Monday, August 23, 2010

What Theologians can learn from Computer Scientists

I am a multi-lingual individual, I speak C++, Java, SQL, Perl, TCL, PHP, Scheme etc. ( all programming languages, LOL).

In programming languages, they have a concept called "reserved words". When you program, the programming language (any one of them!) allows you to name your own variables, constants, class names and function names. You are allowed to go for it! However there is a caveat, you are not allowed to use the programming language's reserved words. These words are solely for the use of the programming language because its semantics is locked in. You are not allowed to use these reserved words for your naming of variables, constants, class names and function names.

For example, in Java, if you say this...

int return;
Java will trap you and won't move further in its analysis of your code (hence, we say it won't compile). The reason is that you have used the reserved word return to name your integer variable. That word is reserved for Java. You did something illegal.

I think the Bible does the same. Right now I can identify a couple of words that are "reserved words" by Scripture. One of them is "justification" and the other is "predestination".

The Bible exclusively uses these words in reference to believers in the Gospel of Christ only. It does not use it any other way.

If you can identify some more, let me know.


LutherRocks said...

Sidebar; Sequence is also important. Example: Faith>Repentance>Forgiveness>Justification>Sanctification.


LPC said...


Something like that though I would put repentance then faith in the sense of the way we usually talk about them, that is repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus.

Peace be with you Joe,


Still in Texas?

Augustinian Successor said...

Hi Kuya!

Good that you're moving on with your career, profession and work, and calling and vocation! ;-D

LPC said...


Hi little bro? Have you finished your MPA yet? Or was it LL.M?

Things have been tough, though I have some part time job, I need a full time one to relieve the missus. I will appreciate your prayers to find the right one.

On my vocation... I started another blog called,

I will try and make the posts less technical - logicians are a subculture of their own.

God bless,


jim said...

Dear Lito,

Did you ever think about being a psychiatric nurse instead of math wiz/Lutheran pastor? Luther said that he sould have listend to his parents and been a lawyer. Did your paretns ever tell you to be a nurse?

Let x = x. I saw Laurie Anderson be interviewed downtown Chucago in 2008. It was great to see her after all this time of stalking her.

on the White Horse Inn they would talk about how Arminians go to Bible study and say "What this verse means to me....". Horton had a great response. He would say "I drove the distance, I don't want to know what this verse means to you, I want to know what the verse means." In other words it is objective not subjective.

I agree that justification and predestination both in the Text only apply to believers. As "return" is JAVA code and can not be used a variable, the Bible defines its words very stricktly and they cannot be fudged. Somewhere along the way I came to the conclusion that the Bible does not have ADD. That is many theologians interpret Scripture as if the Text itself was scatterbrained. The Reformation groups verses in similar groups from all over the Bible. but to pick up the Bible and read it it is confusing because it is not a text book. For example we neve quite see Peter or Paul on a "soap box" per se. The Refomation is always on a soap box of theology. At Mars Hill Paul does not give a disertation as you might find in a Protestant of Luteran sermon. The books of the Bible are letter not lessons. They are testimonies not texts. They are personal not intelectual.

However, you are correct that they are very strict. "perdestination" and "justification" are only positive and never negative. But the Bible uses other word to epress that there are those who are not "predestined" or "justified". There are those who are in the Lambs book of life and those who are not. Those who are not in it are not predestined or justified.

In Christ Jesus,

LPC said...


My parents never suggested that. They would have been very happy had I become a Lawyer or a Doctor or an Engineer like my dad.

Unfortunately I was philosophical and I did Maths. The only reason I went to IT is because there is more work opportunity there. No one would pay you to do abstract things but now that I am back, I am realizing what I knew before.


Pastor Aaron said...

Interesting-- in looking at this post in light of your recent post on the Law... I will be preaching a series of sermons up to Advent about some key words in the Bible. Looking esp to define them biblically, as they are words that I think to which we have imported our own meanings and distorted their biblical sense.

I won't say its ean exhaustive list, and even now I think of more to add...

Sin, salvation, repentance, forgiveness, grace, faith, hope, love...

Maybe not reserved words, but they have a meaning the Bible intended. As a pastor shepherding all kinds of people, I think we think we know what they mean...

LPC said...

Pr. Aaron,

Thanks for looking around.

Christianity has its concepts and learning them cannot be avoided IMHO, there are no short cuts.

It is good you will be preaching on those topics, that way you and people will be on the same page.

Without them, you would wonder if there is anything learned.

God bless,