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My Take: Is Tim Tebow performing miracles?
Tim Tebow’s penchant for kneeling in prayer has birthed a new word: Tebowing.
November 29th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

My Take: Is Tim Tebow performing miracles?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN)–In 1966, John Lennon famously claimed that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." Today that title may belong to Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos quarterback more famous for praising Jesus than for throwing touchdowns.

As anyone who has visited Dallas or Atlanta on any recent weekend can attest, America’s two great religions are Christianity and football. In recent weeks, these two great faiths have come together in Tim Tebow, the new starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos and America’s latest merger of faith in Jesus and faith in the Almighty Touchdown.

When viewed from the perspective of “the world,” Tebow is, at best, a mediocre NFL quarterback. When viewed through the eyes of faith, however, he is something like the Second Coming of Joe Montana. And maybe Something More.

On this burning question of Tim Tebow, I must confess to being an agnostic. But I understand the fervor on both sides.

Skeptics generally concede that Tebow, an outspoken Christian, was an extraordinary high school and college football player. After all, he won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, and led his University of Florida team to two NCAA football titles.

But those who refuse to bow down before Tebow insist that NFL football is another game altogether, and when it comes to that game Tebow is a passing fancy. They attribute Denver’s near miraculous 5-1 run during his reign as a starter not to his offense but to the Broncos defense.

They point out that he throws about as well as Peppermint Patty, and that in one of his wins he completed only two passes more than Charlie Brown (which is to say two). His completion percentage (45.5%) is last in the league.

Skeptics are also turned off by Tebow’s public displays of religion. Tebow used to cite Bible verses on his eye black. And his tendency to be found praying while his teammates are strutting has added a new word—“Tebowing”—to the lexicon.

True believers say to hell with all that. What matters are the intangibles. Tebow is a winner. He may allow his team to fall behind, but in the end he leads the Broncos to victory, often in a fashion that can only be termed miraculous.

Which is to say, when it comes to the Almighty TT, you gotta have faith (or not).

In his book “Faith and Belief,” the Religious Studies scholar Wilfred Cantwell Smith describes how the notion of “faith” changed over the centuries from something like “trust” to its modern-day meaning of “belief in the unbelievable.”

And that, it seems to me, is what we are witnessing with Tebow.

It is simply not believable that a quarterback who cannot throw would turn a team from a 1-4 also-ran to a 6-5 playoff contender. But Tebow has done that, in part by running and in part, well, by faith.

There is, to be sure, Tebow's faith in Jesus. But perhaps more importantly, there is the faith of his teammates in him. Not to mention the adoration of legions of University of Florida alums, and of fans in Denver and beyond.

As a scholar of religion, I have little expertise in football, NFL or otherwise. But I cannot help weighing in on a few comparisons between TT and JC:

Jesus: turned a ragtag band of 12 apostles into the number one religion in the world

Tebow: turned a ragtag squad of 11 football players into an NFL juggernaut

Jesus: prayed a lot (to God)

Tebow: prays a lot (to Jesus)

Jesus: ran the money changers out of the temple

Tebow: runs the  spread option

Jesus: miraculously saved a wedding at Cana by turning water into wine

Tebow: miraculously led the Broncos to last-second victories against the Dolphins, the Jets and the Chargers.

Coincidence? You be the judge. As for me, I'm sitting back and waiting for Tebow to do something truly miraculous. Like winning a game without completing a single pass, or running back a punt for a touchdown, or kicking a 50-yard field goal to win a game.

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that Jesus is still more famous than Tebow. At least for now.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion • Sports

soundoff (1,398 Responses)
  1. humtake

    The only thing more annoying than those who flaunt their faith are the people who flaunt their hatred of someone else's beliefs.

    Live your own life, stop worrying about what other people do. If he gets down on one knee, it doesn't mean he is trying to convert you. It means he is praying. The only reason his praying is big news is because of the reactions it gets from those who don't like it. If you were to ignore it and never mention it, it would never be in the news.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      100% agreed.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • TheTruthFairy

      That's a nice story, now replace Tim praying with 2 dudes, or two chicks that want to get married, and you might get the point.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • suckers

      2 dudes and 2 chicks. LoL gay issue

      November 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  2. Colin

    I am going to suggest something radical and counter-intuitive to freethinkers that I think would help cure Christian children of their supernatural delusions. I am going to suggest that we consider not only agreeing that prayer be allowed in government schools, but that it be made mandatory – in the following circu.mstances.

