Slacktivist is on fire today!

Thurston Howell III

Fred Clark, aka Slacktivist, packed a lot of stuff in a post today titled “Some say he was an outlaw.” Here are some highlights:

On the difference between Jerry Falwell Sr. and Jerry Falwell Jr.: “But look a little deeper and you’ll find only differences in degree, not in kind.” I made the same argument today at Religion News Service.

On today’s story about disgraced Southern Baptist minister and seminary president Paige Patterson: “But this long-time general in the culture wars also seems to be just another white-collar grifter fighting the class wars on the side of the 1 percent.”

On Eric Metaxas’s punch: “Metaxas, for some reason dressed like a cross between Thurston Howell and James Spader in Pretty in Pink….” Correction, Fred. That should be Thurston Howell III! 🙂

Read the entire post here.

Slacktivist (and Norman Geisler) on abortion

If you do not read the blog of progressive Christian Fred Clark, aka “Slacktivist“, you should. You will not always agree with him, and he will infuriate you at times, but his ideas are often worth considering. Yesterday I checked Slacktivist and was surprised to find him citing the late evangelical apologist Norman Geisler on abortion. Fred cites this passage from Geisler’s Christian Ethics:

The one clear thing which the Scriptures indicate about abortion is that it is not the same as murder. … Murder is a man-initiated activity of taking an actual human life. Artificial abortion is a humanly initiated process which results in the taking of a potential human life. Such abortion is not murder, because the embryo is not fully human — it is an undeveloped person.

And this:

When it is a clear-cut case of either taking the life of the unborn baby or letting the mother die, then abortion is called for. An actual life (the mother) is of more intrinsic value than a potential life (the unborn). The mother is a fully developed human; the baby is an undeveloped human. And an actually developed human is better than one which has the potential for full humanity but has not yet developed. Being fully human is a higher value than the mere possibility of becoming fully human. For what is has more value than what may be. …

Birth is not morally necessitated without consent. No woman should be forced to carry a child if she did not consent to intercourse. A violent intrusion into a woman’s womb does not bring with it a moral birthright for the embryo. The mother has a right to refuse that her body be used as an object of sexual intrusion. The violation of her honor and personhood was enough evil without compounding her plight by forcing an unwanted child on her besides. … the right of the potential life (the embryo) is overshadowed by the right of the actual life of the mother. The rights to life, health, and self-determination — i.e., the rights to personhood — of the fully human mother take precedence over that of the potentially human embryo.

I had no idea that this was Geisler’s position on abortion.

Clark agrees with Geisler, but he also cares about protecting “potential” personhood:

What does that mean in practical terms? It means, for most of us, working to create a context for their choices in which they are never constrained by desperation or duress, by the market-worshipping coercion of penury, by fear or want or threat. It means working to establish a context in which financial support, vocational opportunity, human potential, human thriving and human dignity are not contingent or conditional or inconstant. It means creating a context which is hospitable to welcoming new life, and therefore a context in which the choice of hospitality is possible and promising. (If I were to choose a text for a sermon on the politics of abortion, it would be the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath.)

Sometimes, when I describe this role and this obligation, those who wish only to deny subsidiarity by a top-down decree criminalizing all abortion will accuse me of just trying to change the subject. But this is the subject. Subsidiarity teaches me that what is best for “the unborn” will be what is best for their mothers. The only way to “protect the unborn” is by protecting those carrying them — protecting their health, dignity, wellbeing, financial security, agency, and freedom.

Read the entire post here.

Evangelical Praise Songs and the “Manilow Effect”

Earlier this week we posted about the power of the key change in evangelical praise songs.  Read the post here.

Fred Clark noticed our post at his popular Patheos blog “Slacktivist.”  He has obviously thought more about this.  Here is a taste of his wonderfully-titled post “When will this strong yearning end?“:

I call this the Manilow Effect. The fact that a well-timed key change may be predictable, cheesy, and transparently manipulative won’t prevent it from working. You don’t have to like the song or to admire the song or to enjoy the song. You can even viscerally resent its contrived schmaltz. But none of that will prevent you from experiencing a brief sensation of exultation that you have, at last, made it through the rain and found yourself respected by the others who got rained on too and made it throooough.

That is what it is, but it shouldn’t be confused with an experience of actual worship any more than it should be confused with actual heartbreak for Mandy, who came and who gave without taking before you sent her away.

