18 Resources on Faith and Sport

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March Madness. A phrase that brings both exhilaration and despair as we watch the teams we love compete for a national championship. We fill out brackets, hold watch parties, and cheer our hearts out for 3 straight weekends. It is simply the greatest time of the year, the best sporting event ever.

Maybe you aren’t as excited as I am, but I think you would agree that college sports (and sports in general) play a huge part in our society. If you aren’t convinced, just know the TV deal for March Madness was renewed for 8.8 billion dollars in 2016. Sports matter, plain and simple.

So, the question is, how should Christians think about sport? How should we participate? Sports can be used for our good or to our detriment, to form us or malform us. Christians need to develop a biblical understanding of play, competition and sport. The resources below will help you do just that. There are resources for all levels, athletes, coaches, parents, beginners, and experts.

Introducing Faith and Sport – The Round of 64


I truly believe we will make sport better when we love God and love our neighbor in our competition.

Intermediate Level – The Sweet 16

  • A Brief Theology of Sport by Lincoln Harvey: Harvey provides a concise overview of a theology of sport and also works in important historical notes that help provide context for sport throughout the Church’s history. This is important, as the church has not always viewed sport the same way. It helps rightly balance our view in the 21st century. Although I don’t agree with Harvey’s conclusions, there is much to learn from his work.
  • The Bible and Competition, (Lecture) at The Sport and Faith Institute: Reich was invited to do a Q&A with the Sport and Faith Institute at Baylor University’s Truitt Seminary. Reich is able to expound on his earlier article and connect this with his experience as a Seminary President and NFL Head Coach.
  • Christmanship: A Theology of Competition, Sport, and Sport Ministry by Greg Linville
  • The God Who Plays by Brian Edgar
  • Competition as Relationship: Sport as a Mutual Quest for Excellence by Stewart Weir: Weir’s work helps rightly understand competition as a relationship that should be cultivated and that we can glorify God through competition. Competition is better not when we hate our opponent but when we love them.
  • Good Game: Christianity and the Culture of Sports by Shirl Hoffman: Hoffman is one of the most careful thinkers in the world of faith and sport. Although I disagree with Hoffman on some key points, this work in particular has pushed me to study the Bible more deeply and develop clear reasons for believing in the potential goodness of competition. Any serious thinker of faith and sport should read this important work.

Advanced Level – The Final Four

Supplemental Readings – Bracket Breakdowns

I hope that you will engage sport with an open mind. I truly believe we will make sport better when we love God and love our neighbor in our competition.

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MA Ethics, Theology, and Culture

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Cody Evans

Cody is married to his wife Ashlee, and they have a son named Graham. They live in Wake Forest where Cody serves as a pastor at Covenant Hope Church and Assistant Director for Prison Programs at Southeastern.

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