    We set up a very simple physics or chemistry experiment. Say, a strip of blue litmus paper with a test tube of an acidic solution poised above it. We have all the students in class pray to god that it will not turn red when the test tube is upended and the acid pours on it. We then upturn the test tube and see what happens.

    It will, of course, turn red.

    We do this experiment every day, sometimes substi.tuting red litmus paper for blue litmus paper and an alkali solution for the acid solution – with the appropriate change in the prayer. We can also do other simple experiments – two identical poles of a magnet always being repulsive, with the students praying that they will attract.

    We do these experiments every day of every year for their entire high school experience, with the children praying each day that the result will be different. As we know, their prayers to their gods will fail every day of every week of every year. Every single time, without doubt and 100% guaranteed.

    After a few months of repeated failures, the students are invited to bring along their priests, ministers, rabbis, imams, and other religious authority figures to lead their prayers. They can all pray, chant, implore and bob to their various sky-deities that the litmus paper does not turn red. We can also bring in some gulf War veterans who lost limbs, and they can pray for their recovery. Of course, no arms will regrow. Medical "miracle" are alsways, 100% of the time, hidden in the body and perfectly explicable by medical uncertainty.

    We even have special “open” days where they are invited to bring along the Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dalia Lama, head of the Orthodox Church, the USA’s most sacred rabbi etc., etc. to join their prayers.

    As we know, their prayers to their gods will still fail every day of every week of every year. Every single time, without doubt and 100% guaranteed. A couple of practical realities we would have to guard are the occasional “flop” where, for example, a bad batch of acid has been delivered and the litmus paper does not change color (we don’t want anybody to claim that a prayer was answered) or intentional sabotage by those with a religious agenda, but that is no different to the risks of any other science experiment.

    In this manner, prayer can “put up or shut up.” It is preferable to me that we expose the children to prayer in their formative years and let them see for themselves how utterly worthless it is, rather than try to keep prayer from them. The constant radio silence from above and the stoic indifference with which their prayers are met every day will help the students understand:

    (i) that there is no god listening and that praying is a futile exercise when the results can REALLY be tested;

    (ii) the complete superiority of the scientific method over religious supersti.tions, as science accurately predicts the results of each experiment every time;

    (iii) the silliness of still believing in Bronze Age sky-fairies in the 21st Century;

    (iii) the frailties of their religious leaders as they scurry for excuses –“god won’t be tested”, “god moves in mysterious ways” etc; and

    (iv) the weakness of human nature as the religious right moves to shut the experiments down.

    The evangelicals are correct. Children would learn a lot from praying in school.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • humtake

      I will ask a rhetorical question. It is only rhetorical because people like you will answer only one way just to try to prove your point.

      Have you ever believed in anything without 100% proof that it was fact? Of course you have, we all have. But, nobody writes a book about it. In fact, those of us who are intelligent just move on with out own lives because we have our own things to worry about.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Really?

      Got a better one.... you get on your knees and pray that God will forgive you for the blasphemous talking clay you have become and save your soul from eternal hell!

      November 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • JoMamasHouse

      what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having read this.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • TheTruthFairy

      @humtake

      Q: Have you ever believed in anything without 100% proof that it was fact?
      A: Only if it's based on some sort of evidence that leads to a reasonable assumption of said belief. No sane person would believe in something with 0% proof that it was fact.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      Wonderful idea Colin. Unfortunately those already indoctrinated and doing the brainwashing would not want the truth exposed and thus would fight this type of thing.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • fred

      Hypocrite, you blast the church for indoctrinating children then you turn right around with your plan of indoctrination. Your god is better than others so you wish now to indoctrinate the young. As was the great communist thought “we will win the minds of your grandchildren”. Your purpose of ridding the state of God is no different than Stalin and your target is the same – impressionable minds. Children were forced into reeducation centers, taken from their homes and put into government day care, all for mind control. All based on a LIE.
      Your LIE is prayer does not work. It is not that prayer works or does not work, rather your set up which produces a false result. Your set up does not allow for proper prayer as specified in the Word of God. I could go through the various points of prayer your set up violates but, you were most likely just taking a back handed slap to face of anyone that is praying for dying child today.

