My Take: Linsanity vs. Tebowmania, key similarities and differences
Stephen Prothero says there are big similarities between Jeremy Lin, above, and Tim Tebow, but big differences, too.
February 13th, 2012
04:35 PM ET

My Take: Linsanity vs. Tebowmania, key similarities and differences

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

Is the New York Knicks’ point guard Jeremy Lin the NBA’s answer to Tim Tebow? Let me count the ways.

First, Lin was underestimated throughout his career. The knock has been that Tebow couldn’t throw. The knock on Lin had been that he wasn’t particularly athletic.

Although he led Palo Alto High School to a state championship in basketball, major college programs did not want Lin. And after he blew away the competition at Harvard, the NBA didn’t seem particularly interested either. Undrafted, he warmed the bench at Golden State, then Houston and then New York before getting his big break this year with the Knicks.

Second, like Tebow, Lin came out of nowhere to bring a dying team back from the dead. While Tebow turned around the Denver Broncos at quarterback, Lin has led the previously struggling Knicks at point guard to five straight victories, each with 20 points or more. And his field goal percentage during this winning streak tops 50%, not bad for a guy who supposedly can’t shoot.

Third, Lin is also a born-again Christian whose fans love him as much for cultural and religious intangibles as for his ability in his sport.

In a 2010 interview with Timothy Dalrymple of Patheos.com, Lin said he was raised in the church and became a Christian in high school. In college, he played “for the glory of God.” After his career-high 38 point performance against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, he said, “I just give all the praise to God.”

But Lin, who told Sports Illustrated in 2010 that he wants to be a pastor post-NBA, also has another intangible going for him—his Chinese-American heritage. Yes, the “Linsanity” is driven by his performance on the court, but it’s also driven by his Taiwanese descent, and the fact that he is one of a handful of Asian Americans to make it to the NBA.

Lin also differs from Tebow in his approach to the faith, which is more subtle. On his Facebook page, Lin does quote Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." But the "Taiwanese Tebow" doesn’t “Tebow” after a game. His evangelism is decidedly low key.

In this way, Lin is a reminder that, like Christians themselves, athletic evangelicals come in all shapes and sizes.

Scholars of religion have been observing for years that the Christian tradition is rapidly moving south and east, finding its new home not so much in Europe or in the United States as in Asia and Africa and Latin America.

Lin exemplifies this trend, even as he reminds us that American Christianity is changing its face, too. The Asian immigration boom that began with the opening up of immigration in 1965 did wonders for Buddhism and Hinduism, to be sure. But it brought far more Christians to American shores, many of them (like Lin) non-denominational evangelicals.

Down the road, Lin will probably get some of the same grief that Tebow has gotten for his outspoken faith. And if he is as human as that faith says he is, his shots are going to clang off the rim some day, and with it some of the sheen on his celebrity. In other words, there is at least as much insanity in Jeremania as there was in the cult of Tim Tebow. To believe in either guy takes a little bit of faith.

But for now, "Linsanity" is crazy wisdom, driving Web pilgrims to view the couch where Lin (who makes a paltry $762,000 a year) been supposedly sleeping in recent days and even resurrecting the stock of Madison Square Garden–Linflation?–which owns the surging Knicks.

Lin headlines his Twitter account with “to know Him is to want to know Him more.”

At least for now, Knicks fans seem to be saying that to watch Lin play is to want to watch him more. A lifelong Celtics fan, I've never liked the Knicks. But I want to see Lin more, too. Until he comes to Boston.

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

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Sports • United States

soundoff (691 Responses)
  1. Skullvodka

    I was wondering what the "Linsanity" thing was all about. Then I heard him thank god, and then it all made sense.

    February 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  2. Nii Croffie

    I wish this wasn't true but more often than not it is. However I've met a few who were genuinely searching and were running with what they cud grasp. Thanks Bob.

    February 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  3. Nii Croffie

    Out of context, the Bible can say anything like newspaper clippings used to write a ransom note. in context, no doctrine by a believer or atheist is safe. I spent years with an agnostic and it made me wise to their 'knowledge' of the Bible. I have read it forward and back many times.

    February 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Nii: There are basically two or three types of non-believers here:

      1. Those completely ignorant of any biblical context, who frequently pull Scripture out of context and expose their utter ignorance
      2. Those who basically understand context, but purposefully twist it, exposing their desire to deceive
      They have various purposes.
      1. All the athiests frequently congratulate themselves on how intelligent they are and how dumb Christians are.

