Apparently, a new app has been developed to Stop One Saying Silly Self-Important Things (SOS-IT).
Some years ago, Phyllis Tickle likened Brian McLaren to Luther and the Emergent Church to the kind of paradigm shift that happens only once a millennium. The amazing thing was not that she said this; in a world shaped by the continual escalation of sales rhetoric, this kind of language is to be expected in advertising. No. What was truly amazing was that people actually took her seriously, friend and foe alike. Such people are in urgent need of help to stop them saying or believing things that are very, very silly and absurdly self-important.
Enter the church historians. [Carl Trueman*]
So, go buy your SOS-IT. It's what used to be called an historian. Or have an instructive read of Trueman's latest, The Price of Everything. He's as sure as a Brit among Americans can be, that 'cynicism is one of the historian's great gifts to the church.'
To put it bluntly, cynicism serves to keep things, especially us, in proper perspective.
* Not see an amusing irony there, of critiquing self-importance while presenting your own discipline as The Solution?