Having completed the last of the epistles, the Chaplain’s Bible Study will be beginning a study of the Revelation, or Apocalypse, of John—the last and most controversial book in the New Testament. The preliminaries post will go out sometime on Sunday, May 7th, 2017, and thereafter the study will progress at the rate of one thoroughly-examined verse per day, five days per week. You can join the study by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Yahoo!Groups interface as cgg_review.
Mark Joseph Young, “MJ” to much of the gamer community, has been Chaplain of the Christian Gamers Guild for nearing two decades, and has been teaching this Bible Study since beginning with Romans in 2006. He hold degrees in Biblical Studies from Luther College of the Bible and Liberal Arts (formerly in Teaneck, NJ) and Gordon College (Wenham, MA), received a Juris Doctore with honors from Widener University School of Law, and is Mensa qualified. He is the author of our Faith and Gaming series, and of quite a few books and many online articles on quite a variety of subjects. Some of his articles have been republished in French and German. His online presence is maintained largely by support through Patreon and PayPal.me.
The study, officially sponsored by the Christian Gamers Guild, is open to all, has participants including ministers from a wide variety of denominations, and is focused on an analytical and exegetical study of the text. We look forward to your participation.
In recent months we have drifted away from the central purpose of this series—that of examining how our faith and our gaming hobby may be integrated—into responding to the criticisms of other Christians. This is in some ways a necessary part of what we are doing. If well-intentioned Christians think that our hobby is wrong, we need to examine what they say and what we do very closely. But to some degree, the critics have derailed us, pulling us away from the basics of our discussion. It’s time to get back on track. To do this, we’re going to travel back to the fundamentals, where we began.
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
—James 3:18, UNASB Read more
As children of God, we are charged to walk in the Light.
[I John 1:5] This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;  but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. (UNASB)
Critics of role playing games would argue from this that those who spend their time in fantasy worlds filled with sorcerous magic, powerful demons, evil kingdoms, soul-stealing vampires, and foreign gods are walking in darkness, not in the light. Some would go beyond that and claim that being involved in godless science fiction worlds is equally wicked. They say (although, as we have seen in previous articles in this series, without much foundation) that to play such games is sin. Read more
As I pondered where to begin our discussion of faith and gaming, I wanted to address the most fundamental aspect of our games; but I then had to debate with myself exactly what part of a role playing game is that most fundamental aspect. I decided immediately that it wasn’t the worlds in which we played; as basic as these are to the make-believe play of our youth, these are rather a layer on top of the basics. Characters, similarly, are part of the game, but an added part. Did that mean that mechanics were the fundamental aspect? After all, all games have mechanics; role playing games are most defined as games because of mechanics. And so I was preparing to write a page about Christianity and game mechanics.
And then it occurred to me that I was looking in the wrong place. Read more