15 October, 2007

New Study Reveals Good Looks = Bad Theology

St. Petersburg, Russia - A recent study conducted by the TBNN research group revealed a possible connection between looks and theology. The survey was conducted over the course of three months during which time 2,000 people were shown pictures of various religious and theological figures and were asked to rate the individuals' beauty on a scale of one to ten. In the end 80% of those who held to poor theological perspectives were considered to be on the "attractive" or "good looking" side while 76% of those who held to sound evangelical theology were considered "unattractive" or "not pleasing to the eye."

A total list of 100 theological/religious figures was used with 50 being from the "bad theology" camp and 50 from the "good theology" camp. S ome of the more popular figures in question from the "bad theology" camp included Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, and Rod Parsley.

"Our research brought some very interesting results" said Brother Slawson who assisted in the research. "At the top of the list were Osteen and Parsley, with Osteen taking a slight advantage over Parsley. I think it was the teeth that won it for Osteen though. So many people would tell us, 'Oh, what a lovely smile!' For many people Parsley seems to have more of a Hollywood appeal, almost a suave 'tough guy' appearance. Amongst the older crowds, Robert Schuller and Bishop Spong won hearts."

In the end the top five rated persons for the "Bad Theology" group were as follows;

Joel Osteen - 9.87
Rod Parsley - 9.25
Creflo Dollar - 8.90
Gene Robinson - 8.25
Benny Hinn - 8.20

Under the category of "Good Theology" though, things looked significantly different.

"We were shocked when we began to show people photos and pictures of good theologians" stated Slawson. "Very few rated over five."

A sampling of the ratings from the "Good Theology" category clearly showed that with improved theology often comes less attractive looks.

George Whitfield - 4.97
C.H. Spurgeon - 4.23
Martin Luther - 4.15
John Owen - 3.99
Jonathan Edwards - 3.98

"When it was all said and done the evidence was pretty overwhelming" said Slawson. "The better one's looks the worse his or her theology will be, and the less attractive one is the better his or her theology will be. We are now trying to figure out a possible reason for this. One theory is that perhaps those with good theology are so occupied with studying God's Word that they don't have time to visit hair salons and beauty parlors and such."

There were exceptions on both sides. Under the "Bad Theology" category, Charles Finney scored only a 0.76, while under the "Good Theology" category J. Ligon Duncan III managed to score a 9.11.

"Of course there are exceptions, that's always the case" stated Slawson. "But the paradigm seems pretty consistent. If you're visiting churches out there, or are perhaps unhappy with your current church situation I'd take a look at your pastor. If he's a handsome guy, I'd be careful."


Anonymous said...

God don't like ugly!

Corey Reynolds said...

I don't know who did your rating, but Charles Spurgeon is a dead-sexy teddy-bear! I say 8.9, at least. And Martin Luther should have had two ratings: The Monk at Wittenburg, and Junker George at the Wartburg.

Anonymous said...

maybe TBNN could run a second survey/study to determine if there is a connection between size/weight of the individual as well? it seems to me, the more portly a preacher (read: spurgeon), the better the theology.
just a hunch, but i don't have the resources and staff that TBNN has available.

Richard said...

This article has reassured me that my theology must be great. Thanks, Tom!

Elder Eric said...

Now I know why Jacobus Arminius always looks so good in his pictures.

Stefan Ewing said...

Very funny!

Jim Pemberton said...

You may have a point, but Calvin may be the exception in the portly category.

I dunno about me - my wife might take exception to the study. She seems to think I'm a pretty handsome fellow, but if that's the case, she might not like me forsaking the family to improve my theology:

Me: "Look, Hon, I've gained 50 pounds, lost half my hair and developed a serious underbite, but I understand Reformed soteriology much better now."

She: "Aww. I kinda liked it when you made me feel good with all that baloney about prosperity."

Anonymous said...

I always thought it had to do with the thickness of the make-up before you go on TV

Sunshine said...

HaH@! Creflo says? oh what a laugh. It takes a pretty dollar to make a pretty smile... he must have thought his last name was propehtic.

anyway... the word tells us that Jesus was not such a beauty... that no one would look upon Him with lusting in their eyes.

So, let the world lust after these guys and it is obvious they do; otherwise they would not put so much money into their six digit bank accounts.

Anonymous said...

Finney had some sweet chops!
And where's Calvin on here? He had a cool hat!

Anonymous said...

I think your article was incredibly unfair to both sides of the theological camps. Everyone knows that photographic technology has come a long way since the old guys were pictured. I mean really, good makeup and good lighting would have done a world of good for Martin Luther. Finney, maybe not, but then look at Brittany Spears.

Anonymous said...

once you have loads of money that was fleeced from the flock what else can you expect them to do than to spend a 'little' on themselves.

Anonymous said...

I saw Joel on the TV the other night...he had on makeup, and not just for 60 minutes, also while "life coaching" in front of the "players" in his audience. How sad and how far have we come when "pastors" wear makeup and edit their sermons for their "shows". Back in the day of Jesus...only the "hypocrites" wore makeup.

Anonymous said...

Charley Finney was as ugly as the heresy of "the sinner's prayer" and alter calls he sowed into the "church". Simple observation.
In case someone doesn't know...that stuff is EXTRA biblical. Kinda like if we had to do a certain handshake in order to show we had been saved.

Anonymous said...

Handsome is as handsome does!

sdCorinne said...

You forgot Paula White! She's pretty and her doctrine's way gone (I mean, she's a female "pastor" for crying out loud)!

Anonymous said...

That was funny! Course now I wonder if I am nice looking or not. Might have to start shaving less and bathing only occasionally.

Anonymous said...

We had better start paying our Pastor more...obviously, we have one of the greatest Ministers of all times !

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

St. Petersburg, Russia - A recent study conducted by the TBNN research group revealed a possible connection between looks and theology.

Excellent news; I will never have to be concerned about falling into theological error.:)