The Problem With Boxes

For several reasons I don't do very well with being categorized. Part of it is my generation; part of it is my desire to be an individual rather than a statistic; part of it is my uneasiness about the baggage that comes with categorizations. 

My experience is this: when people put themselves in a box, they normally do it because they identify with the majority of the people inside the box with them. They identify with the core of the box. 

When people outside the box look at the box, they only identify the people on the fringe. 

In that way, boxes are inherently unhelpful. If they are only helpful once you've established you agree, the box is no longer necessary.

For example, characterizing oneself as a "Calvinist" would only be helpful in conversations with other Calvinists. People outside the Calvinist box would generally assume that a "Calvinist" is a hateful fatalist who doesn't believe in evangelism - they would identify the "box" by the fringe. 

Characterizing oneself as a "Dispensationalist" would normally only be helpful to a person who is like-minded. Otherwise, you're in the same box as the wigs on TBN and the person who wrote the book "88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be in 1988" and the "89 Reasons..." sequel. 

Rather than jumping in a box, it is far easier to say, "Lots of people define those categories differently. Here is what I believe..."