      You know as well as I do that if there is a God that God would be sovereign as to prayer. Prayer is heartfelt communication between a believer and God. I know why it was an affront to Stalin and that just as his efforts failed so will yours. History is known to repeat itself.

      I will complement you on your choice of color red when dipped in the test solution. Perhaps Isaiah 1: 18 is tugging at your soul:
      “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
      says the LORD.
      “Though your sins are like scarlet,
      they shall be as white as snow;
      though they are red as crimson,
      they shall be like wool.
      If you are willing and obedient,
      you will eat the good things of the land

      November 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • jw

      God answers prayer all the time in many Christians' lives. This experiment won't do anything to deter faith, because you can't boss a Sovereign God around. He answers in His own time and way, and does whatever He wants. My family and I have experienced miracle after miracle after prayer, and so have many other Christians. Look all around you for the miracles God has even done for you. The food you ate today has the vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes, protein, carbs and fats your body needs for its health. Litmus experiments indeed. Open your blind eyes to God's miracles around and for you without your even having to pray for them. This is what people of faith see. They don't need litmus paper nonsense.

      November 30, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Colin, I see that all critical responses are as you predicted: god moves in mysterious ways, can not be tested, blah ba blah ba blah... fred, please note that asking children (or anyone) to draw conclusions from repeatable experiments and observations is not indoctrination. Indoctrination is what believer parents engage in when they force their children to read a fairy tale (a poor one at that) and expect them to believe it is the truth. Just because you need a god, that does not mean everyone or even anyone else has the same need. I strongly suggest a mental health professional can provide greater assistance than a religious charlatan (which includes all religious leaders that proclaim their tribal cult's stories are true).

      November 30, 2011 at 3:45 am |
    • fred

      HotAirAce
      That is not what Colin is doing. He is teaching / indoctrinating children to mock God. We did that Global Warming to children is schools. Showing a bunch of Polar Bears dying over and over and big bad oil companies are to blame. Even though one by one the scientific evidence crumbles and the warming models fall apart children remember bad oil poor bear. I understand that, without any proof whatsoever, Colin thinks a godless society is superior to the Christian culture. What Colin has pointed out is that as a teacher in a godless society teaching children to mock prayer and God is foundational to godlessness. There is your hypocrite teaching a evil one sided thought process to children. Contrast this to Christ hanging between two criminals on the cross. One with compassion the other filled with mocking hatred towards Christ with his dying breath. Christ showed both sides of humanity in fairness and gave his life for both these criminals.

      November 30, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  3. what terrifies an atheist

    Miracles that prove God is in control.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Sure,

      Let me know when that actually happens will ya?

      November 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Like divine intervention in sporting events?
      I guess the team that wins is the one that prays the hardest...

      November 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      A quote I saw earlier today "26,000 Children will die of starvation today...what makes you think god had time for you?"

      Once again we can't fear what we don't believe in....we do however believe its followers are dangerous or at least can be.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • fred

      TruthPrevails
      The painful deaths of 26,000 children did not go unnoticed and it will get much worse. A thread in the Bible points to God’s long suffering over what we have done with what we were given. Case in point is that suffering by starvation is the end result of sinful man. We have the knowledge and capability to feed all children yet due to pride, greed, politics etc. we choose to let it happen.
      God did not smack the evil generation of Cain until their wickedness reached its fullness, the same with the Amalekites and his own chosen peoples. The end of days will come when we reach the fullness of our wickedness also. No one will have an excuse before a Holy God.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • denver2

      God is in control of children being conscripted into peasant armies before having their arms and legs severed with a machete, too. That should scare anyone.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @fred: The fact remains that you're not so special and we know that prayer does not work. We're still waiting on you to provide evidence for your god...when are you going to get around to this?

