Skip to main content

The Open Side, Richie McCaw

After reading Peter Lineham and Stuart lange's books, reading McCaw's book was somewhat like eating a McDonald's burger after a two course five-star restaurant feed. The book is light, blokey, and spiritually and intellectually unsatisfying. Not that Richie McCaw and Greg McGee's work is poor, indeed it is fascinating, but it lacks real depth and critical analysis.

I deeply admire Richie McCaw as a rugby player. He is undoubtedly the greatest in this generation, ahead of other greats like Jones, Brooke, Fitzpatrick, and DC, as McCaw calls him.

What strikes me is that he is a real individualist. He is deeply motivated to the greatness he has achieved. While the book lacks critical assessment of almost anyone, coaches, players, and the game itself, he is deeply introspective with the desire to be better and better. He humbly recognises his weaknesses as a leader in 2007. The following four years show his ability to grow into a great leader. His love of gliding shows a deeper interest in life, and a very intelligent man.

He also understands there is more to life than rugby. He is loyal to a world wider than the sport, especially to his family. His rejection if the knighthood shows his depth. Yes this sits below the veneer of the quintessential Kiwi bloke. He embodies the ideals of the kiwi bloke indeed. That said, I would love to sit with Richie and hear what he really thinks!

As a theologian I read the book for signs of his spirituality. Indeed, I even remember hearing from someone once that he is a Christian. Well there is no sign of that. He recognises that Brad Thorn is religious. Yet he shows no spiritual interest at all saying on pg. 196, 'If I was religious, I would be praying...' These are not the words of a openly spiritual man. Yet his reflections on gliding show a deep respect for creation.

I was intrigued by his comparisons between the Wallabies and the Springboks. The Wallabies are distant and not interested in socialising. The Springboks on the other hand, enjoyed a post match chat. Says a lot about the two teams in the last ten years. All I all it was a great, if somewhat shallow, read. I hope the next chapters lead to a win in 2015, that would top a great rugby career. Or is it one year too far?


Tim said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Popular posts from this blog

The First Unlikely Evangelists!

I realised something the other day that I think is rather cool that got me thinking about the first evangelists. The first evangelists were Moses and the prophets, who prophesied the coming of Messiah, the Spirit giving them prophetic insight into a coming Messiah, Son of Man, Servant and Son of God. Then, immediately before Jesus Messiah appeared on the scene, there is John, the locust and honey eating, camel wearing, wilderness wandering preacher and baptiser, sent by God to prepare the way for the Messiah, fulfilling Isaiah 40 and Malachi 3, 4. Then there is the Great Evangelist, Jesus himself, who came preaching the “gospel of the Kingdom” calling people to repent and believe the good news. Then there were those he selected, a motley crew of fishermen, tax-collectors, zealots and more, and the 72, sent to preach the King and Kingdom.  We see the first followers at work in John’s Gospel. First, in John 1 John the Baptist who effectively instructed Andrew and another disciple

Tribute to Stuart Lange

For anyone who is interested, I have attached my tribute to Rev Stuart Lange here. He is a legend! It was fun to roast him.... A Tribute to Stuart Lange, No Longer Vice Principal Community of Laidlaw… But still church history lecturer… so not a good bye, but my way of Saying Thanks to you for your years as VP Community… Stuart Lange, not Langey; or Longey; or not langgggg.. but Lange! Or, as I like to put it, S.lang… Slang… for good reason. Stuart Lange, history prof, a man who truly embodies his subject; the quintessential historical prof… Slightly eccentric, crooked smile, hooked and bent nose… you know he has a crook elbow too, took the dog for a walk, hit the chain, smashed the elbow… Of course the dog was unharmed… No Surprise, a lover of animals, each year looking after the animals at the Massey Christmas drive through, donkeys, lamas… etc… Then there is his Einsteinlich hair… kind of a wild man of Southland look… in fact… Stuart Lange A face a cartoonist would die for! The

Ten Reasons Why A.J. Miller is NOT Jesus!

Note: Forgive me for the long blog, but this one really got me going! Last Sunday night on TV One's Sunday aired the report A.J. The Messiah. The program was the story of A.J. Miller in Queensland in Australia, who, unlike most of us, genuinely believes that he is Jesus. Miller appears at one level to be a normal Aussie bloke, in his early thirties, longish brown hair, unshaven, good looking, articulate and charismatic. Yet, unlike anyone I know but in the manner of other Messiah-claimants, he says without inhibition, "I am actually Jesus." He claims to remember vividly his former life and death including his experience of crucifixion. The memories supposedly began when he was 2 years old and realised later that he was Jesus around 33. In the program he writes on a white-board, "I am Jesus. Deal with it"—to applause from his congregation. He has disciples, some of whom claim to have been with him 2000 years ago including Mary Magdalene who is his "soul-ma