Thursday, September 13, 2007

Recovering the Imaginative: Play

It is not enough to simply be academic in your pursuit for the recovery of imagination, you must do more than read and study on the rise and demise of imagination in American culture. To really see a return to Christian embrace of the imagination Christians need to play more.

What I mean here is to say that Christians need to be creative. If it is true that God is creative, and we are made in His image, then at least we know that we have the God-given capacity to be creative (though I tend to think it is more of a responsibility than a mere possibility). By using the word "play" I know some will accuse me of being trivial and belittling the Christian life. Such is not my intent, but I do believe that Christians should play. I say play because it carries with it both the connotations of creativity and pleasure, something Christians need to do in a world that is surrounded by sin and perversion and needs to see a fresh perspective on what Biblical fun looks like.

By being creative I do not presume to imply that we should all be sculptors and painters, though perhaps you are one, in which case you should use your art for God's glory. But there are myriads of ways for all of us to be creative in what we know how to do. Can you play music, bake, scrapbook, decorate a home, create complex math equations, write, or even play sports. There are ways to play in what you do that express creativity and open up opportunities for the imagination to take root and come out to the surface. Don't just read about Narnia and fall in love with the imaginative scenes described in those works, but then imagine a beautiful desert and begin creating it. Or think of a complex math equation that will be a challenging and extremely fun problem to solve.

Creativity is an expression of our God-given nature and it opens up doors for the imagination to take root as our expressions of creativity expand and become even more elaborate than they first were. So play and recover the imagination for Christians and for the American culture at large.

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