POTD Tim Tebow, QB - Answered Prayer, 1


=== Prayer - to Where? ===

If all your examples above are not enough, then Tim Tebow is the final nail in the coffin.  If he doesn't convince you that sports transcends just merely the collection of a teams assembled physical talents and stats, then nothing will! ... Is it divine intervention?

Your opinion on this is as good as mine.  But there is probably some percentage of readers, like 25%, who would like to hear whether I think that God has put Tim Tebow on a winning streak :- ) and why I reach that conclusion.

If you don't want to read my thoughts on that, then you know what to do.  ::laughs::

As mentioned before, about 90% of Americans pray, and about 85% believe that prayer can heal the sick. Dave Cameron of USSM apparently had his life saved by prayer, last year.  So here's Tim Tebow praying for ... what?

We have to start with asking, "To Whom do you pray?"  To address the topic of prayer sensibly, you have to resolve certain minimal questions about the Answerer.  Because of the audience here, SSI will address this from science, rather than from holy writings.


=== Inference from Creation ===

Albert Einstein was certainly not a Christian, but he was friendly to Christianity (though not to Catholicism), and he believed that a transcendent Intelligence created the cosmos.  Einstein would have gotten along fine with Tim Tebow, though perhaps not with your local Catholic priest.

For Einstein, it wasn't simply that this or that law of nature was "tuned" to one part in 10 to the 100th power; it was an overall sense of coherency that he perceived, the idea that one law and constant complemented another and created a grand Rationality that man could be "dimly aware" of.  For Einstein, had there been no transcendent Mind, we should not have expected the cosmos to be "intelligible."  This legibility of physics implied, to Einstein, an architect for physics.

We'll run a few (carefully-suppressed) Einstein quotes, and then we'll tell you why we relate them logically to Tebow's situation:

I have never found a better expression than "religious" for this trust in the rational nature of reality and of its peculiar accessibility to the human mind. Where this trust is lacking science degenerates into an uninspired procedure. Let the devil care if the priests make capital out of this. There is no remedy for that.  Albert Einstein, Lettres a Maurice Solovine reproduits en facsimile et traduits en francais (Paris: Gauthier-Vilars, 1956), 102-3.

Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order .... This firm belief, a belief bound up with deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God.  Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, 255.

Every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that or men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.  Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999), 44.*

In other words, the smartest guy ever ;- ) said that he constantly sensed a Mind behind the ideas set up in nature.

It has to be emphasized that Einstein believed that this Mind did not intervene in our lives, at all, ever.  This was, in my view, a demonstrable logical error even worse than his resistance to the Big Bang.  We'll demonstrate it in a minute.  For now, consider Einstein's unwitting remark that the Mind "reveals itself."


Is Tebow's winning streak due to Divine Intervention?  ... Not because of the Bible, but because of Einstein's type of logic, I (Jeff) step two yards past Einstein, and set up a first premise that there is a Mind who wants us to attend to It.  

C'mon, you grad students, see Einstein's error here.  If this mind "reveals itself" through Physics, then how can you say it does not intervene?  Quantum mechanics proves that even the act of observing intervenes, right?  If the Experimenter deliberately announces its Presence, then of course it deliberately intervenes, correct?


On an analogous but lower level, I (Jeff) wonder whether this Mind is constantly sending us -- in everyday life -- barely-perceptible reminders to pay attention to the spiritual realm.

This is only a personal musing, but you wonder whether rumors of Near-Death Experiences, rumors of synchronicities, rumors of animal psi, universal accounts of quick-encounters with angels, the fact that we can tell when we're being stared at, etc. are there for no more specific purpose than to say, "Don't forget.  There's something more."


We could go on much farther, to C.S. Lewis' inferences from nature, to inferences from the fact that we have internal senses of right and wrong (our consciences), etc.  But it isn't necesssary for our purposes.  

All we need to answer the Tebow Prayer Question is this to resolve our beliefs as to whether this Mind exists, and if so, is It interested in our attention.  From Einstein's inferences, we can resolve those.





