No—the line of thought goes—certainly sports are “just a game” and part of the “secular world” which lies outside of God’s eternal purposes. The biblical story begins in the garden, where God placed Adam and Eve.
But contrary to popular opinion, God did not give Adam and Eve a vacation, he gave them a task: God’s image bearers were to work and keep the garden and to fill the earth and develop it on God’s behalf (Gen ; ).
Since the discussion of theology and sport is rather new (at least for Christian theologians), this essay aims to provide a broad overview of a theology of sport, grounded in the unfolding narrative of redemption as revealed in Scripture.
Sport And Religion Essay
But first, let us acknowledge that we are not the first to talk about faith and sports, and therefore locate ourselves within the broader conversation by surveying the history of the church’s attitude toward sports.
Athletes or fans regularly invoke the name of God as an expletive of frustration in sports, but rarely think about whether God has anything to do with the game at all. The narrative of the American Dream that culminates in individual happiness offers a starkly different framework for sports than the story of God’s kingdom as told by the Jewish messiah. As a child growing up in the church, my pastor had a small rotation of canned jokes, his favorite of which went something like this: “The Bible does talk about sports, you know?
It’s actually in the very first verse of the Bible: ‘In the God created the heavens and the earth.’ ” The notable feature of this (bad) joke is that the punch line is dependent on the assumption that God’s Word does not, in fact, address the world of sports, and especially not in the opening—and therefore very important—chapters of the Bible.
Furthermore, the son and daughter of the Creator-King were not only called to cultivate the garden, but also to extend the order of the garden and the blessings of God’s reign to the ends of the earth.
Eden was a lush and beautiful garden, but the rest of the earth was untamed and wild. Second, Adam and Eve were not only commanded to in it.