USA Today writer on religion and sports

Dr. Paul Louis Metzger of Multnomah University interviews Tom Krattenmaker of USA Today on religion and sports
By Paul Louis MetzgerPaul Louis Metzger
New Wine Skins Blog

You can learn a lot about the relation of American religion and sports from journalist Tom Krattenmaker. You can also learn a lot about Tom Krattenmaker from his personal story with American religion and sports.

So, who is Tom Krattenmaker? Tom serves as a member of USA TODAY’s editorial Board of Contributors and writes regularly for the paper’s “On Religion” commentary page. In addition to authoring the controversial book on American Evangelicalism and sports, Onward Christian Athletes: Turning Ballparks into Pulpits and Players into Preachers (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2010), his article, “The Evangelicals You Don’t Know” (USA Today, Opinion, June 2, 2008), received critical acclaim as one of the top three pieces of religion commentary in the American Academy of Religion’s 2009 Journalism Awards program.

Dr. Metzger asked Tom for an interview to discuss his journey into the realm of American religion and sports as well as his own faith journey. What makes Tom especially interesting is that he is a reporter who positions himself as a member of the religious and cultural left (attending a Unitarian Universalist Church and serving as Vice-President for Public Affairs and Communications at Lewis and Clark College), who engages American Evangelicalism fairly, openly, and insightfully. Here’s what Evangelical leader Kevin Palau, Executive Vice President of the Luis Palau Association, has to say about Tom and his work. “Tom Krattenmaker—in my opinion—is one of the most informed and relevant writers on the Evangelical movement today. His critique is fair and his knowledge is impressive.” No doubt, some of his insights and expertise in this area derive from Tom experiencing numerous courtships with Evangelicalism over the years, including flings with Young Life and Campus Crusade for Christ. None of these flings with Evangelical Christianity stuck, but his fascination with the movement has not diminished.

Check out this audio clip from the interview. Stay tuned for the whole interview, appearing in Cultural Encounters Volume 6, Number 1.

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