"Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play…it is war minus the shooting."
The good sporting life
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Stephen Liggins, Sydney, Mattias Media, 2020. ISBN 9781925424645The book consists of eleven chapters covering what the Bible says about sport, the history of Christianity and sport, sport’s intrinsic value, sports ethics, sport as a mission field, advice for parents, coaches, referees, chaplains, ministers and spectators etc.
Liggins is an Australian Anglican minister who has played sport to a high level and who clearly loves sport. While it is written for the general reader, the book is underpinned by a strong Biblical theology of sport.
The book is comprehensive, covering the topics listed above, but is at its strongest when addressing practical issues faced by the Christian in sport - from Sunday sport to on-field behaviour. The author draws on his own experience and writes with a lot of common sense. There are down to earth challenges for the Christian sportsperson to think through such as: “Are you aware of any character weaknesses when it comes to you and your sport? For example, are you overly aggressive? Do you cheat? Are you a poor loser? Are there positive character traits in which you’d like to be stronger? Patience? Humility? Thoughtfulness?”
On the Sunday sport issue, for example, there is no right answer but a pertinent question: “What do our children think is more important to us – having regular Christian fellowship, or regular sporting involvement?”
UK readers will note several references to Christian in Sport and quotes from at least 8 present or former staff members.
It is a book I would recommend to any Christian involved in sport or any church leader looking to advise others in the area.