Does Your Church Rate?

One of the difficult things about going to a new town is deciding which church to visit. How can you tell, simply by a church’s name, whether or not it will fit your style or meet your expectations?

Ever the obliging servants of the public good, a few newspapers have sensed the need. They have church reviewers, right along with their stables of movie, music, and restaurant critics. Some of these reviewers have adopted the “star” rating systems, judging churches on their preaching, friendliness, and music.

But why stop there? Wouldn’t it be great to have a rating system for each portion of the church’s programs? Children’s sermons, of course, would be rated G. Most portions of the youth program, such as hayrides and pizza parties, could be rated PG (although retreats or overnights might be PG-13).

Sermons and assorted lectures would probably benefit from Parental Guidance (PG), excepting G sermons on Christmas and Easter, and an infrequent R rating for marriage seminars or book studies on the Song of Solomon. Using the X rating is unlikely. But there are a few occasions prone to violence, such as church business meetings or softball games.

Of course, it does seem tacky to use “stars” or movie ratings to pick apart a church and its pastor. Then again, critiquing is nothing new. We’ve been doing it for years—usually over Sunday dinner.

EUTYCHUS

Genetic Engineering: No Babel To Researchers

I was deeply distressed by your February 7 cover, which showed men constructing a double helix into the sky and titled, “Genetic Engineering: A Modern Tower of Babel?” That hurts. Think of us, the many dedicated researchers who work very hard to advance medical research. That cover was a slap in the face.

MICHAEL WEST

Baylor College ...

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