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A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:31 pm
by FredS
I was reading the I Just Like The Sound Of It thread a few minutes ago I realized just how silly it is. And how some may think that thread in particular and CPS in general have no place in Christian life. Which lead to the larger consideration of the importance of play. I have no doubt that dozens of Christians have signed up for CPS only to quickly leave because of so much frivolity here. In the mind of many, the Christian life must be solemn and well ordered. H. L. Mencken once quipped that “puritans,” (serious-minded Christians) are “people who have a deep, foreboding fear that somebody, somewhere, might be having a good time.

My church and our small group are very intentional in making time for play and feasts and festivals. Escape rooms, bowling, or concerts in the park form tight bonds. Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught his Christian community that it's important to pray for and play with one another. It's difficult to hate a man that you pray for and play with. Here's a wonderful article on A Serious Theology of Play by David Naugle. It's only about a 10 minute read and it's very interesting.
Naugle wrote:Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once observed that Christians “have no joy.” He also said, should he ever come to believe in God, he would only believe in a “God who danced” (40). Sadly, he was never able to locate such a God. . .

Play, defined quite broadly as any legitimate and moral activity engaged in for enjoyment or recreation (including sports), is an essential part of our divinely created humanity as the image of God and is therefore an intrinsic good. . .

The[se] unenthusiastic references to play . . . represent what is undoubtedly a considerable portion of the story about play that has been told to countless numbers of Christian believers throughout the ages. It often seems like Christianity has no place for play or for the joyous celebration of life. It’s no wonder, then, that play seems out of bounds for many believers.

The universal and transcultural fact is that children are natural born players. This well-attested observation is sufficient in and of itself to establish the idea that play is an indelible characteristic of human . . .

The riotous and uproarious play of animals also teaches us something about the authenticity of play as a vital part of natural life . . . Surely the animals tell us something about the playfulness of the God who made them . . . and about ourselves as made in His image.
Whataya think?

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:39 pm
by FredS
For instance. . .
As much as he may sometimes deserve it, I find it impossible to hate Del. I've hung out with the real-life Del. We ate and drank together. We've shared tobacco and car rides. Our spouses have met. We've prayed together and played together..

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:35 pm
by ReverendThom
I don't have more time right now, but I think, yes! I always wonder what kind of games Jesus and the crew played, out jokes they told.

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Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:41 pm
by Onyx
FredS wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:39 pm
For instance. . .
As much as he may sometimes deserve it, I find it impossible to hate Del. I've hung out with the real-life Del. We ate and drank together. We've shared tobacco and car rides. Our spouses have met. We've prayed together and played together..
Image

You are so right about life generally. It's so good to meet, share, work and enjoy the good times with different sorts. Muslims, atheists, gays, even Chestertonians.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:43 pm
by Thoth
" A hunter in the desert saw Father Anthony enjoying himself with the brothers and he was shocked. Wanting to show him that it was necessary sometimes to meet the needs of the brothers, the elder said to him, “Put an arrow in your bow and shoot it.” So he did. The elder then said, “Shoot another,” and he did so. Then the elder said, “Shoot yet again,” and the hunter replied, “If I bend my bow so much I will break it.” Then the elder said to him, “It is the same with the work of God. If we stretch the brothers beyond measure they will soon break. Sometimes it is necessary to come down to meet their needs.” When he heard these words the hunter was pierced by remorse and, greatly edified by the elder, he went away. As for the brothers, they went home strengthened." - from the sayings of St. Antony the Great

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:44 pm
by sweetandsour
I've never seen any reason that Del or anyone else here would deserve to be hated. That's my juke for the day, or maybe for the month.
Re the theology of play, there's surely got to be a proverb or Ecclesiastes somewhere that basically says there's a time for play.

(Joe Bray may have pushed it a little, though.).

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:20 pm
by Onyx
sweetandsour wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:44 pm
I've never seen any reason that Del or anyone else here would deserve to be hated. That's my juke for the day, or maybe for the month.
Re the theology of play, there's surely got to be a proverb or Ecclesiastes somewhere that basically says there's a time for play.

(Joe Bray may have pushed it a little, though.).
Del does not deserve to be hated, I don't think anyone does (although it's possible there are exceptions... but not for CPS level shenanigans). Del deserves to be loved. (Unless you have a certain type of theology, which says everyone deserves damnation but for the mercy of God and all that... But I don't hold with that stuff.)

That's my juke for the day!

