This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life.
Discussion and participation by readers is desired,
but contributions should correlate to the book,
The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology
of Perseverance & Assurance

Thomas R. Schreiner
& Ardel B. Caneday

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

False Antinomies & False Synonyms

Trevin Wax regularly does all of us a great service. Once again, Trevin has done so with his two-part interview with Timothy Stoner, who wrote, The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditation on Faith. The book represents an even-handed critique of the Emergent Movement. (See the reviews at

Particularly helpful are two lists that Tim Stoner offers. One consists of the Emergent Movement's false antinomies; the other of Emergent's false synonyms.

The Emerging Church’s false antinomies (driving a wedge between concepts that only appear to be opposites):
  1. The Gospel is about a person, not a message.
  2. The Gospel is an event to be proclaimed, not a doctrine to be professed.
  3. The message and its interpretation is fluid, not static and solid.
  4. The Gospel is about behavior, not belief.
  5. The Gospel is primal/elemental (ancient), not European/sacramental (antiquated).
  6. The Bible is a human book, not an utterly unique, divinely inspired revelation from God.
  7. The church is for the lost, not the found.
  8. Life is about searching (pioneer), not finding (settler).
  9. Evangelism is about saving the world, not individual souls.
  10. The Bible is about stories (indicatives that describe), not prescriptions (imperatives that prescribe).
  11. God cares about the boardroom, not the bedroom.
  12. Jesus came to set an example, not appease the wrath of God.
  13. God is a God of love, not judgment (because He loves He does not hate).
  14. Those who teach or believe other “stories” need to be respected, not converted.
  15. We are to love the “world”, not hate it.
  16. Our posture toward culture is to affirm it, not critique it.
But then, as if to counter its imbalance, it careens off track by over-compensating, for it brings together things that are not the same. Its false synonyms (equating concepts that only appear to be similar):
  1. Anger with abuse.
  2. Authority with authoritarian.
  3. Confidence with smug.
  4. Fundamentals with fundamentalism.
  5. Judgment with judgmentalism.
  6. Correction with criticism
  7. Power with oppression.
  8. Fervor with fanaticism.
  9. Militancy with militarism.
  10. Uncertainty (ambiguity, doubt) with humility.

Long I have contended that few people can make necessary distinctions and do so with proper propotionality. Tim Stoner captures this well in his two lists.

I intend to secure a copy of the book and read it.

I'm sorry that I have been far too busy to keep this blog active for the past two months. I will strive to do better as we begin a new year. Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Trevin said...

Thank you, Dr. Caneday, for your kind words about my blog.

I agree with you about Stoner's dichotomies. He hits all the right notes in his gracious (but firm) critique. You'll find his book enjoyable.