Evangelical cliches

Christian have developed a vocabulary that may or may not be understandable to nonChristians. While many of the words and phrases are essensial to clear writing, writers should be wary of Christian jargon. Unconsciously, some authors have allowed the rhetorical language of sermons, hymns and devotional literature to shape their prose, resulting in indefiniteness, lack or originality, and at worst, insincerity. Here are some few cliches to avoid:

abundant life
after God’s own heart
believe pn (the name of the Lord)
born again
burden on my heart
carnal desires
Christian walk
daily walk
den of iniquity
depths of depravity
depths of despair
desires of the flesh
devout Catholic
epitome of evil
eternal refuge
eternal resting place
eternal reward
fervent prayer
forever and ever
from on high
get into the Word
giant of the faith
God-fearing man (or woman)
God made known to me
God revealed to me
God-shaped vacuum
good Christian
groanings of the spirit
grounded in the faith
grounded in the Word
heart of the gospel
heavenly angels
heavenly anthems
hellfire and damnation
hopeless sinner
inspired Word of God
just pray (just ask)
laid upon my heart
let go and let God
life-changing experience
life everlasting
life of sin
lift up the Lord
lift (someone) up in prayer
lusts of the flesh
meet his (or her) Maker
moved by the Spirit
of old (as in “Abraham of old”)
passions of the flesh
pearly gates
prayer warrior
precious blood of Jesus prepare our hearts
primrose path
realms of glory
rooted in the faith
rooted in the Word
saving knowledge of Christ
seventh heaven
share a verse (of Scripture)
sins of the fathers
snares of the Devil
sorely tempted
soul of humility
soul-stirring message
spiritual high
spiritual state
spoke to my heart
stand before the judgement seat
stras in one’s crown
storms (tempests) of life
straight and narrow
take it to the Lord
throughout eternity
time immemorial
traveling mercies
trials and tribulations
trophies of grace
trust and obey
unto eternity
unspoken needs
uphold in prayer
urgings of the spirit
vale of tears
victorious living
walk with God
watch and pray
wicked ways
wiles of the Devil
wondrous ways of God
word of prayer

Taken from the Christian Writer’s Manual of Style by Bob Hudson and Shelley Townsend (1988)

In: The Almanac of the Christian World 1991-1992

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