Friday, 11 February 2011

Games and the Acts of the Apostles

One of the standard textbooks in operational research a generation ago was "Fights, Games and Debates" by Anatol Rapoport. Rapoport distinguished between Fights, where you want to overpower your opponent, Games, where you want to outwit your opponent, and Debates, where you want to convince your opponent. Last week our home group Bible study was looking at chapter 25 and I commented that the story there illustrated those three situations.

The fight: in 25v7, When Paul came in, the men who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him, but they could not prove them.

The game: in 25v3, They requested Festus, as a favour to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.

The debate: in 25v8, Then Paul made his defence: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.”

As is clear from the whole chapter, the various parties present were not working to the same agenda, and hence they never communicated with one another.

No comments: