Archive for January 26th, 2008

One tactic that is employed far to often is reductionism – not so much in the technical sense, but in the sweeping generalization or hasty conclusion sense.  It may make the point easier to make, it may play into the hands of those already predisposed to such thinking – but it is also a fallacy.

Whether it is an ODM blog, or a comment made here, far too often we see the fallacy employed when a label (such as emerging, emergent, or even fundamentalist) is applied – then reduced to a caricature by ignoring nuances and exceptions – then the caricature is attacked.

I am not sure why ODM’s and their allies are quick to employ this fallacy: it may be laziness (they won’t take the time to discern nuances); it may be dishonesty (they know better but choose to ignore the nuances); it may be self-delusion (they have convinced themselves that though nuances exist, they are too minor to worry about); or they may just be ignorant (they do not know that nuances exist).

So, to all ODM and Commentors who have ever reduced “Emerging Churches” to a fallacious caricature of post-modern relativists who cannot make truth claims, who will not acknowledge sin, who think all roads lead to the same God… I offer this simple exception: Vintage Church. 

This is all it takes to abort the reductions claims about “Emerging churches” – or the fundamentally worse employment of “All” or “Every” – …one example of a theologically sound emerging church exposes the broad-brushed, reductionist caricature for what it is…

As a reminder to us all, though history has prove that “fundamentalists” tend to be a lot more unified, they too have nuances and therefore should not be reduced to a caricature for mocking.


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