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Newest member of the ‘holy hall of fame’

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Webb Simpson and his wife Dowd pose with US Open Championship Trophy after Simpson won the 2012 U.S. Open golf championship on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California June 17, 2012 (Credit: Reuters/Jeff Haynes)

Webb Simpson won Sunday’s U.S. Open in dramatic fashion.  After an amazing final round at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, he watched on television as his closest competitors failed to catch him.  When his victory was sealed, he responded: “Oh wow—praise the Lord!”

I immediately began researching his spiritual life.  It turns out Simpson studied religion at Wake Forest University.  His Twitter bio describes him as a “sinner loved by a Savior.”  After his victory, he told reporters, “It was a cool day.  I had peace all day.  I probably prayed more on the last three holes than I’ve ever done in my life, and that kept me calm.”

Simpson joins Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow as Christian sports celebrities making recent news.  For instance, Tebow’s Father’s Day message drew 20,000 people to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.  Believers who succeed at sports continue to find a significant platform for God’s Kingdom.

But all Christians have a significant platform with those we influence.  And no influence is more vital today than that of fathers.  Michael Medved, New York Post film critic, documents the fact that by the age of six, the average American child will have spent more time watching television, videos, and movies than that child will spend in an entire lifetime talking to his or her father.

The average teenager spends 15,000 hours watching television; if children never miss Sunday school and worship, the church has them for less than 700 hours, or 1/20th of the time television is influencing them.  Stated differently, the school has them for 16% of their time; the church for 1% of their time; parents have them for 83% of their time.  What an opportunity and challenge God has entrusted to us.

The greatest compliment paid to Webb Simpson after his U.S. Open victory was the statement, “He’s a great family man.”  I hope my sons could say the same of me.