It is also the place where, as recounted in Acts 17, Paul, a former chief persecutor of Christians took to the podium of the amphitheatre where the best minds of his generation, and some of the best minds in all of human history would congregate for public discussion and debate.
This Paul had formerly lived a comfortable and secure life as the superstar-in-progress of his religious community, having had an education second to none at the feet of a legend of wisdom and learning in his community. His understanding, his life, his beliefs, his goals, and and his priorites had all been transformed when, as he recounts in letters (many of which are accepted by even the most skeptical of modern scholars as genuine) an encounter with the resurrected Lord of his persecutees. He rehearses how this resulted in his calling to a life of extreme hardship, severe persecution at the hands of enemies, a life dedicated to proclaiming the truth about Jesus Christ, a proclamation that ended up costing him his life at the hands of the Roman government.
As Paul stood at the podium at the Aeropagus (commonly known as Mars Hill) in Athens, Greece, the philosophical center of the world, attended by the philosophers currently in vogue, both Stoics and Epicureans, he made a declaration that didn't quite fit in to their notions and world view. He offered them a bridge to understanding. Here is the summary of his address recorded in Acts 17:
 “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:22-31 ESV)
By all accounts the Romans and the Greeks prayed, as have most societies in history, even those in our day, despite the best efforts of men who dedicate their life's energy to the suppression of what they consider to be ignorance, but is in fact the truth, if we accept what Paul says. But even though they are "very religious" Paul asserts that he has been commissioned to proclaim that with the advent of Jesus Christ and the proclamation of the gospel they no longer have any excuse for the ignorance of their prayers, prayers to idols or venerated figures or the constructs of their philosophies. It is not so much prayer to where according to Paul. It is prayer to Whom. They had been praying to false gods. He proclaimed to them God come as a man, Jesus Christ the Lord, who was appointed Judge of the world, to whom all men must give an account for the life given to them.
Albert Einstein, for all the philosophical and scientific genius with which he was endowed, not only believed in a Creator, which general belief we can appreciate, but he also believed that Jesus Christ was deluded, that he nobly but falsely believed he was a Messiah and that, seeking to usher in a millenial kingdom of the Jews he provoked the Romans to such a degree that they ultimately crushed him through crucifixion. Einstein could not bring himself to believe in the resurrection, so he constructed a theory that had the equally delusional disciples inventing it.
Many so-called Christians have followed Einstein in his desire to retain a philosophical form of Christianity but denying its roots in a historical Jesus as portrayed in the gospels and the letters purportedly composed by his apostles. Paul could not have countenanced such a path. In the opening chapter of his letter the Romans he says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom 1:17). Einstein mocked those who accept the apostles testimony to what they had seen and heard. They were unsophisticated, he thought.
Paul was used to such a reaction to his preaching even in the first century A.D. In the first chapter of his letter to the Corinthians, another Greek metropolis, he contrasts the attitudes of the Greeks with those of true faith:
 "Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
(1 Corinthians 1:20-25 ESV)
Albert Einstein, following in the path of a long tradition (going back to Paul's day!) of those who thought the actual proclamation of the apostles quite silly and antiquated, decided they were wiser than Paul and wiser than Jesus. Therefore they could set aside their foolishness and isolate a kernal of truth which they could then construct into an entirely different religion, a philosophy of religion so to speak, all the while retaining the name of Christianity.
Tim Tebow is willing to be mocked for his faith. He is far from one of the best quarterbacks to ever grace the gridiron. But he is a sincere Christian who accepts what Paul preached, and he is not willing to mould it into something more in vogue in order to be accepted. I personally would conduct myself a little differently than he does. But that's just me. He is not a perfect vehicle for exhibiting Christianity. Neither am I, by any stretch of the imagination. Tebow has my admiration for his willingess to be mocked.
The moment he starts losing again he will be ridiculed. He knows that. And he will continue to live out his faith according to his conscience, so long as God gives him the grace to do so. He may mature and try his best to smooth out any annoyances that rub people the wrong way needlessly, but I for one hope he continues to testify to the same hope as Paul.  


... from the point of view of the apostle Paul, would have been an opponent rather than a partner.  No question.
As to Einstein's attitude toward Jesus, have you seen these quotes?  From Einstein's paradigm, as opposed to Paul's, Einstein would have been the friend of God and of Jesus.  (In fact Einstein believed that he, and people like him, were "the only truly religious" people!  So he'd have considered you and me to be opponents of God.)
Needless to say, DaddyO, you and I have another belief as to whether Einstein was right about that.
In C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity, as well as in Acts 17 :- ) the speakers (Lewis and Paul respectively) spent the first halves of their talks discussing Creation from their audience's assumptions, rather than from scripture.
You and I would have one discussion about Tebow; you and I conversing in a general audience have another discussion.  
This discussion limits itself to the question, "When we see a human being -- perhaps a South Sea native in a loincloth -- kneel down and pray for rain, and it immediately begins raining, what do we make of that?"
Good stuff DaddyO.


