The new Alpha advert has just appeared – or, at least, just crossed my limited horizon. Have a look:

What is this saying about Christian faith:

  • it has credibility because a famous bloke likes it?
  • it has credibility because if a macho man (a ‘real’ man) likes it, it must be good?
  • it is for self-sufficient blokes who look pretty good in their place of ‘despair’?
  • it is useful for getting you out of tight spots?
  • it is useful for attracting attention?

There will be more possibilities than those and not everyone will like it. I guess, if you love Alpha, you will not hear any criticism of it and if you loathe it (for whatever reason), you will never be open to the good it does. This probably says less about Alpha than it does about us.

And my response to the advert? I think it’s a bit silly and confusing (in terms of the messages it sends); but I hope it gets a good airing, awakens the curiosity of women (who fancy macho-Christian) and men (who wish they were macho-Christian… or, just macho) and reaches the parts the rest of us don’t reach. I remember the old evangelist who responded to some criticism of his evangelistic methods with the retort: ‘I prefer the evangelism I do to the evangelism you don’t do.’