An Android Analogy for God’s Sovereignty: Xposed Causality

If you are a pretty serious Android user, you’ve probably heard of the Xposed Framework. It is wonderful magic that lets you basically do anything to your phone/tablet without installing a new version of Android or modifying system apps.

Recently, when deliberating on God’s sovereignty, it struck me that the way Xposed works could actually make a decent analogy. Since, as I mentioned in my last EC post, I don’t still accept the Calvinist/Westminster view of God’s sovereignty as His determining every single future event and choice, this came in handy. I finally found an alternative way to conceive of God’s providential rule over the happenings of the world.

If you don’t know how Xposed works, it creates “hooks” into every Android app. This allows you to access any code used by any app and mess with it. You can replace, modify, contradict, or simply observe the normal programming for your own purposes.

To give an example, imagine I have a Facebook app with a block of code called loadProfilePicture. What it does should be obvious: it loads someone’s profile picture. Now, with Xposed, you can hook right into this function and do whatever you want with it whenever the app tries to use it. You could simply copy the loaded picture for your own use, replace it with another one, edit it, or stop it from loading at all. You can work in, with, through, or against the normal operations of the Facebook app to do what you want to do. In real life examples, the GravityBox app pretty well allows you to customize any behavior of your phone, from wallpaper management to button redirection to navigation bar appearance and more.

How this can relate to God should be pretty straightforward. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. The natural order is upheld and exists entirely by His creative power and will. So everything is laid bare at His disposal, giving Him “backdoor” access into all the operations of the world. He has by virtue of His role as the ground of all being the ability to break into anything that happens and every choice people make, and do whatever He wishes. He doesn’t even need to override anyone’s will or defy the laws of physics, though He could. He has just as much ability to work in, through, and with what is already coming to pass. In this way He can direct everything toward the end He intends.

Of course, the end to which God is working in all things is revealed to us in Scripture. He works all things together for our good, He sums up all things in Christ, and He reconciles all things to Himself through Jesus’ atoning death. Ultimately, God is love, and He wishes to bring all people to Himself, to usher them all into the Trinitarian fellowship of His own eternal life. So we can rest assured that He can and does work in all things for that end. How else would He be God?

An Android Analogy for God’s Sovereignty: Xposed Causality

Zelda and the Outdoors

I stepped outside the other day to go to my car and stopped as I saw the brightness of the world. It occurred to me that “to go” was really the only reason I head outside, at least most of the time. This seemed, and seems today, a bit of a shame. This is what a lot of us do. We use outside as nothing more than a way to get from Building A to Building B, with most of even that trip actually spent inside a car. 

The situation here is quite a shame. Outside is filled with wonders and beauty. Flora and fauna grace hills, fields, mountains, lakes, valleys, and forests. There is fresh air and bright sunlight, all sorts of magnificent things. Outside we can those magical little creeks and pleasant wooded hideouts. Truly, the outdoors make a gift of God to humanity.

This reminds me very much of certain games in The Legend of Zelda franchise, such as The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword in particular. These games have massive overworlds, huge spaces that are used for little but connected the more important areas of the plot. They are also beautifully designed, yet so neglected. It is all to easy to play though these games spending much time passing through the main overworld only to miss all of its riches by treating it like a train. Despite this, there are endless wonders to be found in a Zelda overworld. Hidden places with treasures and quests abound. You never know what you’ll find if you take your time to explore the overworld instead of passing it right on by. Lots of money, health, potions, and other goodies are just waiting for you to stumble upon them and be benefited. So the wise player spends some quality time in the main overworld.

Likewise, the wise man spends some quality time outdoors. He explores the beauties, and he learns that there is always something new to find and be delighted by.

Zelda and the Outdoors

You Might Be a Whovian If…

  • Every time you see a porta-potty, you think of the TARDIS.
  • Every time you hear “Don’t blink,” you think of Weeping Angels.
  • You think the opposite of YOLO is Rory Williams.
  • You’ve said “wibbley wobbley” since you were 8.
  • You’ve ever said “timey wimey.”
  • Hearing the word “regenerate” makes you both excited and depressed.
  • You think bow-ties are cool, but didn’t think so prior to 2005.
  • You are under 50 and would wear a fez in public.
  • The word “silence” always makes you think “..will fall” or “in the Library.”
  • You see in this picture a Dalek instead of a shower.
  • You traveled more than 60 miles to a movie theater in November 2013.
  • Stone angels freak you out.
  • The sentence “I’m married to my best friend’s daughter who I met when she died before I ever met my best friend, who I met before my wife was born” actually makes sense to you.
  • Using a screwdriver for medical scanning doesn’t phase you.
  • You would run from anyone offering to take you to Utopia.
  • You think James Bond is a Time Lord.

So if one of these things applies to you, you might be a Whovian. If two apply, you’re probably a Whovian. If any more than that apply, I believe you’re one of us.

You Might Be a Whovian If…