I just realized that the confusion that results from my health issues has struck again, and in a quite public way. I was confusing Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer. I'm watching a special on a science channel about the formation of the moon just now when from out of the blue it hits me.
Unfortunately, this is how my life goes often these days.
Apologies to all for the confusion and resulting "book" that was my long post. We need the grace of God not only for our sins, but also for our weaknesses. Thankfully, He has made provision for that.


as I posted a minute ago I was attributing Albert Schwietzer's views to Einstein.
And I agree that it is a good and worthy thing to find areas of common ground from which to speak.


This series of posts raises a good question:  Does God help people perform their jobs?
Of course he does.  All a person has to do is ask for help.  At least, God helps me out of the nasty business situations in which I have often found myself.  My prayer often goes like this: Dear God, please let this or that issue resolve, I can't deal with any more problems, or anxiety, or whatever.  God has not only helped me through problems, he has also given me strategies for dealing with them.  
I once prayed with a convicted crack dealer before his probation violation hearing where he was facing five years and a judge who hated drug dealers.  He was truly sorry for his crimes.  He only got a month in jail and a discharge from probation.
Jesus promises our daily bread, and he gives it.  That does not mean that God promises or gives immunity from existential pain.  He only helps people weather their storms, rather than giving them continual good weather.  Of course, I believe that if a person were to live a Godly life, that he would eliminate all sorts of needless problems and pains from his life.
My thoughts on Divine intervention in baseball (May not be proper divinity):  I don't believe that God ordinarily interferes in organized sports because he doesn't favor one team over another.  Much as we may not approve, he doesn't favor the Mariners over the Angels and Athletics (At least I don't think so).  To favor one team means to disfavor another, as sports are a situation where every win is another team's loss.  However, God may make a special example out of one team or person or another.  For example, the Tampa Bay Rays have been tearing it up ever since the franchise dropped the "Devil" from the title notwithstanding the team's lowly payroll and fearsome opposition.  With respect to Tim Tebow, this could also be occurring.  Maybe Tebow is supercharged with divine success because he gives God credit for it, and practically begs for a miracle when one would not ordinarily be warranted.

longtime reader's picture

i figured it would take somewhat of a "miracle" to get me to post something on ssi, and indeed it has. i read this site daily, agree with some if it, disagree with some, but usually leave entertained or having gained an insight. it seems that a series of tim tebow religious posts has finally inspired me to make myself known.
with all of the formalities out of the way, i have a few comments i wanted to throw in.
i wont get into the whole, how do you know who is answering your prayers, god or just an internal voice conundrum. i just wanted to say to the comment about how since the tampa bay rays removed the term "devil" from their name, they have been "tearing it up". well what would you make of the success of the duke blue devils, of college basketball fame? do they not enjoy a great deal of success? their multiple national championships and final fours and the great admiration and respect that their program always get bestowed upon it would seem to make that whole inference completely false. and their mascot is an exact depiction of a "devil", not a marine animal like the devil ray.
i thinks its silly to even have the thought that because a sports team just dropped the word devil from their mascot name, that god has now brought them into his favor.
a seeming knowledge of how god works in peoples life, how he intervenes or doesnt, when he does or doesnt, what types of things he helps with or doesnt, seems pretty arrogant to me. and i dont mean to single out mojician, because this type of thinking is common amonst most christians. i just think its flawed thinking.


Finding a comp to line up with both Alberts would be a little bit like finding a comp to line up with both Michael Pineda and Jamie Schwarzer ... er, Moyer :- )
That's an all-timer DaddyO.  By a sheer stroke of luck, the ball kicking up chalk down the RF line, most of what you wrote still applied.  LOL.
I definitely get your aggressive response w/r/t Schweizer.  Tim Tebow and Albert Schweitzer are a little bit like the Patriots and Jets.  Guys like Schweitzer would have been "called out at high noon" by the apostle Paul, long before Einstein, Planck, and Flew would have.



