A new season of "The American Bible Challenge" premieres tonight, and host Jeff Foxworthy spoke to the Christian Post about his personal faith and the state of America's Bible literacy. Foxworthy, a comedian, has focused more on his faith and his hosting duties with gospel singer Kirk Franklin.
Christian Post: When did you feel the call to ministry?
Jeff Foxworthy: Well, ministry is such a broad term. I think it was about 20 years ago when I decided to be bolder in sharing my faith. That happens in so many ways, whether it's sharing a testimony at a Wild game dinner, leading a small group Bible study at a homeless shelter for years or hosting the "American Bible Challenge."
CP: Do you feel there is a place for comedy in ministry and vice-versa?
JF: I feel there is a place for comedy in almost everything. I have always said that laughter is the release valve that keeps the boiler from exploding. I think that if we really believe what we claim to believe, that we should be the most joyful people on the planet. Sometimes we come up pretty short in that area.
CP: In working on "American Bible Challenge," what is your overall view of our Biblical literacy as a society?
JF: Well, most of our contestants are pretty knowledgeable and I have a lot of friends that can quote a lot more Scripture than me. But as a whole I think that previous generations were probably more knowledgeable than ours. We have way too many distractions these days.
During a conference call for "The American Bible Challenge," Foxworthy explained that he was nervous about taking on the hosting duties for a Bible show and its implications for society.
"My faith is very important to me, but when they first asked me about it I had to say, 'Let me go think about this, because can you do a game show about the Bible?' Really, I didn't want to be in line at hell looking up going, 'It was a game show, right? That's why it was a game show.' And we kind of went back and forth because – and I'll tell you where I landed. I thought it would be kind of weird to just reward people for the things that they knew, because the only people Jesus got sideways with were the Pharisees who had all this head knowledge but they had no heart knowledge."
Foxworthy then came up with the idea to reward people by giving them a financial reward to pass along to their community. This season, things will be a bit different, as viewers will get the opportunity to learn more about the contestants' backstories and hear where they are coming from and why they are competing.
"The American Bible Challenge" kicks off tonight, May 22, on the Game Show Network.