      1 Corin 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
      What they don't understand, of course, is that Scripture is Spiritually discerned

      February 14, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Bobs Friend

      Woops accidentally posted early!
      on Their purposes:
      1. Constantly inflate each others ego by telling each other how smart they are, just as the bible describes
      Atheists need this, because without faith in God, they are left to their own skill & will, so that means they must convince themselves of their superiority in order to cope mentally.
      2. Constantly blather on about moral relevance while at the same time denouncing Christians at every opportunity
      This is actually a remarkable quality: The utter illogical of moral relevance so undermines their philosophy, yet they are entirely blind to it... "There is no right & wrong, but YOU are wrong" (Cognitive dissonance, or as the Bible describes, Spiritual Blindness. )
      3. Mock constantly, thereby demonstrate King Solomon witty descriptions of "the Mocker"
      This is how they convince themselves they are smart. There is no greater ribbon to take than a witty insult. The hero worship here is Bill Maher. So the idea is here, if you can slander someone, you've proven your point.

      It's a live bible study in this place. Proverbs & Psalms describes them to a T!!

      My estimate is that they average about 14years old
      There are a few who will engage in a reasonable conversation, but 90% of them are not truth seekers or open minded to anything but their own arrogance.

      February 15, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Bobs Friend, I'll add a 4th category which I represent. Atheists that grew up in a christian home and spent most of their lives studying the bible, and through a moment of enlightenment were able to see through the insanity and fabrication of the fairy tale. People like us feel a great deal of sympathy for those who are still lost in the story and can't seem to connect to reality. We will use everything at our disposal to save you from your delusions.

      February 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  4. Reality

    Ending the "Lininsanity" and the "Tebowstupidity" with a prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    (References used are available upon request.)

    February 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • ......

      Hit report abuse on all reality garbage.

      February 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  5. Sports Fan

    There is a huge difference between Tebow and Lin, and you did not outline it: while Tebow has done a lot to help the intangibles of the Denver team, the fact is that he can't throw very well compared to his peers. Lin, on the other hand, is now becoming the star of New York because he plays smart, he plays well, and compared to his peers, is an good point guard. Tebow, compared to his peers, is quite simply a bad passer that only wins because Jesus is on his side.

    February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Al

      Jesus was nailed to the cross so that Timbow could win a football game. It's all part of God's plan.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:42 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Joe T.

      proven false.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Nope

      Proven Truth

      February 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • An inconvenient truth

      Jehovah's Witnesses are a cult and as such not a legitimate Christian group.

      February 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      A really inconvenient truth is that all religions fit the definition of "cult."

      February 14, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Prayer for the country

      God keep our land
      Prayer borrowed from the Canadian national anthem.
      For all the hype hotairace prays to God every time he stands for his countries anthem.

      February 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @Prayer for the country

      A single line does not a prayer make. And you do not have to say the line. Based on HotAirs past objections to religions I doubt he recites that part.

      February 14, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      As if there r no starving Western Europeans or North Americans. Africans watch Oprah too.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:19 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      As if there r no star.ving We.st.ern Eu.rop.eans and Nor.th Ame.ric.ans. Afr.ic.ans watch Op.rah too, ED. And for the ignorant there is no language known as Afri.can or Sta.rving Afri.can for that matter.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:25 am |
  7. Joe T.

    I was raised a Jehovah's Witness. When I walked upon my path of questioning and ultimately leaving that faith, I had many questions to ask my "elders" or what would be the equivalent of priests. One thing I asked them was "You tell me, I need to go preach and for what? You say it is because I need to save lives. Why? Are you saying only Jehovah's Witnesses have any hope of salvation?"
    They sat for a second, trying to size me up and figure out where I was going with this. They replied "No, we don't believe that."
    "So why do we go out and preach? If you don't have to be a Jehovah's Witness to attain salvation, why does it matter if I preach?"
    "We are giving people the chance to choose between God's ways and Satan's."
    "What? So if we don't choose God's ways, we are doomed? What are God's ways? Don't you say that Jehovah's Witnesses have the answer to that question? Yet you say, non-Jehovah's Witnesses will be saved. If that's the case, I actually consider myself bloodguilty for informing people and giving them that opportunity to reject what we teach. If they had remained ignorant, they would not die at Armageddon."
    One thing Jehovah's Witnesses teach is that supposedly "God reads hearts" and that is how he judges. So then I went into this question.
    "Do you believe God judges by reading hearts?"
    "Yes, we do. It is not up to us to judge."
    "Then why are you saying if I don't turn from my path that I will be destroyed, because I don't buy into what the JW teachings are anymore? I thought only God could read hearts. Why do I have to be associated to Jehovah's Witnesses then? If it is all about our heart condition, it shouldn't matter what religion we are affiliated with."
    They had no response.

