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Religious bluff

My kids love playing Balderdash. The game involves a player selecting a card on which are written things like a movie title, a word, some initials, a date, or a person’s name. The player chooses and announces one of those things, and the other players then have to construct a written description that sounds so probable that others are persuaded to think that it is the correct answer. Creativity is required and bluff is rewarded.

There are many who think of world religions like a game of Balderdash: Contrived answers to the questions of life that draw in unsuspecting persons. ‘There is a God.’ ‘There is life after death’. ‘There is a moral law.’ ‘There is a purpose to life’, etc. Certainly Marx was among the doubters, thinking religion to be no more than a palliative drug.

But such a notion, when it comes to Christianity at least, is hard to sustain. When talking of heaven Jesus said, “If it were not so, I would have told you.” He certainly was not into a game of bluff. And Paul said to the Corinthians that if the tenets of the Christian Faith were not grounded in historical reality, then it was pointless to believe them, and better to abandon ship than to ride to nowhere on the waves of fantasy.

Not all in Balderdash is balderdash. One player actually holds the card that contains the correct answers. If it were not so, it would indeed be a funny game to play.

DM 13th July 2016

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