Analogies between Cloud computing, baptismal regeneration, and all of salvation history

Analogies between Cloud computing, baptismal regeneration, and all of salvation history,


What happens when two geeky clerics start bouncing ideas off each other

A colleague shared an analogy that he once used in an Easter sermon to explain, to those not used to thinking in Platonic terms, Paul’s concepts of Christ the new Adam, and how we are raised by participating in his resurrection. The analogy was based on an understanding of machine tooling and auto-frame repairs.

I thought that was rather retro technology.

After too little sleep and too much caffeine, I was writing an adult ed session on the Triduum by simultaneously using 3 different Apple devices all synced via Evernote, and a Kindle. This suggested an analogy with more up-to-date technology:

“We all participate in Christ as if we are logged into the [Internet] Cloud.

Baptismal Regeneration is like hitting “sync” and having the corrected master document downloaded onto our individual machines, overwriting the one w/ errors. But w/o erasing all the previous versions which are still there in the archives.”

Then I had yet more caffeine and came up with the following:

Salvation history as recapitulated in the history of computers

First there were the large early mainframe computers, with all knowledge and computing relationships contained within them. (First 5 days of creation)

Then the engineers said, “Let there be dumb terminals connected to the mainframe,” and there began to be relationships and communication between the source computers and subordinate creations, who did exactly as the main computer wanted. (creation of humankind)

Then there were personal/desktop computers, which could be and were totally independent of any other computer. They were self-sufficient, with their programs running from internal disks and drives. They could not communicate with any other computer. (The Fall and the Tower of Babel onwards)

Then the internet was introduced into popular computing (yes, it actually predates PCs, but not in popular take-up). The self-sufficient personal computers were now back in relationship with each other, but in a very sporadic way. Their programming/software was still mainly on local disks, but with some limited interactions with servers and peer-to-peer networks. But few people had their own server computers, or sufficient bandwidth for significant peer-to-peer sharing, so there was still much autonomy and hierarchy. (Maybe Ezekiel and post-Exilic period? I’m not sure!)

Then the Cloud grew, and independent computers which were still capable of independent functioning also became connected and in relationship with one another. Now their software and core functions are increasingly located in the Cloud, and almost all computers have access to the Cloud—this power is not just restricted to those who can build their own server and host systems. New software and corrected/edited data and documents can be downloaded and synced from the Cloud. (Incarnation, Resurrection, and Pentecost and following)

Okay, it’s very rough and imperfect, but kind of amusing!

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