On a related note, I’d bet that in the hands of a talented worship band “Weekend in New England” could — with very few changes to the lyrics — inspire a very successful altar call. That’s partly because of the genius of Barry Manilow’s key changes, but mainly it’s because we haven’t really understood or examined what it is we’re doing or measuring when we think of “a very successful altar call.” 

Read the entire post here.

A friend on Twitter sent this along:

Slacktivist: “Baptist insubordination is an oxymoron”


The hits keep coming for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson.  If you are not up to speed about what is happening in Fort Worth, I encourage you to begin with these posts.  The latest hit comes from Patheos blogger Fred Clark at his blog “Slacktivist.” A taste:

That vindictiveness is reflected throughout Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s article: “The women who wrote the open letter say they tried first to speak to seminary trustees, but felt they had to make their concerns public to be taken seriously, said one woman who works for a high-ranking leader in a Southern Baptist organization and spoke on the condition of anonymity because she feared her participation in organizing the letter could jeopardize her job.”

The bizarro-world detail there is so subtle you might miss it on first reading. It’s the reference to “a high-ranking leader in a Southern Baptist organization.”

This is Paige Patterson’s ultimate legacy — transforming what was once a Baptist convention into a hierarchical denomination. He has replaced soul liberty — the one and basically only Baptist distinctive — with rank. Nothing could be less Baptist. This is the whole thing about Baptists — each of us chooses, for ourselves, to be baptized. And no one else — no Pope or King or bishop or magistrate or seminary president — has any say in that matter.

It ain’t the full-immersion, it’s the choosing. That’s what makes a Baptist a Baptist.

And it’s what makes “high-ranking Baptist” an oxymoron. The priesthood of all believers means exactly that: one rank, no hierarchy.

This is why Paige Patterson is just about the least Baptist person imaginable. He sought to rule, and so he could not abide the inherent unruliness of Baptist polity. And so he transformed that polity, imposing hierarchy and structure and rank. That transformation was both the mechanism for and the substance of Patterson’s “conservative resurgence.” It wasn’t simply about the nominally “conservative” theology that Patterson et. al. sought to impose as the redefinition of Southern Baptist identity, but about their claiming the authority and creating the ability to impose and redefine it.

Read the entire post here.

Jack Wyrtzen: Evangelical Environmentalist

Word of Life Island, Schroon Lake in the Adirondack Mountains, NY

Who is Jack Wyrtzen?

The founder of Word of Life was a household name in post-war evangelical and fundamentalism. He may have also been an evangelical environmentalist.

Here is Fred Clark, aka Slacktivist:

Jack Wyrtzen was an old-school evangelist — a little bit Billy Sunday, a little bit Billy Graham. He was a former insurance salesman and a Bible-school drop-out who went on to become a radio preacher and eventually the president-and-founder of a popular para-church ministry, Word of Life. Wyrtzen had a loud, genuine laugh and a penchant for even louder jackets. He was also a straight-ticket fundamentalist — young-Earth creationism, premillennial dispensationalism, plenary verbal inspiration, inerrancy, the whole platform.

I met him on several occasions over the years and found him a hard man not to like.

Word of Life was a big deal in the fundie church and private Christian school I grew up in. My family wasn’t part of the Word of Life club, but many of our friends and neighbors made regular pilgrimages up to Schroon Lake for Bible conferences and Bible camp, and they studiously worked their way through correspondence courses for Wyrtzen’s Word of Life Bible Institute….

…And so it came to pass that I wound up mailing a copy of the soon-to-be-declared Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation to — among hundreds of others — Jack Wyrtzen, President and Founder, Word of Life Ministries, Schroon Lake, NY.

I didn’t expect that one would get a response. Our declaration wasn’t proving very popular within the creationist and “Bible-prophecy” fundamentalist branches of evangelicalism. Many young-Earth creationists bear a suspicion bordering on outright hostility toward ecology which is, after all, a secular science. And most premillennial dispensationalists couldn’t be persuaded to care much about the environment because Jesus was coming back any day now and it’s all gonna burn. The world that Hal Lindsey had taught them to think of as “The Late Great Planet Earth” was going to be destroyed as part of God’s great plan, so why bother taking care of it? (For the record, I believe we also sent a letter and a draft of the declaration to the Rev. Tim LaHaye. We did not receive a response from him.) Sure, our “declaration” was full of chapter-and-verse proof-texts supporting “creation care,” but those tended to be from all the wrong parts of Genesis and Revelation, so most of the creationism and Rapture crowd weren’t eager to sign on.

