2.08.2009

Still Running After Chariots of Fire


Kurt Warner, Tim Tebow, and Mariano Rivera are among a long list of contemporary athletes who publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ and their intention to commit themselves to full-time ministry upon retirement. They follow in the footsteps of a man many would recognize for the first act in his life, and who followed through with his pledge and had himself an even more remarkable second act in his life.

Eric Liddell, immortalized in the movie, "Chariots of Fire," was born in China to Presbyterian missionaries, and returned to his country of birth to minister in word and deed. Japanese occupation eventually cost him his life, as he died in an internment camp of a brain tumor just months before liberation.

According to a recent article in the US Center for World Mission's Mission Frontier magazine, it is this second half of Liddell's life that will be the focus of a major motion picture called "The Flying Man." To be produced by a joint Chinese and American team, and partially filmed in China, the film is due out later this year or early next year.

It would be just one more of many productions from China honoring Liddell, as the Chinese consider him a war hero. Here's hoping "The Flying Man" gets some acclaim here in the West as well. After all, if Michael Phelps or Mary Lou Retton or Carl Lewis ended up serving and then dying in the mission field, we would find that an incredibly compelling story. Once "The Flying Man" is released, many will learn that that is just what happened to the track star of Paris in 1924.
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