Item description for Game Day for the Glory of God: A Guide for Athletes, Fans, and Wannabes by Stephen Altrogge...
Overview Altrogge gives biblical guidance on playing, watching, and discussing sports in a God-glorifying manner, helping believers grow in both their love for God and their passion for holiness.
This book gives biblical guidance on playing, watching, and discussing sports in a God-glorifying manner, helping believers grow in both their love for God and their passion for holiness.
Scripture calls Christians to do everything for the glory of God. That means every thought, every word, and every deed are to be done in a way that brings pleasure and honor to him. Believe it or not, this includes playing, watching, and talking sports But most of us fail to recognize how sports fit into the big picture of a God-glorifying life, unable to imagine that the God who created the universe might actually care about Little League games and Monday Night Football.
So how do we play, watch, and talk sports for God's glory? Game Day for the Glory of God seeks to answer that question from a biblical perspective. Sports fan Stephen Altrogge aims to help readers enjoy sports as a gift from God and to see sports as a means of growing in godliness.
Citations And Professional Reviews Game Day for the Glory of God: A Guide for Athletes, Fans, and Wannabes by Stephen Altrogge has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 10/01/2008 page 27
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Reviews - What do customers think about Game Day for the Glory of God: A Guide for Athletes, Fans, and Wannabes?
Full of platitudes Aug 13, 2009
I'm only at page 30 of 111 total text (excluding index, etc.). So feel free to decide I'm a jerk...but I'd bought this book hoping to lead a sports ministry discussion at my church. And so far it contains a good witness to Christ (pg. 20) and lots of platitudes. Chapter 2 (The Source of All Talent) puts down competition, gives no credit to effort or practice. Use of Scripture is extremely limited. It's like reading someone's opinion and then getting 1 proof text. While the Bible may not mention sports a lot, its application to sports (and therefore, "life lessons" that sports can provide) is very broad. I'd hoped to learn something from this book but haven't. If anyone can recommend a better book on the Bible and sports, I need it. I'll be checking here periodically.
Hits a Home Run... Sep 24, 2008
This book is a very compact book (95 pages), but is packed with godly wisdom in our understanding of sports. The author, Stephen Altrogge, conveys a deeper understanding of why we have sports and how a Christian should represent Christ through them, not apart from them. He successfully shows the impact we can have as we play and watch sports for the glory of God, and what impact we can have if we do it for the glory of ourselves.
Sports provide us with opportunities to grow in godliness. Few things allow us to grow in humility, conquer our anger, discipline our bodies, persevere in the face of adversity, and pursue excellence, all in the span of an hour or two. Sports expose our sinful pride and desire for personal glory. They reveal our sinful self-sufficiency, self-worship, and self-centeredness. They also present unique opportunities to grow in humility, a character trait that deeply pleases God. Sports also expose our anger, impatience, and sinful cravings, thus enabling us to grow in God-honoring self-control. Stephen Altrogge, p. 103
He not only draws attention to the person actually playing the sport, but also to the parent that is to be training the child in glorifying God in all things. This is very helpful as I am a dad, past his prime in playing sports, but can have a lasting impact on my two sons who are now getting into watching and playing feverishly.
Don't simply drop them off and pick them up from practices and games. Don't think that your responsibility ends with attending games. Rather, before each practice or game take a few moments to help your children prepare their hearts. Remind them of the need for humility, self-control, passion, encouragement, and trust. Help them see how sports fit into the bigger picture of life, eternity and God's glory. If time permits, pray with your children before each practice or game. In doing so you will help your children grow in godliness while playing sports. Hebrews 12:14 tells us to "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." Sports provide us with an opportunity to strive for holiness. Let us take full advantage of that opportunity. Steven Altrogge, p. 105
The chapters in this book break down like this:
1. A Life for the Glory of God 2. The Source of All Talent 3. The Joy of Sports 4. Game Day Priorities 5. Winners and Losers 6. Parents, Children, and the Glory of God 7. Tying it All Together
Appendix by C.J. Mahaney
The appendix, only 4 pages long, is very helpful as Pastor Mahaney puts forth a quick list of things he goes over with his son before every sporting event or practice:
- Humbly receive correction from your coach, and ask your coach how you can grow in character as well as athletic skill.
- Thank your coaches for the way they have served you. And thank the referees after each game.
- Encourage your teammates for their display of godly character and athletic skill-in that order of priority.
- Encourage your opponents during and after the game. If you knock someone over, extend your hand to help him up.
- Play the game passionately and unselfishly. Serve your team by playing aggressive defense (his father never did this) and passing the ball on offense (again, his father never did this).
- Humbly respond when the referee calls a foul on you. Do not complain or disagree in word or by facial expression (unfortunately, his father always did this).
- No inappropriate celebrating after you score; instead recognize that others played a role (his father never did this).
- Thank the team manager for the way he served, and recognize the humility and servanthood he is displaying at each game. Remember that true greatness is sitting on the end of the bench.
The whole of the book is filled with information like this and draws on stories of major events in sports history, great quotes from some Christian athletes and of course the personal stories from Altrogge that makes you cringe and laugh (especially when you can see yourself in his stories).
Overall it is a very practical book that points to the glory of God. When a book can look to sports in this way and point us to the Creator of sports, it is already starting in the right direction. I would very much recommend this to any parent or teen that is involved in any kind of sport in any way. As a father I am excited to take these truths and apply them to my family as I train my boys to be glorifying God in all things, especially sports. Highly Recommended.
