Every author of theological stuff thinks they are right. If they didn’t think they were right, they wouldn’t be writing a book. I assume that anyway.
In an effort to sound right, authors often use tactics to fool the reader into trusting them. One tactic is to compliment people who agree with the author. It’s the opposite of making a personal attack on those who disagree. It often sounds like this:
*The diligent student of God’s Word will see this point.
*The thinking Christian will agree.
*All who are interested in truth must see this point.
*The Spirit-led believer will readily admit this.
*Every sincere reader understands my idea.
Having read a number of Christian authors who do this, I realized that I frequently disagree with whatever it is these statements are made to support.
Now, I suppose it is entirely possible that I am not a thinking, diligent student who cares about truth, following the Spirit, or being sincere. It’s possible.
Or it could be the author knows his point is weak and feels a need to bolster the point with pseudo-authoritative statements. Peer pressure forces the doubtful reader to think, “Hmm, if all sincere believers go with this, I guess I should too.”
Don’t be too quick to agree. The only reason the author is saying such things is because he knows there are people who disagree with his point! That’s why he has to qualify the group that agrees with him. His assumption, obviously, is that those who agree with him are spiritually superior.
These statements are usually made on divisive issues that have sparring groups taking sides. The author is claiming Us vs. Them. Us vs. Them theologians have been backed into theological corners and typically are extreme in their theology. These phrases are, in essence, fightin’ words.
If you ever come across such statements in your theological reading, think twice about whatever point is under discussion. You also might want to duck, odds are you have wandered into partisan theology and may get hit in the cross-fire.
Intelligent readers of my writing will agree with this assessment.