Making the Save
Making the Save
Conversion and Witnessing
This chapter describes how Christian athletes have struggled to redefine witnessing and recommitment in ways that reinforce their understandings of evangelical distinction and moral superiority. Unifying evangelical Christianity and sport has entailed expanding witnessing to encompass behaviors on and off the field: Christian athletes now see their athletic performances as a way to influence others toward conversion and develop believers after conversion. Witnessing without words—using sportsmanship to demonstrate moral distinction—is the primary mission of many of today’s sports ministry organizations. These practices function in much the same way as verbal witnessing. Witnesses are able to cement their own identity as saved, perceive a distinction between themselves and the unsaved, and use this identity and distinction as evidence for their religious beliefs. However, this chapter shows that it is incredibly difficult, perhaps impossible, to reconcile the desire to demonstrate compassion for one’s opponent on the field with the desire to win.
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