Book Recommendation: Facing Tyson
Of the books on my "wish list" for my birthday, only one was given to me- Faith Alone by R.C. Sproul (thank you, mother-in-law!). I did get some other nice presents, including enough money from my MeMa and my aunt Vickie to buy several books.
While at Borders, thinking of what I would buy, I decided that for once I would not purchase a book on theology, and I picked up the book Facing Tyson by Ted Kluck. Having read Kluck's book Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) [written with Kevin DeYoung] earlier this summer, I knew that Kluck is a Christian, and was interested to see if his faith made any difference in how he wrote a sports book. I was pleasantly surprised to see that trusting in God's grace through Jesus Christ did seem to impact how Kluck wrote this book, even though Tyson and the majority of the other boxers about whom Kluck writes are not Christians.
Kluck's faith is evident in his evaluation of Tyson, which neither excuses Tyson's bad behavior, nor demonizes the former heavyweight champ. Kluck seems to demonstrate a real understanding that we could all be in Tyson's position apart from God's grace. Some specific statements in the book also seem to indicate a concern on Kluck's part for Tyson's salvation. [For example: "Tyson seems comfortable with the doctrine of sin at least, and seems to understand his own desire for redemption."] Especially interesting to the Christian reader is the chapter in which Kluck interviews former boxer Marvis Frazier, who now ministers with Prison Fellowship.
I would not recommend this book for youth, as the statements by various boxers often contain a good deal of cursing. (We should, perhaps, say, "Cussing like a boxer," rather than, "Cussing like a sailor.") I do wish that Kluck had edited the language a bit more in order to make this book accessible to younger boxing fans, but this is my only negative critique.