But from that faction there was one surprising exception: Jack Wyrtzen. Jack added his signature and sent back an enthusiastic, hand-written note affirming that he was confident Jesus was returning soon (multiple exclamation points!) — but that he also believed that loving God meant, in the meantime, taking care of “God’s beautiful creation!!!”

I treasured that endorsement for personal reasons, and hoped it might persuade others from the fundier-side of evangelicalism to join Jack in permitting their followers to listen to what we were saying. (It didn’t.)

That was almost 25 years ago, but I found myself thinking fondly of that sweet note from Jack Wyrtzen last week as the hand-picked president of 81 percent of white evangelicals announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the global effort to combat the damage from climate change.

A lot has changed over those years and I’m not sure a new “Declaration on the Care of Creation” today would ever receive the kind of response the old one got from folks like Jack Wyrtzen. The evangelical “Christian radio” pioneered by old-school “Bible” preachers like Wyrtzen is now home to culture-warriors and scores of wanna-be Limbaughs and Hannitys who regard environmentalism as a hoax or a socialist conspiracy. The Fox News toxin has infected much of the evangelical subculture so that these days any talk of the environment triggers their hippy-punching instinct (liberals care about something so we must oppose it). And after the 2000 election here in the U.S., even the facts and science of climate change became a matter of partisan dispute.

Read the rest here.

The “Rapture Bet”


Check out Fred Clark’s piece titled “A death bet is morally repugnant.  So is a ‘Rapture’ bet.”

A taste:

Donald Trump is making a death bet on climate change. The president is 70 years old and he just doesn’t care about what the world will be like three decades from now. By 2050 he, personally, will be gone, so why should he care about anyone or anything in a future that he will not, personally, live to see?

The idea of a death bet is as vile as it is simple. Live large and indulge yourself, free of all responsibility, paying for it all with debt that won’t come due until after you, personally, are dead. This screws over your heirs, and your creditors, and everyone else who is not you. But, hey, what do you care? You’ll be dead…

But it’s not just Donald Trump making the death bet of climate-change denial. He has the support on this of millions of white evangelical Christians. They don’t care about climate change because they believe the world is about to end anyway. They’re not making a death bet so much as, in their minds, a “Rapture” bet: Can you imagine, Rayford? Jesus coming back to get us before we die!

This isn’t quite as brazenly immoral and selfish as Trump’s death bet. He doesn’t care about what the world will be like in 50 years because he doesn’t care about anything he does not personally experience. These Rapture-Christians don’t care about what the world will be like in 50 years because they don’t believe the world will still be here then. They’re sure it won’t. They’re sure the Rapture is imminent — that it will occur any day, any moment, maybe even before you finish reading this…

Ask them about climate change and they’ll assure you there’s no need to worry about famine and flood in 2050, because they’re “certain” that Jesus is coming back before then. Ask them about their teenage child’s plans to major in art history or theater arts and they’ll give you a very different outlook.

Or just consider the way, say, Rapture-preacher John Hagee is grooming his son to take over his family ministry to ensure that it continues for another generation. Or, more cynically, look at the way these Rapture-preachers and Rapture-believers invest for their own retirements. They’re hedging their Rapture bet when it comes to their own future, but not when it comes to a future they imagine will only affect the lives of other people they don’t personally know.

Read the entire post at Clark’s blog Slacktivist.

Historically, things are a bit complicated.  Of course there is a longstanding history of rapture thinking in modern American evangelicalism.  This is part of the reason why some early 20th-century fundamentalists did not like the Social Gospel.  Why work for social reform when Jesus would be coming back soon? But to be fair to the historical record, many fundamentalists also combined rapture-longing with social action.

A belief in the end times was also the reason why some premillennialists did not initially support U.S. involvement in World War I.  Why fight a war to “make the world safe for democracy” when Jesus would be coming back soon?

And we could go on.  Not all rapture Christians broke with the social demands of Christian faith that their 19th-century Second Great Awakening ancestors championed, but some did.

