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Saturday, July 14, 2018

"The Biggest Win" by Joshua Cooley. A Review

The Biggest Win: Pro Football Players Tackle FaithThe Biggest Win: Pro Football Players Tackle Faith by Joshua Cooley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sports metaphors run aplenty in Sacred Scripture. Whether it's martial arts (boxing, wrestling) or running, the toil, aim, strain, practice and perseverance all give a unique picture to the Christian life. That's what makes Joshua Cooley's new little 160 page paperback, "The Biggest Win: Pro Football Players Tackle Faith" such a fun and useful book. Cooley, accomplished writer of 20 years, and full-time children’s minister at Chapel Hill Bible Church in North Carolina, has woven together an enjoyable work of insights from several Christian players on the Super Bowl LII winning team, the Philadelphia Eagles, and what Scripture says about various subjects. The manuscript is primarily devotional matter for younger athletes, though sports enthusiasts of most every stripe will gain plenty from the material.

Cooley began interviewing Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Zach Ertz, Trey Burton, Jordan Hicks, and Chris Maragos in 2017 for the book. Page after page, the players' personal stories, fears, concerns, and joys come forth in their own words. But Cooley also marries the players' stories to specific biblical themes in eleven chapters, and then concludes with questions for reflecting on the chapter. In a nutshell, the book leads the reader along this stream: "pursuing God's glory as we compete, recognizing the God-given lessons that athletics provides, and becoming more like Christ through the triumphs and challenges that sports presents" (xiii). In these pages a reader will meet Reformed theology wearing shoulder pads and helmet. But also with each successive paragraph the warmth of the players and writer will rouse and inspire.

"The Biggest Win" will be out at the end of July 2018, just in time for a new sports season. This book should be a present to all of the athletes in your life. If you're a coach, a "jock," enthusiast, minister, or Bible teacher, you will enjoy this volume and gain loads of illustrations to encourage others. Hurry up and pre-order the book; you won't regret it!

My hearty thanks to New Growth Press for handing me an advanced reader copy of the book used for this review. All of the remarks are mine and freely given.

You can obtain the book here: "The Biggest Win"

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