Once upon a time, a group of good Christians were playing Cards Against Humanity when someone’s “horrible” card pairing was vaguely biblical and deeply spiritual. One of them said, “imagine if this entire game was based completely on passages from the Bible?” A Game for Good Christians was born.
While game play is similar to Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, all of the content comes directly from the Bible, with the relevant Scripture passage displayed underneath. So “When good Christians don't understand something in the Old Testament, they simply add Jesus and _____.” might be paired with “David carrying a warm sack of 200 foreskins (1 Sam 18:26-28),” “A pair of she bears mauling a group of kindergarteners (2 Kings 2:23-25),” “Midgets in trees (Luke 19:1-10),” or “Making stupid life choices and blaming them on Php 4:13 (Php 4:13)”
But the laughing-until-tears nature of the game is only one part of the experience: heated discussions about the Bible is another. This is a responsibility we don’t take lightly, so we produce “Card Talks” about each of the cards, all of which end with the titular phrase.
Our Card Talks propose an idea, a perspective on a Biblical text, a reason why one of our cards is so “OMG THEY CAN’T SAY THAT!” We attempt to present something profound, comical, sobering, or a painful combination thereof. We say, “here are our thoughts based on intense study of the Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic text, countless commentaries, preaching, teaching, counseling, pastoring, living life, wrestling with God, screaming at God, screaming at self, prayer, and being grade-A smart-asses made in the image of God. We may be wrong, but do with them what you will.”
There is nothing haphazard about our cards: each is made to point someone back to the Bible, and if someone doesn’t like what we say, we ask them to prove us wrong using the Bible. We have little tolerance for the “my pastor /my mommy /my televangelist /my inspirational book writer says…” arguments. We believe a “good Christian” will spend less time getting offended by our cards, and more time picking up their dusty Bibles and wrestling alongside us. A “good Christian” doesn’t try to ignore the uncomfortable parts of the Bible. Our game simply makes it harder to do so.
So we don't mince words about the Bible's disturbing references to vaginas, or the prophets' penchant for using graphic sexual imagery including, but not limited to, gang rape. Or that Noah himself might have been raped by his son. We don't shy away from the genocide that dominates so much the Holy Book, especially when it seems to be ordered by God Himself. And we address head-on the terrible and terrifying image of babies with their brains smashed against rocks.
This is the Bible. All of it. Not only the pieces that sound good on Christmas or Easter. Not only the calming psalms or hope-restoring miracles in the Gospels. Not only the stories of triumph where good conquers evil without the shedding of blood.
Not even Jesus got a story like that.
As for the frequently asked questions: Yes, you might be offended playing this game. The Bible, like humanity, is messy because it contains the messy relationship between the divine and humanity: a relationship which is humorous and horrifying. Our game embraces this dissonance.
No, we are not smug, godless heathens, who hate your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, nor emissaries of the Antichrist, the Beast, and the Whore of Babylon. We are Christians, designers, teachers, preachers, parents, artists, seminary graduates, male and female, Jew and Gentile, and no respecters of persons.
No, you don’t need to know the Bible intimately to enjoy/play this game: at the bottom of each card we provide the relevant passage of Scripture for reference and fighting.
Finally, if your God will send you to hell for playing this game, your God sucks. Besides, of all the things you’ve done, do you really think this will be the straw that breaks The Camel’s back? And if we are going to Hell (which we profoundly doubt) then there is room in our sulfur-lined hand-basket. Climb inside.
But we digress.
You can continue to read the Bible the way you always have, or you can join us and embrace something new, something that might be a little uncomfortable at first. But isn't that nature of all new relationships: exploration that is some part joy, some part awkward pain, some part excitement?
Your old way of reading is cute, has nice clothes and hair, is generally well put together. Is polite and acceptable to your parents. But this new beau is rough around the edges and a little dangerous, in a stimulating, life-giving way.
So here it is. Your choice, it's simple: the old or the new. And I'm sure the old is really great. But Derek ...err, Reader, we love you. In a really, really big pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over our head outside your window, unfortunate way that makes us hate you, love you.
We'll be right here tonight, so if you do decide make that purchase, meet us here.