Who will enjoy reading The Primacy of Stewardship---> Updated October 2011: Who will be interested in The Primacy of Stewardship by John Manimas?
The Primacy of Stewardship will be of interest to any scientist who has struggled with the relationship between science and religion, in particular Catholic scientists and other scientists whose childhood experience included participation in Christian traditions or Christian education.
The Primacy of Stewardship will be of interest to anyone who finds the author's story to be interesting. The author's story in a nutshell:
While exploring the advisability of the priesthood in 1958 when I was fourteen years old, I studied the New Testament Gospel (Douay Rheims 1957). My reaction was something of a shock. I did not perceive the Gospel message as being about moral behavior or about going to Heaven or Hell after one dies, but rather about universal scientific principles. I heard and saw in the Gospel message the principle that good stewards live and bad stewards die. I recognized this as a valid description of how the evolutionary process applies to a technological animal.
Therefore, I was faced with my viewpoint that the history of western civilization is based on a mistake. The disciples and apostles were wrong. The early Church fathers and the great intellectual saints of the church and the popes and cardinals and bishops were all perpetuating an error. Expecting that others would deem me crazy or foolish for thinking I understood the Gospel correctly and all others had it wrong, for centuries, I decided I needed to revisit and reexamine this personal and unique viewpoint later in life.
I did relate all of my studies to this viewpoint during the years of my formal college education, 1962 through 1970. After college and while living a "normal life," I continued my self-education program of reading in history, math and science, world religions, psychology, how people learn, how memory works, how people categorize knowledge, and I constantly worked on improving my writing skills. In the spring of 1977, I carefully reviewed the Gospel three times, taking notes, and using what I call the two principles and five questions to guide my scientific method. I used my notes and continued my self-education program and daily writing practice. Writing several trial manuscripts, I searched for the best way to state my position and defend it effectively. Thirty years later, in 2007, I wrote the first draft of The Primacy of Stewardship during April, May and June. I finished an edited and revised final version within a year, and self-published the book in December of 2008.
Basically, being raised Catholic and going through a common struggle that arises naturally for a scientific person in response to certain illogical doctrines of the Church, I wanted to see the Gospel message with my own eyes, hear it with my own ears. I did that and heard: Survival of the good steward is survival of the fittest. The original message or teaching intended by the Gospel, whatever one believes is its source, is scientific fact, not the moral laws of God or the moral philosophy of a nice man.
The two principles and five questions -- for scientific study of the Gospels:
A) The Gospel message is about scientific facts, not about morality.
B) The purpose of the Gospel message is to tell us what we need to know, what we need to know in order to survive and thrive as a species.
1) What is the kingdom of heaven?
2) What is the main theme or main idea conveyed by the parables?
3) Why are there so many parables about good servants and bad servants?
4) What do all the good servants have in common?
5) What do all the bad servants have in common?
For further study, see A Course of Controversy in Science and Religion [link]
Three main illogical doctrines of the Christian religion:
1) Mary is the "mother of God" who was born to her in the person of Jesus Christ around the time that Julius Caesar was emperor of Rome. This person, Jesus, was and is God and this God created the universe, more or less magically, out of nothing. This is obviously in conflict with what we learn through our own efforts and the scientific method, which tells us that the natural, physical universe, or Nature, must exist before a living person can evolve or come into being. In other words, reason tells us that the universe could not have been created by a person.
2) Although we were created by a benevolent God who is all powerful and all knowing, we are defective and we can act in a manner that is sinful or criminal as well as sinful. Our decisions to sin are destructive and driven by our human nature. In this universe created by God, all living things accomplish procreation and self-perpetuation through sexual reproduction. Therefore, sexuality is a central and sacred reality of life in the universe. However, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations, sexual behavior is dirty, evil, primitive and dangerous, and leads men and women to destructive and unforgivable sins. Reason raises the question as to how can sexuality, the cause of life, be evil, and how can sexual love, the strong and nurturing bond between a man and a woman, be a defect in the work of God?
3) Although we were created by a benevolent God who is all powerful and all knowing, there is a being called the "Devil" or "Satan" who is like a god or a saint who has great power. In fact, this Satan has the power to lead a person into unforgivable sin and capture their soul and have them be damned to Hell forever. This means that Satan can steal a soul from God, can break the connection between the person and God and have that person and that person's soul permanently lost and permanently punished. Reason raises the question as to how and why Christians claim that the Christian religion is monotheistic - has only One God. If Satan can take control of a human soul, essentially take away from God a person that was created by God, then Satan has the power of a God, and the Christian religion is bi-theistic - has two Gods, one good and one bad, where each of the two has effective power over a human being. If we change this doctrine and say that Satan does not have this power to steal a human soul, then all of the Church's teaching on sin and morality and human nature falls apart.
The description here of these three problems in religious doctrine is not offered as proof of anything other than that they each lead persons who think scientifically to question or reject the authority of the Church. They cause reasonable people to lose confidence in the Church and to discard or dismiss many of the valid religious ideas that are among the great treasures of human civilization. Religion needs to be more reasonable so that more scientific people will be open to receiving those treasures of moral and social guidance.
From 2009-2010: Anyone interested in contemplating the meaning of Jesus' identity and teaching; persons who definitely will enjoy reading this book include:
1) church study groups or discussion groups;
2) students and teachers of comparative religion or world history;
3) any person of any age who is "green" and seeks to have society and government act upon the evidence that we need to emphasize environmental stewardship and new technologies that place us in harmony with Nature rather than in combat with Nature;
4) any Christian, Muslim or Jew who believes in true ecumenism and our need to identify and focus on the common ground of all religions and reject the doctrines that stir fears and close minds and cause people to believe that learning about another religion is a moral offense;
5) any person who suspects that the doctrine of "one true religion" must be false;
6) any person who believes that one's real religion is freely chosen through a personal journey of faith and not imposed by tradition or custom or social and political conformity;
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