I once prayed with a convicted crack dealer before his probation violation hearing where he was facing five years and a judge who hated drug dealers.  He was truly sorry for his crimes.  He only got a month in jail and a discharge from probation.
Jesus promises our daily bread, and he gives it.  That does not mean that God promises or gives immunity from existential pain.  He only helps people weather their storms, rather than giving them continual good weather.  Of course, I believe that if a person were to live a Godly life, that he would eliminate all sorts of needless problems and pains from his life.

It's funny how the life-and-death situations strip away the veneer and reveal to us our true convictions.  Mojo, I would pay to get an article from you on "Dying Declarations" ... 

My thoughts on Divine intervention in baseball (May not be proper divinity):  I don't believe that God ordinarily interferes in organized sports because he doesn't favor one team over another.   ... To favor one team means to disfavor another, as sports are a situation where every win is another team's loss.  
However, God may make a special example out of one team or person or another.  For example, the Tampa Bay Rays have been tearing it up ever since the franchise dropped the "Devil" from the title notwithstanding the team's lowly payroll and fearsome opposition.  With respect to Tim Tebow, this could also be occurring.  Maybe Tebow is supercharged with divine success because he gives God credit for it, and practically begs for a miracle when one would not ordinarily be warranted.

Hadn't considered the D-Rays thing, and would be inclined to go the other way on that one ... but as we're talking here it strikes me that a "one-year intervention" would carry some logic to it.


Typing this after the reply to Mojo ... yes, I would also need a fair amount of persuasion w/r/t the team name thing.  From my spiritual perspective, the Angels' nickname may not be well advised, and yet they don't seem to suffer a special curse.  
That's another conversation, and you can be sure that Mojician will have a nuanced reply.
Good stuff LR.


One thing:  I would challenge you to re-think your 4th and 5th paragraphs, LR.  
In the 4th paragraph, you declare your own confident belief as to what the Almighty would choose to do.  (You are sure that He would tolerate casual and thoughtless use of 'holy' ideas - which happens to be the classical definition of profanity.)
You are confident that any alternative view of God's likely behavior is "silly."
And in the 5th paragraph, you call it arrogant to have beliefs as to what the Almighty would choose to do!
Mojician was not dogmatically claiming to speak inerrantly on God's behalf.  He was tentatively, respectfully, and with an air of open-mindedness --- > offering his own (negotiable) beliefs on the subject.  
May I politely note that your theology seems less negotiable, and more self-assured, than his?  ;- )


To humbly investigate God's nature, to try to discover His thoughts, is not a pointless or unwise endeavor.  To humbly offer up our understanding of his thoughts is not necessarily arrogance, if we are reasonable during the discussion that follows.
To declare His thoughts unknowable, at the start of the game, would be to plug our ears to anything He had to say.  Would a confident pronouncement of "We know there to be no answer possible!" be, itself, arrogant?
Fortunately your 4th paragraph, LR, conceded His thoughts to be legible in at least one real-life situation.  The naming of sports teams:  "Name them anything you want."  ;- )

longtime reader's picture

heh, pretty neat having something i wrote read and responded to by the guy ive been reading every day for the past year and change. this whole internet thing.......crazy.
anyways, if i didnt elaborate well enough my position, let me try to do so now. you brought up the angels as a good reference point. wouldnt they be most likely of all sports teams to be in gods favor? what about notre dame? they actually are a religious instituition. im sure most of if not all of the players on their football and basketball teams are devoutly religious. what do we make of their success, or lackthereof?
i think its silly to ASSUME that we as human beings, can even begin to understand the mind of a higher being. just by definition, a higher being is one whos level of understanding would be "higher" than ours. its as if you were giving a lecture to a chimpanzee on particle physics. just simply on two different levels of consciousness and mind. i cannot prove that god doesnt do favors for people, or involves himself in peoples lives, or answer prayers, but im not claiming special knowledge that he does do those things. mojician is making a gigantic claim, so he better have some special evidence to back up those claims. and thats what i mean by arrogance. to claim to know how the mind of a vastly, exponentially superior being operates, what motivates it, what he does or doesnt do in the lives of the human beings on this earth, to me seems arrogant. to many people it may not seem arrogant, but to me it most certainly does.
if god were giving favor to those sports teams whos names made reference to himself, how narcissistic and petty would that make him? kinda sounds like something a human being might crave. attention, adulation, naming something in my honor. do we really believe that the creator of the universe and everything in it cares to punish arizona state athletics because they use the name sun devils? really?
1 more thing. i went back and reread mojicians post, and to me it did seem quite dogmatic and specific.  he opened with, "does god help people perform their jobs? of course he does."  he said things like "jesus promises our daily bread, and he gives it", and  "he only helps people weather their storms, rather than giving them continual good weather."  i mean to me, those seem like specific insights into the inner workings and feelings of god. he is saying those things as though they are facts. he didnt say, in my view, or in my belief. it didnt come off as particularly open minded or tentative.
i just take issue when somebody starts making huge claims like that. thats all. i hope im not coming off like im trying to jump down his throat. i do notice that when he was talking about the rays, he did say things like "could be", and came off much less hardline than his first couple paragraphs. which i think is a much wiser way to put things when talking about gods motives. anyways, this ended up too long, so ill cut it off here. being as this is the first time ive posted on this site, i hope im not coming on too strong, or being a jerk. im just trying to articulate my position. i know religion is a hot button issue with many folks, and im not trying to incite anybody. just trying to call it how i see it.


