The Assult on Tim Tebow

Let me first of all say that I am not competent in the area of football. Our family has been longtime fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I enjoy watching and listening to the Steelers games, I am not qualified to judge whether Tim Tebow is a good quarterback or not.

However, I can say that some of the attacks upon him have come from folks who obviously hate God, and use Tim Tebow’s faith to spew their hatred out in the public arena. I love something Douglas Wilson said once. There are only two tenants of atheism: 1. God doesn’t exist; 2. I hate him. This can be seen in the following article which I found by a link on ESPN. In it, although you can find some football analysis which I, again, am not competent to address, you can also find exactly what is spoken of above. For instance:

Just because a bunch of people believe something does not make it true. This is obvious, even to a child. People once thought the earth was flat.1 But here’s a more complex scenario: If you were living in Greece during the sixth century, and there was no way to deduce what the true shape of the earth was, and there was no way to validate or contradict the preexisting, relatively universal belief that the world was shaped like a flat disc … wouldn’t disagreeing with that theory be less reasonable than accepting it? And if so, wouldn’t that mean the only sixth-century people who were ultimately correct about world geography were unreasonable and insane?

Trust the insane!

I think it is interesting that most people are not buying the idea that God does not exist, and even atheists are willing to admit that. In response, we have an appeal to “trust the insane.” This is actually very easy to refute. It is insane to believe that everyone is trying to kill you. Thus, according to Klosterman, we must trust in the fact that everyone is trying to kill us. It is insane to believe that there are little purple elephants everywhere. Therefore, we must trust in that. I don’t really think Mr. Klosterman wants to go this route, as it will land him in the mental hospital rather quickly.

Still, he is right that the majority don’t necessarily have it right. Still, what hurts his case here is that the notion that people in the sixth century believed the earth was flat is a historical fallacy. Even Wikipedia, hardly a conservative source, lists this as a myth of history. It is not that people *never* believed in a flat earth, but the idea that it was ever the majority is something that has been dismissed as fiction. What is worse is that the head of the Flat Earth Society, Daniel Shenton, is one of Mr. Klosterman’s fellow secularists, believing in things like the myth of Evolution and global warming. I thought that secularists were supposed to be rational? Yes, we should not always assume that the majority is right, but we also should be careful to not frame the debate in the way Klosterman has.

And this, I think, is what makes Tebow so maddening to those who hate him: He refuses to say anything that would validate the suspicion that he’s fake (or naïve or self-righteous or dumb). My guess is that Ryan Fitzpatrick or Aaron Rodgers would blow him away on the GRE, but Tebow has profound social intelligence, at least when he speaks in public. It’s not that he usually says the right things; he only says the right things, all the time. As a result, he fuels a quasi-tautological reality that makes his supporters ecstatic, even if they don’t accept it as wholly valid.

How Mr. Klosterman could know that Fitzpatrick or Rodgers would blow Tebow away on the GRE I don’t know. Again, this appears to be more bigotry: If you are a Christian, you must be either naive, self-righteous, or dumb. That is why people were lining up left and right to debate Greg Bahnsen when he was alive [they weren’t]. That is why people are just lining up to debate his disciples like Michael Butler, Douglas Wilson, or John Frame [they are not]. The reality is that these secularists choose very carefully who they will exalt as a public spokesperson for Christianity. They will never put someone like Butler, Wilson, or Frame in the same spotlight as Tebow, because they know that they will have to deal with the tough philosophical issues that make secularism a philosophy standing completely in mid air. Much better to put a Christian football player in that position.

I doubt many Christians believe that God is unfairly helping Tebow win games in the AFC West. I’m sure a few hardcores might, but not many. However, I get the impression that especially antagonistic secularists assume this assumption infiltrates every aspect of Tebow’s celebrity, and that explains why he’s so beloved by strangers they cannot relate to. Their negative belief is that penitent, conservative Americans look at Tebow and see a man being “rewarded” for his faith, which validates the idea that believing in something abstract is more important than understanding something real. And this makes them worried about the future, because they see that thinking everywhere. It seems like the thinking that ran this country into the ground.

Now, with regards to agnosticism, I don’t believe there is such a thing. As a Christian, I believe that all men know God, and the only reason you get people who call themselves “agnostic secularists” is because they suppress that truth in unrighteousness [Romans 1: 18, 21]. This is a perfect example here. The crucial phrase is ” believing in something abstract is more important than understanding something real.” In other words, things that are abstract are not real. Therefore, because the laws of logic are abstractions, they must not be real. There, we just destroyed reason. I would wonder how you can even do predication without abstractions. What does it mean to say, “This is a tree,” without some conception of what “treeness” is? Ironically, all reason is destroyed by this position. Not only is all reason destroyed by this position, but ethics are as well since moral laws are likewise abstractions.

