Much Ado about Tebow…Nothing

If you missed the Tebow ad during the Superbowl, here it is. Believe me, it was missable. The message was so understated and Tebow’s part in it was so short, that I’m guessing most viewers probably didn’t even know what it was about.

And so the “Tebow Dust-up of 2010” goes into the history books not as a hyper-politicized pro-life smack-down, but as an understated pro-family short. The feminist groups that lobbied to have CBS pull the ad have to be feeling a little bit silly today. Their overreaction in advance of the game now looks pretty extreme in retrospect. And that is probably the most notable result of this whole spectacle. At the end of the day, pro-life Tebow looks really big, and his pro-abortion critics look really small.

[The full Tebow ad with an explicit pro-life affirmation is posted at the Focus on the Family website. You can watch it here.]

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Tebow Not the First

I will never forget the 1986 Superbowl Championship when Phil Simms’ New York Giants defeated John Elway’s Denver Broncos. I was as proud as punch because my Dad had coached one of the Giants’ players when he was in high school—middle linebacker Gary Reasons. Not only did we watch the Giants win the game, but I also got to meet Reasons and see his Superbowl ring when he made a homecoming visit to his high school alma mater after the season was over. It was amazing.

I know about that season, and I know about that team. But I didn’t know until today about something else that team did after the game was over. It turns out that Tim Tebow is not the first football player to pair a pro-life message with the Superbowl. Players from the 1986 Superbowl Champion New York Giants team did exactly the same thing about 23 years ago. The video that they appeared in is posted above, and here’s a description:

“23 years ago, The American Life League, one of the largest Catholic Pro-Life organizations, produced a short featuring members of the Super Bowl winning New York Giants. As you watch former superstars Phil Simms — the game’s MVP and current sportscaster for CBS! — Mark Bavaro, Jim Burt, Chris Godfrey, George Martin, and Phil McConkey speak out against abortion, try to imagine what the reaction would be to this film if it was made today.”

This video is about 9 minutes long, and there is no subtlety here. It’s an overt condemnation of Roe v. Wade and abortion-on-demand.

I am grateful for these players from the 1986 Giants team, and I am grateful for Tebow. I hope and pray that the seared conscience of our nation might be stirred by such messages.

(HT: Mark Gibson)

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Is it sin if it’s unintentional?

My daily Bible reading plan had me in Leviticus 4 and 5 yesterday and got me to thinking about the Bible’s teaching on unintentional sin. The Bible makes a distinction between sins committed intentionally and those that are unintentional. The Law of Moses, for instance, distinguishes premeditated murder from manslaughter and assigns the death-penalty for the former but not necessarily for the latter (Numbers 35:6-34). Intentional evil brings greater judgment under God’s law. Continue Reading →

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Tebow’s Intolerant Critics

“If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.”

That line is from Sally Jenkins’ must-read column in the Washington Post. Jenkins is a feminist and is pro-choice. Nevertheless, she believes that the National Organization for Women (NOW) needs to stop hyperventilating about Tim Tebow’s forthcoming pro-life Superbowl Ad. She writes,

“Apparently NOW feels this commercial is an inappropriate message for America to see for 30 seconds, but women in bikinis selling beer is the right one. I would like to meet the genius at NOW who made that decision. On second thought, no, I wouldn’t.”

Jenkins is right on target with that critique. Having said that, her candid assessment of what’s at stake in abortion is nothing short of astonishing coming from a pro-choicer. She writes,

“Tebow himself is an inescapable fact: Abortion doesn’t just involve serious issues of life, but of potential lives, Heisman trophy winners, scientists, doctors, artists, inventors, Little Leaguers — who would never come to be if their birth mothers had not wrestled with the stakes and chosen to carry those lives to term. And their stories are every bit as real and valid as the stories preferred by NOW.”

I can hardly comprehend that one can remain pro-choice and believe that abortion takes the lives of future doctors, artists, inventors, etc. She seems to recognize the humanity of the unborn, but she won’t grant their inalienable right to life. That seems to me to be a fundamental contradiction at the heart of an otherwise very helpful article.

Go read the rest of this one. You’ll be glad you did.

5

“Lost” Is Back

How many of you are fans of the television series “Lost”? The new season starts this week, and Newsweek has an interesting report on it titled “The End Is Near.”

“As fans start speculating about the show’s final season (set to launch on Feb. 2), they would do well to remember that more than anything else—and more than any other acclaimed show ever on television—Lost is a show about faith.”

This assessment is certainly correct. I would, however, take it a step further and say that “Lost” focuses on themes related to the Christian faith in particular. It constantly alludes to the Bible, one of the main characters is named “Shephard,” and the promo poster for the new season is made to look like Jesus’ last supper.

It remains to be seen how all of this will be brought together to answer some of the mysteries that have been introduced since the first episode. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

6

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Pastoral Complaints

“A Pastor should not complain about his congregation, certainly never to other people, but also not to God. A congregation has not been entrusted to him in order that he should become its accuser before God and men.”

–Life Together (Harper & Row, 1954),
pp. 29-30

2

Matt Chandler on a Big Platform

As I write this, the Associated Press story about Matt Chandler is the featured article on MSNBC.com. Chandler’s cancer has led to the gospel being proclaimed in the AP. And it’s not coming from a guy who just won a gold medal or the Superbowl. It’s coming from a guy who is suffering. Praise God that Chandler is not wasting his cancer. The AP writes:

His theology teaches that all men are wicked, that human beings have offended a loving and sovereign God, and that God saves through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection — not because people do good deeds. In short, Chandler is a Calvinist, holding to a belief system growing more popular with young evangelicals…

Chandler says learning he had brain cancer was “kind of like getting punched in the gut. You take the shot, you try not to vomit, then you get back to doing what you do, believing what you believe.

“We never felt — still have not felt — betrayed by the Lord or abandoned by the Lord. I can honestly say, we haven’t asked the question, ‘Why?’ or wondered, ‘Why me, why not somebody else?’ We just haven’t gotten to that place. I’m not saying we won’t get there. I’m just saying it hasn’t happened yet.”

God moves in ways we don’t expect. Seems like that might be good to remember. Read the rest here, and pray for Matt.

1

Laissez les bons temps rouler

I have enjoyed hearing reports out of my home state this week. Louisianans are beaming with pride in their team, and I am too. Since there’s no football today, you can watch this. It never gets old. (HT: Mom)

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