There is also some question about whether the general failure of evangelicals to support environmental causes today is directly related to their views of the “end times.”  In 2012, political scientists David Barker and David Bearce argued in an article titled “End-Times Theology, the Shadow of the Future, and Public Resistance to Addressing Global Climate Change” that “believers in Christian end-times theology are less likely to support policies designed to curb global warming than are other Americans.”  Religion scholar Robin Globus Veldman challenged their findings in a piece at Religion Dispatches.

This all reminds me of when PBS host Bill Moyers accused James Watt, the Secretary of the Interior in the early years of the Reagan administration, of arguing that there was no need for Congress to pass legislation protecting the environment because Jesus Christ would soon be returning. Moyer quoted Watt as saying “After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back.” In 2005, Watt wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post claiming that he never said these things.  He wrote: “I know no Christian who believes or preaches such error.” Moyer apologized, but Watt wanted to make sure, over twenty years after he left office, that Americans understood that evangelical belief was not incompatible with environmental reform.

Today, in a piece on this issue by Washington Postreligion writer Sarah Pulliam Bailey, does not mention the “rapture” argument.

In the end, I am sure there are evangelicals out there who believe that the environment is unimportant because the rapture is coming soon.  Clark is right when he says that these rapture Christians are inconsistent. They plan for the future when it comes to their own retirements and inheritances, but they do not plan for the future when it comes to the fate of the planet.

I will end with a tweet from conservative pundit Erick Erickson.  Not sure if it fits into the “rapture Christian” category, but it is certainly revealing.

“It was about the extension of white supremacy”

HoweI just finished lecturing on Andrew Jackson in my U.S. survey course.  (Actually, I still need to cover the bank crisis. I will do that in lecture on Monday).  One of the central themes of this lecture is that Jackson’s understanding of democracy was directly tied to white supremacy.

Everyone seems to be talking about Jackson these days. Slacktivist recently called my attention to a 2010 blog post by public intellectual and award winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates in which Coates quotes from Daniel Walker Howe’s Pultizer Prize-winning What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848.  The quote comes from Howe’s section on Jackson and Indian removal:

Seeking the fundamental impulse behind Jacksonian Democracy, historians have variously pointed to free enterprise, manhood suffrage, the labor movement, and resistance to the market economy. But in its origins, Jacksonian Democracy (which contemporaries understood as a synonym for Jackson’s Democratic Party) was not primarily about any of these, though it came to intersect with all of them in due course. In the the first place, it was about the extension of white supremacy across the North American continent.

Slacktivist Weighs In


A few months ago Fred Clark (aka “Slacktivist“), the wildly popular progressive Christian blogger at Patheos, was worried about me.  He still is.  (And I still appreciate it).

Here is a taste of his post today:

Back in January, I worried that “A Ted Cruz win could further Bartonize ‘mainstream’ white evangelicalism.” Specifically, I worried that folks like John Fea and Warren Throckmorton would be subjected to the marginalizing tactics long practiced by the right-wing gatekeepers of the white evangelical tribe.

This is what I was talking about. Dr. Fea’s restrained, temperate discussion of Cruz’s Christian nationalism on Christianity Today’s website — “The Theology of Ted Cruz” — prompted a passive-aggressive wailing from CT editor Stan Guthrie.

Guthrie is an enthusiastic member of Team Cruz. To give you an idea of his politics — and how those politics are intertwined with and indistinguishable from his faith — here is a post from his blog, on Thursday, bidding “Goodbye to Rush Limbaugh.” Guthrie has been a long-time fan of Limbaugh, but he has decided to part ways with the reprehensible, racist gasbag — just now, in two-thousand-by-God-sixteen — because Limbaugh is siding with Donald Trump against Team Cruz in the Republican primary.

OK, then.

Read the entire post here.

One clarification.  Some of Slacktivist’s commentators are confusing Stan Guthrie with the official position of Christianity Today.  It should be noted that the editors of CT invited me to write this piece and then, after they read what I wrote, published it.  Slackivist’s commentators should not assume that Guthrie, as an editor-at-large, is more representative of CT than the in-house editorial leadership who solicited and published my article.

Frankly, I am encouraged–very encouraged–that CT was interested in this piece.  The editorial staff, as even Guthrie acknowledges, understand that evangelicals, despite the way the media has been portraying them in this presidential primary season,  are a diverse political bunch.