      November 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • fred

      TruthPrevails
      @fred: The fact remains that you're not so special and we know that prayer does not work. We're still waiting on you to provide evidence for your god...when are you going to get around to this?
      -Agreed not so special, we are saved by grace not by who or what we are.
      -Disagree we do not know prayers effectiveness as it does not yield itself to observation under scientific method. Studies often referred to are flawed in that variables such as a sovereign God or sincerity of a control group cannot be quantified.
      -Evidence of God abounds in the wonder of creation from the grand expanse of the universe to the smallest particle known to man. In the eye of child or the tear drop of love the observer intuitively is aware of Gods splendor. Man from his earliest known drawings reflects an inner draw for worship directed outside of self. A mother’s love for her child comes from a soul not a physical organ. The entire known western world has based its time on the Year of the Lord 2011 – This birth has been marked clear for all to see and divides us as to before Christ and Anno Domini “the year of our Lord”. I have personally observed in myself and others the transforming power of Jesus, occurring exactly as Jesus said. Thousands of Christians were and are tortured for refusing to reject Christ. To this day there is power in the name of Christ. God is the most worshiped Deity in the world. All other gods are dead or were man made by man in the image of man vs. our Living God that made man in his image. Order from chaos in the universe and on our physical planet – chaos is the normal outcome of events. There is Perfect balance in all nature and all life on a planet that hangs on a tread. The separation of good and evil, right and wrong are not of man. The word of God through the Bible remains the most powerful and abundant writing of all times. There are 25,000 known manuscripts addressing God / Jesus by the end of the second century AD. Resurection witnessed by 500 people and accounts recorded by Paul in the first century. The world standard for morality going on 6,000 – 12,000 years reflects the key religious, civil and tort laws of the chosen ones. The Gutenberg Bible marked the start of the printed book. Take a drive by your local cemetery. Follow the instructions given by Jesus on how to find the living waters and you will.

      November 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • YeahRight

      A mother’s love for her child comes from a soul not a physical organ – False it comes from the brain, that is why when a person has a bad head injury it can alter emotions and feelings, that is not a god.

      “Man from his earliest known drawings reflects an inner draw for worship directed outside of self.” False, that is man trying to comprehend his environment, we teach ourselves over time what is right and what is wrong.

      “In the eye of child or the tear drop of love the observer intuitively is aware of Gods splendor.” False, there is no God’s splendor, a child gets all teary eyed over Santa, doesn’t make him real, A child gets all teary eyed over Mickey Mouse doesn’t make it real either.

      “To this day there is power in the name of Christ.” – False, there is power when a group gets together to support each other, there is not god needed for that.

      “All other gods are dead or were man made by man” Correct, and so is Christianity – the proof is in the similarities to other religions of that time period.

      “our Living God that made man in his image” False, human beings can’t survive in outer space, man only wrote it that way so men could feel good about themselves, make themselves feel special. Human beings are animals with thumbs, we educated ourselves, but we are still part of the animal kingdom. A god in his image did not create us, but we evolved from our surroundings, the proof is in the fossils. You still have no proof of that statement.

      “There is Perfect balance in all nature and all life on a planet that hangs on a tread.” False, that’s why we have hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, it’s not a perfect balance with such destructive forces at work.

      “The separation of good and evil, right and wrong are not of man” False, we learned from our mistakes, and continue to do so which is why blacks now have civil right and women are no longer oppressed in this country.

      “The word of God through the Bible remains the most powerful and abundant writing of all times.” That’s why there are thousands of different denominations, with different interpretations, which proves the writing wasn’t so powerful.

      November 29, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • fred

      YeahRight
      You forgot to discredit the following:
      Evidence of God abounds in the wonder of creation from the grand expanse of the universe to the smallest particle known to man.
      The entire known western world has based its time on the Year of the Lord 2011 – This birth has been marked clear for all to see and divides us as to before Christ and Anno Domini “the year of our Lord”.
      I have personally observed in myself and others the transforming power of Jesus, occurring exactly as Jesus said.
      Thousands of Christians were and are tortured for refusing to reject Christ.
      God is the most worshiped Deity in the world.
      Order from chaos in the universe and on our physical planet – chaos is the normal outcome of events. ll life on a planet that hangs on a tread.
      Resurrection witnessed by 500 people and accounts recorded by Paul in the first century.
      The world standard for morality going on 6,000 – 12,000 years reflects the key religious, civil and tort laws of the chosen ones.
      The Gutenberg Bible marked the start of the printed book.
      Take a drive by your local cemetery.
      Follow the instructions given by Jesus on how to find the living waters and you will.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @fred

      I die a little inside each time you make ridiculous statements without being able to back up anything. After reading your last post I need to go on life support.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • post

      Hey Fred, the wonders of the world: science. things happen. shapes are taken. get over it.

      November 29, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Wow fred are you pathetic.

      “Resurrection witnessed by 500 people and accounts recorded by Paul in the first century.” – False, there is no proof Paul wrote his part in the bible especially since it was written 30 – 50 years after Jesus died.

