2012 is nearing an end, and just like every “end of the year” in our culture – it is a busy time. For some reason we’ve managed to stuff Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all into the same five or six weeks that we have end-of-the-year wrap up, year-end reviews, new year planning, calendar buying and scheduling, and, most importantly, “best of the year” music and movie countdowns.
2012 has been an especially lively time for our family. Our children are growing older (quickly!), ministry is an never-ending endeavor, I have intensified my studies as I near the end of my DMin program, and pursued a few new endeavors this year. As I continue to tie up the loose ends of this year: my classes at OVU are coming to an end next week, football officiating ended a month and a half ago, I have a book review to post later this week, I will be turning my intention towards my dissertation. I hope to hammer out my thesis in the next few months, and will be convening a session at the 2013 Scholar’s Conference at Lipscomb University next summer in connection with my research on sports and theology. I am excited to have friends and colleagues Steven Bonner and Shawn Duncan also presenting papers, and we have recently learned that well-known scholar Shaun Casey will be hosting our session. Additionally, Joshua Fleer, PhD candidate at Florida State will be offering response to our papers.
I continue to grow excited in regards to the potential this project has for the future. Most of the material I have found in my research make statements as to the general lack of attention the topic of sports has received by critical theology. Additionally, I am amazed at the lack of critical attention the topic receives in youth ministry and men’s ministry circles. I hope to make important contributions in these areas in the future. I am excited to have Craig Detwieler on board as content reader to this project and look forward to his comments and suggestions.
Needless to say, there is plenty of work to be done. I hope to use the blog as a haven for some of my research ventures throughout the dissertation and would enjoy comments and suggestions as this project continues to grow legs. Essentially, I am going to be working in the realm of the New Testament use of the language of “powers” and “principalities” and applying to the “spirit of sport” in our culture. Theologically, I’m relying heavily on the work of Walter Wink, JH Yoder, and the like to discuss the implications of these social structures in our world and hope to illustrate that what God has created to serve us, we have become slaves to. Hopefully, this can help foster a discussion for the proper participation and consumption of sports.