Phelps, Franklin and Individualism in the Church

by Lesley on July 31, 2012 · 1 comment

in christianity,sports

It’s a HOT day in Sacramento so we’re headed to the Bridgeway Lakes Splash Park for mama/baby water fun. I am numb from my dentist appointment and hoping that by the time we arrive I am not drooling down my face.

I’m really excited to be over at Hermeneutics today, the Christianity Today blog for women. I’m talking about Phelps, Franklin and individualism in the church. I am surprised to already have two comments disagreeing with my criticism of Phelps. It actually makes me happy that I’ve had some push back. I tend to stick to the “safe” topics, and I thought this was a fairly vanilla article in terms of controversy. But, I also like to make people think- and it feels good to have written something a bit different than I normally do. I’d love to hear your thoughts– whether you agree or disagree–because it’s all about the conversation.

Also, if you’re in the Olympic spirit like we are (and let’s be honest, who isn’t? I’m going on six hours of sleep the last three nights!) check out this article over on Shauna Niequist’s blog about American trackstar Evan Jager. I think you’ll find it inspiring.

photo credit to the Denver Post

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Hi Lesley: That post at her.mi had some great points about our faith and how we are called to individual responsibility in the context of community. I think it's what Paul was getting at with his passages on bodies having many parts and all that. The only disappointment I had with the article - and I really really hesitate to even mention it because you expressed yourself so well and so constructively (much better than I could have done!) - is that the comparison of how Phelps and Franklin present themselves came across as somewhat critical of Phelps and exalting of Franklin, and I think this was unnecessary to your main point. I know you said you have watched a number of interviews of each of them and your article is not based on just those snapshots we saw after their races. But even so, to focus so much on Franklin and Phelps distracted me somewhat from your main thesis, which is that as Christians we need to be careful to understand our responsibility to the body while also bearing responsibility as individuals in relationship with Christ. That's a thesis worth pursuing! Your article brought up so many wonderful things for us to consider, Lesley, and I thank you for it. From somewhere just west of Sacramento, Tim