Laity: Ploys for the Pious

Becoming a Christian may be primarily an act of commitment and faith, but it also means joining a lifelong sport with its own peculiar rules for success.

That, at any rate, is the view expressed in a sprightly new satire called Games Christians Play (Harper & Row; $3.50).

The authors, Protestant Housewives Judi Culbertson and Patti Bard, define some of the more popular plonks, gambits and counterploys:

·Mary Martyr is a game in which women excel. The participant undertakes all manner of thankless tasks with no sign of complaint, "except for the darkening circles under her eyes," until some kind soul...

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