I came across this article from Christianity Today entitled Sports Fanatics: How Christians have succumbed to the sports culture–and what might be done about it. I’m still processing the article. Below are some quotes from the article.
- “Sports are fun and exciting; when played well and in healthy contexts, they can be constructive leisure pursuits that enrich our lives. But organized sports, played at almost every level, too often bring out the worst in us.”
- “That some deep theological insights might be gleaned from such goings-on, or that God might choose to reveal himself in sports—even in those that bring out the crudest of instincts—is, of course, possible. But I believe it is unlikely. Yet even if I am wrong, this by itself doesn’t relieve Christians of the duty to seek the redemption of sports, and to point society toward a better way of playing.”
- “Variously described by those inside and outside as narcissistic, materialistic, violent, sensationalist, coarse, racist, sexist, brazen, raunchy, hedonistic, body-destroying, and militaristic, big time sports culture lifts up values in sharp contrast with what Christians have for centuries understood as the embodiment of the gospel. They are simply no easy, straight-faced, intellectually respectable arguments for how evangelicals can model the Christian narrative–with its emphasis on servanthood, generosity, and self-subordination–while immersed in a culture that thrives on cut-throat competition, partisanship, and Darwinian struggle.”
- “Christians’ indiscriminate acceptance of sports is just as dangerous as our ancestors’ indiscriminate rejection of sports. In today’s case, it has three effects: the evolution of an improbable sports theology that has stifled prophetic voices; a well-defined tendency for evangelicals and their institutions to fall into the same ethical quagmires that have trapped others in the sports community; and the Christian community’s failure to consider how it might extract sport’s potential for spiritual uplift and maximize its capacity to express a Christian vision.”
For a response to the article, you can read Kevin DeYoung’s blog entry.