March Gladness 2017: The Christian Culture Tournament (Round Two)

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UPDATED BRACKET (click to biggify)

Update: Round 2 voting has ended.  Check out the results below, or head over to Round 3 to continue voting!

Welcome back!  First, a moment for all the Round 1 losers:

Farewell, sweet princes and princesses; you were too beautiful for this tournament.

[pours out cranberry juice on kitchen floor]

Let’s get to it.  Full Round 1 results are here, a podcast breakdown is here, and here is Round 2:

Region 1

Christianity Today 192 ( 28.92 % )
Flannelgraph 472 ( 71.08 % )

I may never forgive Christianity Today for knocking out Commander Kellie in the first round, but this tournament is not about me, and we must soldier on.  Next up for the Fightin’ Shellnutts: a formidable Sunday School opponent in Flannelgraph.  Fun fact: Billy Graham published the very first issue of Christianity Today on flannelgraph boards, but the felt articles kept slipping off and anyway it was sort of an expensive way to do it, compared to paper and all.

Matt Walsh 198 ( 30.84 % )
Tony Campolo 444 ( 69.16 % )



Well this should be fun.  In one corner you have scruffy blowhard Matt Walsh, who is best known for periodically Gatling gunning your Facebook feed to ribbons with his hot takes.  And then you have Campolo: the shambling, shrugging progressive academic and one-time Bill Clinton spiritual adviser who founded Red Letter Christians and moonlights as a private detective with Steve Brown.  I made that last part up, but still.

Jen Hatmaker 287 ( 42.58 % )
WWJD Bracelet 387 ( 57.42 % )

Fresh off a stunning upset over Joel Osteen, the WWJD Bracelets look to continue their surprise run.  This will likely be an emotional matchup for Hatmaker, as she once constructed an entire prom dress out of WWJD bracelets in 1997 for her Christian school’s prom.  Her school didn’t have a “prom queen,” they had “Miss Modest,” and Hatmaker totally would have won it if it hadn’t been for Kari Jobe.  Listen, it was totes sketch, Kari only won Miss Modest because she was dating the principal’s son.  Everybody said so.

Cleavage Think Pieces 277 ( 43.62 % )
Rich Mullins Hologram 358 ( 56.38 % )

Ah, Relevant, we hardly knew ye.  Rich Mullins ragamuffin’d the cool kids right on out of the tournament, and here we are.  Standing in his way: Cleavage Think Pieces, because how will church ladies even know how to arrange their bosoms unless we tell them.

Region 2

Tim Tebow 367 ( 58.16 % )
Bill Gaither 264 ( 41.84 % )

The task of ending Bill Gaither’s reign of terror falls to Tebow, who is probably going to be super polite and say things like “yes sir, Mr. Gaither.  How can I pray for you today, Mr. Gaither?”  Don’t do that, Timmy.  Bill is an ageless agent of destruction.  He didn’t survive two world wars and countless SBC schisms by playing nice.

Psalty 495 ( 82.5 % )
Guy Penrod 105 ( 17.5 % )

So you thought there were a lot of inappropriate jokes when Psalty faced off against the book The Erotic Baptism in round one?  Well now we have Psalty vs Guy Penrod.  I’ll see myself out.

Bibleman 331 ( 50.38 % )
Sho Baraka's Penis 326 ( 49.62 % )

First, LifeWay pulled Sho Baraka’s CD because it said the word “penis.”  Then, they sent Testamints to eliminate him in round one.  But Sho prevailed.  And now LifeWay has sent another one of their products: Bibleman.  Can Sho rise to the occasio….well I almost made it all the way through this summary without making a 12-year-old joke.

Nadia Bolz-Weber 386 ( 49.87 % )
Larry the Cucumber 388 ( 50.13 % )

Larry breezed through round one with literally 99% of the vote.  Is he ripe for the upset oh gosh I said  “ripe” and he’s a vegetable the jokes just keep getting worse and worse guys I’m very sorry please don’t leave, I promise I will try to behave.  Nadia Bolz-Weber is bad at wearing sleeves.

Region 3

Carman 284 ( 46.94 % )
Whit 321 ( 53.06 % )

Difficult matchup to predict.  Carman advanced to round two through his sanctified dance moves, demon-punching, rap skillz, and sultry spoken-word prowess.  Satan sends him cancer?  He’ll pop and lock the offending cells back down to hell from whence they came.  Record companies afraid to give him a contract because he’s too real?  He’ll crowdfund an album in like five seconds.  Whit, on the other hand, stumbled backwards butt-first into round two, very nearly choking away a huge lead to the wolverine-like Warren Throckmorton.  Is Whit prepared for Major C?  We’re about to find out.

Russell Moore 242 ( 40.54 % )
Beth Moore 355 ( 59.46 % )

1972.  Nashville.  A young Beth Moore, on the run from Jerry Falwell’s goons.  She is so young.  Young, but already a skilled and deadly operative.  Under cover of night, she drops her baby brother into the arms of Richard Land and disappears into the evangelical underworld.  Land would raise the boy to become a formidable agent in his own right.  But Beth never forgot about him, never forgot about little Russell, or the blood bond she shared with him.  Now they have been brought to face each other, pulled together by forces of time, chance, and perhaps even the will of our Lord.  Round 2.  Moore versus Moore.  At long last, it has come to this.

Farewell Rob Bell 326 ( 55.73 % )
Tim Keller 259 ( 44.27 % )

The Farewell Rob Bell tweet surprised many tournament observers by upsetting Ann Voskamp with relative ease.  Tim Keller, who is a very bad person, defeated Derrick from McGee and Me, even though Derrick was a rad dude and the better choice by far but this is what you get when too many reformed theology bros vote in your tournament so anyway the last Switchfoot album was pretty good, in my opinion.

Josh Harris 408 ( 69.86 % )
James Dobson 176 ( 30.14 % )

Josh Harris slogged through the Josh Grudge Match over Josh McDowell, while Dobson was life and death with Ken Ham until the very end.  This matchup probably brings up strong feelings for anyone who was homeschooled through the 90s and experienced both Focus on the Family and I Kissed Dating Goodbye. But actually if you were homeschooled through the 90s, pretty much everything brings up strong feelings.

Region 4

Song of Solomon 296 ( 47.51 % )
WOW CDs 327 ( 52.49 % )

The only thing I read when I was 15 versus the only thing I listened to when I was 15.

Babylon Bee 256 ( 40 % )
DC Talk 384 ( 60 % )

Listening to voter feedback, this is among the most anticipated matchups of round two.  Even now, legions of 31-year-old Baptist youth pastors congregate at the nation’s Chipotles, hotly debating the decision.  On the one hand, Babylon Bee articles are a lifeblood of millennial evangelicalism: the links get trapped in endless e-mail forward loops, pinging across thousands of inboxes and clogging the servers of our nation’s churches.  On the other hand, Jesus Freak.  Also, why doesn’t Chipotle have queso?  That’s just poor hustle on their part.

Yoga Pants 407 ( 66.39 % )
John Piper 206 ( 33.61 % )

If you cannot get excited about a John Piper versus Yoga Pants matchup, I don’t know what to tell you.

Mark Lowry 135 ( 23.36 % )
Lecrae 443 ( 76.64 % )

A true crossroads matchup.  Lecrae has the talent for a deep tournament run, but Mark Lowry has a certain sentimental, Jimmy Connors-in-the-1991-US-Open potential lurking just below the surface and also I just made a tennis reference so it’s probably time to wrap this up.

Round 2 voting closes Sunday at noon