Take That Theology

It’s amazing how Christians will try and shoehorn their faith into everything, or everything into their faith. [Apologies, massive generalisation there, but it does happen.] How suddenly, theology can be applied to a wide spectrum of life – have you ever seen theologians getting excited about The Matrix? It’s really quite terrifying. Of course, we Christians believe that God is in everything, but sometimes I think we take a little too far. [Incidentally, if you’re hoping for a post on the religious themed Glee shown this week, it will happen – soon.]

Years ago, I made what some (ok, one person) labelled as an ‘inspired connection’ between the rules of boyband formation and 1 Corinthians 12 – a rare moment of blogging theological connection. This morning, I made another such connection, which I felt should be shared.

By means of introduction, I feel I should explain the thought process behind this connection. While walking from the station to the office this morning, I pondered a piece of writing I’m currently working on in which I’m trying to reflect (theologically) on the way my student small group mirrors Acts [don’t ask, it’s doing my head in]. Then my mind leapt to other theological reflections I’ve done and the boyband thing came to mind and I thought about how it applied to Boyzone and Westlife and how it didn’t work for Take That. Thus, I came to ponder on what Biblical connection you might be able to make to illustrate that particularly band’s story…

Clearly, it has to be the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 11-32).

Gary – et al – are abandoned at home while Robbie goes off on his own to make his fortune. It’s not easy at first, but eventually he becomes a big success and Angels becomes one of the most popular songs to play at funerals. EMI pay him millions of pounds to make more albums and he’s rich beyond his wildest dreams. Addictions come and go, as do women, but awards are continually bestowed upon him.

But eventually the songs stop reaching #1 and his fascination with aliens over-takes his interest in music. He watches as his former bandmates reunite and produce hugely successful albums and sell-out tours. After much thought, he swallows his pride and meets up with them in LA. They have fun and a year later he’s back in the band, on a #1 album and in a sell-out tour.

But is everyone happy? Is Mark the resentful older brother who’s disappointed that with Robbie back he’ll no longer be second choice for lead vocals? Will Shine be the Babe of the new Take That (i.e. Mark’s only decent track)? What about Jason and Howard – will they simply return to being the two guys whose names you can’t remember dancing around at the back? And what of Gary, dear old Gary? I rather think he might be the father of the analogy, cheering along the reunification – who has slaved away for years, writing great songs and keeping the band together (well, since 2005) – telling the others not be churlish and to welcome the prodigal son back into the Take That fold.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ve thought about this a little too much. Am I a tad over excited that I’ll finally get to see them in the flesh in July? (Quite possibly.) Is my brain over-worked from endless form filling in? (Most definitely.) Can you ever have too much theology? (Absolutely.)

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