God's Gift of Canadian Olympic Hockey - John Van Sloten

February 28, 2010

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Media @ New Hope CalgaryWhat might God be saying through the Canadian Men’s Olympic Hockey Team. Why is hockey so huge to Canadians? What does this say about how God made us?

“God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
God speaking to human beings (us) in Genesis 1:28, NIV

In Genesis, God gives what we might call the first job description: "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it." The first phrase, "be fruitful and multiply" means to develop the social world: build families, churches, schools, cities, governments, laws. The second phrase, "subdue the earth," means to harness the natural world: plant crops, build bridges, design computers, compose music. This passage is sometimes called the Cultural Mandate because it tells us that our original purpose was to create cultures, build civilizations-nothing less.”
Nancy Pearcey, from her book,Total Truth

“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry 'Mine!"
Thinker Abraham Kuyper, 1837-1920

CBC Radio Interview

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Short version via "You Tube"

The Good Old Hockey Game!


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April 29, 2011
great job!!!!
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December 13, 2010
God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. God speaking to human beings (us) in Genesis 1:28, NIV

In Genesis 1:28 man has not sinned yet. Thus the most important thing to do then is the cultural mandate. If man has not sinned then that would still be the most important thing to do till now.

But after man sinned, things have changed. The most important thing now is REDEMPTION i.e restoration of man's heart and relationship to God.

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February 24, 2010
Pastor John:
I am troubled by this piece. What is your message? On the surface, you endorse sport as the new religion. Is that what you mean to say? If so, why are you a pastor in a church and not a coach of a sports team?

Should sport be a religion and its heroes be worshipped?

You don’t quite say it but you leave the impression, starting with the provocative title, that sport is an object worthy of worship. Technically, you cover yourself by writing sports is part of a divine calling and is meant to honour God.

But how many readers, particularly teenagers would make such fine distinctions. The main message seems to be: sports is worship as much as praying and preaching!
Then this: yes, sport is part of our calling and Sunday’s game should honour God. No doubt, that is biblical.
But what is left unsaid is under what conditions do we fail our calling and how might Sunday’s game be an abomination to God?
There are numerous elements of modern sports that seem very questionable – obscene salaries, violence, hero worship, a destructive form of excessive competition, and probably much more. What would Jesus or the prophets say?
To write without qualification that Canadian hockey is among the finest products of our divine cultural calling reminds me a little too much of American evangelical prosperity theology.
You have certainly provoked thought and hopefully constructive discussion. For that I am grateful.
Perhaps, I have completely misunderstood. I should welcome your thoughts.
Nick Loenen, Richmond, BC

February 24th, 2010 on 10:26 pm
Hey Nick,

Thanks for your very thoughtful response… too big an answer to fit in this comment box (I’ve just finished a book trying to explain it all actually, coming our this fall, The Day Metallica Came to Church, Square Inch Press, August 2010). Bottom line… the piece is intended to introduce, into what is arguably the most alive thing Canadians are now living, questions about why God made us this way, and what are we ultimately meant for. Sunday’s sermon on the topic will bring in a bit more of the balance you’re seeking. But this piece is not a sermon… it’s the kind of thing you’d say to someone who is outside of the faith… a first conversation… hopefully communicated in a way that might evoke a few existential questions.

Bottom line for me in this… I wrote what I wrote personally believing in a huge view of the sovereignty and Lordship of Christ. And I believe that the yearnings expressed in our seeking of hockey glory are given by God and ultimately meant to be met in God thru Christ.

Not much of an explanation… but I’d suggest reading the book when it comes out.

John Van Sloten blog comments
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