What’s going on in January? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
For all interested, I will be speaking at Defend 2023 this year. Those interested in signing up for the event can find out how to here. We have a number of well-known speakers coming like Gary Habermas, Tim McGrew, Frank Turek, Paul Copan, Craig Hazen, Sam Allberry, Mike Strauss, and many others. I will be speaking at a breakout session at 2 PM on Thursday.
When Bob Stewart asked me if I spoke what I would speak on, he wanted me to send him a list of three topics I could do. I thought that everyone and their mother already speaks on a lot of the big topics. Honestly, if someone had to choose between hearing me on the resurrection or Gary Habermas, where will they go? I’d probably go hear Habermas instead even.
So what could I speak on that others aren’t speaking on but I think could be relevant to the people there? I had three topics. I had considered speaking on Autism and Christianity. I also was willing to speak on divorce and Christianity. My main interest though had a lot to do with what I had been reading a bit about and that was video games and Christianity.
That’s the topic then that I was asked to speak on. I had recently heard on Audible a book about the history of Nintendo and Super Mario in particular. I also had listened to The Gaming Mind and had read Grand Theft Childhood about how there is no real link between video games and violence. I am also reading Matthew Millsap’s dissertation on video games and theology. I found this kind of reading fascinating. I also noticed that there was a hysteria often whenever a new medium came out. I wanted to know how to better avoid that.
It wasn’t long after I shared the news on Facebook that people were immediately wanting to engage with me and discuss this. I find this exciting not just on an intellectual level, but on a personal level. Why have I gravitated towards games all my life and why is it that that played a role I think in my getting into Christian apologetics? A resonating quote with me after all is Peter Kreeft’s of “Apologetics is the closest you come to saving the world.”
When it came time to move to New Orleans, my DivorceCare leader and his wife came over to talk to my parents about their concerns and my leader said it well. “He has been playing games all his life and now he wants to go out and live those games. He really wants to be out there in the battle.” I have told people that in recovering from divorce, my slogan has been to play to win. I don’t want to spend my one life in defeat and a victim because of how she treated me.
Too often, those of us who are gamers are often dismissed. I did recently skim through the Gaming Alone post on The Gospel Coalition. I did notice the story about a seminary professor who wanted to start a gaming club when told that every domain in the world is meant to belong to God and when the call came out, he saw several students he didn’t know were there and he thought he knew everyone. He wondered if it was because these students tend to isolate themselves with games.
To an extent, we do, but I also wonder if it could be gaming is more friendly to introverts. When I go to a party, I am often miserable. I go to every event I can on campus because a friend told me if I want to meet women and get a wife, that is the thing to do. However, I am often bored intensely at them as it is difficult to talk to people and initiate conversation. Now get me to my D&D group that plays here on the campus and I have no problem with interaction with them. Most of my great friendships I have had in life have started with games.
I might blog more on this topic after Christmas, or I might wait until after the conference. I hope you will come and if you do, even if you don’t come to my session, if we know each other through a medium like Facebook, I would be thrilled to get to meet you. There’s always something exciting with putting a face to the name.
Please come to Defend 2023 this year and let me know if you signed up!
(And I affirm the virgin birth)