The Peculiar Rise of Outspoken Evangelical Christians in 2011

13 months.

I don’t even watch sports, nor do I have cable, but yet still I have been unable to ignore the relevance of the 24 year-old quarterback for the Denver Broncos; Mr. Tim Tebow.

Even I know that this guy, according to Wikipedia, inspired 92 million people to Google “John 3:16″ after he wore the phrase in his eye paint during the 2009 BCS Championship Game. Then in 2010 for the Super Bowl, he starred in a pro-life commercial for Focus on the Family.

Since then his popularity, along with the public’s knowledge of his Christian faith, has grown big enough for me, Mr. “I Don’t Care About Sports,” to know all about this Tebow guy. Love him or hate him; he’s totally relevant in American pop culture now.

Just mention his name on your Facebook wall and see what happens.

Of course, Tebow isn’t the only outspoken evangelical Christian to continually make headline news this year.

Sure, they may make their own clothes from time to time, but the Duggars are cool. America has come around to realize this. The authenticity of this family’s love for one another, as well as for others, is undeniable. I think that’s one of the reasons America is fascinated with them.

What may have started as a “let’s watch the modern day Waltons” concept on TLC back in 2008 has officially become a staple for the network. While earlier in the year I heard many people making comments like “When are they finally going to stop having babies?” many of those same people now feel an authentic sense of sadness as the Duggars have recently went public with the knowledge of their recent miscarriage.

From financial guru Dave Ramsey to blogger-turned-author Jon Acuff (Stuff Christians Like and Quitter), born-again Christians are sneaking into mainstream American pop culture with relevance, therefore gaining the respect of not only Christians, but also (maybe even more importantly) those who do not claim a religious stance.

I feel like it wasn’t always this way. It could have something to do with the fact that less Americans identify themselves as Christians compared to prior decades. Therefore, “Christian” has become less of a generic term in our society. So while agnostics and atheists have become more respected and accepted by the general population, so have Christians.

Honestly, I like it better this way. We can all be truthful about who we really are now.

These days, if you take the effort to identify as a follower of Christ, I think it means more than ever before. But if you do, people definitely expect you to be different. In fact, it seems the main problem people seem to have with Christians is when they’re not different enough from mainstream society.

Here on The Dadabase, does the fact that I’m an evangelical Christian make a difference in my writing? Does it season my viewpoint accordingly? Does it even make a difference? Is that part relevant in the society of today’s parents? Do people even want my Christian perspective on being a dad?

I’m hoping the answer is yes.

The tricky part is, Christians are supposed to be humble. How can any Christian in the mainstream spotlight be open about their faith, have a solid opinion about anything, and still be perceived as a sincere Christian? In essence, the term Christian celebrity is an oxymoron.

That’s what I truly call “the Tebow complex.”

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  1. by AC.Linn

    On December 30, 2011 at 3:39 am

    “Does the fact that I’m an evangelical Christian make a difference in my writing? Does it season my viewpoint accordingly?”

    Hello Nick,
    Aware of the commandment to “love one’s neighbor, as one loves oneself.”
    As too few believers appear to be aware of what is happening to our neighbors in Communist China. Without totally ruining your day (which I most certainly have no wish to do). Yet obvious (diabolical) wrongs most definitely make a difference in the subject matter of my articles and viewpoint.
    This is an issue of which I believe every (civilized) person in the entire world not only needs to be aware, but also needs to act on.

    See: http://socyberty.com/issues/god-does-not-exist-in-communist-china/

  2. by Susan

    On January 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Liking you more and more the more I read. Preach on! =)

  3. by Nick Shell

    On January 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks Susan! And thank you for mailing me your card. It’s hanging on our fridge :)