A Must Read for Athletes and Parents of Athletes Sep 9, 2008
As a Christian who is also a Dad and a sports fan I often think about how to baptize my passion for sports so that it abounds in my greatest passion, the glory of Christ. I often find myself preaching mini sermons to myself as well as my kids about how these `little' things truly are opportunities to make much of Christ. Therefore, I am truly excited about my friend Stephen Altrogge's project to serve people like me by providing a comprehensive handbook guiding folks to think and act biblically with regard to sports.
Stephen is qualified to write this book not just because he has been involved in playing and watching athletics his entire life, but because he is now consumed with making much of Christ with his entire life.
It is often the trend in books like this to take verses or concepts from Scripture and repackage them with a sports look. In this, authors unwittingly twist verses from their context and intended meaning. Their points are often clever and motivating, but I fear not biblically faithful. In this book Altrogge avoids this type of thing by focusing on the priority of a comprehensive worldview that exalts Christ in and through the gospel.
The book is intentionally broad but helpfully simple. It applies to both the 11 year old playing little league, the college football player, or the retiree on the golf course. The principles in the book are applicable as long as athletic competition is occurring and Christ is to be worshiped.
One prevailing theme in this book that makes it very helpful is the emphasis upon the glory of God. Altrogge is determined that folks are motivated to recognize the greatness of God when we witness athletic talent. Stephen recognizes that the sports world is a hotbed for idolatry. However, he exhorts us to see gifts in light of glory. He asks if God is impressed with Michael Jordan knocking down the winning shot, or Tiger woods crushing a drive. The point is that we should see such things as times not to ultimately marvel at these amazing physical abilities but find ourselves, as a result of these amazing abilities, marveling at the glorious God who makes and sustains such people. In other words, we are to worship.
In the context of the thrill of athletics, Altrogge transparently writes,
"Unfortunately, I rarely find myself uttering even a word of thanks to God for these pleasures. I have done nothing to deserve them. My sins merit eternal punishment in hell. Instead, God plucked me out of the darkness, made me his son, and heaped blessing after extravagant blessing upon me, including sports. As I loaf on my couch and watch basketball, I'm experiencing the goodness and kindness of God towards me. Because of his love for me he allows me to experience great pleasure and joy as I watch sports. My heart should be overflowing with gratitude to God for his incredible mercy."
After establishing a God-centered view of sports Altrogge helps set some Game Day priorities.
Here is a list from this chapter, which should be shared with every athlete:
The Priority of Humility (specifically, God is the source of athletic ability, encourage other players, be team oriented, and refuse to argue with officials)
The Priority of Passion (this is great, he argues that it is a stewardship issue!)
The Priority of Self-Control (even in light of `tough' circumstances)
The Priority of Trust (trusting the sovereign God)
Finally Altrogge exhorts readers to remember that every moment of every day, including sports, has eternal ramifications. God is concerned with receiving glory in all things (including sports!) We should likewise act like it!
"Unfortunately, sin is still with us and taints even our most godly moments. Like a vile parasite, it clings to us in both victory and defeat. Specific temptations accompany both winning an losing, and we must be aware of how our sinful hearts work in both circumstances. We must learn how to enjoy the sweet pleasures of victory and how to endure the bitterness of defeat in ways that please God."
CJ Maheney also adds a helpful and appropriate appendix.
I plan to have my kids read this book. I encourage parents of kids who play sports on any level, or those of you who enjoy watching or competing in sports yourselves, to read this book and pass it on. It is truly an area of our lives that is too often fraught with idolatry but should be an instigator for worship.
Sports for the Glory of God Sep 9, 2008
For people living in a society so obsessed with sports and so given over to them, I'm not sure that enough Christians have paused to consider what they think about sports in a way that is firmly biblical. I can think of only a small handful of books that have considered sports in light of Scripture and that have offered truly Christian ways of thinking about them. Into this void steps Stephen Altrogge with his newly published Game Day for the Glory of God.
In this book Altrogge seeks to encourage Christians to enjoy the gift of sports and to seize the opportunities sports give us to bring glory to God. He wants to see Christians understand sports as a means of growing in godliness. Thus he grounds the book in the gospel and dedicates the first chapter to an explanation of the gospel message. In the second chapter he shows that God is the source of all talent and that our right response is to thank him, rather than glorify ourselves, for any of our athletic accomplishments. He turns next to the joy of sports, teaching that the joy of winning, the exhilaration of victory, is a reflection of God's excellence. In pursuing victory, we are mimicking the God of victory. The fourth chapter deals with "Game Day Priorities," pointing to humility, passion, self-control, trust and dependence as the character traits that should define those who wish to play sports to the glory of God. Chapter five looks at winning and losing, warning against temptations that may befall those who are driven to win, but (thankfully) not suggesting that winning is meaningless as long as we all have fun. The last chapter encourages parents to help their children understand the proper place of sports and the proper attitude with which to approach them. Appended to the book is an essay from C.J. Mahaney titled "Fathers, Sons, and Sports" in which Mahaney gives wisdom specific to fathers as they seek to help their sons enjoy sports for all of the right reasons.
While Game Day for the Glory of God is a book that offers few surprises, it is still a book that is well worth reading. All I would wish for the book is that it would deal more with those of us who are more likely to enjoy sports from the vantage point of a couch rather than a soccer pitch or a tennis court. It is geared almost entirely to those who play sports while only touching on issues related to those who primarily watch them.
At a time when sport supplants religion and athletes are reverenced as heroes, it does us good to consider if and how we can use sports to bring honor to God. In Game Day for the Glory of God, Stephen Altrogge does just that, exploring both the benefits and challenges that await those of us who enjoy the action and drama of sports. Stephen relies on the Bible's timeless wisdom to guide us to a deeper appreciation of God and a deeper abiding in the truths of the gospel on game day and every day.