Slacktivist: I Appreciate Your Concern (I Really Do), But I Think I Will Be OK

Cruz speakingFred Clark is a very popular blogger. (The picture on the left is not him).  His Patheos blog Slacktivist, which I would describe as a progressive Christian blog, has a huge following. It gets a lot of comments as well.  Whenever Slacktivist links to one of my posts, the stats at The Way of Improvement Leads Home go through the roof.  (Fred,  please link to more of my posts!!).

Clark’s most recent post is entitled “A Ted Cruz Win Could Further ‘Bartonize’ Mainstream White Evangelicalism.”  Here is a taste:

John Fea and Warren Throckmorton are two bloggers I enjoy reading. They both also happen to be white evangelical college professors at mainstream white evangelical institutions here in Pennsylvania. Dr. Fea, who blogs at The Way of Improvement Leads Home, is a history professor at Messiah College, while Dr. Throckmorton, whose blog is now on Patheos’ evangelical channel, teaches psychology at Grove City College.

They’re both terrific bloggers. Fea is an insightful, insatiably curious historian, and his blog is a steady supply of fascinating perspectives on early American history. His author’s corner interviews are an invaluable shortcut for keeping abreast of all sorts of important and interesting books and ideas. (He’s also a fan of the Mets and of Bruce Springsteen, indicators of wisdom and virtue.) Throckmorton can be a tenacious pitbull when he sniffs out a story. Check out his ongoing series examining financial irregularities at the mission agency Gospel for Asia — it’s an impressive, dogged pursuit of answers to important questions. In another life, Throckmorton would have made a fearsome investigative journalist.

But I’m worried for both of them. Specifically, I’m worried because this is an election year and that means that the ever-shifting goalposts of the white evangelical tribal gatekeepers may well shift between now and November. Depending on the outcome of the upcoming Republican presidential primary races, the bounds of theological acceptability could shift in such a way that both of these fine professors may end up on the outside looking in.

On the one hand, that seems unlikely. Messiah and Grove City are solid schools committed to quality academics. Science majors there study actual science — not young-Earth creationism. And their biblical and religious studies classes are taught by real scholars in those fields. They seem far-removed from the purity purges of the religious-right culture warriors.

But I might have said the same thing about Wheaton College ten years ago. Or about Southern Seminary 30 years ago.

And here is the problem: Both John Fea and Warren Throckmorton are well known and well-respected (for now) for debunking the falsehoods and fabrications of right-wing pseudo-historian David Barton and his theocratic Christian nationalism. (Here’s a link to Fea’s posts on Barton, and here are Throckmorton’s.) Right now, their work critiquing Barton and Bartonism is widely admired as a sign of integrity and a badge of honor for the evangelical institutions that employ them. But that could change, very rapidly, in the months ahead.

To summarize the rest of the post, Clark is worried that if Cruz gets the GOP nomination, big money evangelical Republican voters who want to stop Hillary Clinton at all costs will rally around the Texas Senator.

He continues:

And if the Republican Party winds up rallying behind Ted Cruz, then the gatekeepers of white evangelicalism will fall in line. They’ll do so partly out of reflexive partisan loyalty, but partly out of financial necessity, because many of the same big donors who have contributed more than $38 million to David Barton’s pro-Cruz super-PAC are the same rich white guys who write big checks supporting mainstream evangelical institutions.

If it comes to that — if partisan identity and financial security both compel evangelical institutions to get in line in support of Ted Cruz — then it will also follow that outspoken critics of Cruz’s buddy, David Barton, will no longer be allowed to be either outspoken or critical. The boundary lines of white evangelical acceptability will shift. Barton and Bartonism will have to be included. And therefore critics of Barton and Bartonism will have to be excluded.


David Barton


If Ted Cruz gets the nomination, Barton’s critics will abruptly be officially designated as “controversial” — the first step in an inexorable process of marginalization that can only be mitigated by a ritual of groveling apology that no one with integrity could ever comply with. Throckmorton’s scholarly rejection of “reparative therapy” for LGBT people may be dragged out to pressure Grove City to distance itself from this “controversial” professor. Fea may be criticized for his fondness for The Ghost of Tom Joad (Steinbeck and Guthrie are practically Marx and Lenin, after all). And I suppose having the support of the likes of me will only be a liability at that point.