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:06 pm
by sweetandsour
Onyx wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:20 pm
sweetandsour wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:44 pm
I've never seen any reason that Del or anyone else here would deserve to be hated. That's my juke for the day, or maybe for the month.
Re the theology of play, there's surely got to be a proverb or Ecclesiastes somewhere that basically says there's a time for play.

(Joe Bray may have pushed it a little, though.).
Del does not deserve to be hated, I don't think anyone does (although it's possible there are exceptions... but not for CPS level shenanigans). Del deserves to be loved. (Unless you have a certain type of theology, which says everyone deserves damnation but for the mercy of God and all that... But I don't hold with that stuff.)

That's my juke for the day!
Yep. So, basically your juke is seconding my juke.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:11 pm
by Thunktank
Is picking on Del and telling jukes a divine waste of time?

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:33 pm
by infidel
"There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval." -George Santayana

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:42 pm
by Onyx
Thunktank wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:11 pm
Is picking on Del and telling jukes a divine waste of time?
It's the meaning of life.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:45 pm
by Onyx
infidel wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:33 pm
"There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval." -George Santayana
"We want to hear the Mexican play the guitar." - Carlos Santana

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:57 pm
by Del
Onyx wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:41 pm
FredS wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:39 pm
For instance. . .
As much as he may sometimes deserve it, I find it impossible to hate Del. I've hung out with the real-life Del. We ate and drank together. We've shared tobacco and car rides. Our spouses have met. We've prayed together and played together..
Image

You are so right about life generally. It's so good to meet, share, work and enjoy the good times with different sorts. Muslims, atheists, gays, even Chestertonians.
Those Chestertonians are such a dour lot, right?

Which reminds me of something.... Chesterton never claimed to be a theologian, and few people think of him as such. He was a humorist, journalist, philosopher, novelist, essayist, writer of mystery detective stories, cartoonist, economist, Christian apologist, historian, biographer, lecturer, debater, and all-around absent-minded fellow.... but not a theologian.

But at a recent Chesterton conference, a real-life academic theologian gave a talk on the topic of Chesterton as a theologian. And it seems that Chesterton made a significant contribution with his unique insight into God's "mirth." God's sense of play, His child-like delight with His creation. It is found in the final paragraphs of Orthodoxy.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:20 pm
by Onyx
Del wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:57 pm
Onyx wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:41 pm
FredS wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:39 pm
For instance. . .
As much as he may sometimes deserve it, I find it impossible to hate Del. I've hung out with the real-life Del. We ate and drank together. We've shared tobacco and car rides. Our spouses have met. We've prayed together and played together..
Image

You are so right about life generally. It's so good to meet, share, work and enjoy the good times with different sorts. Muslims, atheists, gays, even Chestertonians.
Those Chestertonians are such a dour lot, right?

Which reminds me of something.... Chesterton never claimed to be a theologian, and few people think of him as such. He was a humorist, journalist, philosopher, novelist, essayist, writer of mystery detective stories, cartoonist, economist, Christian apologist, historian, biographer, lecturer, debater, and all-around absent-minded fellow.... but not a theologian.

But at a recent Chesterton conference, a real-life academic theologian gave a talk on the topic of Chesterton as a theologian. And it seems that Chesterton made a significant contribution with his unique insight into God's "mirth." God's sense of play, His child-like delight with His creation. It is found in the final paragraphs of Orthodoxy.
I'll see if I can scrape a layer of dust of that little volume and check those final pages.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:58 pm
by Thoth
I thought anything related to mirth or laughter was burned down in the library by the creepy blind monk before Sean Connery could get his hands on it.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:24 pm
by DepartedLight
FredS wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:31 pm
I was reading the I Just Like The Sound Of It thread a few minutes ago I realized just how silly it is. And how some may think that thread in particular and CPS in general have no place in Christian life. Which lead to the larger consideration of the importance of play. I have no doubt that dozens of Christians have signed up for CPS only to quickly leave because of so much frivolity here. In the mind of many, the Christian life must be solemn and well ordered. H. L. Mencken once quipped that “puritans,” (serious-minded Christians) are “people who have a deep, foreboding fear that somebody, somewhere, might be having a good time.

My church and our small group are very intentional in making time for play and feasts and festivals. Escape rooms, bowling, or concerts in the park form tight bonds. Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught his Christian community that it's important to pray for and play with one another. It's difficult to hate a man that you pray for and play with. Here's a wonderful article on A Serious Theology of Play by David Naugle. It's only about a 10 minute read and it's very interesting.
Naugle wrote:Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once observed that Christians “have no joy.” He also said, should he ever come to believe in God, he would only believe in a “God who danced” (40). Sadly, he was never able to locate such a God. . .