    What point am I trying to make?
    Right now, I stand upon a lack of belief in God. Does that make me an evil person? I don't do anything bad. I help people when I can. People who know me know what kind of person I am. I am caring, loving and try to never do anything that would hurt people. So, does your God not judge based on what kind of person? Do you think he reads hearts? If your God does read hearts, then it shouldn't matter what I believe, as long as I live a good life. That is enough for me. If your God is so demanding that I have to believe a certain way, then I don't want to give that God my allegiance anyway.

    February 14, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Ahhh rational thought and logical arguments. So refreshing, thank you.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Joe T.

      HawaiiGuest, they told me I was too smart for my own good. I told them thanks.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Yes. Intelligence and religion don't mix well.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      I believe it is more along the lines of intelligence and religious zealotry do not mix.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Joe T.

      HawaiiGuest has it right. I don't think people who are in a religion aren't intelligent. It's being a zealot that is the problem. Jehovah's Witnesses are a good example. You have to be a zealot to be a considered a good Witness. It is a requirement that you have to make sure your kids have their "no-blood" cards filled out and ready to go in order to let the doctors know their kids are not allowed to get blood transfusions. Why is this? They misinterpret a 4,000 year old book and think that eating the blood and transfusing it are the same thing. They claim it is the symbol of life and should be held sacred. They let their followers die for something that is purely symbolic.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      As a spiritual rather than a religious Christian I can relate to ur thinking. I am an Anglican and we tolerate a wide spectrum of Christian thought. However, I evangelize because I believe Christianity is the easiest path but not the only one to spiritual enlightenment. God in the Bible is Love.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • jimtanker

      God in the bible is a psychopathic tryant.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      I was raised by an Agnostic father and a spiritual Christian mother. A spiritual Christian is one who believes he is to love his neighbor as himself as proof of his faith. I had to answer your questions at an early age from my father and he died a Christian as a result of family effort, happy.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Jiim in this case HaawaiGuest's admonishment to ashrakay is something you shud consider. I still remember your history lesson.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Nii, that's my point. Why do I need spiritual enlightenment? If my salvation is based upon what kind of person I am, whether I'm spiritually enlightened or not, shouldn't matter.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      JT spiritual enlightenment is not a mystical term. It just means you are emotionally mature so as to be able to make the best moral decisions and influence others to do same because you love them as yourself.

      February 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Joe...I do believe God wants us to live lives that are consistent with loving our neighbor. For that, I don't think He will find fault with you. But I also believe that God loves us enough to tell us exactly what he wants–so no one can say they were deceived. God has made it clear that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the father except through him. Your good deeds (as necessary as they are) will not get you into God's grace–only forgiveness through Jesus Christ. I know that is a tough pill for many to swallow, but it is the truth.

      February 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Joe T.

      I think you and I have a difference in what we believe spiritual enlightenment to be. I don't think spirituality has anything to do with keeping with a moral code.

      I have no problem with religious people, Nii. You seem like a nice enough guy who isn't shoving his ideals down others throats. I just don't appreciate when someone says "my way or the highway". I've been raised with that "my way or the highway" idea since I was born. It is something that I don't care too much for.

      As for now, I'm out of here. Have a great day!

      February 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      I understand that is what happened to my dad too. I hope u do recover from that. I love u as myself. Later.

      February 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      As I have told others who think as you do. If I am a good person, and it turns out the evangelicals were correct and there is a god, and I get sent to hell despite my good deeds because I didn't pay enough attention to him, then you can keep that heaven. A god who acts like a 5 year old wanting mommys undivided attention is not something I care about. I am an atheist and proud of it. I live my life as well as I can, and if I do wrong, I ask forgiveness of those I have hurt. I live without fear of "divine retribution".

      February 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      VanHagar I know I read like an apostate to u but it is time we read the Parable of the Good Samaritan n Rom1&2 n understand. I know what Luther wrote n S. Augustine 2o. These never supersede Jesus, S. John de Divine, S Peter's, S James de Just n S Paul's teaching dat de proof of faith is Charity.

