Another Topoi . . . .

Definitions Contributed or Caused  Contributed or Caused

“Topoi” give a speaker the ability to clarify or establish a point.  For a further understanding of this classical rhetorical concept, refer to some of the previous or earliest articles.

Topoi: This “topos” could be called . . .

  • “Contributes, But Not Caused By”
  • “Contributes Not Causal”
  • “Contributed or Caused”
  • “Contributed Is Not Caused”


Explanation:  There are factors, dynamics, or elements which have a proximity or relationship to something else, but do not have a causal relationship.  It-They may be a contributing factor, but not a-the cause of.  The cause is ____?___.

Usage:  This topos can be used . . . .

  • in making a point
  • for giving clarity
  • for developing a truth
  • in building an argument
  • creating an introduction
  • in driving home a truth
  • in a conclusion
  • etc.


Exemplified:  Tony Evans, in a message titled “Freedom From Irresponsibility” exemplifies that “topos.”


(audio clip — Tony Evans irresponsibility @1:23 minute mark of the full message)
You hear it so much today — in everybody blaming everyone but themselves for the predicament they’re in.
Kids will blame parents for the way they are today
folks with lung cancer will blame cigarettes for their disease 
blacks will blame whites or vice versa 
poor will blame the rich 
and all of us join Flip Wilson in blaming the devil.
That is certainly not to suggest that they are not elements of truth — that there have been contributing circumstances to my circumstance today.
But if our discussion is freedom  — If you spend all your time blaming — the influences that have put you in the situation today you’ll never get around to taking responsibility for getting out of it.
Now you can take that same “topos” and stow it away in your mind, and call it up as you prepare a speech or a message, along with other “topos.”  The “topos” is worthy of consideration when working on a message which has nothing to do with what Tony Evans is preaching or teaching.
Let’s Try
Let’s use II Kings 7 — the account of the four lepers sitting outside the city gate of Samaria.
“These four lepers were outcast, seated outside of a city that was under siege by the Syrian army.  They make a choice to go to the camp of the Syrians and see if they can get at least some food and water.
It was not the hoplessness of their leprous condition.  That contributed!
It was not the desperate situation that caused them to do that.  It contributed!
It was not their discussion that caused them to get up and walk to that camp.  It surely contributed.
It was not the persuasion of one of the lepers, which convinced all four to get up and see what would happen.  It contributed!
It was not the crazy suggestion of the most adventuresome of the lepers.  That might well have contributed!
It was not hopelessness.
It was not desperation.
It was not a discussion.
It was not someone’s persuasion.
It was not the adventurous suggestion of one of them.
Yes, these all contributed, but what caused the four lepers to walk into the camp of the Syrian army was determination — the refusal to just accept the situation as it was, a decision that if they were going to die, they would like to decide how they would die.”
OR using a New Testament Passage — I Timothy 6:9-11 (just happen to have this passage up on my screen)
“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
It is not the riches which cause a snare.
It is not money which results in many hurtful lusts.
What drowns men is not even the temptations which accompany possessions.
It is not even the love of money or the “will to be rich” . . . .
They all were contributors, but are not the cause!
The cause is the evil  — the all kinds of evil
The love of money is the root, but it is the evil things people do which sinks people — which destroys, drown, results in many sorrows.
Ultimately, the cause is the evils which come out of the root.
The evil is the fruit.
It is when the love of money opens up the door the evil actions and the lover of money yields to the temptations


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