS explains the basics (greenhouse effect and gases causing it) and effects (actual and potential, affecting overall climate and also local weather patterns & weather events in different parts of the world) and controversies (how fast is the earth warming? how much of this is caused by humans? what are the present and future effects?) and economic/political considerations, related phenomena (global dimming,...), and more.
• ASA does not take an official position on this issue, but I think most of our members agree with the prepared remarks of Randy Isaac (Executive Director of ASA) at the NAE press conference.
• What is the issue?  For a quick introduction to a Christian perspective on climate change, The Evangelical Climate Initiative has a small website that's easy to explore, with a statement (Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action), FAQ, Resources (with Fact Sheets, a presentation by Sir John Houghton,…), and an Invitation to Take Action (things you can do).
• And here is the context for the remarks by Randy Isaac:  In January 2007, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) issued a press release and statement about global warming.
• In July 2006, before this bold move, Tamara Hardison criticized the NAE for its "do nothing" policy, and in the evangelical community there is still some opposition to a "do something" approach, as you can see in reports by CNN & Washington Post about the NAE meeting in March 2007.

Comments about this "Christian Stewardship Worldview" website:

      Later, all of the sections above will be connected by an introduction describing the general principle that because we love God, we should be loving and serving what God has created, including people and the environment we share;  Christian stewardship is the outworking of this responsibility.
      Later, each links-page will offer links to pages on several levels — with introductory stories (like those you might see in a newspaper), overviews (to provide condensed summaries of important ideas, as in Cliffs Notes), and explorations (for increased depth and breadth) — for a variety of topics.

      PLANS FOR ACTION:  Soon (hopefully by mid-2014) there will be more content in the areas above: Ideas & Actions, Pollution, Energy, and Climate Change) and then we'll make pages with additional information about ideas & actions by members of ASA.

      In order to find high-quality pages at each level for many topics, I (the editor of ASA's website for Whole-Person Education) will need help, and hopefully much of the creative work — in deciding what to do and how, and then finding and selecting high-quality resources — can be done by those who are more expert than myself, who know more about each topic-area, and also know "who is doing what" and who has written good pages about it.
      When searching for content-pages, the key is SELECTIVITY.  With a search engine and a few minutes, it's easy to find lots of pages.  It's much more difficult to find the best pages (at all levels, from introductory to in-depth) but this is the goal.  We want to recommend only high-quality pages, so users can learn quickly and well, and they won't be overwhelmed with too many choices.   {more about selectivity}   {if you have helpful ideas, please contact me, Craig Rusbult,}
      You can see a preliminary structure of topics by looking at the link-pages above, for OPPORTUNITIES, ACTIONS, POLLUTION, ENERGY, and CLIMATE.  But this structure is tentative, and it will be modified during the process of developing the website.
  If you want to see parts of the overall website that are more fully developed, check Thinking Skills or (on a larger scale) Creation Questions.

In this page you'll find links to resource-pages expressing a wide range of views, which don't necessarily represent the views of the American Scientific Affiliation.  Therefore, linking to a page does not imply an endorsement by the ASA.  We encourage you to use your own critical thinking to evaluate everything you read.

This website for Whole-Person Education has TWO KINDS OF LINKS:
an ITALICIZED LINK keeps you inside a page, moving you to another part of it, and
 a NON-ITALICIZED LINK opens another page.  Both keep everything inside this window, 
so your browser's BACK-button will always take you back to where you were.

The area of Worldviews
includes these three sub-areas:
Christian Apologetics & Postmodern Relativism
Christian Worldview Education & Living a Worldview
and this page — Christian Stewardship (a whole-life worldview)
which is

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