I'll get my caveats out of the way right off the top:
  1. I took philosophy 27 years ago (and did not like it) and have never taken logic, so I might be way off base (feel free to respectfully correct me if I am).
  2. My primary interest in this post is that argument be fair and supported by evidence; this is something all sides of a disagreement ought to value and practice. The world is watching how we treat one another.
  3. Ephesians 4:11-16.

This being said, the latest post on Slice contains what appear (to the untrained eye) to be logical fallacies:

Genetic fallacy:

Definition: "The genetic fallacy is committed when an idea is either accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than its merit."

Instance: "I just received an interesting email, and I want to share it with you because it eloquently articulates the Satanic hiss behind the new emerging spirituality."

This particular critique of the emerging church seems to be based on a false New Age prophet's use of the term "emergence" and the apparent connection to a similar source for some of the ideas that float around EC. These ideas ought to be critiqued on their own merit, not because of the source of the terminology. [The discussed email is from Neale Donald Walsch, a "higher order false prophet on the scene today" (to quote Ingrid), not from anyone in EC. As a side note, Walsch seems to make no claims of connection to Jesus (I searched each page for "Jesus"), while ECers most certainly do.]

Slippery Slope:

Definition: "Slippery slope arguments falsely assume that one thing must lead to another."

Instance: "I want to point out that those emerging church leaders who are now denying basic doctrines, like the doctrine of hell, in the case of Brian McLaren, are serving as those who soften up the soil for those like Neale Donald Walsch to plant their deadly seed."
This particular critique of EC seems to assume that questioning certain understandings of doctrines will lead to New Age belief. There is no necessary connection. One might question a particular, traditional understanding of the nature of hell and never move beyond there.


I've disabled comments on this post; please discuss at Slice. The discussions there generally cover the issue quite well and, honestly, she has many more readers.


See CC License

“Unless otherwise noted Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” http://www.esv.org/