Polemics Terms




DEFINITION Proximity Bias is the phenomenon of individuals believing that being close to a particular false teacher, false teaching or misbehavior somehow changes the acceptability of the teacher, teaching or behavior. Proximity Bias is an inconsistent jump in logic that is common among followers of particularly prominent teachers. EXAMPLES Attenders […]

Polemics Terms: Proximity Bias



DEFINITION The Charismatic Window is a metaphor for the way nefarious or sub-biblical teaching enters into a church or an individual’s mind because they are a “cautious continuationist,” being open to the possibility of the continuance of the Apostolic Sign Gifts or new revelation. One who doesn’t want to automatically discount such […]

Polemics Terms: Charismatic Window


THE TERM, OFTEN MISUSED In polemics conversations, there are often accusations of gossip against those reporting on theological or behavioral error. In this sense, “gossip” is often misdefined as: Something spoken about someone that can be perceived as negative; something not helpful to their public image. Slander is often a […]

Polemics Terms: Gossip


IMPROPER USE A “Pharisee,” according to many who misuse the term, is a “legalist” who believes in morality and/or being theologically correct. EXAMPLES A discerning Christian points out that maybe Hillsong Church’s youth pastor shouldn’t have got on stage and danced as a naked cowboy and she is called a […]

Polemics Terms: Pharisee



DEFINITION Position Blindness is when an altogether otherwise doctrinally-sound individual, because of entangling allegiances or personal prejudices (good or bad), cause someone to be “blind” regarding a particular sin, false teaching, false teacher or problem in general. Position Blindness does not reflect on the individual’s over-all soundness or teaching, because […]

Polemics Terms: Position Blindness


THE POLEMICS DEFINITION “Slander” is a term improperly used by many who oppose discernment or criticism in a way that colloquially means, “something I don’t like hearing” or “something that is spoken or written ill of someone I like.” IMPROPER USAGE Example: An article about Hillsong Church’s cover-up of homosexuals leading […]

Polemics Terms: Slander


DEFINITION Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Relevant” as 1) having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand, b)  affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion (c )  having social relevance. However, when used in evangelicalism, it carries the polemical definition of the following: Inherent coolness*; being trendy and […]

Polemics Terms: Relevant



DEFINITION Nuance is defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “a very small difference in color, tone, meaning, etc.” However, when the term is often used by leading evangelicals, the Polemical Definition is as follows: The ability to project vagueness on matters that are theologically clear in order to be more palatable […]

Polemics Terms: Nuance


DEFINITION The Evangelical Intelligentsia are those who purport to be smarter or more distinguished academically than most local church leaders. Typically, the Evangelical Intelligentsia consists of those not in exclusive ministry to local churches, serving instead academic institutions or parachurch ministries. HISTORY Peter Berger coined that phrase in The Emerging Evangelical […]

Polemics Terms: Evangelical Intelligentsia


Deconstruction is a common tactic among many cults or sub-Christian sects. Common among the Emergent Church, Sectarian Minimalists and Restorationists in particular, the error is not confined to them and permeates the thinking of many who deny the validity of Historic Theology. Most post-modern theology engages in some degree of […]

Polemics Terms: Deconstruction



DEFINITION “Website Orthodox” refers to a nefarious Bible-twister or false teacher having an orthodox statement of faith on their website, but ignoring it entirely in their body of work, sermons, books or teachings. Someone might say, “Rick Warren is Website Orthodox,” meaning what they teach is different than what they […]

Polemics Terms: Website Orthodox



DEFINITION Context Mining is an attempt, when polemicists or discerning Christians reveal video clips or quotations from individuals that indicate heresy or false doctrine, in which defenders of the individual claim that “context” would explain away the problem when – in fact – context does precisely the opposite. While context is always, always, […]

Polemics Terms: Context Mining



DEFINITION What is Downgrade? Downgrade is a colloquial expression meant to convey a doctrinal dumbing-down or theological slide into apostasy. The term denotes a rapid decline in orthodoxy or the approval of heterodoxy that would not have been approved long before. USE For well over one hundred years, Southern Baptists […]

Polemics Terms: Downgrade


DEFINITION What is a Single-Issue Discerner? A single-issue discerner is one who discerns right from wrong in only one particular area of theology, but may be blind toward problems in other areas. EXAMPLES A Calvinist may be a single-issue discerner when it comes to Calvinism, believing that “Calvinist = good” and […]

Polemics Terms: Single-Issue Discerner