I can give you a long list of reasons why it is preposterous to suggest that Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, is performing football miracles for Tim Tebow. Yet there are some things that make me wonder if the Lord might actually be involved in this after all.
At the risk of literally playing the devil’s advocate, I’ll start with ten reasons why the whole idea of God performing miracles for Tim Tebow should be rejected.
1) There are millions of people experiencing terrible suffering, including children dying in agony, yet they are not receiving miracles of healing. Why would God get involved in a football game while apparently ignoring the cries of these sufferers?
2) The American obsession with the NFL borders on idolatry, and during football season, many pastors are especially time conscious on Sunday mornings lest the service goes too long and the football-focused parishioners get offended.
3) There are plenty of fine Christians on other NFL teams. Why would God favor Tim Tebow over them? Why would he grant special blessings to the Denver Broncos?
4) The NFL is a concussively violent sport, with many NFL vets hobbled (or even crippled) for life. Doesn’t the Bible say that God hates violence?
5) It is irreverent to think that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe manipulates sporting events, let alone NFL games.
6) Jesus taught that we should keep our acts of piety private. Tebow is being hypocritical by praying in public and always bringing up his faith.
7) There are actually no miracles taking place. If Tebow didn’t play so terribly until the last five minutes of the game, his team wouldn’t need to make so many “miraculous” comebacks.
8) There are plenty of athletes who have a special, competitive quality and can rally their team together for a sensational victory, and it has nothing to do with religious faith.
9) Why must we always equate God’s blessing with winning and success? Some of the most blessed people in history have been anything but successful in the eyes of the world.
10) Football is matter of hard work, discipline, and execution, and while players may make exceptional plays, none of those plays can be categorized as “miraculous.”
Now, to take the other side of the argument (and play the Lord’s advocate?). It is certainly possible that divine intervention is taking place.
1) Tebow has made it clear that football is ultimately a platform through which he can influence the next generation, and he has been called the role model we have been waiting for. Would you rather have your kids emulate Tim Tebow or Lady Gaga?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.