There is a new post on my theology blog on this topic. By and large, I do think church attendance is central to Christian living . Click here to read the post.
But what about all the references in Paul to running the race, completing the course and fighting the fight?
Firstly, all these are to do with the activity of training, running, fighting. That is real participation.
The Olympics are an elite sport spectacle. They are about spectating, not doing. The technology of Jet Planes, worldwide TV transmission and sponsorship by global brands means a billion couch potatoes can watch a few thousand elite athletes reach extreme levels of competence, speed and endurance (with the help of absurdly expensive specialisation). Throughout the West the rise and rise of elite sport has coincided with a sedentary pacification of the populace.
The most successful Olympic nation is the USA. Which also leads the world in obesity and use of “labour-saving” (i.e. laziness promoting) devices, cars and homes which are heated or cooled using appalling amounts of fossil fuel.
A dozen pitches used by our community for football, rugby etc. were destroyed to make the Olympic park. A pretty parable of what the “Olympic Spirit” does to healthy sport.
This would be a longer post but I am about to spend some time shouting at some pixels dancing on a flat screen while some loudspeakers relay a fatuous commentary and crowd noise to my ears.
No, there is no Gospel in the Olympics. If you want to disagree please listen to http://lighthousebaptistchurch.org.uk/our-faith/recorded-talks/ (The Gospel and the Olympics) first.
This blog is half moribund but here is a link to a very interesting article (translated to English) in der Spiegel newspaper online. Click here.
It is remarkable how little Christian blogging, discussion or preaching deals with the massive shift of power we have seen in the last few years. Economics and politics and the power of the markets seem to bemuse even our thinkers or throw them back into nostalgic conservative prejudices.
Every one of the 30+ states in Nigeria issues license plates for road vehicles. Each state has its own slogan which appears under the License Number. Borno State in the far North East – State capital Maiduguri – has the inspiring slogan “Home of Peace”. It has a reassuring tone to it. Sadly, it is hard to justify these days.
There is a current article on the BBC website about Maiduguri – a place which is dear to me – entitled Maiduguri – Nigeria’s city of fear. Chatting to a friend there recently it is definitely the case that tension is much higher there these days but whether there is more fear there than in the ongoing disatsers of, say, Port Harcourt or Jos, is hard to say. Every few years there have been riots by young Moslem hotheads which seem sometimes to have been inspired by the hope of looting as much as religious fervour. There have been strong suspicions that some politicians have used religious tensions to cement power and have turned a blind eye to some of the vicious violence while it happened. Well now the Genie is out of the bottle and since the Boko Haram miniwar two years ago anyone who is seen to be cooperating with the security forces is seen as fair game – even a brother of the current Governor.
It is the randomness of the killing which is most worrying and the police are as random as the Boko Haram – terrorists in uniform.
Now my commentary on the Revelation of John is available at my website. Follow this link to get there.