Thursday, September 15, 2011. Some people have a very systematic approach to things. They are looking for the grand solutions. Others like to act more on an ad-hoc basis, they solve problems when they arise and they do not solve problems, which have not yet caused any difficulties and possibly never will.
Systematic or Ad Hoc? …
The question of on what level you address a problem is very important when you try to bring a group of people together to do something. But there are not only two approaches, but even “systematic” can mean quite different things. As an example think about cleaning up at home. When I clean up, I first tend to quickly move everything to some temporary place and then try to sort things going down from top to bottom in terms of the order. I try to save time by ignoring the detailed work first and get the main lines set up.
My wife is quite different. She takes a piece and then resolves the story for it completely. That includes doing what ever is needed to put it into the right place - even if it means to start to sort a completely different area of our life, call friends or the school etc. It is also kind of systematic, but the system is not staying within the task for the original problem, more going into full life solutions. That does not help to quickly clean some area, but of course it solves many things on the way which otherwise might remain unsolved.
I had similar points in my science. When I wrote the PhD, I tried to find a notation which is systematic and can remain long-term. But my supervisor was much more focussed on the communication process with some basic notation. Looking back after years, I think that he was much more efficient. The big solution does not work in terms of scientific notation, since it changes slightly all the time and you really need to focus on the individual paper or book and try to communicate as clearly as possible.
God's Solutions …
God also had tasks and solutions are given to us by what happened with Jesus. God's task was to save mankind, to provide a salvation which communicates his justice, his truth and his love. I think he approached it quite systematically, meaning that he started to communicate already in early history of mankind with the forefathers of faith. And he started to prepare the story of Jesus already two thousand years before it happened.
But God is also quite focussed on communication and relationships. The way things happened were quite down to an individual treatment. Christianity is not the big system, which would put us all into a little place where we need to function. No! It is the loving father, who wants individual relationships. That is much more to ad-hoc type of activity than to the universal scheme. But it is universal in the sense that is is valid for every human on the planet!
I like to play with the different types of approaches - and the New Testament seems to leave space for both in the community of believers. That is very good and encouraging! (Roland Potthast) ... more texts