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October 12, 2006


John Davies

As someone interested in and supportive of so-called 'emerging' church but fully involved in what I call 'submerging' church, I'd question any notion that emerging church is non-competitive. It would appear that many players in the emerging church game have readily identified thir 'opponents' and defined themselves against them ...

... That said, I must stress that this criticism isn't just about emerging church ... we are all fired by this competitive urge in all areas of life ... which is why this exploration of the gaming metaphor is a promising line of enquiry to pursue. It's in a similar area to the immenslely helpful Girardian perspective.


Loads on 'game theory' here:


Interesting... Was going to touch on game theory later. Mathematically, it's about what your best option is to maximise your win probability. There's a nice scene on it in 'A Beautiful Mind' - how is he most likely to get laid.

Question is, who's using Game Theory in Church? What's your best strategy to get the most people saved? Or the most people going 'ooohhhh, how clever'?

Or are there strategies that maximise the probability that everyone does better, rather than just you? Answer: yes. It's called random acts of kindness. The gift comes round...


We need to run with this idea of - Emerging church as nerd. I feel much more comfortable identifying as the nerds of the church rather than the "we're so cool" thing our critics have branded us with (don't let my heavily tattooed arms fool you, I'm not very cool at all)


I think you're brave to bring up this comparison because like the point brought by John, I see lots of competitiveness in emerging church. If you don't then I would say you're on the winning side. Maybe I need to accept the parts that are competitive like the evangelicals need to accept the ritual. Generalities abound here.
I wonder why the word "game" seems so harsh to me? I like the word play. That must make me a loser nerd.
What do others think of me if I decide not to play their way? Will I be put down as "loser", "nerd"? What is wrong with us that we need these pejorative terms? They should be kept from the emerging church lexicon.
The mother in me says "play nice!"


Oh Kester, Kester. I told you al along it should all be a game. All lo! We see my wasted Sunday mornings blowing people up online from all over the world finally become a metaphor for what I always claimed it to be --- church.

Coincidentally, my wife plays Dungeons and Dagons Online and is thoroughly (unhealthily?) addicted to it --- but it aint as bad as WOW; that game wil destroy any social life you have outside of the game. A bit like church can.

Interesting, so here we find ourselves with different types of online games representing different church-types, I suppose...

MMOFPS - go-getter, in-the-world mission-style church.
MMORPG - clique, safe and happy-clappy community affairs.
Civilisation-type - evangelical.
Strategy - orthodox/traditional.
Tic-tac-toe - emergent ;)

Or not.

The important thing is that I was right all along, and now my wife can wear her 12-sided dice around her neck instead of her cross (which she never wears).

When does ComplexChrist - MMOFPS come out on PC?

PS. Nerds and geeks are too cool nowadays, and rich.

PPS. Download a weeks free demo of Dungeons and Dragons Online at

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