Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Mounting up with wings like eagles

I'm usually fairly skeptical when athletes and other celebrities claim to be Christian, praise God, sport Bible verses or Christian symbols as tattoos on their bodies, and so forth. Their lived lives rarely seem to match their profession of faith. It just seems like they're paying lip service to Christianity.

That said, I'm still a bit wary in general, but I find reports about evangelical Christians on the Philadelphia Eagles have a ring of truth to them. For example, Eagles' QB Carson Wentz (injured before the Super Bowl) wanted to help make the Super Bowl an evangelistic opportunity. He has also launched the Audience of One (AO1) foundation to help "the less fortunate".

QB Nick Foles (who led the Eagles to their Super Bowl victory) has said he has always wanted to become a pastor. He's currently taking online classes at Liberty University toward that goal. He filmed a YouVersion video about some of his struggles with football and faith.

Tight end Trey Burton evidently serves as a team pastor and has helped baptize five of his fellow teammates. He wrote an article describing his faith.

Tight end Zach Ertz has said: "I was baptized in March, got married the next day...Our marriage has been built on that foundation from the word and Jesus, and it's changed my life. And just to have these guys hold me accountable on a daily basis has been phenomenal for me. I hope I do the same for them."

The Eagles' offensive coordinator Frank Reich earned an M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary and was a former president for RTS Charlotte.

Head coach Doug Pederson gave thanks to Jesus Christ after the Super Bowl win. Later he said: "It's all about the faith, it's all about our family, and it's all about the Philadelphia Eagles, and it is in that order." Only about a decade before he was the head coach for the Eagles, Pederson was the head coach for the football team of a private Christian high school, Calvary Baptist Academy.

Some professions of faith may be more credible than others. There are several other examples on the team.

Here's a video the Philadelphia Eagles released about the role of Christian faith on the team:

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