By "presumptions" I include the connotation of presumptiousness.
The first is to constantly be reading everything in one's life, often trivial, as a sign from God. While I would never deny that there are times when we need to see and hear the voice and hand of God in our lives, there is a danger of substituting "signs" for character growth and maturity. By reading the signs sometimes we avoid making hard choices with uncertain outcomes. While the New Testament does have its share of miracles, the point of most being to authenticate the unique appearance of the Son of God in the world and the message proclaimed by His apostles, the New Testament does not so much emphasize reading tea leaves of the Spirit as it does growing in character and spiritual maturity through the hardships that Christians suffer.
There is a special danger when someone claims to tell us what God has said to them in such a way that we are supposed to heed their words as if they are the words of God themselves. Paul warns the Corinthians to carefully test such utterances and emphasizes that the thoughts of the mind are of far more weight than ecstatic utterances. Emphasizing flamboyant or special revelations at the expense of the mind is the province of charlatans. The safest yardstick is to measure all things by the words which God HAS spoken through Jesus Christ and authenticated through his apostles (Hebrews 2:1-3) and to judge and apply them using the mind.
I find the distinction between providence and miracle helpful. Providence is the outworking of God's purposes through events and circumstances throughout history. We live in that stream of history, and so we are called to understand what God is doing in our world and our lives by getting more familiar with Him and His ways and living accordingly. Miracle is when God overrides the normal workings of physics and history either to affect its course or to draw special attention to some revelation. 
Is the birth of a baby a miracle? Sure, in one sense. That next breath you breathe is a miracle too. All of life and creation is a miracle, but our world and our lives are fashioned in such a way that it normally follows a rational course where cause and effect can be studied according to operative laws and principles. That is the basis of science. But the term miracle in this case has a special use where it points to the larger purposes and plans of God as specially revealed by Him at special moments in history as recorded in the Bible.
A word on prayer. It has two important aspects, well probably more, but two that are relevant here. First, the outpouring of one's heart to God our Father in requests for guidance, aid and comfort, confession, thanksgiving and praise. Second, the offering up of ourselves to God to be transformed from selfish, rebellious sinners to servants of Christ. The New Testament has plenty of examples of both, but being the selfish people that we are we focus primarily on the requests. To the degree that we inordinately focus on God doing what we want him to do we have missed the whole point. Prayer is not the opporunity for us to manipulate the Almighty. It is the opportunity for us to be transformed by him. He stoops to our need, knowing that life on this earth gives rise to requests, the need for comfort and aid, etc. But the point is not so much for us to be comfortable and get what we want. It is for us to want to please him instead of ourselves. Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane is instructive here.
Whew! This is going on and on.
Now to the second presumption. That is to arrogate to oneself the authority to declare the absence of God and the spiritual world. As Lewis and others have pointed out, to make such a claim is to declare oneself to be God, the very thing that is denied. I personally believe that God has built into his universe such contradictions so that for men who deny God, "professing themselves to be wise they became fools." At least that's how Paul put it in Romans chapter one. No matter how passionately men pound their fists and their sledgehammers against the rock that is God, they and their tools will be broken and God will remain. The same is true of His Word. The grass withers and fades, but the Word of God remains forever, according to Isaiah.
I have said all of this to lay groundwork for addressing the question of God and human endeavors such as football players and teams. In my book what happens on the football field carries the potential for miracle only in the same sense that the birth of a baby is a miracle, but not miracle in the sense of a suspension of that normal providence of God that operates within the laws of physics. Players, coaches, fans, etc. can pray, but in my opinion praying that God would help them win by some angelic tip of a pass or some sudden supernatural skill is misguided. Pray instead that you would play in such a way as to compete well and to the glory of God. Ask God for strength, endurance, courage, and clarity, but train for them as well. Prepare for it through your whole life. Think of Olympic runner Eric as portrayed in the movie Chariots of Fire as an example.
It may be that God shows through his providence that all these things come together to produce what looks like an improbably victory. Sports are usually games of inches. I do not believe in luck. I see the hand of God in both miracles AND providence. Me, I see the glory of God and of His Son Jesus Christ in the smallest of things, as Jesus said in the Sermon On The Mount when he said not one sparrow falls to the ground but that our Father in heaven knows it.
Tea leaf readers will say, "But God gave me a premonition to move into another lane just before a fatal accident occurred there." It is not my place to challenge whether your experience was a miracle from God. I applaud you for looking at life in such a way that you depend on the care and protection of God. That is a good thing. But ponder also that the OTHER guy was not so blessed with the avoidance of an accident. There are countless examples in history where God in his providence spared people in ways that seem miraculous. But there are just as many examples of people who were not spared, faithful people of God who suffered horribly.
All this should give us pause. Consider the awesome power of God who is cast in the role of Potter (in Romans chapter 9) while we are the Clay. We have no claim over our Creator to challenge his authority to spare some and not others.
The upshot for me is that God is not the Grand Lever In The Sky that we can pull when we wish to get our team to win a ball game. God is the Sanctifier of Sinners who desires us to be more like His Son Jesus Christ, and gives His people life and salvation as a means to accomplish that.
What's cool is that he also allows us to enjoy sports while we do so.

