Culture / Sports / February 21, 2012

Linsanity, Tebowmania, and Christian Celebrity

With the furor surrounding Tim Tebow last fall  and Jeremy Lin at present there is an important question Christians must ask: How are we to respond to these kinds of celebrity believers?

I attempt to answer that question in an article at WorldMag.com. Here is an excerpt:

As the winter months of 2011 ramped up, so too did a phenomenon commonly known as “Tebowmania”—the frenzy of fandom surrounding the winsome, humble, and overtly Christian Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. It was the Molotov cocktail of outspoken orthodox Christ-following and eye-catching unorthodox football success that exploded the furor over Tebow. Christians went bonkers in support of the man and anti-Christians took every opportunity to make “God is a Broncos fan” jokes and other disparaging remarks.

Now, in these winter doldrums, another phenomenon has arisen: “Linsanity.” Jeremy Lin, the Taiwanese-American, Harvard grad, and undrafted upstart point guard for the New York Knicks has generated his own frenzy through unprecedented success on the basketball court. His unusual backstory and out-of-nowhere ascension to stardom have captivated NBA fans everywhere. He is also an outspoken Christian with a beautiful testimony of God’s work in his life.

While Lin has yet to generate the same vitriol that Tebow did, and while only time will tell if these athletes will be long-term successes, there is a very present question their popularity raises. How are Christians to respond to the athletes and the furor over them?

Read the full article HERE.




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