      “The world standard for morality going on 6,000 – 12,000 years reflects the key religious, civil and tort laws of the chosen ones.” The bible is only 2000 years old so that just so how false it is by your own statement. Man created gods to explain what the don’t understand.

      “The Gutenberg Bible marked the start of the printed book.” Of course coming from a Christian you would say that while ignoring print from ancient China from engraved plates. Of course you were thinking of movable type print right.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • fred

      Chuckles
      Lucky for you I know CPR…Christian Pulmonary Resurrection

      November 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Lucky for you I know CPR…Christian Pulmonary Resurrection"

      And Chuckles would still be dead since your CPR wouldn't work.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • fred

      YeahRight
      Great then you give him mouth to mouth and I will pray for the both of you.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Great then you give him mouth to mouth and I will pray for the both of you."

      Your prayers would not be needed I would save him and you would take credit for your useless God.

      November 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  4. TruthPrevails

    No proof that prayer works. If you think you can prove it the James Randi Foundation will be happy to hear you out and if by chance you prove it, they will give you the million dollars...this study has been going on for close to a decade and not one person has taken the money yet!

    November 29, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Colin

      Indeed TP. In fact, studies repeatedly show what a 100% failure prayer is. In this respect, read my next post, I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Blessed are those who believe, yet they do not see. But there's still those who need proof. That's why the disciples went around healing people and such so that people would believe. Check out the channel on Youtube "mrtomff7" for your proof. And things like these are happening all over the world.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • justbelieve

      Prayer is every bit as effective as a placebo. Since studies have shown the efficacy of placebos when the taker believes it will work; I would assume a similar effect for prayer.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • fred

      Prayer works each and every time for those who are children of God when offered up from a broken and contrite heart. The Bible is clear on other prayer that is heard and not heard by God. Anyone that truly seeks out Jesus and asks for help with prayer and belief in God will find what they need every time.
      Research studies on prayer can never produce accurate results as the methodology itself interferes with prayer.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  5. bozworthy

    Yes. Yes he is performing miracles. He's perfect and blessed. We should all worship him, instead of trying to be more educated, learn a skill, or otherwise improve our own lives before we die. Actually, the real miracle would be if all his receivers make it through the season without getting their heads knocked off while trying to catch a horribly inaccurate pass over the middle.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
  6. coder

    I dont watch tebow or the broncos anymore – because of his 'show' of faith –
    having faith is fine – keep it to your self
    i'm not interested in hearing your version of any god
    i like football – i loved watching the broncos – but not anymore

    November 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      If he denounced his faith and loudly proclaimed he was an atheist would you be interested? Me thinks you are hypocritical.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey Alfonzo/Herbert – have you seen any mutant gaints today? Are the animals lining up two-by-two in your garden?

      November 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • fred

      Herbert
      Do not Colin off that easy. Tell him that the two by two pairing in Genesis was the first confirmed use of Watson-Crick base pairing. Moses did not have Hebrew words for the sequence of nucleotides. Besides if we called it Noah-Ark base pairing science would reject it as myth.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  7. Jed Lockherd

    I've never in my life witnessed such a concerted effort to slander an athlete, much less a rookie. From the analysts, to the sports reporters, the referees, to the coaches and owners of Tebow's own team, its incredible how little respect he is given. This is transparent and "entirely" related to his faith – it is clear persecution in any thinking person's book. Tebow, an alleged "mediocre NFL quarterback, at best" has smashed John Elway's rookie year statistics, he has thrown 1 single interception in 6 games, and has not fumbled once. His QB rating is one of the highest in the league. And Denver's defense sucked before Tebow got the job. Remember, they had already dropped 4 games at that point. It is Tebow's leadership that has turned this team around. Whether its setting records for most rushed yards by a QB, or simply elevating the spirits of fellow teammates, this guy is kicking ass and each author of articles like this voluntarily smears more egg on their face each time they bash him.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      Nice analysis. The only part I would disagree with you on is Tebow's skill set. He is not doubt a leader and a winner, and has undoubtedly turned this team around. His skillset however is that of a mediocre QB, but his leadership propels him. In addition, the amount of criticism he receives is definitely related to him being Christian. Remember that those who are not of the light, hate the light. It is to be expected. Stay strong my friend, cheers 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Jed Lockherd