It is ironic then to find the assertion that it is this kind of thinking that ran this country into the ground. As Francis Shaeffer showed, it is actually secularism that is running this country into the ground, since the destruction of reason, ethics, and yes, even science is something that is intrinsically built into secular thought, given that you cannot come up with universals such as the laws of logic or laws of ethics simply given particulars or, what Klosterman calls “what is real.” The problem is that there is no way to logically reason from the way things are to the way they should be. There is no logical relationship between the two, and therefore, any attempt to begin with man autonomous from the revelation of God in the Bible will *always* result in the destruction of a society.

It’s difficult to take an “anti-faith” position. There’s no pejorative connotation of the word faithful. The only time “faith” seems negative is when it’s prefaced by the word “blind.” But blind faith is the only kind of faith there is. In order for someone’s faith to be meaningful, it has to be blind. Anyone can believe a hard fact that everyone already accepts. That’s easy. If you can see something, you don’t need faith. Faith in the seeable is meaningless.

I think part of the problem in responding to this is that much of evangelicalism has painted itself into this corner. I have “liked” Francis Shaeffer’s memorial page on Facebook, and, just recently, someone posted this quotation:

Vishal Mangalwadi–“Christianity lost America because 20th-century evangelicalism branded itself as the party of faith. By default, Secularism (science, university, media) became the party of truth. This is one reason why 70% Christian youth give up meaningful involvement with the church when they grow up.”

The point he was making is that Schaeffer taught against this danger many times. When you divorce faith and reason, you make faith irrational. Then, the concept of being “certain of what we cannot see” becomes “being certain of something even when it is unreasonable” rather than “certain of something that is not yet fully realized.” Modern evangelicalism, by its emphasis on experience, and its thinking that reason is the property of the secularism rather than the property of Christ, has given the secularists a birthright that is not theirs.

The alternative to this position is not to think of faith as not being based in reason, but to see reason as based on faith. When we do this, faith is not something that is “blind,” but, rather, something that is the necessary precondition for sight in the first place! If that is the case, then one may speak of not seeing faith [in the sense that it is not fully realized; we are not in the new heavens and new earth, and Christ has not returned], and yet, seeing in the sense that we know these things will happen, since it gives us the foundation for our reasoning.

But meaningful faith is dangerous. It simplifies things that aren’t simple. Throughout the 20th century, there were only two presidents who won reelection with a bad economy and high unemployment: FDR in 1936 and Reagan in 1984. In both cases, the incumbent presidents were able to argue that their preexisting plans for jump-starting the economy were better than the hypothetical plans of their opponents (Alf Landon and Walter Mondale, respectively). Both incumbents made a better case for what they intended to do, and both enjoyed decisive victories. In 2012, Barack Obama will face a similar situation. But what will happen if his ultimate opponent provides no plan for him to refute? What if his opponent merely says, “Have faith in me. Have faith that I will figure everything out and that I can fix the economy, because I have faith in the American people. Together, we have faith in each other.”

The irony of this statement is that this is exactly what happened last election. People were fed up with the presidency of George W. Bush, and all that Obama gave us was vague concepts of “change” and “fundamental transformation.” People just believed him, even though there was very little specific about his position. It was more faith in Obama than anything. Of course, Obama is failing, and it is more an indictment on the people who trusted in a mere man than upon Obama himself. As a Christian, I don’t trust in political leaders for salvation, both temporal and eternal. Our politicians need to give up their secularism, and embrace Christ as their God and king. Secularism *is* destroying our nation, both intellectually as well as financially, and it will continue to do so, until we give it up, and return to the Christian base which is the only sustainable foundation for a society.

More than that, I would say that Klosterman is misrepresenting the Biblical position on faith. The evidence for the existence of God is so overwhelming that, not only does Paul say that deep down in their heart of hearts even atheists know that God exists, but also that existence itself is predicated upon the existence of God. When you say that you are going to trust something because, if you didn’t, existence would be impossible, that is hardly like a person who says, “Just trust me because I say so.”

I think it is really sad that a Christian football player cannot simply go about his business playing football, and must put up with this anti-Christian bigotry. I do think it is indicative of the age we live in though.


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