Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An Unfortunate Trend

Our church receives Home Life magazine every month for members to pick up, take home, and read. Lifeway publishes this magazine and is the resource arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. So, I thought I would look through the August issue of this magazine, which says that in its pages you will find "biblical ideas for family living." Here are the "statistical" numbers I discovered (Unfortunately, I was not surprised by my findings):

68 - Number of pages in the magazine

14 - Number of Scripture references found in the entirety of the magazine

24 - Number of articles or informational pieces in the magazine

7 - Number of articles in which those 14 references appear. (that's only about 30% of their articles)

8 - Number of references that are used simply as proof text. In other words, these are simply quoted at the end of the article with no explanation as to their meaning.

It is hard to understand how a magazine can give "biblical ideas for family living" with these numbers. Admittedly, maybe they were having an off month, so I will track this in the coming months as well. It will be interesting.


Unknown said...

Yeah man, they weren't having an off month, it's like that in all of their magazines. You know I used to read CS (Christian Single) but it was doing me no good. I litteraly at times sat back and thought, "what did I just read?" Well, I'm not amazed at your findings either, and on a side note you "Brooks Bloggers" have something with "number studies." Just kidding, talk to you tomorrow night.

Anonymous said...

My church gives us Home Life each month. I have had the same concerns. Alot of advice with very little scripture to back it up. Just a bunch of psycho-babble and how to articles each with a list of obvious suggestions on how to improve something. You would think number one on every list should be, "pray that is God's will", or "See what scripture has to say". I have emailed them 3 times when they quoted New Age false teachers and asked them why they were doing it. I always get an automated response.

JonathanRBrooks said...

Yes, it is clear that you could get the same advice from watching an episode of Dr. Phil. I pray that Dr. Rainer will be intentional about changing this.