Spiritual hit points

I had a dream the other night in which a friend invited me to join a bible study group he was starting. I agreed, and he handed me a piece of paper.

“Great,” he told me, “just be sure to fill this out before you come.”

I looked down and was surprised to see a character sheet. For those of you who aren’t familiar with RPGs (role playing games, not rocket-propelled grenades), here’s an example of a character sheet.

“Wait, what?” I asked. “What is this again?”

“Oh, yeah,” he says. “It’s a bible study-slash-RPG. You create a character with the same spiritual struggles as you have, and they‘re the ones doing the bible study-slash-adventure.”

I stared at the paper for a moment. “Did you come up with this?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re a genius. This is brilliant, utterly brilliant!”

And then I woke up, and realized that the idea… was now mine.

I’m not sure it’s as strikingly clever as it seemed in the dream, but I still think it might be a fairly fun and potentially useful concept. At least, I want to do it.

Of course, I have yet to figure out how it would work. Would they gain spiritual hit points? Would they level up? Would they sit around reading the bible and talking about their issues, or go all Pilgrim’s Progress/D&D, and duke it out with physical manifestations of spiritual problems?

I lean towards a more subtle combination: fantasy world characters on a mission are forced to turn to the bible and one another and confront their personal spiritual struggles in order to overcome the hurdles of day-to-day life; i.e., finding treasure and freeing captives by battling orcs and dragons and ever-dreaded bosses.

What do you think? Would you dig an RPG bible study? Would seeing your sins and struggles manifest in fiction inhibit personal insight, or enhance it? Do you think the Holy Spirit would work on the hearts of the gamers through such a construct? Or is this just stupid?

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