Nick's picture

Love the thoughtful, levelheaded presentation. What a wacky and wonderful baseball blog we have here :)


Thanks for the feedback Nick and especially the phrase about "the blog we have here" ... you go amig-O ...
One thing that moved me a notch toward being willing to incorporate a bit more philosophy -- wandering around in the Bill James Online site.  Along with the 80% baseball, James doesn't hesitate for a moment to answer questions on Ron Paul, on automatic traffic tickets, on the Federal Reserve, on the Rolling Stones, etc.
James' logic on EVERY life question thrown at him is fascinating, and his readers eat it up.  They're all friends there and they talk mostly baseball, but will talk politics, music, whatever, simply because the level of thought (all around) is so riveting and instructive.
Tom Tango -- a regular at BJOL -- has followed suit by including non-baseball posts on his blog.  He simply starts the post off with "non-sports post here" or somesuch.
Not saying that SSI needs to become 20% non-baseball.
But in a situation like this, where we all know each other so well now, non-baseball discussions can work well even though it's primarily a Mariners blog.  :- )

RockiesJeff's picture

Jeff, thanks for taking to the time during a baseball lull to write all that. It has been interesting watching the Tebowmania here in Colorado. It was obvious from Fox's first day he didn't want to hear about it. Elway has turned a lot of people off here (and for Elway to get negative press in Denver is one step short of blasphemy) at first forgetting it took him time to learn to play at a higher level. I don't think Tebow will ever pass like an Elway or as others before him, but he does bring other aspects of the game to the table that most QB's cannot.
Does prayer help him? People weren't talking about that when they lost three straight and Tebow looked lost every snap. What happens if the defense line are also praying? Sadly, too much emphasis goes upon Tebow's prayers rather than ultimately bowing down to a sovereign God. Is He so? I believe so otherwise He is not God but merely a god formed in the minds of creatures. That is what Tebow would rather people focus upon.
You hit the nail on the head many times. Tebow has many commentators here in Colorado who have said that really didn't want to like him but his sincerity won them over. He, thus far, has shown himself to be genuine. And many don't like the homeschool route. My own kids have gone that route except for a few high school classes. I am not naive to education or the processes today holding masters and doctoral degrees (only stated because I am not ignorant to my kids needs). It is amazing what my kids and myself get in first impressions from people. Normally it is negative and sarcastic until they get to know us and then it can speak for itself.
The Broncos have had plenty of troublemakers with the team, even more so with the law, even seen suicide in the last few years. Coaches have come and gone in the turmoil. To those who don't like what Tebow stands for or his awful throwing at times, I hope they would appreciate what he brings to a game and, even of greater importance, to life.
Thanks everyone for all of the comments. A nice way to spend my lunch!

