After St. Louis Rams receiver Isaac Bruce made the game-winning touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the Super Bowl, he gave credit to God. “It was all God. I knew I had to make an adjustment on the ball, and God did the rest.” Sports fans are accustomed to this kind of piety. Players regularly kneel to pray in the end zone, point to the heavens in thanksgiving after a touchdown, and offer “Thank you, Jesus” for victory in the postgame interview.
Though we hesitate to criticize any passion for praising God, we do wonder on such occasions if the one being praised is the God of Jesus Christ—the God who disciplines those he loves and who sends rain on the just and unjust—or some more domesticated gridiron god. Can we can really discern just how God is acting in the ups and downs of life? More to the point: If God was positioning the Rams for a touchdown, what did God have against the Titans?