New Book Focusing on Super Bowl LII Winners Helps Readers Strengthen Their Own Faith, Too
In ‘The Biggest Win,’ Author Joshua Cooley Highlights Faith Stories of Six Christ-Following Philadelphia Eagles Players
PHILADELPHIA—After the Philadelphia Eagles’ exciting Super Bowl win, fans are still clamoring for the inside story on the players. That’s why the interest is high for a new book by premier sports writer Joshua Cooley, who explores how a group of teammates gelled not only on the field, but as brothers in Christ as well.
In “The Biggest Win,” Cooley tells the faith stories of six members of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles team—Zach Ertz, Nick Foles, Trey Burton, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Carson Wentz. Insight and instruction in the book also allows readers to grow in their own faith as well.
Soon to be released by New Growth Press on July 30, “The Biggest Win” gives athletes and sports fans a unique, insider’s look into the lives and faith of these champion players. Through the ups and downs of their experiences, Cooley shows how these high-profile athletes remain committed to God’s Word, genuine Christian discipleship and sharing their faith.
Cooley not only talks personally with members of the Super Bowl-winning team about their own walks with Christ, but also shows readers how their struggles and triumphs in faith can have many parallels to these world-caliber athletes.
In Chapter 1, for example, titled “Being a Christian Athlete,” Cooley details the many challenges NFL players face—temptations, for instance, that can tear them from their beliefs.
“In Philadelphia,” Cooley writes, “a tightly knit group of fellowship provided a priceless spiritual oasis in the midst of a grueling season. Today’s NFL presents players with enormous spiritual challenges. There are obvious potential pitfalls, such as the instant fortune that athletes attain. The allure of celebrity, narcissism, and sinful gratification assaults these men as soon as they arrive in the league—and often before. Then, of course, there is pressure to perform from management, coaches, fans and—for many players—the guy behind them on the roster. The NFL’s popularity doesn’t have a trickle-down effect on players’ psyches—it’s more like a roaring waterfall. Every feat or foible is rehashed endlessly on TV news cycles, radio talk shows, and social media.”
While the magnitude of the issues confronting NFL players might be unique, Cooley adds, the issues themselves are not. The professional stage might amplify the fame, pressure, money and physicality, but everyone who has ever thrown a pass, kicked a ball, swam a lap, or swung a bat has struggled with the same basic challenges.
“Who doesn’t worry?” Cooley continues. “Who doesn’t struggle with pride or self-sufficiency? Whose faith hasn’t wavered in trials? Who doesn’t sometimes seek their identity in sports, work, or other things apart from Christ? As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, ‘No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.’ The same sin-stained heart that beats in most also beats in the athletes featured in this book. At the heart level—where God does business (Jeremiah 17:10)—their struggles are our struggles, even as they strive to become more like their Savior. Likewise, their spiritual victories are our spiritual victories. They rejoice when they see someone submit to Christ. They are grateful for personal spiritual growth. They thank the Father when he answers prayer—like many of us do.”
Being a Christian athlete is a fantastic opportunity to light the world with God’s glory, adds Cooley. Athletes at any level can connect with people they wouldn’t otherwise reach—each one a potential life God can change.
“But be forewarned,” he says. “Being a Christian athlete isn’t easy. The challenges you’ll experience will be significant. You’ll get pressure to conform to the world, from both inside and outside your team. You’ll deal with frustrating people, maddening situations and spiritual lows. Satan will attack you. This is all part of sports—and life. So prepare yourself with the armor of God.”
At the end of each chapter in “The Biggest Win,” Cooley offers several reflection questions for readers so they can strengthen their own faith, such as the following:
- What challenges does sports present to your faith?
- How can you answer those challenges with the Bible?
- How do you think God wants you to grow spiritually?
- What’s one way you can be a light to others through sports?
“The Biggest Win” combines biblical truths with practical direction on issues that every Christian faces, including dealing with adversity, competition, change, success, failure, and how to thrive by faith in a pressurized world. Encouraging male and female athletes in any sport, “The Biggest Win” guides them in finding their ultimate identity in Christ, not their athletic achievements, and assures them that their greatest prize is eternal life.
A percentage of the book sales from “The Biggest Win” will go to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a nearly 65-year-old international sports ministry with a vision to see the world transformed by Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
Cooley is also the author or co-author of “The One Year Devotions with Jesus: 365 Devotions to Help You Know and Love the Savior,” “Heroes of the Bible Devotional: 90 Devotions to Help You Become a Hero of God!” and “The One Year Sports Devotions for Kids.” He also co-authored Nick Foles’ forthcoming memoir, “Believe It,” which is scheduled for release in late June.
New Growth Press (NGP) publishes gospel-centered, Bible-based materials that provide churches, families, and individuals with resources for personal and spiritual growth and change. The growing Christian publisher produces a wide variety of gospel-centered resources for individuals, families and churches. NGP also publishes books, minibooks, small group and Gospel Story for Kids resources that provide churches, families and individuals with gospel-driven publications for all ages.
“The Biggest Win” is available now for preorder at Amazon.com or ChristianBook.com. View the media page for “The Biggest Win” here, or visit joshuacooleyauthor.com/the-biggest-win or the New Growth Press page at newgrowthpress.com/the-biggest-win.