Seeing Beyond The Game

In a weekend that seemed full of opening prayers–I ended up giving the opening prayer to services yesterday in Hood River and two opening prayers for meals while visiting the homes of others–the way in which my own thoughts ended up dovetailing with the messages on Sabbath was intriguing to me, as it often is. Not only is it a general habit of mine to reflect and comment upon the Sabbath messages given wherever I happen to be, but in this particular case such comments will also involve an additional layer, in that both of the messages reflected concerns that are frequently mentioned in this blog on a secondary or implicit layer, and so this blog will give me the chance to discuss these interrelated concerns in a more direct basis than is usually the case. It is a chance to turn what is an underlying and consistent concern into a more directly addressed matter, and for that I thank the speakers for providing such an opportunity.

The sermonette, since it was shorter and (as a result of its length) more direct, deserves to be dealt with first, as it set the larger context. The speaker, who was a part of our dinner club party, but not part of my particular group, first told a story about an adult who faced time in gaol (because he was a Brit and they spell jail like that) because he committed assault and battery against his children over losing in Monopoly to them, and yet he could not stop challenging them to games. He confused the object of the game–to win through bankrupting your fellow players and taking their monopoly money, with the purpose of the game–to have fun, to be pleasantly diverted and entertained for a couple of hours, win or lose. The speaker then, rather accurately, pointed out that whatever the objective of life is, the quests of our existence, the purpose of life is to develop godly character, namely to acquire the nature of our heavenly father, in whose family believers have been adopted. In thinking about the purpose of a game, I was reminded that simply having fun is not an easy or straightforward task, and that often in my own personal life I lack the ability to easily amuse or divert myself apart from external interaction, either with a book or a game, or with other people, and that I tend to deeply worry that other people do not find me fun, or that my capacity to have fun is less than others’.

The sermon itself dealt with a related subject, and that is the way in which we progress from knowledge to understanding to wisdom, as growth and maturation are a major aspect of the purpose of our lives, expressed differently but in a similarly biblical fashion to the sermonette speaker. In particular, the sermon consisted of a very learned case that Bloom’s six-level taxonomy of the stages of education are an expansion of Solomon’s simpler tripartite division between knowledge, understanding, and wisdom in the book of Proverbs (for example). I found the message on the stages of education to be highly interesting, as taxonomies in general are of great interest to me, and so is the relationship between pedagogy and androgogy, or, to put it in a less technical way, the way in which in life we are supposed to transition from being lectured at like children engaged in receiving instruction more or less passively to more equal forms of instruction in which students are the peers, or near-peers, of their instructors, capable of responding back regularly with insightful contributions to the overall instruction. As might be readily understood, and as is obvious to anyone who has ever seen me listening to a sermon or lecture or anything else, I not only greatly prefer to be able to contribute meaningfully to a discussion, but I simply cannot listen passively to anything without some sort of physical response, which can be either distracting or entertaining, depending on one’s perspective.

I would like to finish this blog entry by examining how Bloom’s taxonomy relates to my own writing here. The first stage of Bloom’s taxonomy is called knowledge, namely, the poll-parrot ability to repeat back what one has read or been told. Normally speaking, I aspire to a higher level of education than this, but there are some entries where the quotation of information makes up the lion’s share of what is written, making those posts fitting examples of this lowest stage [1]. The next stage is called comprehension, where one is able to restate a message that one has read in one’s own words, knowing that one has grasped the points given enough to be able to convey their meaning. This is actually a fairly common level of my writing, and this entry itself, and many others like it which seek at least in part to recapitulate messages heard in my own language [2] are examples of this stage of learning. The third stage of learning is called application, and in this stage someone’s understanding has reached the level where they can figure out an example of the relevance of something one has understood, not only knowing it in head knowledge but also how it works in the real world. Unsurprisingly, this is a level of education where a substantial portion of my writing explicitly resides [3]. The fourth stage of learning, analysis, seeks to break down an argument into its constituent parts, examining motives and causes for why something or someone is what it is. Again, it ought to come as no surprise that this blog is full of critical analysis, ranging from complementary to downright fierce [4]. I should also note that often, for me, analysis and evaluation often go hand in hand, but I do not wish to get too far ahead of myself. The fifth stage is synthesis, where one combines information from a variety of sources in order to form a strong rhetorical argument, to draw wisdom and insight from often widely scattered areas of knowledge. Again, it ought to come as little surprise that there are some noted examples of synthesis and case-making in my own writing [5]. The sixth and final stage is evaluation, where one judges a work or an argument (or even a person, even if this is dangerous to do) by its internal evidence or by an external standard. Let us hope, at least, that we do so from a godly standard, as our own opinions do not matter much. As someone who evaluates many things, from sermon messages to books to movies to socks, evaluation is a regular part of my writing here [6]. Suffice it to say, I hope it means that I am a learned person myself, a person of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, if imperfectly so.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

[3] See, for example:

[4] See, for example:

[5] See, for example:

[6] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christianity, Church of God, Graduate School, Musings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Seeing Beyond The Game

  1. Pingback: One Good Reply Deserves Another | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Philosophy Through Video Games | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Book Review: The Legend Of Zelda And Philosophy: I Link Therefore I Am | Edge Induced Cohesion

  4. Pingback: A Roman Murder Mystery | Edge Induced Cohesion

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