      February 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Van reading the Gtest Commandment n Good Samaritan passages made me notice that the bible made sense this way otherwise the critics are right. Let us have the mind of Christ so that religious X'tianity will be a guide to spirituality not an end in itself.

      February 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Nii...not sure what your saying, but i do agree that proof of faith is charity (James made that clear). But, nonetheless, faith is required–good deeds alone do not get people into heaven. There is no way to read the gospel and come to any other conclusion unless your are prepared to say that the gospel is wrong–and if it is, it's not worth our time.

      February 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • ashrakay

      I stand by my statement. I think it's possible to be intelligent and religious, but they don't blend well. At some point, for example with christianity, a level of intellectual dishonesty is required. Listening to Nii selectively pick through the bible to find the points that suit his perspective while disregarding the violence, misogyny and outright e.vil done as "commanded" by god, in order to come to a conclusion that "god is love" is a perfect example of this. Admittedly you have to be quite clever to continuously justify god's position. But clever people will always be at the mercy of, and intellectually subservient to those who accept the totality of truth. Intellectual integrity will always be superior to intellectual convenience.

      February 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      ashrakay please I do not forget what someone tells me so do not drag my name in the mud. You have asked about miso... etc b4 and I duly replied to which u saaid u were satisfied. Intellectual dishonesty? Who?

      February 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Please faith has many definitions including religious dogma in common English. Biblically it means a) trusting and obeying God b) ability to trust and obey God. Religious dogma did not feature in Jesus concept of judgement in the parable of Sheep and Goats or that of the Good Samaritan.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Ashrakay the reason my Bible knowledge is vastly different from atheist n believers here is that I believe in using bible passages rather than verses to interprete the Scripture. This is why it is hard to push certain things by me. Don't do the same. What I wrote down are huge passages not verses!

      February 14, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Van as I said if you read the Bible with the concept that love your neighbor as yourself and love God with all your life are its foundation, it reads different.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      VanHagar if you read Paul's letters you will find that sola fide as defined is a doctrine he did not subscribe to. Works of religion are what he condemned not acts of love which proved faith. In the same Romans where he wrote salvation by faith. He wrote faith works by love. Loving is obeying God.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie, I find it difficult to follow your stream of logic. This may be due to some communication difficulty on your end, or just the simple fact that there is no logic to your statements, but from what I pieced together, you're saying that you use passages rather than verses. But I guess the difference between you and me is I look at the bible as a whole, rather than selectively choosing passages. Sure there are some good parts, but if you read the parts about god, they are mostly vengeful and violent as I've pointed out. Even Jesus commanded people to leave their families and follow him. One man was told not even to bury his father.

      To selectively choose the passages from the bible that only speak of the goodness of god is like pointing out that Jeffrey Dahmer was a good son and a quiet neighbor, so therefore he was a good person. This is intellectually dishonest.

      February 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Joe T "Does that make me an evil person? I don't do anything bad. I help people when I can. People who know me know what kind of person I am. I am caring, loving and try to never do anything that would hurt people. So, does your God not judge based on what kind of person? Do you think he reads hearts? If your God does read hearts, then it shouldn't matter what I believe, as long as I live a good life"

      @Chad "The issue is what standard are you using? If God is real, we have to use His standard, and that standard is perfection, nothing less. By His standard, we are all evil.

      @Joe T" "That is enough for me. If your God is so demanding that I have to believe a certain way, then I don't want to give that God my allegiance anyway."

      @Chad "What God demands is that you take advantage of the only way He has provided to be reconciled to Him. Belief in the life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice for your (and mine) sinfulness.

      February 14, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      @Ashrakay u say u look @ the Bible as a whole and then set out pointing the parts that u feel make ur point. No that is intellectual nonsense not even dishonesty. And u did understand me.

      February 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Chad what is belief in Christ. Remember the 'Lord we preached in ur name..' debacle. Belief is to obey. If you say u believe u must act it out. The thief on the cross acted it out so why do u think u r different. The offering of grace is by trusting and obeying not blind belief. As S James said.

      February 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      ashrakay. I was talking to van @ de same time so if ur name does not appear it is Van not u. maybe u r complaining about the definitions of faith meant for Van.

