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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

If one listens to certain athletes, one might think that the Bible and sports have an initiate connection that dates back to the original texts. While sports are mentioned, however infrequently, in the Bible, these citations are not what forge the modern-day relationship between the Bible and American sports culture. Instead, it is the relatively recent push to use sports as a high-profile vehicle to carry the Gospel to the masses that brings certain Bible verses in tow. This chapter explores both the significance of explicit references to sports in the Bible (and the lack of them) and the meaning of the instrumentalization of the Bible for the purposes of sports evangelism.

Keywords: sports, games, Olympic Games, muscular Christianity, Social Gospel movement, Young Men’s Christian Association, sports evangelism, spiritual warfare, Fellowship of Christian Athletes

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