Is Folau a Modern-Day Eric Liddell?

29 February 2020

1.4 MINS

He’s only played one game since being dumped by the Wallabies for paraphrasing a passage from the Bible but, according to Fox Sports, Israel Folau is already being feted as the top contender to take out Super League’s Man of Steel. Lee Radford, the coach for Hull, said recently:

He’s an absolute talent, he could be Man of Steel.

He’s multi-talented, at league, union, AFL, you can tell he’s played AFL by how he jumps, he jumps like Michael Jordan.

While following Christ doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in every endeavour in life, Folau’s example is strikingly similar to that Eric Liddell, of whom the classic Chariots of Fire is based. Both men refused to compromise their Biblical convictions when the world around them was pressuring them to compromise and cave. And just like Liddell, the Lord has honoured their courage and faith.

In the penultimate scene in the movie, Liddell is approached by the American athlete Jackson Scholz, who hands him a slip of paper with a verse from 1 Samuel 2:30. It read, “He who honours Me, I will honour.” It was a timely word since Liddell was competing in the 400 meters rather than the 100 meters—of which he held the world record for thirty-five-years—because the heats were on the Lord’s Day which went again his conscience.

But not only did Liddell win the race, he also broke the Olympic Record, a truly staggering achievement for an event he hadn’t really trained for.

However, the passage from 1 Samuel 2:30 is worth quoting in full. Because the second half of the verse reads, “Those who honour Me I will honour, but those who despise Me will be disdained.” This is where both men—Liddell and Folau—fear God more than man.

Whether or not Folau continues to win sporting accolades doesn’t really matter for the approval that he is seeking is from above (see Matthew 25:23; Galatians 1:10). But he is a wonderful example of what it means to be faithful in a culture that is increasingly hostile to the message of Christ.

[Photos: Laurent Selles (4 February 2020); unknown (19 July 1924) / Wikimedia Commons]

We need your help. The continued existence of the Daily Declaration depends on the generosity of readers like you. Donate now. The Daily Declaration is committed to keeping our site free of advertising so we can stay independent and continue to stand for the truth.

Fake news and censorship make the work of the Canberra Declaration and our Christian news site the Daily Declaration more important than ever. Take a stand for family, faith, freedom, life, and truth. Support us as we shine a light in the darkness. Donate now.


  1. Warwick 29 February 2020 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Magnificent story. Great article

  2. Stephen Adams 1 March 2020 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    Israel Folau and Margaret Court- heroes of our time and nation in more ways than one.

  3. John coverdale 2 March 2020 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Good article, the big difference is christianity was embraced more in Liddells day not as much angst and vitriol. Nonetheless they both stood strong which is your Point.

Leave A Comment

Recent Articles:

Use your voice today to protect

Faith · Family · Freedom · Life



The Daily Declaration is an Australian Christian news site dedicated to providing a voice for Christian values in the public square. Our vision is to see the revitalisation of our Judeo-Christian values for the common good. We are non-profit, independent, crowdfunded, and provide Christian news for a growing audience across Australia, Asia, and the South Pacific. The opinions of our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Declaration. Read More.