chapter  6
16 Pages

A philosophical problem of the Korean church’s missiological use of sports

BySong-Chong Lee

The objective of this chapter is to question the Korean church’s missionary use of sports and to discuss some violations particularly of the intrinsic values of sport. This paper presents and explains some of the problems associated with Korean missionaries’ use of sports. This paper does not dispute the spiritual and moral foundation of evangelism, and the author fully recognizes and respects the work of missionaries. The author questions whether the missionary and missiological use of sports is morally appropriate in principle and assesses whether it is philosophically and theologically reasonable and permissible. To effectively deal with the issues in this limited space, this chapter focuses specifically on four principles that the author believes the church’s strategic and systematic use of sports violates: principle of play, principle of fair play, principles of coaching ethics, and the spiritual principle of sports. Sports can be used for a variety of ends, including promoting health, forming and strengthening social identity and solidarity, and bringing pride. However, all of those goals can be effectively met when people find “playful” in the sport in which they engage, when they know that their playful competition is guided and exercised in fair rules based on a firm moral ground, and particularly, for religious goals, when they feel higher values in sport such as spirituality than just material benefits.