“Sport is one of those dominant cultural phenomena that sort of ‘recruits’ us without us realizing it—whether it’s the Sunday rituals of passive spectatorship or the ways that amateur athletics organize the lives of entire families. Theoretical reflection on this, especially theological reflection, has lagged behind these realities for too long. This Declaration on Sport and the Christian Life is a call from thoughtful coaches, practitioners, and scholars to remedy this situation. It is a welcome beginning to a conversation that needs to grow.
“Many folks today think that spiritual matters are as compatible with sports as fire is with ice. Put fire and ice together, and they will destroy each other – the fire will turn the ice into water, and the water will then put out the fire. Put God and sports together, according to many coaches, and religious faith will destroy an athlete’s competitive drive. Put God and sports together, according to many ministers, and athletic success will only teach the believer to think he is important instead of God. The truth is, God and sports not only can go together, they need to go together. Only developing the spirit and the body together can bring out the best in each. The Sport and Christianity Group are to be commended for their thoughtful, holistic integration of the two. Their statement elucidates how a healthy respect for the individual integrity of both sport and Christian faith makes each component stronger in their integration.”