I have a couple of items for today:
1. I was watching the John Adams miniseries last night with my Mom and her husband. John Dickinson (played by Zeljko Ivanek, whom I know from Heroes) was a member of the Continental Congress who was opposed to the American colonies going to war against Great Britain, for, while he acknowledged that Great Britain was infringing on the colonists’ rights, he wanted to find a peaceful resolution. A lot of times, when he spoke, he was heckled by his opponents, and John Adams engaged him in debate and even called him an imbecile. When Dickinson spoke soon before the Continental Congress voted on independence, however, the whole room was quiet. Everyone—-even his opponents—–let him have his say. Why? One reason may be that, by that point, the colonies’ resolution to become independent from Great Britain was largely a given, so why not let Dickinson give his final warning, before they declared their independence? Another reason is that Dickinson’s speech is good for the movie, in that it demonstrates the risk that the American colonies were taking when they declared their independence and set themselves on the path to becoming a new nation. You can see Dickinson’s speech here.
2. I’d like to comment on Tim Tebow and John 3:16. The speech community in which I largely run—-the one that is cynical about religion—-has criticized quarterback Tim Tebow. They say that he’s parading his religion, when Jesus told his disciples to pray in secret and not in public. They say that the numbers 3-1-6 in Tebow’s plays do not demonstrate that God is affirming Tim Tebow—-for, while Tebow threw a ball for 316 yards, we don’t have the number 316 when those yards are converted to meters, plus why should we assume that 3-1-6 is about John 3:16 , when there are other Scriptures that have 3-1-6? They challenge the notion that God takes sides in football games, when there are so many problems in the world.
But maybe God is affirming Tim Tebow. That does not mean that God is a Broncos fan (even though my late uncle might disagree with me on that!). I don’t think that God cares about who wins football games. But Tim Tebow is acknowledging his dependence on God. He is allowing his faith to inspire him, and to enable him to be an inspiration to others. Perhaps God is honoring that. And, in the process, that encourages us to turn to God—-not so much to win football games—-but to receive strength and to be a means for good in the world.