The Tribulations of Football Eschatology

I saw a young man downstairs at the courthouse wearing a football jersey, and across the back where the name usually goes were the words “Post Trib”. So I naturally thought of dividing up a football team by its tribulational doctrine.

Look this over, and I’ll take your analysis in the comments on why you think I divided them up this way. To get you started, I’ll reveal my reasoning for the coaching staff’s designation.

Pre-trib: The Offense.

Post-trib: The Defense.

A-trib: Special Teams.

Pan-trib: The coaches. They have to deal with all those parts of the team, and hope it all pans out in the end.

Now where’s my coin for the coin-toss to get this game started?

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10 Responses to The Tribulations of Football Eschatology

  1. nmcdonal says:

    I gravitate toward special teams with my puritan peeps. Not much for body-type, but strategists out the WAZOO.

    • Tim says:

      Great connection, Nick. For me, I look on sopecial teams as players who don’t care what it takes to get them on the field, they just know they’ll get to play at some point!

  2. I never heard of “Pan Trib”. Does that mean to just make sure that it is in God’s hands to take care of and for us to not worry about but to just prepare for the game? ;)

    • Tim says:

      Pretty much, Victoria. I heard a pastor once joke that it meant, “It will all pan out in the end.” Here’s how one blogger wrestled with the term: http://scripturethoughts.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/popular-christian-slang-terminology-pan-trib-and-pan-mill/

      • I’ve seriously seen a lot of believers battle this issue out. I know my mom’s friends who are pre-trib. . .my mom wouldn’t argue she’d just say, “I hope you’re right!” It is one of those things that we don’t truly know and that is why we just have to prepare and trust in God. It is weird that someone would wear a jersey with it on it. . .out of all the things to display you want it to be about your opinions on the Tribulation?. . . . .
        checking out your link now.

      • Jeannie says:

        This is so interesting! I note that blogger’s reference to “pious agnosticism” which she seems to be interpreting as “I can’t be bothered finding out so I’ll just leave it up to God.” That seems a bit unfair … but since I have to confess I don’t know enough about either the different options OR about football to even have an opinion, I’m probably proving her point! But I do know about hockey: you just give 110% and play all 60 minutes and keep your stick on the ice, and that’s pretty much it. ;-) (Then again, the concept of giving 110% might be anathema to those Reformed preachers she refers to, even the “confused” ones.)

        • Tim says:

          I think the term pious agnosticism is directed toward those who feel self-satisfied in remaining ignorant, not those of us who are searching God’s truth and look forward to learning something new all the time. At least I hope so Jeannie, beacuse otherwise I’d be a pious agnostic!

        • Jeannie says:

          Yes, I see what you mean: there can be this smugness that says “God never meant little old me to worry about those big issues.”

  3. Judy says:

    This is excellent! I remember watching football as a young child and being completely befuddled. Why did they all crash together in the same place? Why didn’t the guy with the ball just run around the pile up? I now (barely) understand a little more about football, and I realize that the offense and defense run carefully prepared plays that don’t always work out as planned. Years ago I read a book comparing the various views of eschatology, and while the details escape me, I remember that each view had to explain away at least one or two passages of Scripture in order to defend their plan. It is simply not all that clear. Perhaps all of our detailed eschatological game plans often result in a theological pile-up. My take on the “pan-trib” view is that we ought to be ready to call an audible if and when things don’t play out quite according to the playbook.

    • Tim says:

      “Perhaps all of our detailed eschatological game plans often result in a theological pile-up.”

      Yes! I love how the football analogy keeps working here!

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