Four Uncompromisable Absolutes
- By Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
- Published 03/31/2008
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar
Dr. Ernie Prabhakar has “been becoming” a Christian for all his life. Though born in Chicago, his family traces their Christian heritage back nine generations to the beginnings of evangelical Christianity in India. He was deeply involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship throughout his eleven years in higher education: 4 years at MIT for an S.B. in Physics, and 7 years at Caltech for a Ph.D. in Experimental Particle Physics. During that time he ran numerous Bible studies, discipled over a dozen students, attended Urbana five times, and translated the gospel into calculus!
Upon graduation in 1995, he decided that he ultimately preferred people to particles, leading him to spend two years doing business analysis at the Boston Consulting Group in Los Angeles. While attracted by the data-rich world of business, he ultimately became disillusioned by consulting’s overriding focus on pecuniary advantage (“To a scientist, money is like toilet paper: it is bad if you don’t have it, but you don’t want to spend all your time thinking about it!”).
By the grace of God, everything came together for him when Apple acquired NeXT in 1997. Initially hired as a summer contractor because of his UNIX background, he rose to senior Rhapsody Product Manager within six months (because the rest of the department was laid off :-). He was instrumental in the launch of Mac OS X Server 1.0, as well as of Darwin, the open source core of Mac OS X.
Today, he is the UNIX specialist on the Mac OS X Product Marketing team, focused on Open Source, Web 2.0, Grid Computing, and other “geeky” technologies in line with his scientific background. He is also one of the key leaders of the Apple Christian Fellowship, which sponsors speakers, socials, and other events to help believers at Apple bring their “whole person” into the marketplace.
He and his wife Sandhya reside in Santa Clara, California where they attend Kingsway Community Church. He can be found online via LinkedIn or Facebook. He maintains numerous blogs and websites (technical, political, philosophical, personal) including this one, where he is attempting to blog through the Bible.
The Four “Self” Principles
Yet another take on the essentials of the Christian Faith, inspired by Dr. Charlie Self:
Four Uncompromisable Absolutes
1. The Lordship of Jesus
2. The Worship of the Trinity
3. The Proclamation of the Gospel
4. The Authority of Scripture
Last Friday, I had the privilege of lunching with Dr. Self in preparation for him speaking at Apple Christian Fellowship on October 26th, as part of an interfaith event. We had an awesome time of fellowship, especially due to his background in philosophy and focus on Transformation.
The topic of the emerging church came up, and he shared his list of four things he uses to test any claims of Christianity. My list differs slightly from his, in that he included syncretism (as a negative), which is a word I don’t entirely understand. Thus, while I think my list is compatible with his — and owes a great debt to him — he would probably formulate things differently (and, in practice, draw the line in a slightly different place).
That said, I couldn’t resist using his name for a pun on the old “post-missiological” three-self principles, even though they’ve been sadly abused in socialist China. The deeper point, though, is that the old focus on the “structure” of a movement was clearly misplaced, and we as believers need to be careful to focus primarily on those elements that truly transcend (and even judge!) culture.