Play, defined quite broadly as any legitimate and moral activity engaged in for enjoyment or recreation (including sports), is an essential part of our divinely created humanity as the image of God and is therefore an intrinsic good. . .

The[se] unenthusiastic references to play . . . represent what is undoubtedly a considerable portion of the story about play that has been told to countless numbers of Christian believers throughout the ages. It often seems like Christianity has no place for play or for the joyous celebration of life. It’s no wonder, then, that play seems out of bounds for many believers.

The universal and transcultural fact is that children are natural born players. This well-attested observation is sufficient in and of itself to establish the idea that play is an indelible characteristic of human . . .

The riotous and uproarious play of animals also teaches us something about the authenticity of play as a vital part of natural life . . . Surely the animals tell us something about the playfulness of the God who made them . . . and about ourselves as made in His image.
Whataya think?
Jesus loves the Pittsburg Penguins.

That's all I have to say about that.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:56 am
by Joshoowah
Jesus partied. Why can't we?

In all seriousness, I think play is beneficial to a great degree in the Christian life, as I consider it a blessing to have the time to be able sit back and have a laugh or five.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:22 am
by FredS
The 2014-15 version of the KC Royals had a special "chemistry". Apart from playing baseball (which is as much a job as it is play) they played in the clubhouse, on the team plane, and on the golf coarse. They also mourned together the deaths of a few of the players parents. Anyone could see there was something special there, but many dismissed the whole notion of 'team chemistry'. It helped them get to back-to-back World Series'.

So - apart from the rejuvenating benefits of solo play - corporate play has a role in bonding and binding a group. Especially men it seems. A fond childhood memory is of my dad and brother and I roughhousing (wrestling) on the living room floor. Even better was that my mom would scold us so it felt like we were doing something forbidden or dangerous together.

The *juking, jibing, and joking around here helps build up the group, and makes the C in CPS stronger.

*This is quite apart, though, from mean-spirited comments and arguments that get going around here sometimes. By me as much as anyone.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:53 am
by TNLawPiper
DepartedLight wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:24 pm
FredS wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:31 pm
I was reading the I Just Like The Sound Of It thread a few minutes ago I realized just how silly it is. And how some may think that thread in particular and CPS in general have no place in Christian life. Which lead to the larger consideration of the importance of play. I have no doubt that dozens of Christians have signed up for CPS only to quickly leave because of so much frivolity here. In the mind of many, the Christian life must be solemn and well ordered. H. L. Mencken once quipped that “puritans,” (serious-minded Christians) are “people who have a deep, foreboding fear that somebody, somewhere, might be having a good time.

My church and our small group are very intentional in making time for play and feasts and festivals. Escape rooms, bowling, or concerts in the park form tight bonds. Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught his Christian community that it's important to pray for and play with one another. It's difficult to hate a man that you pray for and play with. Here's a wonderful article on A Serious Theology of Play by David Naugle. It's only about a 10 minute read and it's very interesting.
Naugle wrote:Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once observed that Christians “have no joy.” He also said, should he ever come to believe in God, he would only believe in a “God who danced” (40). Sadly, he was never able to locate such a God. . .

Play, defined quite broadly as any legitimate and moral activity engaged in for enjoyment or recreation (including sports), is an essential part of our divinely created humanity as the image of God and is therefore an intrinsic good. . .

The[se] unenthusiastic references to play . . . represent what is undoubtedly a considerable portion of the story about play that has been told to countless numbers of Christian believers throughout the ages. It often seems like Christianity has no place for play or for the joyous celebration of life. It’s no wonder, then, that play seems out of bounds for many believers.

The universal and transcultural fact is that children are natural born players. This well-attested observation is sufficient in and of itself to establish the idea that play is an indelible characteristic of human . . .

The riotous and uproarious play of animals also teaches us something about the authenticity of play as a vital part of natural life . . . Surely the animals tell us something about the playfulness of the God who made them . . . and about ourselves as made in His image.
Whataya think?
Jesus loves the Pittsburg Penguins.

That's all I have to say about that.
Do you want sects? Because this is how you get sects.

Re: A Divine Waste of Time - Theology of Play

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:02 am
by hugodrax
I live in Pittsburgh.