Sunday, November 24, 2013

Christology, Document Stability And The Church

Fr. Dale Matson

I have self published several books. Briefly this consists of writing the book and creating the book interior style. It means creating a cover for the book in Photoshop. Being a self-publisher also means exporting the interior and cover files in a format that can be uploaded to a publishing website.

I write and edit my documents in Microsoft Word and then import them into Adobe ‘InDesign’. InDesign is a powerful software program that combines word processing and graphics. I am “self taught”. I unfortunately know and use very few of InDesign’s features. One important consideration is the stability of the document. Will the document retain the formatting, fonts, and graphic placement when exported to another program/format? The stability of the document is based on what are called “presets”. This is similar to laying a good foundation on which to build a house. The fact is that there is no “work-around” and no retrofit when problems arise. I have started over too many times because I failed to learn the rules.

Presets allow for style consistency and format stability. For example there should be as few paragraph returns as possible in a document. They should not be used to create extra white space in which a graphic is inserted. Tabbing at the beginning of a new paragraph should be an entire document preset. If it is not, the paragraph tabs may occasionally disappear when the document is exported.

What is most maddening is graphics that move to other locations in the document. Sometimes the graphics disappear entirely or drift on top of text. This is dealt with by using a preset for text flow that allows for text changes that won’t affect the graphic. In short, there are rules that must be followed in constructing a document that will allow it to keep the formatting stable even when exported to other programs.

A Word document can be exported to a portable document format (PDF) and keep the formatting because it has essentially become a kind of photograph in PDF. All of the work-arounds are hidden. Don’t try converting that same document to a mobi file. The proof in document stability is when the original document is exported to a mobi file (Mobipocket eBook file) and retains the formatting. Without the proper presets the document interior characteristics become corrupted and and its stability is ruined.

I have been discussing rules, presets, instability, loss of formatting and my frustrations. The simple fact is that without proper instruction, my experience has been trial and error. Many of my work arounds have been counterproductive in the long run.

So Dale, where are you going with all of this publication jargon? What does this have to do with Christology? Christ is not only the Word but also the “preset”. We have the basic rules (doctrine) to follow as Christians. We are given the mind of Christ. It is through his still small voice that we honor those rules and guide our decisions and lives.

The Christian and the church need to learn the program. Christianity is powerful and robust. There is only one version. It is Christ “1.0”. Changing the Christology does not make the program more robust. He is God. He is the only way to God. He is also a human. He died on the cross to save us from sin and eternal damnation. He rose again and ascended into Heaven.

In a church, when this Christology is removed, the truth moves around like graphics in a poorly formatted document. The document (message) loses its coherence. The message is no longer exportable. Evangelism suffers. All of the work-arounds (other gospels) make up a patchwork of patches that conflict with and contradict one another.Without Christ there is no message and no message to be communicated. Christ is our Savior, Lord and only Preset.   

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

I don't believe I have ever heard an effective evangelist of a moving truth, but I have heard plenty of ineffectual believers in a moving truth speak about the need for evangelism of it.