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Parables for Modern Academia

New Revised Academic Version (NRAV)

By Deborah and Loren Haarsma

If Jesus taught on the campus today, what might His parables say?

When you are writing a paper about exciting new data, do not overstate the impact of your result. Someone else may come along later with better data and prove you wrong, and then you will be humiliated and your colleagues will not respect your work. But when you have an exciting new result, be modest about its implications. Then when the review paper comes out, it will say, "This is an important piece of work," and you will be honored in the presence of all your colleagues. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
(See: Luke Chapter 14, verses 7-11)

No one runs untested code on a network server, for the code may crash and take down the server. Likewise, no one puts old format data files into new databases. The new database will be corrupted, and the data will be lost. No, you put new-format data into new databases.
(See: Matthew Chapter 9, verses 14-17)

The kingdom of heaven is like an original manuscript in a used book store. When a historian found it, she sold all her other books to buy the manuscript. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a scientist looking for new projects. When he found one theory of great promise, he joyfully gave up all his other projects to focus on it.
(See: Matthew Chapter 13, verses 44-46)

Suppose one of you wants to start a research project. Will he not first sit down and estimate if his grant is large enough to cover the cost of equipment, salaries, and overhead? For if his grant runs out halfway through, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, "This fellow began a project and was not able to finish." In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be Jesus' disciple.
(See: Luke Chapter 14, verses 28-29, 33)

Therefore, whoever hears these teachings and puts them into practice is like a wise scholar who built his theory upon data. The criticisms came down, the controversies rose, and the counter-arguments blew and beat against the theory, but it did not fall apart, because it had its foundation in data. But whoever hears these teachings and does not put them into practice is like a foolish scholar who built his theory upon conjecture. The criticisms came down, the controversies rose, and the counter-arguments blew and beat against the theory, and it failed spectacularly.
(See: Matthew, Chapter 7, verses 24-27)

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