      @Alphonso. There's nothing wrong with Tebow's skill set other than the quality of his receivers. In the last game, he hit a guy right in the numbers. The pass was dropped and counted as an incompletion. Guess what the analyst said about the drop? "Well, spirals thrown by lefties are more difficult to catch." Can you believe it? "Spirals" by "lefties" are "difficult to catch". They will even blame him for being left handed before they will blame his receivers. Of course, the only thing that comes of it is crappier numbers for Tebow despite accurate albeit dropped passes.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • Alfonzo Muchanzo

      @jed – Haha I actually know the exact play you're talking about, I remember hearing the announcer say that. I would say though that Tebow clearly doesn't possess the passing skills that many other QBs do. He plays a different kind of game, but he is getting the W's regardless. If you're looking for a drop back consistent passer then Tebow is not your guy (there's a reason they run it all day), but if you're looking for a leader who has decent skills and just finds a way to win, then Tebow is your guy. I'd personally take Tebow over Orton or whoever, because it may not be the prettiest, but he gets the job done.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      @Jed Lockherd: You said, "I've never in my life witnessed such a concerted effort to slander an athlete, much less a rookie."

      He's not a rookie.

      @Jed Lockherd: You also said, "Tebow, an alleged "mediocre NFL quarterback, at best" has smashed John Elway's rookie year statistics, he has thrown 1 single interception in 6 games, and has not fumbled once. His QB rating is one of the highest in the league."

      He is mediocre. He hasn't smashed Elway's rookie statistics. His single interception is related to the number of times he throws the ball, not the accuracy of his passes. There are plenty of ball carriers that don't fumble. His QB rating is in the bottom third of starting NFL quarterbacks.

      @Jed Lockherd: You also said, "And Denver's defense sucked before Tebow got the job."

      Since he doesn't play defense, that doesn't mean anything.

      @Jed Lockherd: You also said, "Remember, they had already dropped 4 games at that point. It is Tebow's leadership that has turned this team around."

      Possibly. Maybe it was the swift kick in the a.ss that a QB change will do for a team.

      @Jed Lockherd: You also said, "Whether its setting records for most rushed yards by a QB, "

      He most certainly hasn't done that. I don't think he's even close.

      @Jed Lockherd: You also said, "or simply elevating the spirits of fellow teammates, this guy is kicking ass and each author of articles like this voluntarily smears more egg on their face each time they bash him."

      I guess you failed to realize where Prothero LIKES Tebow. Enjoy your egg.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Jed Lockherd

      @alphonso: I'll rest with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjzIShKrZ9I

      November 29, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  8. denver2

    I can think of few things more damning one could say about God than that He takes an active interest in football while ignoring a world full of tragedy.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • epomeroy

      You are making the assumption that this is saying God would only care about football and doesn't care about tragedy. If God is as the Bible describes Him, He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. Thus He cares about everything, sees everything, is everywhere, and can care about football and the world of tragedy all at the same time without it taxing His power at all.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Really?

      There's a world full of lost people sitting in football games so who's to say? He works in mysterious ways, and he has the world talking about Jesus on ESPN, etc. because of a praying football player. You got to go where the fish are to catch them. Don't know, but a lot of people concentrate all their time and energy in this game who never set foot in church and many have probably never even heard the name Jesus, so if "tebowing" gets their attention on Jesus and peaks their curiousity, more power to him! Mixed feelings, to a lot of people sports is their god, so maybe he's put a "prayer warrior" on the other god's turf. Time will tell. God is everywhere so I hardly think that if he has tebow gaining attention for Jesus on the football field that it means he is ignoring a world of tragedy. Many people are followers so maybe they'll follow tebow to the feet of Jesus. We never know what he uses to touch lives. I'm not a football fan myself, but I know God can use us in ways we never imagined right where we are and that our talents are gifts from him.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • denver2

      Yeah, yeah... mysterious ways.

