Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tim Tebow and Kenny Mayne Talk About God, Faith, Religious Values and Eye-Black

The Tim Tebow-Kenny Mayne interview got a lot of pub yesterday because it showcased Tebow's inner comedian, but the most interesting part of the conversation was when Mayne got relatively serious and began to talk about religion with Tebow.

The result was some of the best questions of any Tebow interview I have ever seen, a credit to Mayne. Mayne's comments are in italics; Tebow's responses are in bold:

When Sam Jackson made a "What Would Jesus Twitter" joke about you at the ESPYs, there were groans in the crowd. But when they cut to you, you thought it was funny. Right?

I can see why people could get offended, but I didn't. My faith's out there.

I wonder what Jesus actually would tweet?

"Believe in me."

He'd have a lot of characters to burn still, but at least the content is powerful.

Absolutely. But He already tweeted enough. We just have to look at it.

Do you believe God controls every detail? Or did He set things up perfectly and give the world a spin, and now we're on our own?

The way I figure is if nothing bad ever ­happened, there wouldn't be a need for faith. The Bible says we're tested and made stronger through trials and tribulations. But He's here, helping us out.

What I mean is that there could be a person in the hospital who is going to die of cancer, and down the hall, someone who is going to beat it. I find it hard to believe that God would say, "All right, you, you get to die. And you, you get to live." Do you think that's true?

God has a plan for everything. Some people might say, "Well my plan's not as good as this person's plan." But in God's eyes, it is. Not ­everybody's called upon to do the same thing or to be here on Earth the same amount of time. It's like the Body of Christ. Not everybody's going to be the eye or the mouth. Somebody has to be the foot. I'm not saying that's anything less. In fact, in God's eyes it's the same. You just have to look at what He called on you to do and do it to the best of your ability. You can't question why, because then you won't have the faith you should.

I haven't been to church since having knee surgery. Do you have the authority to absolve me of my sin there?

I don't have any authority to do anything with your sin.

You once wore John 3:16 on your eyeblack, similar to how Reggie Bush has worn 6-1-9 for his area code. What is the significance of that passage to you?

Yeah, I wore that for the national championships. It's the essence of Christianity: "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." God calls on us to do one thing, and that's believe. People try to complicate it, but it's very simple. That's why I wrote it.

What if it had smudged into John 8:15? Could you have quoted that passage?

I know a few verses, but not John 8:15. I'd have to have someone write on a new one.

Note the way Tebow very seriously answers Mayne's joking question about absolving him of his sin of not going to church, or the joking line about "John 8:15." And yet Tebow still manages to be pretty chill about the whole thing. For all the jokes throughout the rest of the interview, I found this exchange fascinating.


  1. John 8:15, "You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one."
    'Twould make an interesting reference for an eyeblack.

  2. I didn't know Tebow could handle that kind of interview question so well. If I got hit with "Do you believe God controls every detail?" I'd want to start slinging theology and nail the details down, and I'd take a long time and probably bore my questioner, and I'd forget to pay attention to how he was responding and what might have prompted his question in the first place. But Tebow actually didn't even answer the question; instead he gave a short but rich answer to a question that Mayne hadn't asked: Why do bad things happen to good people? And the followup question shows that he had accurately read what kind of thing was on Mayne's mind.