I want to thank Clark for calling attention to my blog, but I think my criticism of David Barton is pretty mainstream among historians at evangelical Christian colleges.  In fact, I don’t know of any American historian at a Christian colleges who agree with Barton’s politically-charged interpretations of the past.

I  don’t know if there is any overlap between Cruz donors and Messiah College donors.  I imagine that some overlap exists, but that is a question for my friends in the Development Office.  (I do know that there is some overlap between Messiah College donors and Glenn Beck fans).

I love Messiah College and hope I can stay at this institution as long as possible.  I cannot fathom a scenario in which the administration would not have my back on this issue–Cruz or no Cruz.

Slacktivist Takes Our "You Might Be an Evangelical…" Quiz

Some of you are familiar with Slacktivist, Fred Clark’s progressive evangelical blog at Patheos.  The blog has a huge following.  It is not unusual for Clark to get hundreds of comments on a given post.  (Perhaps Fred can offer some tips about how to get more people to comment on the posts at The Way of Improvement Leads Home).

On Monday he took our “You Might Be An Evangelical If…” quiz.  Here are his answers:

1. Do you attend a church of over 2000 people?
These days, I usually attend a church of more than 2 million members, which is part of a communion of more than 80 million. But the actual congregation is only about 100 people. And the biggest congregation I’ve ever belonged to was only about 400. So this would be a “No.”
2. Have you studied at, or do you work at, a college that identified itself as a “Christian college?”
While the presence of folks like Tony Campolo and Peter Enns may cause some to reject its claim, my alma mater does, in fact, identify itself as a Christian college.
3.  Have you seen the rapture movie A Thief in the Night?  (I could have probably asked if they read the Left Behind series of novels by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye).
Yes. (And let’s just say yes.)
4. Have you been to any of the following Christian Bible conferences:  Word of Life, Camp of the Woods, Harvey Cedars, America’s Keswick, Sandy Cove, or Rumney Bible Conference?  [Fea’s quiz was written for a northeast group]
I’ve heard Uncle Jack preach more times than I can count. Yes.
5. Did you vote for George Bush in 2000 or 2004?
No, and hell no. Kudos to Dr. Fea for A) including this question; and B) not making this the only question.
6. Have you been on a short-term mission trip?
Just one? High-school youth group lasts for four years.
7. Have you attended a Billy Graham or other evangelistic crusade?
Others, yes, many others — but I’ve only ever seen Billy on TV.
8. Have you read Josh McDowell’s Evidence That Demands a Verdict?
And also the sequel, More Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Sadly, such things can never be un-read.
9. Have you read something by C.S. Lewis?
I never got all the way through his collected letters, but except for that, I’ve read just about everything by C.S. Lewis.
10. Do you listen to Christian radio?
Not anymore, except for when I’m driving to DC or to Pittsburgh and I hit those otherwise dead spots south of Aberdeen or west of Harrisburg. But during the years I spent writing Christian music reviews I listened to a lot of Christian radio. Plus, I’vewritten for Christian radio, been interviewed on Christian radio, and I was a DJ for the Christian station back at my Christian college. So I’m claiming half-credit on this one.
11. Do you have a Thomas Kinkade painting in your house?
I have a Howard Finster painting, does that count? That does not count. If I lived in a charming little cottage alongside a quaint cobblestone path, the warm glow of soft, fuzzy light you’d see pouring from my cottage windows would be from a fire in which I was burning Thomas Kinkade paintings.
12. Have you read Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life?
I have not. Just couldn’t get past the lack of a hyphen in that title.
13. Do you read or subscribe to Christianity Today?
So, then, my final score is 8.5 out of 13 — only 35 percent backslidden!
I’ll note that this makes me just slightly less evangelical than Dr. Fea himself, who scored a 9 on his own quiz. (I won’t speculate too much, but I’m guessing he doesn’t own any Kinkade prints either.)
That was fun. All that’s missing, I think, is one of those little charts classifying the meaning of one’s score. Perhaps something like this:
0-5: If you were to die tonight, do you know where you’d spend eternity? Becausewe do, and it ain’t pretty.
6-7: We’ve missed you at church the past few Sundays. We’re praying for you.
8-9: You’re an evangelical, sort of … but we’re watching you.
10-12: Hiddley-ho, neighbor, and Praise the Lord!
13: It’s an honor to meet you, Rev. Graham. And on behalf of all of us, we’d just like to thank you for your long, faithful …