      Here's a thought: Tebow, a Christian, succeeds due to a confluence of natural athletic ability, the abilities of his team, and blind luck. The rest is confirmation bias.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • denver2

      After all, it should go without saying that people on both sides are Christian and may even pray before/during/after the game. The notion that the winner was chosen by God is among the more self-serving human delusions.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • denver2

      Also, epomeroy, as you seem to be a champion of the "three O" god, you must contend with the so-called "problem of evil." Good luck with that.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
  9. Boom Boom Shikadance

    This guy clearly doesnt watch football.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  10. Alex

    Well, their are just a few problems here. First of all, Jesus did not turn anything into a number one religion in the world. Paul was the supersalesman on that one. Jesus would turn over in his grave if he was thought to have started a whole new religion. Tebow has turned nothing into anything. They had a few wins because Fox knew his job was on the line if he did not give Tebow a chance. The last six games Tebow has shown what he is capable of and the defenses were not ready for that. Wonder how long that will last. Tebow prays to God, not to Jesus, Jesus prays to his father and not to God. As far as Tebow running the spread option? He only does what the coach tell him to do. And the wedding in Cana was about to run out of wine. Jesus merely supplied a bunch of drunks with more to blame their hangover on the next day. Tebow is a self agrandizing salesman and having success with it. I wish him well because he has done in Denver what nobody else could have done. Sandlot football is back and I like it. Tebow is a sandlot quarterback and that is where the similarities with Jesus stop. Jesus wrote in the sand before excecuting judgement on the woman and Tebow wrote in the sand before excecuting the next play.

    November 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  11. RickBobby

    Everybody knows the best Jesus is the baby Jesus, and He doesn't even know what football is yet. So with all due respect, Tebow bl0ws. Shake and Bake!

    November 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • bct21

      funniest comment I've seen in awhile 🙂 thanks for the laugh!

      November 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • El Diablo

      Don't make me go spider monkey on your ass old man.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • nc

      8 pounds six ounces:-)

      November 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  12. Jordan

    I really wish the author cut all the cheesy religious lingo. Its distracting and takes away from the story. I quit reading after the 5th paragraph

    November 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mike

      Did you miss the part where the author is a BU religious scholar?

      November 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • PackerBob

      And yet you still chose to comment – interesting!

      November 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  13. Tom

    Broncos an NFL juggernaut?? LOL

    November 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Rich

      ^ this.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  14. nc

    What all the religious fanatics who have flocked to the football field have failed to realize is that in the grand scheme of things, is that there are no winners or losers in the BIG picture. To idolize Tebow for being a "winner" in Christ misses the entire point of Christianity. In order to win, you need some one to lose. Both are needed and equally important in order to be able to play the game. There seem to be so few folks who claim to be Christians who understand this.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by nc is the No True Scotsman fallacy.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

      November 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • nc

      @Fallacy Spotting 101
      Looks like you completely missed my point...

      November 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • t

      You're missing the point. What nc is implying is that these people "think they're from Scotland but aren't" in the sense that they are completely missing the essence of Christianity. The No True Scotsman fallacy, thus, doesn't really apply.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • nc

      @t
      well said...
      and glad that there is some intelligent life out there:-)

      November 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • JB

      Thank you...someone finally said it.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • wjm992

      @ FS 101... that is NOT an example of the No True Scotsman logical fallacy. Go back and read the link you provided.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • nc

      @JB

      my pleasure:-)

      November 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Chuckles

      Ok, I'm going to step in real quick and say one thing, nc's original post uses the phrase, "There seem to be so few folks who claim to be Christians who understand this" implying that people claiming to be christian but missing the prior point that nc makes are actually not christian because they fail to understand this. That's where FS101 is pointing out the no true scotsman fallacy.....

      Just thought I'd help you all out.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • t

      @Chuckle

      That's still incorrect. If you understand why Jesus died for you then you understand that he isn't some magic genie that wins you football games for being subservient. If you think this is the case you aren't really a Christian because you're missing a crucial piece of understanding. You essentially think you're from Scotland but you're born and raised in Russia. To be "not a REAL Scotsman", you have to be a Scotsman in the first place, and then have some other quality disqualify you in the eyes of someone using the logical fallacy.

      I'm an astronaut. You know, not a REAL astronaut, because I've never been in space or anything. Well I guess that's a logical fallacy? No, it's not, because I never met the criteria in the first place.

      November 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  15. Kilovolt

    While I'm happy to see Tim Tebow setting a more positive onfield example, he has produced one of the lowest offensive outputs in the league. Denver is winning games with defense, not with anything Tim Tebow has done.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • tintin

      this is the most accurate post about Tebow yet

      November 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Rich

      However, it's the same defense that Orton had, and they lost. I think it boils down to leadership – because it's not talent.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
    • JasonInKC

      Or perhaps the defense saw their quarterback (leader of the team) get released and decided to get their @sses in gear before losing their paychecks as well.

