Beyond labels

This is Funny stuff. It reminded me of what we learned about Hillary Clinton in a breathless and unintentionally hilarious old Washingon Post profile (“Hillary Clinton’s Inner Politics,” May 6, 1993). The first line of the article is one of the great howlers of modern journalism:

It just happened, slipped out- from deep inside of her-in a quiet but stunning way.

I could lovingly quote the article’s comedy further, but to get to the point, Mrs. Clinton is eventually quoted thusly:

My politics are a real mixture… An amalgam. And I get so amused when these people try to characterize me: She is this, therefore she believes the following 25 things. … Nobody’s ever stopped to ask me or try to figure out the new sense of politics that Bill and a lot of us are trying to create. The labels are irrelevant. And yet, the political system and the reporting of it keep trying to force us back into the boxes because the boxes are so much easier to talk about. You don’t have to think. You can just fall back on the old, discredited Republican versus Democrat, liberal versus conservative mindsets.

By now I know what you’re thinking: “Put the pipe down, Hillary.” But seriously, the point is this: it pays to regard those who will not let themselves be defined concretely with much caution. It’s been my experience that those who claim to have moved beyond labels are up to no good.

Those who take issue with the Emergent Church Movement, which is mostly repackaged liberalism, are told that they just don’t get it. All attempts to clearly define terms are rebuffed (just like Arius).

I get the same “you don’t get it” vibe from the far more erudite Federal Vision folks. Every time someone tries to take them to the woodshed, they seem to get buried under an avalanche of theological gobbledegook (at least to my limited ears). It turns out that our best theologians in the OPC and the PCA don’t “get” it either. If they can’t get it, how is a ninny like me going to get it?

Uncle. A man must understand his limitations. I’ve yet to meet an actual proponent anyway.

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