Religion: How to Become a Bishop

"More devils can be routed by a little laughter than by a carload of humorless piety," writes Methodist Pastor Charles Merrill Smith in How to Be come a Bishop Without Being Religious (Doubleday; $3.50). The devils that Smith wants to exorcise are the phony pietism and the trivial hypocrisy that many a Protestant pastor has to indulge in if he intends to climb the hierarchical ladder of his church.

Success in the ministry, says Smith, comes from meticulous conformity to "the right professional stance." A clergyman must never even think, for example, of driving...

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