In the essay-length Kindle Single “The Gospel According to Tim,” Joseph Bottum argues that Tebow strikes a nerve because he has slipped beyond all the usual categories of our wink-and-nudge culture of irony. And he’s done that mostly by being simply who he is: not a football-playing theologian but, in essence, a mystic:
“Isn’t that what everyone who has met Tebow does? 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.”
Joseph Bottum, a writer in the Black Hills, is the author of the bestselling Kindle Single “Dakota Christmas.” He is, the essayist Andrew Ferguson has written, “one of America’s most gifted writers, with a perfect ear and a matchless style."