Paul the Programmer

Paul the Programmer August 2, 2016

I found this SMBC comic funny, even though its view of Paul’s proclamation is problematic. Paul didn’t even call his message or the movement it expressed “Christianity.” And he was adamant that the gospel he proclaimed was about grafting Gentiles into the tree whose roots were the ancestors of the Jews.

Yet the programming analogy still has merit. Programs evolve, and the fact that Bill Gates did not foresee issues of compatibility that would arise between Windows 3.1 and Windows 8, they happened nevertheless, simply because we cannot foresee the long-term impact of changes we introduce into the source code of an operating system, or of a religion.

What do you think? What programming analogies are useful in thinking about religious traditions, and innovation and continuity across time within and among them, and what analogies are unhelpfully misleading?


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  • Matthew Funke

    If your theological object does not inherit the love object, don’t expect it to be recognized by the operating system (never mind its methods).

  • PorlockJunior

    The conjunction of the evolution of computer programs with the link I followed a moent ago to a discussion of Tipler reminded me of a dissertation of my old colleague and friend John Walker:

    This one has Spooky Action at a DIstance as well.