Blog Posts on Life of the Body

Putting Golf in Its Place

David Mathis
Putting Golf in Its Place

It only takes a few bars of “Augusta” to confirm that spring is here. There is a promise of new life in the sound of the Masters theme song and the sight of electric green grass at Augusta National. The sun has risen in Georgia on the just and unjust and soon will come our way as well.

The game of golf has tied itself to the beauty of God’s created world like few other competitive pastimes. This is at the heart of the sport’s allure. With no standardized playing area, the designers... Continue Reading

Erik Thoennes on the Christian and Sport

David Mathis

Playfulness is vital to healthy Christianity, says pastor and professor Erik Thoennes. “To be a Christian means to take God very seriously, but not ourselves.”

The great source of Christian playfulness is God himself, and the lavishness of his creation kindness and redeeming grace. Toss in some good healthy competition — and yes, competition can be good and healthy — and you have a recipe for sport and athletics.

For the Christian, there’s no such thing as “just a... Continue Reading

March Madness, Athletic Achievement, and Christians in Competitive Sports

Matt Reagan
March Madness, Athletic Achievement, and Christians in Competitive Sports

Are athletic achievement and fierce competition sheer madness for the Christian?

It’s a question essential not just for the celebrated Tim Tebows and Jeremy Lins, but also to a handful of unknown Christians playing in this weekend’s NCAA Tourney, and thousands (if not millions) of Christians worldwide engaged in highly skilled and highly competitive athletics.

Achievement and competition are two related, but distinct, topics for the... Continue Reading

Know a Christian Who Seems to Love Movies More Than Jesus?

John Piper
Know a Christian Who Seems to Love Movies More Than Jesus?

What should you do if you know someone who seems to be more excited about movies than Jesus?

Many professing Christians give little evidence of valuing Jesus more than the latest movie they have seen. Or the latest clothing they bought. Or the latest app they downloaded. Or the latest game they watched. Something is amiss.

We are not God and cannot judge with certainty and precision what’s wrong. There is a glitch somewhere. Perhaps a blindness going... Continue Reading

Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why (Part 2)

John Piper
Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why (Part 2)

[Read Part 1]

In the previous post I mentioned what I do for excercise. Now is the why.

Disclaimer: I doubt that I ever had a motive so pure it had no sin in it. So you are welcome to fault any of this as tinged with vanity. What I can see, I have confessed. What I can’t, the Lord will bring to light sooner or later.

I just don’t like being overweight. My pants fit funny. I can’t see my belt. When I was about 19 I went golfing with some overweight evangelists. They... Continue Reading

Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why (Part 1)

John Piper
Physical Exercise: What I Do and Why (Part 1)

[Read Part 2]

Glen Bloomstrom, the Campus Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Leadership Development at Bethlehem College and Seminary, asked me to write something for his students about my life-long commitment to physical exercise. So here’s my attempt.

First, a disclaimer: Some godly people who exercise regularly and eat well drop dead at every age. And some sedentary overeaters live to be ninety. Our days are set by God, not us. You won’t live a day longer or... Continue Reading

Are You Frustrated with Your Local Church?

Jonathan Parnell
Are You Frustrated with Your Local Church?

By grace, Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all... Continue Reading

Disability Helps Protect the Church from Lukewarmness

John Knight
Disability Helps Protect the Church from Lukewarmness

Rarely does disability elicit an indifferent response:

  • Joni Eareckson Tada wanted to kill herself.1
  • I entirely rejected God as good, kind, merciful and purposeful.
  • Even families who fully embrace God as sovereign over all things must now deal with a new reality that raises hard questions.

And this can be a helpful thing for a local church. God has strong feelings about being lukewarm:

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were... Continue Reading

The Church's Indispensable Members

John Knight
The Church's Indispensable Members

We say, “useless!” God replies, “on the contrary — indispensable!”

Our churches are filled with people who don’t realize how the culture has made a negative impact on their perception of disability.

For those of us with loved ones who live with severe cognitive impairment, it can be frightening to live in an American culture that so highly values ease, transitory wealth, health, and beauty.

Some people (generally not those who go to church) will even say out loud what many... Continue Reading

Piper's Foreword to Crabtree's Practicing Affirmation

John Piper
Piper's Foreword to Crabtree's <em>Practicing Affirmation</em>

Foreword: Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God

The point of being created in the image of God is that human beings are destined to display God. That’s what images do. And the point of being redeemed by Jesus, and renewed after the image of our Creator, is to recover this destiny.

But why? Surely not so that God’s handiwork in his people would go unnoticed or unpraised. If God is sovereign, and every good gift is from above,... Continue Reading