      February 15, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie, You totally missed my point, which was you cannot extract a little good from the bad and use it to say that it is good. Using my Jeffery Dhamer example, as a society of laws and our ideals of human dignity that Jeffery Dhamer was a good man because he was a good son and a good neighbor. His overwhelming destruction that he is responsible negates the minor goods he might have done. Drawing it back to the bible, you have a god that has ordered the mu.rder of women and children more than once. He's condoned slavery by setting up proper guidelines to help people deal with their slaves. We have agreed as a collective society that these actions are deplorable and should not be tolerated. Therefore we can't give god a pass just because there are other good things said about him.

      February 15, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Ashrakay. It is best for u to do as u like. I'm not here to evangelise u. However I will do as I like too. Frankly however 88% plus of American Society claim the God of the Bible while only 3% claim atheism. Where are ur policies coming from? Sleep on that.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • Joe T.

      Chad, it must be a terrible thing to live in constant fear that you might not be doing enough to attain salvation. That constant fear was driven into me from infancy. It's a horrible way to go through life.

      February 15, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie, I'm not sure where you're pulling your statistics. I would like to see your data. A 2004 BBC poll showed the number of people in the US who don't believe in a god to be about 9%. A 2008 Gallup poll showed that a smaller 6% of the US population believed that no god or universal spirit exists.

      But you are aware that most people in the US did not want to abolish slavery, fight Hitler or end segregation right? Until recently, people believed that diseases were curses from god. 99.99999% of the population believed that the sun revolved around the earth and not the other way around. Just because a lot of people believe something, doesn't make it true or right.

      February 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  8. Believing in Jesus!

    Believing is the most rational choice. If what I believe is true, after my death I'll enjoy paradise forever! If what Jesus and the martyrs, then and now, died for is not true, then I've believed in something that resulted in my making great friends with good people who've helped my wife and me raise our children. Believing also brings health benefits, so my doctor wife asks her patients about their spirituality as part of her practice. After I die, my ashes will join the athiests and the other animals', decaying into nothing.
    Athiests and Agnostics, however, don't by definition believe in Jesus. They're trusting that what they see, deduce, and can prove is the total reality, refusing to accept what they can't prove. If they are right, then then can be smug as their ashes join mine and the rest of the animals'. If they are wrong, they'll burn in Hell, ever separated from the God they refused to believe in despite millions & billions of believers worldwide! We will each go before the judgement throne and give an ccount
    of our lives. Athiests will have to explain their choice, and God will banish them to Hell for eternity for not accepting Jesus, including why this post on CNN didn't plant a seed resulting in their belief. Please join me and accept Jesus as your Savior!

    February 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      If you are correct, and no matter how good a person I am here I will still go to hell if I don't subscribe to your religion, then I wouldn't want to be in that heaven. If your god is truly that insecure that he not only requires that we live as well as we are able, which I already do without a "religion" to "guide"/force me to make decisions they think are correct, but he also requires that we pay attention to him like he's a 5 year old craving mommys attention, then you can keep that heaven.

      February 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      LOL .. one of the oldest (and lamest) attempts at justification. Belief based on a poker hand, how wonderful. Insincere "belief" at it's best!

      February 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Dave

      Do an internet search for something called "Pascal's Wager".

      Also, you haven't factored in the possibility that another religion may be correct, instead of Christianity. What if you die and find that the Muslims have been right all along?

      February 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Joe T.

      If you honestly believe that, then that means you are serving with selfish motives. That means you will go to hell.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Snow

      Well there are so many holes in your argument that it is difficult to count all of them.. But the biggest is this.. Did you know that Christianity is but one of the many religions of the world.. most of which demand its devotees to believe in only their god or burn for eternity.. According to your argument, if lets say the real god (if he exists) is not the god of Christianity, but some dude with horns from some tribes of Africa, won't you still get burned for eternity for praying the wrong god??

      Well you better start researching the arcane rituals of each and every religion of the world and start following all of them.. you know, just to be safe..

      February 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • ashrakay

      "Athiests will have to explain their choice"... As HawaiiGuest says, if god is actually real, I'll be happy to turn my back on him as he ordered the mu.rder of women and children, has let chaos reign, allows innocent children to di.e of cancer and other horrible diseases. If god is real, he'll have a lot of explaining to do to me, not the other way around.

      February 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Steve

      ashrakay, that's rather presumptuous of you to say that if God exists, he must have ordered the murders of women and children, etc. You must believe in free will, and that people aren't puppets.

