Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grace for Mark McGwire?

I appreciated this post from Mockingbird on the return of Mark McGwire to major league baseball as a batting coach. I wonder if you agree?


Brian said...

I tend to agree. I would like him to come out and publicly repent (if necessary) and at least address the issue, but I am primed to forgive and enjoy baseball.

He did; however, admit to Andro (legal then, illegal now) and for all we know, that's all he's ever taken.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I agree with either his understanding of grace or his support of McGwire (and I'm a life-long Cardinals fan).

David Kjos said...

Eh? Forgiveness without repentance? What? This is not biblical theology.

Not that that has anything to do with McGuire and MLB. MLB is not God or the church.

Hayden said...

Matthew 18:21-35 states nothing of repentance on the part of the 'offending party'. We are still to forgive (Ephesians 4:32).

There is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation (Matt. 5:23-26) though. You can have forgiveness without reconciliation (due to one party not repenting)but you cannot have reconciliation without forgiveness. (I believe that there is a book called 'Unpacking Forgiveness' by Chris Brauns that delves deeper into this discussion)

As far as the McGuire application, I think we as Christians ought to err on the side of grace here because we were not the ones offended and we do not even have all of the facts.

David Kjos said...


I find it odd that you cite Matthew 18:21-35, but skip 15-20. Anyway, I would suggest that the debtors acknowledgment of his debt and promise to make it right (v. 26) indicate repentance. Furthermore, surely you know that the entire doctrine of forgiveness is not found in those 15 verses alone. Consider also 2 Chronicles 7:14, Jeremiah 36:3, and 1 John 1:9, and especially Luke 17:3-4: "If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him."

Anonymous said...

Wow, everyone loves to accuse or cry foul against Mcgwire not because he took steroids but because he wouldn't answer certain question that would have railroaded him. He was not required to answer the questions he didn't answer and for that everyone makes him "public enemy number two". One things for sure, (since the Mcgwire thing is turned into a theological debate) He carried a big bat, but everyone else is carrying larger logs protruding from their eyes!
Funny how everyone loved the spectacle when he was playing, and people assumed then that something was enhancing his game, but only after the congress thing did anyone care.

BP said...

Doesn't seem to be much repentance going on in Luke 23:34.

David Kjos said...

I Know this has gone off-topic and might be needlessly contentious, so I'll take no offense if you don't publish this. Either way, this will be my last word on the subject.

In response to BP,
To reiterate, an entire doctrine is not found in a single verse. You must take in the whole teaching of Scripture, e.g., the passages cited in my previous comment, to name only a few. Referencing a single verse is usually thin support, especially when arguing from what the verse does not say. As Pastor Jerry Wragg has said,

"... if a single verse or passage would so readily change your conviction, then your present view is thinly constructed, and your next view too easily gained."

Hayden said...


You can go all the way back to the beginning of the chapter, it doesn't change the need for grace with MaGuire.

The purpose of v 15-18 is clearly spelled out in vss 12-14. You are using a passage that is about restoration in the church to apply to a baseball situation? If MaGuire is a Christian he should repent, if not, how can he?

vss 15-18 do not change the clear meaning of vss 21-35, which is a response to a question in verse 21.

David Kjos said...


No, I am not applying it to McGwire and MLB. See my first comment.

My initial response was to the Mockingbird post, which 1) claimed forgiveness does not require repentance, and 2) applied that to McGwire and MLB. I disagreed on both counts.

As promised, I'm finished with the tangent of biblical forgiveness vis-à-vis repentance.

I say grace and forgiveness do not apply, because MLB is not a person, but a governing body. If McGuire is guilty, individuals against whom he has sinned (team owners, fellow players, etc.) may forgive him, but if MLB finds him guilty of violations, justice requires that he be subject to whatever penalties are called for under MLB rules (and, not being a sports fan, I don't know what that entails), no more, and no less.

David Kjos said...

Also, just to be clear, I don't think I've said McGuire doesn't need grace or (if guilty) shouldn't repent.

Hayden said...

Here is my last comment on this topic (not out of anger or anything, just due to time constraints)

I would recommend that everyone read and interact with this article by Steve Cornell.