The opening ceremonies to the Beijing Olympics were the most spectacular human achievement I have ever witnessed. My wife and I agree; they’re a must see even in this brief life of ours.

Some multiple of four years ago, I watched a portion of another opening olympic ceremony, and I thought it was the silliest waste of time possible. Feel-good frippery. But this past Friday’s ceremony was invested with significance for me because I have been tracking (thanks to the New York Times) China’s peaceful rise as a world economic (et cetera) power. China was making a very expensive statement with this show.

Humans are amazing creatures, but little did most (?) of those 15,000 jaw-dropping Chinese performers know that they were expressing God’s image in them through their creativity, strength, and beauty. How sad that man suppresses the knowledge of the Creator whose impulse still causes them to rise to new heights and push the outer limits.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. dtjohnso on August 12, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I haven’t watched the ceremony yet as you recommended, but this is interesting.

    Apparently the ceremony (and the games overall) are shaping up to be as much a direct testimony of man’s suppression of the knowledge of the Creator as they were a testimony to God’s common grace. I’m not certain which is more saddening.

    This statement from the article is key: “I do not think the Chinese state realizes how unethical this is, they don’t understand what kind of values they are reflecting.”

    What is a proper response to such a story for a believer? I’m not shocked really, but it strikes me that rewarding such efforts with the laudatory attention they seem to seek may not be our wisest option.

  2. Jeremiah on August 13, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Not to focus on the negatives, but this technological blooper amused me.

    I missed most of the opening ceremony, but agree that what i saw was spectacular. I guess i’m jaded to lip-synching—it’s a fact of performing these days, like it or not. I think what’s more curious is that out of the Chinese population, they weren’t able to find a girl who could both sing and look good enough to represent their image standards.

  3. Mark L Ward Jr on August 13, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Yeah, Jeremiah, that is honestly just what I thought: surely there’s some girl among a billion people who can sing and be cute.

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