Open Source Gospel Project

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  • I am neither a trained theologian, nor a professional computer programmer. But this is altogether fitting, considering the subject of this book.
  • Talk about Martin Luther's proclamation of the "priesthood of all believers," contrasted with the the modern church: priests and ministers as "elite professionals" credentialed by seminaries, bible colleges, and ministry training programs.
  • Post-modernism and decline of institutional religion as hopeful antidotes to centralized authority in the church.
  • Return to ethos of early Christianity in house churches led by women, slaves, and other marginalized voices not in the power structures.

Free as in Freedom

  • Start with stories.
  • Brief History of Free Software & Open Source Movement
  • Comparison of Open Source "Freedom" with Gospel emphasis on Freedom, and also ties to Liberation Theology.

Free Software Methodists, Open Source Baptists & FLOSS Presbyterians

I remember the first time I read the wikipedia entry for "emerging church." It was well written, balanced and thoughtful, and I was excited about the passion and harmony reflected among the words. And then I clicked on the link to the discussion page. Contributors were squabbling over word choice, calling each other ugly names, threatening to erase each other's work, and generally making a huge deal about a 1,000 word encyclopedia article. And I thought, "Ahhh. Finally, here is the church I know. Things aren't so different in open-source culture. In fact, the name "open source" is probably one of the longest running disputes and dividing lines. Coined in 1998 by Christine Peterson, it was a deliberate break from the older term "Free Software."

Code as Architecture, New Law

  • Start with stories.
  • Wikipedia as example, metaphor of changing content w/o changing code.
  • What is the "Code" for Christians? Jesus? Scripture? Book of Order? All the above?
  • What happens when the code changes? / response to charges of moral relativism
  • Bring Lawrence Lessig into this chapter (Code, Free Culture)
  • Compare/Contrast with John Calvin's three functions of law

The Cathedral and the Bazaar

  • Start with stories
  • Discuss Eric Raymond's book and it's implications
  • Actual Cathedrals, actual bazaars and implications for a dying Christianity

Soft Security vs. Hard Security

  • Start with stories
  • Wikipedia, eyeballs vs. bugs ratio, and "Revert" button
    • Bugs as "sin" and role of community in undoing bugs
  • Jesus and gospel message vs. Amercian desire for "safety and security" in wake of 9/11

Benevolent Dictator For Life

  • Start with Stories
  • Explanation of BDFL in open source projects
  • Examples: Larry Wall, Linus Torvalds, Jimmy Wales, others (esp. females)?
  • Role of Pastors as community leaders/gurus vs. "CEO" or other authoritarian models
  • Survey of Jesus, Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth, etc. as BDFLs

Forking a Project (reform & reconciliation)

  • Start with Stories
  • Open Source methodology and taboos about forking (ESR's Cathedral & Bazaar)
  • Forks/Schisms in Christianity: Monasticism, East vs. West, Protestant Reformation
  • Reconciliation in Christianity: Ecumenical movements, Taize, ELCA ???

Viral Copyleft (great commision)

  • Start with Stories
  • GNU License, OS Definition, Creative Commons
  • Bring in Cory Doctorow as example in Sci-Fi world, also Radiohead
  • Kingdom of God: Giving it away vs. hoarding
  • Open Source Eschatology: Kingdom at hand among you
  • Still spreading, bring in Malcom Gladwell's "Tipping Point"