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Muscular Christianity: Evangelical Protestants and the Development of American Sport Paperback – July 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0801058479 ISBN-10: 0801058473

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801058473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801058479
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In recent years, a number of sports figuresAranging from baseball player Dave Dravecky and football stars Deion Sanders and Reggie White to former college football coach and founder of the Promise Keepers, Bill McCartneyAhave spoken publicly about the depth of their Christian faith. More important, many sports organizations have witnessed an increase in the number of Christian groupsAlike the Fellowship of Christian AthletesAthat athletes have become involved in. Ladd and Mathisen, who teach at Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Ill., contend that since the late 19th century, evangelical Christianity and sports have been socially intertwined. The authors assert that "muscular Christianity" can be characterized by its emphasis on manliness, morality, health and patriotism. They discuss the ways that Christian evangelists like D.L. Moody and Billy Sunday "emphasized involvement in sports as a common ground for evangelism, as a means to manliness, and as a method for character development." Ladd and Mathisen also argue that the Depression era disengaged the link between Christianity and sportsAwhich, they note, was repaired after WWII. The bond between Christianity and sports, the authors say, became institutionalized in the latter half of the 20th century in organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action, as well as by the presence of sports chaplains. While the authors neglect to comment on how such muscular Christianity responds to the excesses of today's sports players, they nevertheless offer a readable account of a small chapter in the history of Christianity. (July)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

I loved this book and read it in one sitting. I've spent my entire life in professional sports and been a part of the "Muscular Christianity" scene for over thirty years. This book put it all together for me and now I understand the background of Christianity and sports as a powerful combination. Ill be recommending this book very enthusiastically. -- Pat Williams, Orlando Magic, Senior Executive Vice-President

This fine book deftly interweaves sports and missions, athletics and premillennialism, football and evangelism. This may be the best, most historically astute study of muscular Christianity to date -- Randall Balmer, author of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Tony Ladd and James A. Mathisen provide great insight into the sometimes rocky marriage between sport and evangelical Christianity. The plans and efforts of some of the greatest contributors to the development of sport in America--Amos Alonzo Stagg and James Naismith among them--are chronicled, and the serious reader will learn how evangelicals have attempted to link their love for Christ with their love for sport. The authors also challenge the reader to consider the future of this relationship in their "Afterword." The book is extremely thorough and well-researched, and the result is an intriguing, thought-provoking account of 100 years of muscular Christianity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By markparker@mindspring.com on February 6, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone seriously involved with sports or athletic related ministries should appreciate the historical perspective given in Muscular Christianity. Church & denominational leadership can also benefit from studying the dynamics between sport and evangelism provided here. This is not an easy read as it has the feel of a text book, however it is well worth the effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rhopal on June 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for research purposes. The book is enjoyable reading, but not very scholarly. Not sure I would buy it again.
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