I'll admit, I almost fell into the trap. After reading Tom Chick's review of a review, and given some time to think on it, I was ready to step up in agreement with Mr. Chick and call out Christ Centered Gamer for a review of Portal 2 that was essentially bereft of any comment on faith or Christ at all. It wasn't a particularly mean piece of writing, but it wasn't exactly overflowing with kindness and understanding either. Before hitting the "Publish Post" button, before even finishing the piece, I had cause to take a break and think further on it. I'm glad I did, because it gave me a completely different perspective on things and my attitude about the whole situation turned around.
Two things occurred to me shortly after saving my work and walking away. Okay, three if you count my thought that I should get some lunch. After getting my chicken sandwich, I began to think that I was focusing on the problem, and not the solution. The problem being a video game review that didn't mention Christ on a Christ-centered website. So I began to think of the solution instead: how might someone write the kind of review that Mr. Chick seemed upset hadn't been written? Given the rather mundane nature of the world of Portal, I decided that it would be pretty difficult to get done without forcing things a bit. I'm not interested in pressuring someone to wring a theology-soaked review from something that has little-to-no theological content to begin with. Which lead to my second thought: the old adage "it's easier to criticize than create" is easy to forget, but hard to get away from.
I know how difficult it can sometimes be to write, let alone write something with a focus on Christ. It's part of the problem that I face with Cross Platform; my self-imposed directive to include Christ here has been both a blessing and a problem. Blessing in that I feel this site has improved in the quality of content since I narrowed my focus. Problem in that, in order to be original in a world full of religious commentary, I have to take some more time to think things over than a simple observational review might. And yet here I was getting ready to heap more criticism on someone for taking the time to write a review of a video game. How absurd is that, especially considering how this website started?
It's difficult not to imagine this change of heart is a preemptive response to Christ's warning in Matthew 7:1-2, and I'll admit that those words did cross my mind. And I'd certainly hate to be on the receiving end of the kind of criticism that Mr. Chick's article has stirred up. More than anything else, however, I can't help but feel something of a kinship with the author of CCG's review. Maybe they got it wrong and should have focused more on the theological elements that Mr. Chick believes are there. Maybe they didn't. Either way, the author is still a brother or sister in Christ, and according to Christ, I need to love them. In fact, in John 13:34-35, Christ says that we can be known as His disciples by showing this love. Considering our mission to let the world see Christ's love, how could I refuse?