There’s a new television program designed to make you feel dumber than you already felt. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the show is hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, who has made a living by describing how dumb he is – and he’s the one making fun of the contestants!

The show is called “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” and the premise is to show otherwise functional adults that they are, indeed, as dumb as rocks – or at least not as smart as 11-year-olds.

Of course, all is not as it seems. There’s a panel of bright-eyed fifth grade students on hand to “help” the poor adults answer these elementary-level questions. Those “bright” kids are actually child actors who have been given “worksheets” to study prior to the show. As a result, they occasionally miss an answer, but not often.

And as for those grade-school questions . . . Here’s a sample Second Grade Earth Science question: “True or False, All snowflakes are ten-sided geometric figures.” Sorry, but most second graders I know would be stumped at that “geometric figure” part. (I’m not completely sure myself.)

And here’s a Fourth Grade Math Question: “The supplementary angle of a 40-degree angle has how many degrees?” I have a Ph.D. from a major university and I still have no idea what the answer is to that one. I’m pretty sure I was absent that day.

Apparently watching grown-ups make fools of themselves is quite popular, since the show has been a success. Which makes me wonder if we couldn’t adapt it to the church setting – sort of “Are you smarter than a Sunday School teacher?” Maybe you can check your knowledge level:

1st grade: Where did Jesus perform His first miracle?

2nd grade: To what did Naomi change her name after she was widowed?

3rd grade: Which Bible character had surgery performed on him as he slept?

4th grade: What soldier criticized David for coming to the battlefield?

5th grade: What color was the cloth draped over the Ark of the Covenant?

So, preacher, are you smarter than a Sunday School teacher?

(If you’ve got the answers, send them to We’ll select five names from correct submissions and send a free book. Be sure to include your name, church, mailing address, and email address. The correct answers will be in next month’s issue – if you can wait!)



Michael Duduit is Editor of Preaching magazine. You can write to him at, or visit his website at



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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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