Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is God a Tebow fan?

Talk about Tim Tebow and his faith are quite often taking over every  football conversation. There is the question of whether or not God is playing any part in what have been unbelievable comeback victories for the Denver Broncos. As a Chicago Bears fan I was a first-hand witness to one of these improbable games.

Owen Strachan has a great article on whether or not God has had a hand in these games. The main point he makes is that God does but not in the way that we may initially think. Strachan states:

God oversees and ordains all that comes to pass. This includes, as surprising as it may initially seem, football games. The outcome of every football game ever been played was planned by the all-wise, all-seeing mind of God. But this is not saying what some might think. God has also planned every haircut you've ever had, and every shopping trip you've ever taken. He is lord of football, and he is lord of produce. Nothing happens outside of his sovereign direction.

We err, though, if we equate his general superintendence of this world---the falling of sparrows, the numbering of hairs---with the special working of his kingdom. This is what Costas seems to be protesting, and in a much fuller sense than he understands. God has a special interest in promoting his gospel and building his church (John 3:16; Rom. 10; Eph. 1). This is not to say that he is uninterested in the ordinary things of the world, but rather to note that the mission of salvation begun after Adam's fall holds preeminence for God and, by extension, for his followers.

We must also say that for Tebow, the way he plays football is necessarily a matter of God's glory. In the same way that God gains glory through the work of a faithful accountant, a sacrificial, sleep-deprived mother, and a repentant cellist, God gains glory through righteous athletes who work hard in his name and seek to be a light in dark places. God directs the life and exploits of Tim Tebow, football hero. But he also directs Owen Strachan, Boyce College professor, or my friend Colin LeCroy, a Dallas lawyer, or my friend Emily Duffus, an Atlanta schoolteacher. Tebow may reach more people in his work, but we are all working for the glory of God, who directs and blesses our work so as to magnify his name.

God is not a Tebow or Bronco fan in the same way that you or I may be a sports fan. Rather God does play a part in every sports team victory not because he is a fan of any particular team but rather because he has a greater plan in action. We may not understand why God allows certain things to happen. But it doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility that God has had a hand in Tebow's improbable run simply to get more people talking about God and faith issues.

Further Listening:
Former wide receiver Chris Carter on the Mike and Mike show. He makes the point at the 42:33 mark that you cannot separate Tim Tebow from his faith. Listen here

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