Spending good money to kick/throw/hit balls

Posted: September 23, 2011 by Emilio Garofalo Neto in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

We continue to look at the movie Moneyball. Yesterday we talked about the movie in general and some interesting themes for discussion. Today we will deal with Biblical reasons why we love movies, we love sports and, of course, sports movies. The bible is structured in a frame of Creation-Fall-Redemption. This organization is useful for us to investigate all sorts of things under the Sun. Today we will turn that towards fun and entertainment.

Creation

God made us in his image. As such, we reflect Him in many ways. One of those ways is by being receptively creative; we imitate God in that we make our own sub-creations. Those can range from simple things as a second grader love poem to highly sophisticated fictional worlds (Pandora, etc) and large sporting events such as the Olympics. When we create movies, games, in fact, any form of play or entertainment, we are acting as sub-creators and imitating God; in them we always include our fingerprints. A reason why we love our sports and our movies is because they are reflections of who we are, what we love, how we think, what we value and what we hate. Our sub-creations always mimic patterns of God’s creation, whether intentionally or not.

Fall

Because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, the world is no longer what it used to be and we as fallen creatures do not reflect God perfectly anymore. In this way, our sub-creations always have perversions, distortions of how the world should be that we twist for our own pleasure. In this way we are able in our sports and games to exercise our sinfulness and evil desires. Let’s consider some examples of this. Recently John Perritt dealt with the issue of racism. Sadly, the sporting stadiums have been a brewing ground for racist manifestations. From chants at Southern football stadiums to the soccer fields of Europe, people take the sporting world as a venue in which they can erect ethnic barriers of hatred. Thus we get something good (God-created ethnic diversity) and we use our sub-creation (sports) to sinfully resent it. There are several other examples: Good-spirited competition and desire to win can quickly turn into hatred filled rivalry. Or our legitimate investment of money in our entertainment can become a devouring idol that consumes all the family money in sports bets, prohibitively expensive football weekends and so on. We recognize that every family has different limits, but we all can easily go beyond this in our search for fulfillment and contentment through fun and play. We have not even mentioned the sexualization of our entertainment – and we are not only talking about porn, but also about how far we can go with mini-skirted cheerleaders (warning to the female readers of the blog: the guys are only pretending to be impressed by the choreography…); and many other areas in which we can turn good things into evil.

Why do we love sports? Because we can exercise some of our evil desires in a sphere that is supposedly safe, “not for real.” So the same guy who avoids pornography thinks that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition is safe; the father who does not let his kids watch violence in movies allows them to see real violence in football. In such ways we use what should be good to deceive ourselves into sinning.

Enough about the Fall; this is becoming a dissertation.

Redemption

The third main category of the Bible is that of redemption. God’s eternal plan involves saving a people for himself out of the fallen humanity. Man, even after the Fall, is aware of his need for redemption and has eternity in his heart (Ecc 3:11). Man’s sub-creations usually exhibits themes of redemption; they are common in movies, we love to see them in sports. Good triumphing over evil, the weak overcoming the odds. Because we still live in God’s world, using God-given minds and creating under him (in rebellion or not), our sub-creation always contain themes of redemption. So in a movie like Moneyball, they appear in the unlikely triumph of the weak, in people who seemed to be doomed but who find a way out. Our favorite sports narratives include stories of redemption, players who seemed finished and come back for one last victory, the team that is trailing by many points but has an unlikely comeback, underdog stories and so on.

We could go on and on; but the goal in this post has been to simply begin a discussion on how sports, in fact, play in general, are loved by mankind because they reflect aspects of Creation-Fall-Redemption.

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