In response to yesterday’s post about obsessing about our nerdclinations at the cost of focusing on Jesus, Nik asked the question, “What is the Christian equivalent of ‘nerding out’ over Jesus?” Here are some ways that we can nerd out over Jesus.
Jesus Fan Fiction
There are plenty of nerds who enjoy creating their own stories and tales for their favorite nerdclinations. These creations are known as fan fiction and many examples can be found with a simple Google search. (I just did it and got over 15 million links). So if someone’s obsession with Buffy or Babylon 5 pushes them to create fan fiction, why shouldn’t our love for Jesus push us to do the same thing?
Early Christians loved Jesus and wanted to know more about him, so somebody wrote The Infancy Gospel of Jesus. You may have never heard of it, but it’s where you can find the stories about Jesus turning two clay doves into real doves and bringing one of his friends back to life. The only problem with these stories and any fan fiction you write for Jesus, is it wouldn’t be canonical and it might be heretical.
If you write a story about Boba Fett’s adventures hunting a young Han Solo, no one is really going to get that upset. If you start messing around with Jesus, though, people might start to get upset. Writing about Jesus’ struggle as a resistance fighter in his early 20s may sound cool, but adding to the scriptures is kind of forbidden – even if in your story Jesus was a totally hardcore resistance fighter.
On second thought, Jesus fan fiction is a very bad idea; keep to writing romance stories about Galadriel falling in love with Gimli.
Midnight Screenings of The Passion of the Christ
I’ve been to a lot of midnight screenings in my life. I’ve even dressed up for a couple; I rented a pirate costume for the midnight premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. It’s exciting to sit in a theatre surrounded by other nerds, taking in the visual stimulation of one of your favorite nerdclinations. Imagine if you took the excitement you have for Captain America or Harry Potter 7.5 and applied that to The Passion of the Christ?
Had you come dressed as Andrew or Bartholomew you could have really showed up people dressed as Peter or John. Dressing as Peter or John for The Passion of the Christ screening would be like dressing as Han Solo or Luke Skywalker for a Star Wars screening: totally amateur; real nerds dress like the most obscure characters they can find. Instead of cheering when Chewbacca shows up for the first time, you could have cheered when Jesus was saying the Beatitudes. Instead of groaning when Luke kissed Leia, you could have booed when Pilate released Barabbas instead of Jesus. Watching The Passion of the Christ could have been much more interactive and much nerdier. It still would have been a good idea to cover your eyes at that creepy old man baby thing.
Biblical Role-Playing Game
Reading the Bible is good, but designing adventures for you and your friends to role play through is even better. There was a lot of uproar when I was younger about Dungeons & Dragons warping the minds of young nerds and pushing them to kill their parents and abandon their faith. Instead of boycotting D&D, more intrepid parents should have designed a pen and paper role-playing game for their children. Instead of looting dungeons, adventures could be centered on stories from the Old and New Testaments.
Do you have enough strength to conquer the Philistines like Jonathan?
Do you have a high enough willpower to stand before the Sanhedrin and defend your faith like Peter and the apostles?
Instead of magic, do you have enough faith to part and cross the Red Sea like Moses?
The Bible is ripe with adventures for pen and paper role-playing. Young nerds could sit huddled around a table on a Friday night, not just reading the stories in the Bible but experiencing them like never before. The only problem, though, would come when Moses doesn’t get a high enough roll and the Red Sea remains impossible to cross.
Nerding out about an obsession is fun and can often drive the latent creativity of many nerds. Instead of just focusing that energy and passion on comic books and Dr. Who, why not turn it toward Jesus, the one who should stand as our central passion?
What other ways can we nerd out about Jesus?