      What if our existence is a test? It wouldn't be much of a test if there were no challenges in it, would it? Maybe I'm projecting my own bias as a scientist, but what if God is like a scientist? A scientist who set up the experiment, but then stood back and observed how things developed, without interfering, so as not to bias the study. A scientist, when studying how people behave normally, wouldn't want to make it obvious that he was watching, now would he? It doesn't mean he doesn't care about his test subjects if he allows bad things to happen to them... and if it's true that we'll have an afterlife, then the suffering we have during life isn't so significant in the big picture. What would God be hoping to see? Perhaps who can make the most of bad situations, and appreciate that they were given the gift of existence.

      Why is there such a thing as existence? Why should there be such a thing as matter and energy? It's mind-blowing when you think about it. Science will never have an answer for that, I guarantee you. Nothingness makes a lot more sense than the existence an incomprehensibly vast and complex universe, yet here the universe is, and here we are as part of it.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Steve, That's a lot of "what ifs." What if a giant invisible bunny in the sky f.arted a rainbow and that man dropped from it like eggs and hatched? This is an endless and pointless pursuit that only serves to help people feel better about inconvenient questions that surround us. It's reductive logic to make any implication that because something IS there there must be a WHY. This is a human function. We have "why" because we are. While that may not be as satisfying as pointing to mysticism and fairy tales to explain why things are the way they are, it is the only thing we know to be true based on the evidence presented. To your point that science will never be able to answer the question of why things exist, I'd say first that you are being presumptuous and a little behind the times when it comes to the sciences in the form of particle and quantum physics. I suggest you read Lawrence Krauss' A Universe from Nothing.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Steve

      ashrakay, I replied but was blocked for no apparent reason, so I'm going to chop up my reply and see what the problem area was.

      Let me ask you something: what is the smallest particle of matter? Of course atoms can be broken down into protons, neutrons, and electrons, and the nucleus can be broken into various types of quarks, but what are those quarks made of? The quarks must be composed of something that can be broken down as well, which can also be broken down, ad infinitum. There's really no basis for saying it should stop at quarks. More on that later.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Steve

      You don't have to ask why there is something rather than nothing; just ask how. That is what hard science is about, after all. I'm familiar with the theories of how something arose from nothing, and they're about as believable as the giant invisible bunny, when you really think about them. Krauss says quantum fluctuations created something from nothing... you seriously think that's a sufficient explanation? Putting the lack of proof aside, you still have to ask how the mechanisms behind quantum fluctuations came from nothing. Just like breaking down atoms into their const.ituent parts, and those parts into their parts, this can go on infinitely, and there will never be an explanation other than infinity. To me, God is infinity.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Steve

      (ah, "const.ituent" was the problem... I didn't realize how easy it was to offend the filter)

      You say that I'm using what-ifs... well, only to show you that your narrow presentation of what God would have to be is wrong. I don't claim to be able to definitively prove the existence of God, and I certainly don't claim to have a solid idea of what God is. Infinity is not truly comprehensible, after all. However, atheists who think they can prove he/it doesn't exist are mistaken. Hidden, or ignored, in every single one of those arguments are gigantic what-ifs or flawed presumptions.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Steve, Yeah, I'm not fond of the CNN filter program. Anyway, I agree with most everything you say. Krauss does as well, you might be surprised to hear. I'll paraphrase something from his book. Basically, as you say, you can endlessly dissect things into smaller and smaller consti.tuents and no one is saying what we've found is the final answer. Krauss as do all other physicists leaves room for god. However as Krauss says, god should be our last resort, not our first. Saying that god is behind creation is simple and neat but also very limiting. If god is infinity to you, why the need to call infinity god? Clearly it must represent more than infinity to you. Science exists so we can find the natural reasoning behind the seemingly supernatural event. Religion seeks only to apply supernatural reasoning to natural events. I find this to be lazy reasoning and intellectually unsatisfying.

      Going back to my original post, the god I refer to is not a god of my creating. It's the god of the bible. I was not presenting a limited view of god, the bible does that for me. I understand where you are coming from and expanding your perspective of god to be something beyond and unknowable like infinity. I find it more tasteful than biblical presentations of god and so my comment is not really applicable to you but to the overwhelming percentage of the American population who believe in the literal translation of the bible. For you, I would only caution you about using reductive logic to neatly wrap up a convenient answer to an inconvenient question.

