Behind the name "Object-Oriented Faith"

I imagine there are two common reactions to the title of this blog. Those who might have some background in religions might think it is a reference to worshiped objects like idols, images, statues, things found in nature or made by people as gods and believed to contain power or act as power conduits. This is not what object-oriented means.

It is programming terminology.

Which brings me to the second reaction. Those who know programming, are probably wondering what faith has to do with programming. Programming is a strict logic system, and not something you would associate faith with. Faith tends to imply a belief that is unverified, and programming, like mathematics, is derived from repeated testing yielding the same results. It is no stretch of the imagination to say most would find these two incongruous.

So then, what is this amalgam of two seemingly unrelated terms? Let's borrow a quote from Wikipedia.

To quote Wikipedia:
"Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm based on the concept of "objects", which are data structures that contain data, in the form of fields, often known as attributes; and code, in the form of procedures, often known as methods A distinguishing feature of objects is that an object's procedures can access and often modify the data fields of the object with which they are associated (objects have a notion of "this"). In object-oriented programming, computer programs are designed by making them out of objects that interact with one another."

I am someone who relates well to code, and uses code to approximate life concepts, I felt that an object-oriented approach to faith would be a good idea. This isn't to say all concepts are easily coterminous with programming, but there's certainly some ideas that I have benefited from wrapping in that mindset.

To borrow phrasing from C.S. Lewis' Mere Christanity:
"What they do when they want to explain the atom, or something of that sort, is to give you a description out of which you can make a mental picture. But then they warn you that this picture is not what the scientists actually believe. What the scientists believe is a mathematical formula. The pictures are there only to help you to understand the formula. They are not really true in the way the formula is; they do not give you the real thing but only something more or less like it. They are only meant to help, and if they do not help you can drop them. The thing itself cannot be pictured, it can only be expressed mathematically. We are in the same boat here."

I really enjoy the object concepts. Objective interaction helps me picture God to me, me to others, and me to my body. There are countless ways that we interact, and what those interactions do, and I picture them like programs. When used properly, the system runs beautifully.

But more often, we get mismatches, we try the wrong call, and we break. We are broken people, and just as a program crashes, we fall apart in exciting and unexpected ways. Debugging the system, if you will, is the introspective guise I'm taking for this blog, as we delve into Christianity as a set of concepts and how they relate to each other.

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