Note From Dan: We have a bad habit of posting guests blogs about Tim Tebow after the games, so please keep in mind that Jeff wrote this post prior to Saturday's game. With that said, I'll leave you with a quote from Tebowie: "This is Jesus Christ to Tim Tebow... I hear that you play New England next week. Dude, you're on your own. Brady is too good and I've got better things to do..."
If Rick Reilly can do it, so can I.
So, when the Tim Tebow phenomena began, I was, to be honest, nervous. There are hundreds of horrible ways to talk about celebrity athletes of faith, and most of it is cringe-worthy.
But I recant. I think it's great. I even want him to beat the Patriots this weekend (put the weapons DOWN Boston people).
I think it has two theological meanings.
First, God is nice. Did you read the Rick Reilly article? It seems like for everything we can tell, one upshot of Tim Tebow's faith, however red-state we may want to paint it (and fairly so) is that it leads him to do genuinely nice things.
Whether this makes any particular point about sports, Christianity, or religion I don't know. But I, for one, have a taste for a faith that causes people to do nice things. I am fairly well acquainted with faith of all stripes that makes people mean. I myself can be led to bouts of religiously-based superiority and meanness.
I wonder if this is one testing ground for healthy faith. Certainly it doesn't mean faith is TRUE- there are certainly nice people of almost every religious persuasion. But if I'm looking for faith to impact my life, the idea that it makes mean people into nice people seems like one worthy requirement.
Second, if nothing else, it means God is fun. My theology refuses to believe that God would cause a guy to win football games because he prays and sings Christian songs. There's no way. In fact, my theology refuses to believe God would have much to do with football games at all.
And, certainly, Tebow has lost, and certainly will lose his share. So, point taken, God has nothing to do with this. Right?
Except. Ummm. I'm feeling REALLY awkward here, but I just can't help myself. Except have you SEEN these games? 60+ yard field goals. I mean, I know it's Denver. But TWICE? And 300 yards? Against the Steelers? By a guy who can't throw? And 80 yards in 5 seconds of overtime? Against the Steelers?
I'm so sorry. I know. I went into idiot land for a minute there. Of course any respectable person cannot ascribe divine intervention to a football game. And especially not to some John 3:16 toting 20-something punk.
Except, I'm so sorry. Did you watch any of the games?
No, no, you're right.
But it does give me a funny image. I imagine God at his computer, taking prayers as emails.
"Please support my political candidate. Please let my theological position take the day. Please kill the bad people. Please let me be shown to be right."
I see him rolling his eyes, and then opening another email.
"Please God, let me when a Super Bowl today. Love, Timmy."
And snarky God decides to do something just to mess with our heads.
Of course it's a silly picture. And, at his best, my guess is Tim might wonder what happened to the prayer requests of the sick kids Reilly reports he treats so well. And we can come back down to reality and realize it's just a game, and a few last minute comebacks don't prove anything about theology.
(But, seriously, did you see that throw?)