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Bo Sanders: Public Theology

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Tebow

Job, the Gospel and Tebow

I love the controversy that surrounded Tim Tebow – I just hate what his fan do with his success.   It is irresponsible and un-Biblical.

I have said before that I respect Tim and that he does not think God helps the Broncos win football games.

Why I love Tim: He works incredibly hard, has an amazing energy, lives out his faith, and serves orphans. This guy is incredible!

Why I hate his success: If you are in the NFL, you are gifted. Every player is extraordinarily talented … and I think that those talents come for God. I would prefer if we said that every player was blessed by God –  some acknowledge it and some are quite vocal about.

The assertion that God blesses one player more than another is where I run into the problem: that God is picking and choosing this person over that one – and interfering in this moment but not that one is a view of God that is irresponsible and indefensible.
 I will go as far as to say that it is somewhere between superstition and missing the entire point of Jesus’ life and message. This certainly is not a Christian view of God.

Last week, my partner at Homebrewed – Tripp had a blog posted by Rachel Held Evans where he said that God was not omnipotent and that the future is not determined. In the TNT podcast that followed that, Tripp and I talk about the line of reasoning that some people took in not only their objection to Tripp’s note but came to the defense of an omnipotent conception of God . Some people just came out and said “the book of Job shows that God is omnipotent”. This is a terrifying sentence to hear from a Christian.

There are three things about Job that need to be clear:

  • It is not a newspaper report. It is a dramatic presentation (broken into distinct acts).
  • That God rewards those who do right and love God and punishes those who disobey and turn away from God … is exactly what the book of Job is written against. That is against the narrative of Job’s life story at the beginning and against what God says at the end.
  • Christians believe that Jesus lived a perfect life – and was brutally murdered. I see that as the Death of Job’s God. That old concept of God died on the Cross.

So the Bible Continue reading “Job, the Gospel and Tebow”

the 99 and the Tebow: success, Billy Graham and Canada

I blog both here at at Homebrewed Christianity. Sometimes after a post rotates off the front page over then I re-post it here for ongoing conversation.

Several weeks ago I had fun looking at the difference between Tim Tebow’s* faith and what his zealous (mostly evangelical & charismatic) fans do with it. I took some flack from asserting that Jesus was not intervening to help him win close games.
Since then he has lost 3 games. The choir has gone shockingly quiet. It appears – and this may come as a surprise – that Americans worship success more than any ‘god’. In fact, one might wonder if success is America’s god.

It always piques my imagination when politicians say ‘May God bless America” at the end of their speeches … I try to pay attention to how they say it and what they might be expecting that blessing to look like.

 There are two elements to this that really attract my attention:

  • Part of the reason this sticks out to me so sharply is that I have dual-citizenship with Canada. I went to High school and started Bible College there. When I see Tebow bowed on the sideline praying in the 4th quarter, I smile as I think of the completely different religious and political atmosphere in Canada. Almost every Canadian I know – even the believers – I can hear saying “Easy big guy, don’t make too much of a display”.

American zeal is a phenomenon. I have a theory that it is actually embedded in the DNA of this country courtesy of those original Calvinists who brought with them the concept of “signs of divine benevolence”. This little mechanism says
‘while we can’t know who is elect unto salvation or damnation – certainly we say that a good tree will bear good fruit. So, while no can know for sure if they are “in” certainly God graces the chosen with “signs of divine benevolence”. Continue reading “the 99 and the Tebow: success, Billy Graham and Canada”

Talking about Tebow’s God

This is a repost from Homebrewed Christianity. There was a wild discussion that ensued. I thought I would bring it over here as well – in case anyone wanted to have quieter conversation.

I have held off as long as I could but I think we better talk about this now before it goes any further.

Tim Tebow is a phenomenon is the media these days. His Denver Broncos football team is on a 6 game winning streak and he is 7-1 as their starting Quaterback. Despite his apparent limitations (skills) he has orchestrated a series of amazing comebacks during the winning streak.  That is a big deal! Any fan would love to have their team on this kind of a roller coaster – come from behind – frenzy.

That, however, is not what makes this news. Continue reading “Talking about Tebow’s God”

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