Cricket ‘n’ God

May 21, 2009
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I’ve always thought of myself as something of a purist in cricketing terms: test matches are the game in its purest form, the 4 day version (county championship) is merely there to prepare people for test matches and limited over games are for the great unwashed who don’t really ‘get it’.

But then along came Twenty20 with a great fanfare and, all of a sudden, new people were coming to grounds to watch something that, at first glance, looks like cricket.

Ant THEN along came the Indian Premier League and, whisper it quietly, I’m a convert.

I support the Kings XI Punjab for a number of reasons, perhaps the most important is that my future wife (the appropriately named Preity Zinta) is the team owner (and if she turns me down, any of the cheerleaders will do).

I love the razamatazz, the colour, the excitement, the speed, the crowd involvement … it’s fantastic entertainment. But, ultimately, that’s what it is, entertainment of a specific kind for a (mostly) specific audience. I wonder how many of the totally enthusiastic crowds will be buying tickets for Test matches? I shouldn’t think that many will. T20 gives a quick, superficial, cricket fix.

Now, I don’t know a great deal about evangelical churches. To my shame I’ve not been to many but it strikes me that they offer a Twenty20 faith. Yes, it’s full of razzamatazz, congregational involvement, good music and happy feelings – but does it actually grow or develop faith? Does it maintain people at a certain level without challenging them to face harder questions or a deeper personal relationship with God?

If I’m correct in my thinking, what do we do to move people on? to get them involved in the test match version of faith? Or is it ok for them to be where they are?

And, if I’m wrong, feel free to tell me!