Monday, March 23, 2009

Bad theology, awful metaphors, and NASCAR

My fave! There are apparently several of parallels between NASCAR and theology, according to Rick Lemons, author of The Race. Money quote:
Just as NASCAR teams work together to improve a car's performance in Pit Row, God has provided all we need to drive a victorious race. Lemons points out that we have a pit crew-other believers-and a crew chief in God. By making frequent pit stops for God's Word, Worship, Fellowship, Prayer, Accountability, and Encouragement, we equip ourselves for ultimate performance. He explains how these are like fuel, new tires, a strong battery, receiving instructions from the Crew Chief, listening to your spotter, and receiving a refreshing drink during a NASCAR event.
For some reason, Jesus isn't part of this theology. But it's obvious, like the bumper stickers say, that Jesus is my co-pilot. Or is Jesus the "spotter?" I'm confused. But not all, apparently, is good:
Lemons also warns of accidents resulting from debris that Satan throws our way; Satan wants to put us on the "dnf" list-did not finish. Lemons forewarns of wreckage that can disqualify us. NASCAR teams understand that having the best car does not guarantee victory on every race day. Forty-three cars begin each race, but not all will finish.
While I'm a universalist, at least according to this theology salvation is for those who merely finish the race and not solely for the person who finishes first. That's at least something. But did you notice how Satan has powers over and within the world, while God is just a consummate supervisor or Crew Chief? Satan has a more immanent and pro-active role in creation, while God is transcendent and only relationally engaged during worship, the pit stop of everyday life. Or said differently, Satan is involved in the race - in order to disqualify or wreck us - but God is on Pit Row. Yikes.

(h/t Andrew Sullivan)


Darren Staley said...

Actually, I totally agree with Lemons' argument. Jimmie Johnson has won three consecutive championships yet is struggling this year.

This just confirms what I knew all along: it is Satan. Now, before you go calling me a crackpot, guess who is dominating this season: Kyle Busch.

What car does Busch drive? The #18 M&Ms. That's right, the candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hands. Perfect for a hell dweller.

Drew said...

Darren, I think you strained the theology to make your anti-Jimmy Johnson point! :-)

Darren Staley said...

No, I am pro JJ. Satan is hurting JJ and supporting Busch for his tasty M&Ms.