Unnecessary Roughness: Columnists Slam Religious Convictions of Florida QB Tebow

<p>Basing his October 14 column on an anti-evangelical Christian screed by <a href="http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2009/10/column-and-id-like-to-thank-god-a... target="_blank">another opinion columnist</a>, Sam Cook of the Fort Myers [Fla.] News-Press <a href="http://www.news-press.com/article/20091014/COLUMNISTS02/910140380/1018/c... target="_blank">tackled Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow</a> for his both his religious convictions and his commitment to being open about his faith (h/t NB commenter and Florida alumna Blonde).</p><blockquote><p>It's hard to find fault with such an exemplary young man, but I have.</p><p>In a Monday story in USA Today, religion writer Tom Krattenmaker reported these findings:</p><p>&quot;Tebow does his missionary trips to the Philippines under the auspices of his father Bob Tebow's Evangelistic Association. The Tebow organization espouses a far-right theology. Its bottom line: Only those who assent to its version of Christianity will avoid eternal punishment. The ministry boldly declares, 'We reject the modern ecumenical movement.'&quot;</p></blockquote><blockquote>If Tebow is selling that, this Lutheran isn't buying.</blockquote><!--break--><p>So Cook is hoping to visit the &quot;sins&quot; of the father on the son, associating father Bob Tebow's &quot;far-right theology&quot; with his son Tim's. But the tag &quot;far-right theology&quot; is a loaded label, as the elder Tebow's theology is simply a conservative, evangelical Protestant take on what the Bible teaches about salvation. </p><p>Indeed, it's likely <a href="http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=112" target="_blank">Martin Luther, the founder of Cook's denomination</a>, would heartily nod in agreement with most if not all of Tebow's brief summary of the <a href="http://www.btea.org/whatwebelieve.asp" target="_blank">doctrine of salvation</a>:</p><blockquote><p>We believe that the vicarious, substitutionary blood atonement of Christ makes possible the salvation of every living soul (I John 2:2; Revelation 22:17; Romans 10:13). The invitation to salvation is made to all. This justification is by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 5:8), through faith alone (Romans 3:20-28; Romans 4:4-5; John 5:24; John 6:35) in Christ alone (Acts 4:12; John 14:6) without works of any kind before or after salvation (Romans 3:20; Romans 4:4-5; Isaiah 64:6). Salvation is a free gift (Romans 6:23) that needs only to be received- by man putting his faith/trust/belief in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:19-5:1). </p></blockquote><p>But historical evangelical Christian teaching be damned, literally, Cook argues. It's just too damn intolerant, and we can't tolerate that:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Let's not forget the twinge that is felt by sports-loving Jewish kids and parents, for example, or by champions for interfaith cooperation, when adored sports figures like Tebow use their fame to push a Jesus-or-else message,&quot; Krattenmaker says.</p><p>Jesus or else?</p><p>Krattenmaker says sports-world evangelicalism excludes the Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, non-evangelical Protestant and agnostic.</p>The next time Tebow throws a &quot;Hail Mary&quot; pass, look beyond the eye black.</blockquote>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters