One could argue that 2020 Anno Domini was the worst peacetime year in half a millennium, and I might be inclined to believe them. Certainly not foremost, but most applicably, I had a few topics that I wanted to discuss. However, many of those were quickly overshadowed when real-world events prompted blog discussions (see “Imperative of Work” and “Fear of a Virus”). Yet more were tossed aside due to bouts of inspiration (“Christianity, the Non-Mystic” and “The Desert and the Well”). I could probably find enough prompts for another year of these, but I’d like to keep some of my sanity, and thinking about the current millennium is not helping. In the meantime, though, I thought I’d list out some of the prompts I wanted to address this year. These are not researched prompts, but, if there’s enough interest, I’ll embellish whenever I do another year of this with corrections or explanations.
Alternate history used to be one of my passions. One day I thought to myself about the implications of theorizing alternate history. Outside of a strictly deist perspective, God played a critical (or at least some) role in the shaping of mankind and its nations. If that’s the case, then alternate history assumes that God’s plans for us (and collectively for mankind) are not absolute but fluid. Is this blasphemy? If the alternate universe is theorized to be better, then that implies (at best) that mankind strayed from its path towards our current timeline and God chose not to stop it. Is this blasphemy? If so, then most concepts of backwards time travel and quantum universes are thrown into the mix. With regards to time travel, who are you to change what God left alone, or, more vain yet, what God predestined to be? Quantum universes would then imply that predestination isn’t possible, as all possibilities would be equally valid. This already becomes too heady material. I discussed this matter with friends, and they weren’t yet introduced to the concept of alternate history. Thus, I shrugged off the matter until now, and potentially later.
C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien are equally famous, equally for their views on religion and the fantasy universes that they created. Characters in those fantasy universes use heavy amounts of magic. Since God called people who practiced magic abominations, does that mean that these books are sinful, and that the worlds that they describe are corrupted? If, however, magic was forbidden because it was false as previously discussed, would it be spiritually permissible as a function of this plot? Regardless of this quandary, can there be a spiritual-legal disconnect between worlds of our own design and the real world? This spreads out into many further questions. Does God create through us (predestination), or does God allow us to create our own worlds? There is a through line in the Bible about cheating on God with your creation, but what are the guidelines when you have mastery over your creation? Is mastery over your creation even possible? On a similar note, what about roleplay? What is the spiritual legality regarding pretending to be someone that you’re not? The Christian world already has decried Dungeons and Dragons, which may potentially be justified, but what about roleplay that otherwise fits perfectly into Judeo-Christian law? Roleplay fits into a wide variety of games but is largely a modern affair. I thought about these questions and had almost no idea where to start. I kicked the can down the road, and it still remains in my to-do bin.
Perhaps most generally, if the Bible doesn’t say you can’t, can you? The definitions of murder and theft haven’t changed, but there are many modern developments that don’t have specific prescriptions in the Bible but, like all things in Heaven and on Earth, fall under God’s purview. Voting is one example; is there sin with regards to voting? Roleplay, as mentioned prior, is another. Is there a standard guideline for making determinations? If so, what is it? Are there practical implications that determine the holiness of an action? I praise God that Jesus died for my sins and I don’t have to worry about making them, but I still desire to please Him. When I thought about something like this, I thought back to the Sermon on the Mount. While I do have an idea about where to go with this one, I know that it is dangerous to tell someone that an actual sin is not so. I figured I would leave it alone for now.
Those were a few concepts that I thought up. While I wish I could have gone through more, and that this year didn’t warrant abrupt changes, I’m ultimately satisfied with how this year went with regards to posting. The spiritual journey down which God has led me has inspired comments, encouraged conversation, and renewed growth. I hope you had an equally beautiful spiritual journey, as I’m sure you have. While I have my doubts, I pray that your 2021 be fruitful. I hope to see you then.