Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Red Sox theology watch returns!
It's been a long time since the last episode of the Red Sox Theology Watch here at Philocrites. But today's Boston Globe delivers the real deal — on the front page, no less: a profile of the evangelical Christianity embraced by more players on the Red Sox than on any other team in Major League Baseball. Bob Hohler describes the influence of Baseball Chapel — "a ministry that provides all 30 major league teams with a chaplain" — and the Rev. Walt Day, the chaplain who meets with a dozen Red Sox players regularly for prayer, Bible study, and discussion. What's it all about?
Win or lose, Schilling and his fellow evangelicals said, the message remains the same.
"This is our platform, our place to speak our faith and live our faith," Timlin said. "This is a special gift from God, to play baseball, and if we can spread God's word by doing that, then we've almost fulfilled our calling."
Noteworthy: The team's new owners have been much more accommodating to Baseball Chapel and Rev. Day. Non-evangelical players, like Gabe Kapler (who's Jewish), say the evangelicals are a harmonious bunch who respect different beliefs. Several people attribute the team's strong esprit de'corps to the "spiritual unity" of the players — and it keeps them on straight and narrow:
Olerud said the Christian players serve as a support system, particularly on the road, where the seeds of many marital problems are planted.
"There are a lot of temptations on the road," Olerud said. "Having a group of guys who share a similar mind-set helps you get through the season."
Also worth noting: the players who participate regularly in Baseball Chapel are all white guys — Nixon, Timlin, Wakefield, Varitek, Schilling, Mirabelli, Mueller, Clement, Olerud, Myers, Graffanino, and Bradford — although Hohler writes that "a number of the team's Latin American players also have attended chapel."
("Faith Binds Many on Sox: Evangelical Christians Give Sport a Spiritual Context," Bob Hohler, Boston Globe 8.31.05, reg req'd; "Bush Visit to Calvin College Exposes Divisions," Collin Hansen, Christianity Today 5.20.05; previous installments of the Red Sox Theology Watch)
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 31 August 2005 at 8:05 AM