Speak Ye Uncomfortably to Jerusalem

December 1999

The mail has brought a packet of advertising from a big Protestant outfit called the Christian Purchasing Network. Among the ads is one with this headline: “Most Comfortable Church Chair in America!” Below that are a photo of the chair and a list of its virtues, among them:

Premium Comfort – Best Value
New ComfortWeb Seat – An Innovation
Never “Bottom Out” Again
It’s Like Sitting on a Cloud.


That’s good ad copy — straightforward and enthusiastic — but it arouses curious sensations. No, not because it promises “an innovation,” though the NOR is known for carefully scrutinizing claims involving that word. The odd sensations are aroused by the offer to make worshipers supremely comfortable in church. A comfortable seat at the ballgame is good. A comfortable seat at the opera would be nice. A comfortable chair at your desk can make the workday pleasanter. But in church?


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New Oxford Notes: December 1999

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