      February 15, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Steve

      ashrakay, just because I think that God is in the infinitely-distant background of all these phenomena doesn't mean I'm not curious about how they work. It's possible we will be able harness those forces to our advantage one day, which could be a worthy goal (of course, they might also be used for nefarious purposes). However, trying to get to the bottom of it simply to show that no God is necessary to explain existence is entirely in vain. There is no bottom - there can't be. Existence is entirely paradoxical, yet it's reality. The only thing that breaks the paradox is God. Granted, the existence of God is a paradox as well, but I'm content to say that God is the ultimate paradox.

      It helps to think that I am made of something other than my physical body that won't entirely cease to exist when I die, but rather will merely change into another state, as will the people I know, my pets, etc.; not only is it comforting, but it makes more sense to me. Of course, God is a necessary prerequisite for that scenario.

      I don't buy into religion, but it makes perfect sense why basically every culture in history came up with it. It can help people have more of a sense of purpose, and keep them on better behavior. Some people have used it for their own gain, or to give weight to their own twisted perceptions. But I really don't see any downside to my belief system, as I don't claim to speak for God, yet I'm more hopeful about the ultimate fates of my loved ones and of my own than I'd be if I were an atheist.

      February 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  9. American Doc

    Why do guys get so upset with Christianity as to sit and blog all day about one simple article about one athletes quiet faith? They write these articles to rile you up and see the discourse and increase in web traffic. If nothing matters, noone matters, and there are no consequences or afterlife, shouldn't you all be outside enjoying the closest thing to heaven that you believe youll ever see? Who cares what we Christians think? Why is it so important? Are you asking for proof of God? Do you want to be convinced? If not, go do something else. If instead you wish to challenge yourself, go pick up "mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. Just be ready for some heavy reading.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      That book made me a Christian. After years of searching.

      February 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • ashrakay

      I'm reading the Chronicles of Narnia now. I think it's perfect for children and christians (which are basically large-sized children). It's simplistic and full of fantasies were everything works out in the end. Zero complexity. Se.xist and sycophantic.

      February 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      Ashrakay this is from S Paul to u,"the righteous man sees the good in everything while the evil man sees evil everywhere...'

      February 15, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Nii Croffie, and the realist realizes we live in a world with both and doesn't pretend that there's only one or the other.

      February 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  10. Jebus

    The big difference between Lin and Tebow is Lin is actually really good at pass the ball.

    February 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  11. sports medic

    I would say that Lin is a better comparison to Kurt Warner than Tim Tebow.

    February 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  12. xCucusong

    "It is vain for you to rise up early, to stay up late, eating the bread of toil; for he gives sleep to his loved ones." (Psalms)

    February 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • jimtanker

      “If a man’s testicIes are crushed or his pe nis is cut off, he may not be admitted to the assembly of the Lord.”
      –Deuteronomy 23

      February 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Yahwey or the highway

      "And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him." -Genesis 19:34
      How's that for biblical morality ..

      February 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Prior

      "And those who are prideful and refuse to bow down shall be laid low and made unto dust."

      "Hallowed are the children of the Ori."

      February 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • jimtanker

      @Yahwey or the highway
      You’re talking about Lot, the man that Jesus said was a most righteous man. But of course he also tried to give his virgln daughters to an unruly crowd to r@pe too so what can you expect from him? I guess that’s what it takes to be righteous.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Yahwey or the highway

      jimtanker, exactly, but it seemed too long to go into all of it in a single post. Thanks for adding it!

      February 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • jimtanker

      Anything for Yahwey. LOL

      I have a long rant on that subject saved but didnt feel like posting it.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • JT

      Psalm 137:9 – Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

      February 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • John

      Thou shall not eat meat on the sabbath, unless you forget. Leviticus 15

      February 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      I find it funny all these Bible verses quoted out of context both culturally and historically.

      February 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      JT please leviticus 15 is on unclean bodily discharges not Sabbath laws.

      February 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      NIi Croffie.. When ever bible verses are quoted they are always claimed to be out of context... with the emphasis on con? What has culture to do with it..this was supposedly a book to all mankind from the master of the universe..the cheesiest of the cheese, the toppest banana you can get..... why would he have favored an ancient culture..knowing ,as you claim, the future...

