I intend to talk about Chrysostom (347-407) later in my “Top 100 Preachers of All Time” series, but today I ran across a great little article from the Christian History Blog. It deals with the launch of the fall NFL season and what Chrysostom preached about sports.
The article begins:
This week, the bane of preachers everywhere returns. When the clock strikes noon on Sunday in America’s heartland, anxious Christians will clear their throats, shift positions in their seats, and hope the pastor’s next words are "in conclusion." Some Christians living in the Mountain West and on the Pacific Coast might decide to skip church altogether. Because the NFL is back. And pastors will once again wonder privately how members can forget everything about that morning’s sermon but recall detailed statistical information for scores of players they "own" in fantasy football leagues.
Few preachers I know would dare mention this frustration in a sermon.… What many Christians may not realize, however, is that these pastoral concerns run all the way back past the fundamentalists, beyond the Puritans, to the early church. Even those of us who love to watch the pigskin fly would be wise to consider the warning from the most famous preacher in early Christianity.
You can read the entire article here.