Wednesday, 22 April 2015


This article by Tom Ehrich over at Religion News Service is a classic of its kind.

Every conservative believer needs to learn how to spot the emotional manipulation that is on display here.Tragically most of us are helpless in the face of this kind of writing.

Tactic: issue a few vague prognostications of (conservative) Church decline but wholly lacking in actual detail, just enough to leave us feeling vaguely alarmed & unsettled.

Then sprinkle in a few warm fuzzy words about joy, depth and “fresh energy” to prepare the unthinking masses for whatever “new idea” you next want them to blindly accept.

What will this “healthy new phase” look like? Which “institutional ideas” do we need to leave behind? “Transformation of life” from what and to what?

We never learn. Not in this article anyway.

Instead we are left to guess at just what “new ideas” the brave new thinkers have in mind for us (though I reckon I know).

Well done, Tom.

A classic example of how to use 500+ words to say precisely nothing & yet get across everything you intended to.