A network of highly cohesive details reveals the truth.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Tracking the Wiley Understanding

I just installed trackback. Thank you Wayne ;-) I think it's a good thing.

As you can see from the description in the sidebar to the left, I believe "an extensively diverse community of humble people" is necessary for an accurate understanding of the Bible. So, the networking dynamic of trackback is just the type of thing that encourages such a diverse and community effect.

I get this idea from 1 Cor. 3 (NLT) or (NASB).

Briefly, Paul tells the Corinthians that people driven by their own physical or self-centered desires quarrel with each other. They even take sides by congregating behind a single person. Paul subverts that modus operandi by showing that these "leaders" (he calls them διάκονοι, generally translated 'servants'--I would translate as 'facilitators') are really cooperating in a much grander, growth plan. Paul claims that "by his resting upon the benevolent resources he's received from God" he has laid the foundation (which is Jesus Christ), but there will be all sorts of other people building on top of that. Time will tell which parts one has added to the building are precious and which ones are just rubbish. But, in either case, the building being built is God's temple. Each of us is to be very careful how we build. He finishes with a warning to "scholars" who think they have authority simply because they are scholars, picking up a primary subtheme from 1:18ff. They need the attitude of non-scholars lest God use their own twisting of the truth to grab handfuls of them. After all, scholars who aren't facilitators, aren't really scholars. And then, lastly, he reminds his readers that "all are yours."

It's that last statement that I find quite gratifying. God owns the planet; he is sovereign. So, whatever there is will serve his purposes, which are always good. There will be rubish that needs burned, of course; but a community of humble people working together to build on the foundation of Jesus Christ will, ultimately, succeed in an accurate understanding and practice of the message God has delivered to us. I pray we can track that message and even gain ground on grabbing a hold of it for ourselves.

It's "an extensively diverse community of humble people" that can make the difference.

Lastly, if you want to see how diverse crowds facilitate accurate results, you might enjoy reading "Wisdom of Crowds" by James Surowiecki. I haven't read it. Initially, I did one of those, "No way! Can't be!" sort of things. But, after reading the Wiki article called "The Wisdom of Crowds"and some reviews at Amazon, I think there's a ring of truth to it (and I think with Paul, too). Let me know if you've read it and what you think. He deals with the fact that there are many cases where the mass of people did extremely stupid things. Interstingly, it's the lack of independent action that leads to the debilitating vortex.

Let's Track the Wiley Understanding. It's got to be close. Right? We won't know unless indendently we build the temple together.