      November 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  16. Believer

    If Tebow was Jewish and people said anything negative about his praying, they will be called anti-Semitic. Leave him alone, Christianity still rocks.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Bob

      Christianity su-cks, and it deserves all the derision it gets.

      Now get back to your goat sacrificing or Christian god will punish you in he-ll.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Really?

      Bob...why so angry at God?

      November 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There are many adjectives that may be used to describe Christianity, but "rocks" is not one I would chose.
      American Christians have traditionally been opposed to the act of rocking, what with the pevic thrusting from Elvis, evil tri-tones from Black Sabbath, and the demonic theatricality of the likes of Alice Cooper (a religious man, BTW), Marilyn Manson, Kiss et al.
      PMRC anyone?
      Not to mention the fact there is not a single Christian rock band that actually rocks.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • jonathan

      My dear friend , Jesus said, ye shall be hated of all nations for his name sake. and to rejoice ! Rejoice,... for Tim is doing it the right way, he's not stepping on anyone 'elses toes , just doing what Jesus said, to declare him before men..to which cause I am so jealous of Tim , for having his name declared in heaven more often than mines as he in his position is a much greater witness... 🙂 🙂 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Really?: How can Bob be angry with something he obviously does not believe in? That would be like you being angry with a unicorn or Santa (oh wait a minute, you probably do get angry at Santa...foolish enough to believe in something that doesn't exist, then you're more than likely foolish enough to believe in another fairy tale). When are people like you going to finally clue in to the fact that we are not angry with god???...We simply do not believe it exists! We live in the here and now and have a greater understanding of how the world works without the need for a book of fairy tales/horror stories to tell us how to act...it's called evolving!

      November 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Mike

    The fact that I took the time to read that says less about the article and more about the work I'm ignoring. BTW, he sux.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Rich

      It's getting into the holiday season – there's no bonafide work to be done. Go back to shopping and napping at work – January will be here soon enough and you'll have all the work you can handle. Hopefully.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • jonathan

      also Rich according to a forum which I visited today , a person declares that shortly after their conversion, they had a vision where they saw Chinese troops rounding up Americans ...that will be too soon any day.. but no China man can get me... LOL 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  18. Bucky Ball

    Heretic !
    Anyone who has ever been to Atlanta knows that the order is NOT Football, and then Christianity. It's Football, then Basketball, and then WAY down the scale, maybe a poor third, it's Christianity. Actually 3rd is shopping, and maybe fourth, religion. I can see the author has never been to the Lenox Mall on a weekend, where one cannot find a place to park, to save one's soul, (heh heh). It's worse the the Beverly Center, in LA. 😈

    November 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • News Flash

      Bucky,
      I finally get it ! Buckminster is from Buckhead ! 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • Bob

      We can only hope for the day when religion falls right off the bottom and ceases to exist.

      November 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • jonathan

      wrong on all accounts probably fornication and adultery is number one everywhere in this country.. 😦 sorry to say..

      November 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • News Flash

      It's not going to be anytime soon, but yes, as science continues to show how ridiculous their claims are, and slowly, (VERY SLOWLY), their worldview changes, it WILL fall off the map. As Bucky once pointed out, when humans are living in other star systems, do you really think what some ancient guy did, or is said to have said, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, will make any difference, 200,000 years from now ?

      November 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • Mildred the Mouth

      jonny
      Get over it. Don't be so obsessed with se-x. Nothing is any different than it used to be. We just talk about it openly now.

      November 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @NewsF
      Paces Ferry Road 🙂

      November 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  19. Tallulah13

    I'm not much of a football fan, but I think Peyton Manning is more of a miracle worker. His team has fallen apart without him.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • tintin

      ha ha well said tallulah

      November 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  20. ELH

    Some years ago a famous efficiency expert studied the reason why some seemingly insignificant change in the work environment led to increased productivity. He found that almost any change (lighting, new benches, altering work flow, etc.) would produce a significant but fairly short-lived improvement in productivity.

    Tim Tebow is that insignificant change on the Bronco's production floor. In time, probably before the season is over, production will return to pre-Tebow levels.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • David

      Actually his finding was that productivity improves when workers know they are being observed.

      November 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.