Friday, September 17, 2004
The Linux Model Used To "Do Theology"
I find programmers to be some of the most philosophical people in our society. They can afford to talk about the hypothetical and then create it. The rules of logic and the tools they use will create what they envision. One of the philosophers of the Open Source software movement is Linus Torvald. He has headed up the project of Linux. Linux is a computer operating system (OS) which has been developed by anyone who can write code and shows his/her work is quality enough to be included in the OS. A person with a Ph.D. in computer science might get the code included or an high school student might too. It depends on the merits of the work. The Linux project is highly successful. So are many other projects which similarly use the volunteer-merit based creativity. Wikipedia is another project which uses volunteers and the merits of their work is the merits of its inclusion. I have noticed that some Christian websites are attempting to use the same model but only partially. Before software code is included in Linux the merit of the programming is evaluated. Some of the websites advocating a similar model for examining the Christian faith basically adheres to the egalitarian (level playing field) mentality, but they lack the merit based system. Instead of gaining a high quality of teaching and understanding of the scriptures, they achieve shared ignorance. Basic to the Linux model is competence. The scripture does not teach us to have a grand hierarchy in the church, pastors are to be honored for their work but not for their position alone. The preisthood of the saints is basic to the Christian faith, we are can approach God through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross. This egalitarian nature of the Christian faith does not mean that one opinion is as good as another. Instead it means that we need to read the scriptures realizing that we are accountable to each other and to God to believe it and living up to it.