I recently had an e-mail from Facebook (FB) with a link to ‘Privacy Basics’ – so I thought, having been a FB user for a few years, “Right I’m going to take some time to understand about privacy, who can and can’t see what and about likes and tagging and who can do what and what can be reviewed and deleted and how…. all that stuff.” After a simple click, what came up was a lovely simple step by step introduction to privacy, nicely presented, click by click, step by step. But did I feel any the wiser after doing this for 20 minutes? HARDLY, NO!
OK I learned about one or two buttons which can do this or that, but what I’ve never got in my head is the ‘architecture’ of the whole thing and how all the bits relate to one another. I don’t really get the relationship between profile / news feed and timeline (please don’t respond to this e-mail with a long screed of information to explain, I’m just sharing in an honest way that I’m a child of my time). All that I don’t get I’m happy to label ‘mystery’, happy to trust others who do get it to point out stuff I need to know (thank you, you know who you are) and for those I upset because I don’t get it, please be forgiving if I inappropriately tag you or comment or whatever. If you’re not happy with this arrangement please unfriend me – how do you do that?!
I suspect that this sort of trusted ‘unknowing’ is how many Christians view the bible. They don’t really get the architecture of the whole thing: how the OT and NT relate to each other, how the different covenants connect, who is friends with whom and why, who is in charge of this or that at a point in history, and how …. and so on. One of the privileges of having done some theological training is that I’ve had a chance to study the architecture of the bible. I’m no expert but at least I’ve a working knowledge of how it all hangs together – if you ever get the chance for some sort of theological study, I recommend it!
We’re just approaching Advent, the season in which we connect the 1st coming of Christ with the 2nd coming of Christ and see ‘writ large’ God’s salvation plan – past, present and future – our Father God demonstrating his justice and grace. It’s hard to make sense of it all, the deep shape of things, the architecture is complex, but it’s worth persevering with because it throws up awesome insights into the nature and ways of God that are enough to blow your mind and bend your knees to the floor.
FB will come and go, hey ho, but our God is eternal, glorious and just, may your Advent be blessed as you ponder these deeper things.
Yours in Him Stephen (Gunner) Girling