longtime reader's picture

hey, i submitted a post defending my position and trying to elaborate some of the ideas contained within. it never got put up. i didnt say anything incendiary or flagrant. i was polite, and merely gave my thoughts on jemanjis response and mojicians earlier post. im a little miffed that it didnt make it up because i put a decent deal of time and effort into it.

longtime reader's picture

i posted it really early this morning, and figured it would have been up by 3pm ct. my apologies.


although I myself benefitted from a public school education, we chose to homeschool all three of our kids. The cost to our family financially to have my wife stay home instead of work, especially given that my income was nothing special, was tremendous. But I see my grown kids, bright, as-well-or-better-educated compared to their peers, valued employees highly thought of with good futures despite not entering the work force with all the traditional credentials, all three of them serving God and others from the heart, and I consider that cost was very much worth it.
Homeschooling is not the only good choice, each family has to decide for itself, and there are some potential drawbacks. But in this corner there's more than one way to skin a cat, and our choice turned out well.


And considering the way the internet tends to condition us into believing in the authority of the Mythical Blog Author :- ) it's admirable the way you dive right in to take MBA head on!  
You're not inciting at all.  You're exchanging ideas with respect.  Hope you continue to feel free to do so.


:- )
They certainly don't talk particle physics with them --
-- and exactly per your idea, in 2 Cor. 12 it also claims that there are ideas / thoughts in heaven that are far too complex for us to understand.  THOSE things are not included in revelation, according to 2 Cor. 12, at least.
I communicate a lot of ideas to my cat, much less to a chimp.  Humans are obsessed with talking to chimps.
Being the smarter of the two species, we can easily dumb things down for chimps and make communication possible.  No?

Mariner Optimist's picture

Thanks for the excellent articles and thoughtful commenting.  I love this community.  Its not every day that I get to think about football, baseball, religion, Paul, and great Alberts in the same thread.
I really don't have anything to add other than I could not agree more with Heinlein, and that anything outside the mainsteam is worth at least thinking about, assuming it follows the Do No Harm rule, and ideally the Golden Rule (these two comprise the majority of my religious beliefs).  Explore homeschooling, non-public school models (my kids are in a Waldorf school).  See what Ron Paul and Herman Cain have to say, before you vote Romney.  And, of course, mix in some Dr. Detecto after your next dose of USS Mariner :-)

RockiesJeff's picture

Daddy O, yes, it is not simple in many ways or either way today. Always lots of factors that must be calcuted according to the situation but sounds like you and your wife have worked hard. It is great to hear of your work paying off.
I realize most are here for baseball but I have to compliment all of you. Unless I missed something here, I did not see ugly or mocking statements that are too common in the blog world. It always amazes me how cuttingly negative some comments can get for a simple game. Jeff, your insights to baseball are always appreciated! But you have set a higher standard with a wonderful example and tone that makes it a joy to be part of this group. Thank you! It is nice to know that a group can discuss real events of the world and do so with respect.

RockiesJeff's picture

Well said Optimist! What if we wrote in Jeff on the ballot?


The first part of my earlier post was orthodox Christianity.  My viewpoints vary from Catholic, to early Christian,  to old school Protestant reformers like John Henry and John Bunyan.  These sects differ to a very small degree.  That's a pretty narrow and dogmatic range of view to claim as right.  Is it arrogant to claim to know the mind  of God?  Certainly.  Do I believe that I know the mind of God on a few issues?  Yes.
You talked earlier about big proof for big claims.  I agree with that.  I can't give you anything better than what I've got:  My wife had a congenital defect from her mom not taking enough folic acid when she was in the womb.  This defect was a knot right above her butt where her spinal cord extruded from her vertebae and formed an exposed large nerve ending that was covered only by the skin on her back.  This condition is called spinal bifida occulta.  This knot was large, and caused my wife intense pain.  She was told by a doctor that if she fell on her back wrong she would go paralyzed.
Anyway, my wife wanted a baby but was afraid, because she thought that she might become paralyzed if she did.  We asked our pastor to pray for her so that she would get better.  He did, and then. . . Nothing.  We went home, and went on with our lives.  Four months later, I noticed one day that my wife had recently  stopped complaining about her back hurting.  I looked at her spinal bifida, which was often black and blue and green with bruising, and it had shrunk down to nothing!  It's been gone for six years now.  No pain, no problems, the issue is forgotten.  We had some kids too.
Plus, I'm a lot nicer and happier than I used to be.
Plus, God has bailed me out on a number of smaller issues, such as saving me from bad situations, crazy people, and myself on many different occasions.
That's all I've got for proof, but you can depose more witnesses if you are interested.  I'm sure plenty of people would be glad to tell you their story.

longtime reader's picture

or cats or fill in the blank with whatever animal you want, is that if we were to try to communicate with chimps with things that they cannot even begin to understand, they are incapable of understanding it. but yes, we could do things to "dumb it down" as you say to try to establish some base level of communication. and i guess thats where i make my analogy.
for us to assume that because we have a "feeling", or because we have had things happen in our lives that we cannot explain, therefore a higher being is responsible, is a bit premature. a being that we can by no measure that we currently have detect.
to me it seems like WE are that dumbed down species that perceives itself as able to communicate with its superior. and i guess if you are saying that a persons perceptions and feelings are proof that something is listening and giving us signs, then i might say that your definition and my definition of proof dont match up. we have a much greater deal of knowledge about our brain than we did 100 years ago, heck even 30 years ago, but much of it is still a complete mystery. and without fully understanding how our own mind works, and the tricks it may or may not be playing on itself, i think its quite premature to suggest that those feelings and seemingly answered prayers are directly attributed to god.
i dont think we understand ourselves very well, let alone a being that transcends into a level that is literally incomprehensible to our feeble little minds. as highly as we think of ourselves, and as close to god as some of us think human beings are, (i mean the bible itself states that god chose to make us in his own image, and many people are in line with that kind of thinking) to me we are still the chimpanzee trying to absorb that lesson on particle physics. just on a totally different level man.
so to wrap it up, there may be a god, there might not be, but in my opinion even if there is, how the heck would we even begin to know it.


so to wrap it up, there may be a god, there might not be, but in my opinion even if there is, how the heck would we even begin to know it.

... meaningful dialogue would take place --- > if and when the higher intelligence initiated it.
To use your own frame of reference:  how do you know that the higher intelligence prefers not to communicate?  ;- )
Monkeys are aware of the presence of humans in their vicinity.
I do love your point about a Creator Mind being (on some levels) incomprehensible to our feeble little minds.  This is precisely Einstein's theology.
The question is whether that Creator chooses to reveal that which IS comprehensible.  Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and Abraham concluded that He had.  
I've concluded the same.  I'm not in bad company:  Einstein believed that this Mind had "revealed itself" in many respects:  its preference for order, its love for beauty, its level of intelligence, etc.

longtime reader's picture

if he is openly communicating with us, he sure picks the hardest ways in which to do so. rather than using the channels created by our 5 senses, he seems to those that "feel" his presence to pick those channels which we cannot test or detect. if you were trying to make your presence aware to a chimp, would you sit in your living room and send it telepathic signals? or would you go out in the jungle and show yourself to it?
einstein was a genius, certainly one of the smartest persons ever to have lived, but to use his and only his opinion that because the universe has order, and because we interpret beauty from looking at a waterfall, or up into the sky and observing galaxies through a telescope, you are only allowing for his opinion. he was a mathematic and scientific genius, but your average run of the mill med school student nowadays knows incredibly more than einstein ever did about the brain and how it works. and yet that student still stands on the tip of the iceberg! how exciting!
ill again say, i think its WAY premature to consider this matter settled. again, we understand so little about how and why our brain interprets things the way it does. just because we have the ability to reason, and to observe patterns, and because we derive beauty from things, doesnt mean that everything we notice is designed and intended for us. i think its rather selfish of us human beings, that all of life has been around for 1-2 billion years, and here we come along in the last few hundred thousand years, and declare that aha!, this has all been designed specifically for us. it seems that maybe our senses and our own mind, our desire to be the most important thing, may be declaring a winner far before the game is over. just some food for thought

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