The Gospel and Linsanity

Is there any gospel in Linsanity? Yes!

Linsanity happened because a most unlikely person literally came out of nowhere to become the “savior” for a Knicks team that was rapidly going down the gutter. Linsanity gave such an uplifting hope to Knick’s fans and to countless Asian and non-Asian sports fans through out the world (except Floyd Mayweather).

Is this not what the gospel is and does?

The gospel gave us an unlikely Savior who looked weak and pathetic and who had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him (Isa 53:2). We have no hope because of our sins that never entirely goes away even after we become Christians. Yet we have a bright and glorious hope when we see Jesus bleeding on that Cross for me.

Sorry for my forced analogies between Lin and Christ. I hope no one mistakes this for blasphemy.

Sports Illustrated’s cover has the same person in 2 successive weeks for just the 3rd time in NBA history. UBFriends can surely do the same and match them by having 2 successive Linteresting articles! (For the record, I will always root for Jeremy except when he plays against the Bulls on March 12. Rose is still my boy!)


  1. Thanks, John. Nice article. I don’t deny the apparent “contradiction between sports and faith.” But ultimately God judges us Christians based on the motives and motivations of our heart.
    Christians are present in every arena of life, including professional sports. If Lin loses his heart to basketball and desires to excel as a player more than to glorify God, then he has failed like any Christian who loses his heart to an idol.
    But if like Eric Liddell, he keeps his focus on the ultimate prize, the kingdom of God, not an NBA chapionship, then I think his life will indeed be like a light shining in a dark place.

  2. I have been really enjoying the discussion among Asians and Christians who identify with Lin. I think they highlight the issue of the issue of human identity. On the one hand, Lin is asian so many asians make the obvious connection. I am tempted to say this is a superficial connection as race is only skin deep but as a person of color, I know that race is very much encompassing of who a person is. But perhaps that is just the thing, among Christians our identify with the body of Christ should be the primary identify that shapes our lives. 

    Hence, as I hear from both non asian Christians and asian Christians about how proud they are of Lin, I can’t help but be a bit amazed at the connection which non asian Christians which is a spiritual connection. He holds in his heart the knowlddge and truth that Jesus Christ is Lord and so do I. Something about that really stuns me when I stop to think about it. 


  3. Thanks, Gerardo. John Piper, in his well reviewed book, Bloodlines, says that all people are racist, whether they know or acknowledge it or not. In UBF, I have heard Koreans accuse Americans of being racist, and I’ve heard Americans accuse Koreans of being racist. Usually, the accuser, whether Korean or American, comes across as being a little smug, and “blind.”

    As Christians, we desire that our primary identity is with Christ and his Bride, the church. I would have liked Lin’s story, if he was not Chinese, as I liked Tebow’s story. But boy, do I like that Lin is my fellow Asian, American, Chinese countrymen! Go, Chink! I can say it, but not the ESPN analysts!

  4. Been reading this inspiring book about Jeremy Lin and his faith, written by a school classmate of mine.
    I was surprised to learn that Jeremy actually grew up in the same hometown as mine! Probably just blocks away! What a coLINcidence! <sorry couldn’t help it there>
    Maybe he was that tall Asian kid who used to challenge my friends and I on the local school basketball courts. Who knows? Sigh. I guess if my mom was a Tiger mom, maybe my basketball skills would have been above par. Instead, now I’m a wanna-be basketball novice who consistently wakes up with aches and pains all over his body after playing one game of basketball with some college kids. :)

  5. Hi John, Checking your link, it is amazing that there are already 7 books on Amazon already written about Jeremy Lin in just the past few months!