      February 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Nii Croffie

      In Dec a church of Christ fellow fell into an argument with me and guess what he was using to make his point. Yes, the Bible! In all the verses he quoted all I had to do was ask him to read the passage in which they were found. This way de Bible made sense. I won.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:42 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      "I will give u all the nations of the earth if you bow down aand worship me" is a quotation from the Bible. If u think it is God u r wrong. It is Satan speaking to Christ. God's worship is to love ur neighbor as urself.

      February 15, 2012 at 3:47 am |
    • Nii Croffie

      Mr Man was it amoral theist who agreed that slavery was wrong or collateral damaging society which agreed killing women and children was wrong. Atheists have been 3% of US pop'n and X'tians 88%plus so who has been saying it. Slavery is still in America too and who is fighting it? Christians!

      February 15, 2012 at 3:56 am |
  13. rmtaks

    I've yet to hear anything bad said about Lin, yet people are already playing the victim card. Is it that hard to accept that it's Tebow's antics, not his personal beliefs that annoys people?

    February 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • yeahalright

      I concur. With tebow you know about his religious beliefs 3 seconds in (bible lines on the eye black, anti-choice ad during the superbowl, "tebowing"). Lin I would never know. I couldn't care less what either believes in their personal lives. It's Tebow's public posturing that is so irritating.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  14. MJ Taylor

    The other part that is overlooked is that within Asian culture, people are socialized to walk humbly and quietly. There is an easy-going flow where folks don't try to make waves as it disrupts the community of family or society. Whereas Tebow comes from an aggressive cultural framework (white America) completely with active prostylazation. and As a result he has no problem putting his beliefs and values into your face–be it the overplayed displays of his faith to doing politically charged super bowl spots.

    February 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • rmtaks

      Exactly. People want to make a big show of everything then become indignant when they meet resistance. If Tebow was Tebowing next to his bed at night no one would say anything. But when you do it with a thousand cameras pointed at you because you want to give the glory of some stupid game to God, it's pretty clear what you're doing to anyone who isn't in denial.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  15. MasterWooten

    True, if he were more open about his faith, the secular progressives would be attacking him in the same way that Lou Dobbs used to take on anything Chinese.

    February 14, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • bff

      I don't think they would attack him (say, like a bigot would). They would be attacking his beliefs.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • rmtaks

      Tell you what, they day evangelicals don't flip out if a gay athlete came out with a pride flag is the day I won't say anything about Tebowing.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      C'mon now – there are no gay football players, just like there are no gay Muslims.

      February 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  16. Patrick

    Mention anything about non-belief and the Goddites go crazy...

    February 14, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  17. a disgrace

    if indy's manning gets released denver does not have a quarterback!!

    February 14, 2012 at 11:55 am |
  18. Michael

    Prothero left Jeremy alone unlike what he did about Tim Teabow. Good. He failed to point out the cultural differences in the upbringing of Jeremy and Tim. One of the features of Asian upbringing is to be silent about keeping a relatively low key in showing what they really are. It may be one reason why Jeremy was not know for long time. American culture is boastful about what they are. Tim uses it well; for the Glory of God. Both Jeremy and Tim are ideal personalities for our youth.

    February 14, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • U.S.Army-OverLord

      Well stated, it's good to see a decent comment now and again. 😉

      February 14, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Michael....the "glory of god" what is that? and how is that translated into Starving African?

      February 14, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  19. U.S.Army-OverLord

    Mention anything about God and the non believes go crazy...

    February 14, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • U.S.Army-OverLord

      and don't go nuts about the typos either LOL

      February 14, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • bff

      Mention anything about evolution and the young-earthers have a conniption.

      February 14, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • rmtaks

      No, overtly calling attention to your beliefs causes people to flip out. I've never heard anyone say anything bad about Lin yet all these evangelicals are already playing the victim card.

      February 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      which god?

      February 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Yahwey or the highway

      We have psychologists to help people with their "issues", however the religion industry does a good job of stopping the mainstream from helping indoctrinated believers break their psychological shackles .. so we try to help .. you're welcome. 🙂

      February 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Joe T.

      Nobody is hating on Lin because he's not a hypocritical, "pray so everyone can see", Christian.

      February 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      We don't go crazy because we understand that some of you do not know the FSM, and his powers..we are quite happy just to smile at you and know that no one has had to nailed to anything for our belief.

      February 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • Skullvodka

      Does sending telepathic messages to an imaginary friend fit the definition of "crazy"?

      February 15, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  20. Allan

    For the love of the game!

    February 14, 2012 at 11:52 am |
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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.