Friday, February 17, 2012

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Lin-Sanity: The Faith of the "Taiwanese Tebow"

Jeremy Lin's unexpected explosion onto the professional sports scene, combined with his evangelical faith in Jesus, already has drawn comparisons to a certain Denver Bronco. There's certainly a familiar feel to Lin-sanity. From the near-daily lead stories on ESPN to the "enjoy-it-while-it-lasts" skepticism from many professional pundits, it's hard to escape the weird sense of deja vu.  Oh, and of course there's also the late-game heroics:



But this is a Christian blog, and so let's get into that.  On one hand, he is not shy about declaring unambiguously his allegiance to Jesus Christ, even insisting on at least one occasion that he be given the opportunity to testify to it as a condition of a San Jose Mercury News interview.  In it, he explained how the trials of going undrafted and being cut by two NBA teams taught him to ask some hard questions, like "how can I trust God more? How can I surrender more? How can I bring him more glory?"

He also learned to depend on the promise of Romans 8:28 to deal with his anxiety: And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Many have observed that Lin's witness is slightly less overt than Tebow's, but that's not to say he hides his light under a bowl.  The Tebow hype machine had been building for years at Florida, where he won a Heisman Trophy, two National Championships and earned a controversial first-round NFL selection.  Of course, it be attributable to the absence of eye black in basketball (Tebow's habit of writing Scripture verses on his eye black gained so much attention it inspired its own blog).

For those who wonder, Lin's music tastes include Hillsong and a rapper named LaCrae, whom I know as much about as I do about any rapper, which is to say nothing.  But nor am I 23 years old, so I'll let Jeremy explain:

 

As for the whole "Taiwanese Tebow" thing--yes, it's goofy, but so far it doesn't seem to bother Lin much.  In fact, he expresses appreciation for the quarterback's example:
I think the things he says in interviews, his approach to the game is just unbelievable and I respect him so much ... I want to be able to do some of the things that he does in terms of the amount of charity work and the nonprofit work, and the way he impacts people off the field. I think that is what is most inspiring to me about him.
So ... learning to be a Bronco fan this year wan't too tough.  But the Knicks?  I never thought I'd see the day I root for a New York team, but this kid's got me hooked.  Holding my nose ...


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