Guest / Limited Access /

Are sports the problem? Mark Householder, president of Athletes in Action, Benjamin J. Chase, a former lacrosse player at Wheaton College, and Ted Kluck, author of The Reason for Sports: A Christian Fanifesto, respond to CT's cover story on "Sports Fanatics."

I'm an athlete. I like to run, lift, compete, and win, and I have my very own "fascination with football," as Hoffman puts it. And perhaps I've been blissfully unaware of the fact that sports have historically been considered a little too dirty and a little too lowbrow to be worthy of Christians' intellectual engagement. I guess this explains why the message boards following my online sports columns for CT always evolved into important debates on things like circumcision.

There's a sort of breathless, "finally somebody said it!" quality to Hoffman's essay, except that I think there are a lot of Christians who for years have been doing sports in the way he recommends. I'm referring to those of us who don't get to play on CBS and don't have 9-year-olds emulating our eyeblack, but who have been trying to honor, glorify, and enjoy God through sports—even the high-contact ones.

And without sports like football, there would be precious little of the diversity we all seem to crave at the evangelical schools Hoffman mentions, where the demographic formula seems to be, "take a thousand well-heeled suburban, white, probably home-schooled evangelicals, and add a hundred football players."

Hoffman does a great job of pointing out that sports are full of sinners.Sure, there are a lot of self-glorifying sleazebags in sports.There are also a lot of self-glorifying Christians in sports. For many, God has become nothing more than another lucky pair of socks—another performance-enhancing ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only There's Power in the Blood
On the heels of the Twilight Saga's success, Christian novelists are tapping the riches of vampire mythology.
RecommendedThe Seven Levels of Lying
Subscriber Access Only The Seven Levels of Lying
We lie more than we think. And that's part of the problem.
Trending‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
Editor's PickWomen’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
Women’s March Sets Out to Exclude 40 Percent of American Women
What pro-life feminists actually have in common with their pro-choice counterparts.
Christianity Today
The Joy of Sports
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.