The Gospel of Tebow? More Reads

Two Tebow pieces of interest to Tebow fans:

First up, Joseph Bottum, who made a big hit with his Christmas-themed Amazon Single (a short ebook) Dakota Christmas, has published another one, this time on Tebow: The Gospel According to Tim:

Believe in him, I mean: believe that he’s for real. The young man is drunk on charity, in the same way he’s drunk on the endorphins that race through his body during his strenuous daily workouts. In the same way he’s drunk on the excitement of winning and losing football games before roaring crowds. In the same way he’s drunk on what the medieval mystics used to call “the gift of tears,” weeping easily and often. In the same way he’s drunk on his constant conversation with the Lord, referring all his victories and all his losses up to heaven.

Tim Tebow isn’t a Christian theologian. He’s a Christian mystic–intoxicated, as all mystics are, with God. He’s King David, dancing in the joy of his youth before the Ark of the Covenant. There is a theology, certainly, implicit in the prayers Tebow says, the hymns he sings, and the witnessing he performs. But whether he’s able to make it explicit or not, he rarely does. He expects, instead, his sheer fervorous presence and ecstatic deeds–the drunken joy he takes in it all–to do the work for him. He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

That’s good writing! Thought ya’ll might like. And this piece on Tebow and the Atheist’s Dilemma

Also, with all that’s going on, you may not realize that Lent is about a month away. I want to once again recommend to you Paula Huston’s really excellent Simplifying the Soul. It is written in such an accessible and inviting way, that I think many of you will find it very valuable. Here is an excerpt.

I like the book so much, next week I am going to give away three copies. As soon as I figure out how to do that!

Speaking of Lent, you know Magnificat Magazine is ready with another outstanding Lenten companion for the low, low price of $3.95. You can’t go wrong with anything put out by Magnificat, and that’s sort of a thoughtful little gift for someone around you, perhaps.

And since Lent is a time for “recommended reading” I am beginning to amass a group of books to recommend to you. Given the combox of this post, I’m starting with At the Heart of the Gospel, by Christopher West. We’ll read; we’ll talk.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Maggie Goff

    Magnificat will have a e-book version of the Lenten Companion also. They had done one for the 2011 Advent Companion, and I emailed them within the past few days to see if they’d be doing the Lenten 2012 as an e-book, and they replied YES!

  • Elizabeth K.

    Thank you for the book recommendations–keep ‘em coming! I already bought Paula Huston’s book!

  • newton

    That kid is a big credit to his parents. It shows.

    And speaking of football players, it seems a certain one is having his “I’m more famous than Jesus” moment

    Or should I say his “King of Babylon” moment?

  • Mandy P.

    The whole piece about Tebow and the Atheists, and the piece that it seems to be based on, starts out with assumptions about Tebow that are pretty darned wrong if one takes a few minutes to listen to what the young man has actually said. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard him say over the years that he does not believe God is tinkering with the games or is interested in football at all. He’s been very clear that he believes God gives him interior strength.

    I get the same stuff from friends who don’t like him for whatever reason and it bugs me because it’s such a faulty idea of what Tesbo himself, and what most other Christians in general believe about God. I guess it just gets frustrating having to correct the same strawman over and over again.

  • Mandy P.

    Tebow, not Tesbo. Auto correct fails me yet again.

  • Klaire

    Elizabeth I find it interesting that you are recommending West’s “At the Heart of the Gospel”, especially since it isn’t even available yet (although I suspect you have an advanced copy).

    In fairness to you, you are using it for “discussion” not “must read” per se. That said, I will tell you this. I was one of Christopher West’s first students, and personally I think he is a wonderful and holy man, with both heart and intentions in the right place. I used to think it was really a gift that someone like West could take a difficult teaching and make it more “accessable” to the laity. Now I’m not so sure.

    I got totally burned on Heaven’s Song, AFTER I regrettably gave a copy to the monastic cloisetered monks during a visit. Initially I thought “Heaven’s Song” was the end all, only to find that it had some serious theological flaws, to say the least.

    Consequently, knowing my zeal for such learning, I felt it best to be extra cautions in all things West. Now I’m back to my own reading of original works, and trust the Holy Spirit will lead me where I need to go or teach me what I need to learn.

    As I posted in your first thread on this, I did become almost obcessed with “holy sex”, not good!

    I want to be fair to West and say that he indeed has a lot of good to teach. I also realize that a lot of his recent work is based on the hidden works of JPII, the writings he felt “too sensitive” to make public. I guess my bigger point is this. For a devout soul living a monastic life, of course the “Song of Songs” is going to be
    like “spritual intercourse.” The reality is, most of the audience of West isn’t going to be at that level, consequently, at least IMO, there is more danger of “over sexualizing” the teaching than properly understanding it.

    At least for me, I’ve concluded that the mere understanding that sacarmental maritial sex with a loving partner is not ony one of life’s greatest pleasures, but as well, a “sign” of the even greater incomprehensible ectastay of the spiritual intimacy of oneness with God (spiritual intercourse so to speak). And of course, that sex is indeed holy.

    After that, I’m not sure it’s so necessary or even non heritical to associate half of the church with phallic symbols and for sure not “bodily related pleasures.”

    We already had a taste of how the secular world responds, and it wasn’t good. As powerful JP II’s TOB teaching is, I’m just not convinced that it’s meant to be “taught” in a “commercial” kind of way. Maybe there is a good reason the orginal texts are dense, the same reason the Sacred Scriptures aren’t “open” to those who mock them.

    I’m not trying to tell you how to run you blog, but if you don’t mind I would suggest that if you do have this discussion, you invite a theologican or two, Alice Von Hildebrand if possible, and maybe Father Barron, and others like Dawn Eden. Heck, even Christopher West! It would indeed be a great discusson to have, but based on my experience on this topic, potentially dangerous sans some theological experts in the mix.

    All said, I want to be fair to C. West, as I have not read the book (it’s not yet available), just assuming based on his previous writing where it’s likely going to go.
    I also don’t want to come across as dissing West. He’s a good Christian man, just not sure his passion for TOB is directed in the most conducive style.

  • Mister H

    Tim Tebow’s true greatness lies in his charitable work, not his exploits on the football field

  • Greta

    Klaire, do not have a clue what point you are trying to make here. You say the book had “find that it had some serious theological flaws, to say the least” without pointing them out. I have found his work outstanding and my family went to his program on TOB which I find amazing. I have already ordered the book Anchoress has listed here. Seems like if you are going to throw something like this out, it deserves to have some backup.

  • Greta

    On Tebow, we just got word today that he has accepted our invitation to come in to speak to our Catholic youth group during lent on the topic of giving oneself to do good and doing them for Christ. We have found from discussions with many youth, where they are encouraged to do some charitable work as a requirment in school, that they have come to see it not for what it should be intended as Catholics as part of what we do in life for Christ and often made more perfect through Christ love for them being present in what they do. Tebow has talked about this subject and in viewing it, we felt he would be great for our youth and it certainly will spark large crowds. We have a prayer of our own that we can expose Tebow to excited young Catholics who know and are fired up about their faith.

  • Marla Lynch

    I am a big fan of Tim Tebow, but let’s not put him too high on a pedestal, lest a fall be too injurious. He is a human being, after all.