Is Jeremy Lin the next Tim Tebow for Basketball?

Ok folks – let’s get started with a hot topic in sports and Christianity.  For those of you who do not know who this young man is, please CLICK on this pix, to go to his own personal website.

Lots of good tid bits of who he is and his mission in life.  Interestingly, a Taiwanese American from NoCal goes to Harvard (go figure), plays basketball, and ends up having the 2 best career games on the main stage of Madison Square Garden in NYC (Highlights Game 1 NJ, Game 2 Utah)- after sitting on the bench most of his rookie year in Golden State last year.  So aside from being another Asian bball player we root for, why are we going nuts over this stud?

If he wasn’t drafted by any NBA team, Jeremy would have ended up being a pastor for Asian American ministries.  Heavily active in his faith and outspoken (Time magazine article), you start to wonder, is he the next Tim Tebow of the NBA?

I am sure this conversation will spark some interest, and I want to know if there is something about Christianity mixing with Sports.  Is there room for the limelight and the stage for God to display His Glory to the world?  Do we dare ask if God cares enough to control outcomes…meaning the more success Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin wins, the more we talk about God and Faith in sports?  Let the questions and the comments begin….

 

Other crazy highlights:

John Wall #1 pick vs J-Lin at the Summer NBA camp

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Comments

  1. djchuang says:

    Yes yes yes! Wall Street Journal picked up on this today http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204136404577209274190816522.html Meet Jeremy Lin, the New Tim Tebow – very prophetic of you, Kevin!! 🙂

  2. Sara Choe says:

    it’s a great question. this blogger’s post on why lin is gaining celebrity seems spot-on to me: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/philosophicalfragments/2012/02/06/jeremy-lin-and-the-soft-bigotry-of-low-expectations/

    that the genesis of lin’s career has been marked by scrappiness and obscurity would be one significant difference i see between him and tebow.

    whether or not we talk about God & faith in sports now… i’m still undecided.

    i suppose i’m wary of this sudden awareness of Christians in professional sports, ’cause there has been a remnant (not as small as we think) of them who have been faithful to steward their platform and seek to be excellent as athletes. or perhaps i’m more wary of the connection we’re making to an athlete’s faith (the fervency thereof) to his or her success in their career or the impact of their charity work because of their celebrity status. that is, would we as a church be just as encouraging or cheerleader-y for other Christian athletes if we knew who they were? what if they’re not as skillful as athletes, does that mean they’re not as anointed or maybe not as faithful to God?

    and scene. for now.

  3. Sara Choe says:

    also. that article is from time magazine, not the new york times.

  4. Truth Unites... and Divides says:

    “I want to know if there is something about Christianity mixing with Sports. Is there room for the limelight and the stage for God to display His Glory to the world?”

    Of course.

    “Do we dare ask if God cares enough to control outcomes…meaning the more success Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin wins, the more we talk about God and Faith in sports?”

    Read this: Does God Care Whether Tim Tebow Wins on Saturday?.

  5. ondat says:

    kevin, thanks for bringing linsanity into this blog….and i am sure contributions to your blog related to jeremy lin will continue to flow (jeremy is 5-0 in his last 5 games, and he is 5 for 5 in the last 5 blog entries!). i have bought into the hype, and i am eating up whatever highlights, reports, analysis, etc. are out there, including this blog. and at the end of this season, if the nba puts out a dvd on jeremy lin highlights, i would buy it….to match my jeremy lin jersey and life-sized poster.

    so, what’s behind the linsanity? and how does this relate to tebowmania? both are very real phenomenon, and there are many answers and perspectives as to why they exist and are/are not similar….but one aspect i am reflecting on is how people are inherently connected to others based on similarities, and religion and ethnicity are powerful forces in forming relational connections. we cheer for and connect with people like us. for many believers who were not broncos fans or not even football fans, they became a part of tebowmania because it is exciting to see a true disciple of Christ who is excelling in a very public and typically worldly arena, and it is great to see a powerful testimony for Christ that also includes what the world considers “successful”. that’s why i like to eat at chick fil-a (Christian founder), vote for Christian politicians, and like to hear the testimonies of successful Christian CEOs. jeremy lin takes it a step further….not only is he a disciple of Christ (based on what I have read) that is experiencing ridiculous success in a worldly arena, but he is also asian american (like me)….and that is why i connect even more with him than with tim tebow.

    in light of this blog, consider the comparison between dat nguyen (former dallas cowboy) and tim tebow. there was certainly no “dat nguyen mania”, but he was really good, and as far as i know, one of the best asian americans to play in the NFL. but the question is – who do i connect with and cheer for more? someone based on race, or someone based on Christ? if dat nguyen was standing between tim tebow and the end zone, who would i cheer for (becomes more complicated since i am a cowboys fan)? i’d have to say….tim tebow. disclaimer – i don’t know if dat ngyuen is a disciple of Jesus Christ. but he didn’t have john 3:16 on his eye-black at texas A&M, so for the sake of my point, let’s assume he is not. if he was, then hands down i would cheer for dat nguyen to get a sack fumble, recover, and rumble into the end zone for a td.

    the point i am wrestling with is this….at the risk of being racist, i connect with fellow asian americans easier than other ethnicities. i wish i could relate to all people, but it has been hard and not necessarily natural….kind of like swimming upstream. of course, this is not something new….that is why this blog on the asian american church exists – because for whatever reason, most churches in america (white, black, OBC, etc.) don’t seem very effective in reaching asian americans because the differences in ethnicity somewhat hinder natural relational connections….and there is growing excitement for asian american ministry where those natural relational connections based on ethnicity can happen. and we can harness our asian american-ness for the gospel. imagine what God can do at an evangelical basketball camp led by jeremy lin, with francis chan as the guest speaker. imagine how i can talk to my asian american friends about jeremy lin, and then bring up his faith as an opening to sharing the gospel.

    but hopefully, all the special focus on asian american ministry does not prevent us from moving beyond that and into the universal body of Christ, across all nations and all cultures. that would be ideal….not sure if that will happen fully on earth before Christ returns, and not sure how hard to intentionally pursue that ideal today. asian american stuff can be powerful to draw in and connect with people for the gospel, but it can also be exclusive to non-asian americans, and that is not what the gospel is about. this is what i wrestle with.

    looking forward to more of this….tebowmania was great, and linsanity is even better. i cheer for the dallas mavericks, but when they go play the knicks next week, i hope jlin drops 50 on dirk, jason kidd, etc. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] NG.AC commenter Sara Choe points out, “Lin’s career has been marked by scrappiness and obscurity” — no college […]

  2. […] Kevin Ngyuen raises a very linteresting (an aside: I’m really loving the nickname/puns for Jeremy Lin [minus, of course, the obligatory trollish/racist nonsense]. From #Linsanity trending on the Twitter machine, to Spike Lee’s Jeremy “My Shot is Fall” Lin, it’s too much fun. Here’s one I’ve been working on: To those who’ve been on the receiving end of his killer crossover, you could say, “You just got your Linternship” — because he’s teaching them to do work. Maybe I still need to work on that one.) question on Next Gener.Asian Church that others have voiced as well: Is Jeremy Lin the next Tim Tebow? […]

  3. […] This is my own response to my original posting Is Jeremy Lin the next Tim Tebow for Basketball? […]

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