The All Star Game of Faith – Greg Albrecht
Baseball season is in full swing, and, as always, this season includes controversy and arguments – not always about the game played on the field. Once again this year politics are creeping into Mom, Apple Pie and Baseball. Reacting to political decisions made by the state of Georgia, the hierarchy of MLB has decided to award the All Star Game, previously scheduled for Atlanta, to Denver, to be played on July 13.
While I have my opinions about this year’s MLB All Star Game, I will not here enter the swamp of political debate about this decision, but rather propose a far more interesting game in which two teams play an All Star Game of Faith. My selections for these two teams will surely generate controversy and debate, as we all have our heroes and favorite “players.”
I propose an All Star Game between the Old Timers of Faith – generally those who lived before the 20th century – and a team of more contemporary, Modern All Stars. This is a friendly game – a game of equals – all of whom in my estimation are or were Christ-followers. To further underline the unity of this universal group of the faithful, I see God the Father as the “owner” of both teams, God the Son as the General Manager for both, and God the Holy Spirit as the field manager/head coach for each squad.
Because my faith is more informed by Protestant perspectives, Catholic and Orthodox theologians, authors and thinkers are not featured as they might be by others. I am limiting each team to 25 players, dominated by men, but a few women occupy places of importance on both teams. In addition to scholars, my list includes preachers and teachers and servants-at-large. You might find who I do not include on my list as interesting as those I do! See what you think!
Here’s my suggested teams:
Eight Old Timers of Faith Occupy the Starting Line Up
(Three New Testament Apostles take the top three positions in the batting order)
Paul leads off, playing shortstop
Peter bats second, playing third base
John is in centerfield
Martin Luther bats clean up and plays first base
St. Augustine is in left field
Thomas Aquinas plays right field
Jerome is the second baseman
St. Ignatius of Antioch is the catcher
Twelve Pitchers for the Old Timers of Faith. one of whom will start the All Star Game:
Francis of Assisi
Athanasius of Alexandria
Gregory of Nyssa
Teresa of Avila
Five Old Timers of Faith Bench Players:
Eight Modern All Stars of Faith in the Starting Line Up:
Karl Barth leads off, at shortstop
Paul Tillich plays third base
Albert Schweitzer in center field
Henri Nouwen plays first base and bats clean up
Soren Kierkegaard in left field
Hans Kung in right field
N.T. Wright is the catcher
Mother Teresa is at second base
Twelve Pitchers for the Modern All Stars of Faith, one of whom will start the game:
Hans Urs von Balthasar
Five Modern All Stars of Faith Bench Players:
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Barbara Brown Taylor
David Bentley Hart
This All-Star Game will be played on the Field of Dreams, celestial seating will not include social distancing or wearing masks and free hot dogs will be provided to all in attendance. Take me out to the ball park!