The term Biblicist has a broad definition. However in this article, I’ll address the Biblicist as a Christian who claims to be neither Calvinist or Arminian and believes that the Bible alone is the only and final authority. You can find them in some fundamental, independent or Bible Baptist circles . They encourage us to be one rather than choose the two, because for them, the Biblicist stand is the biblical one. While it might look noble and virtuous, however by testing the Biblicist position with these five questions, you’ll be surprised that it won’t hold water.
Are you just ignoring the issue?
Some believers just don’t want to be caught in this controversial topic, so they use the position as a trump card to dismiss it. Rather than look at it as an opportunity to have a meaningful discussion and to hear both sides of the issue, they resort it by saying that they are a Biblicist. Well this is not merely an exercise of choosing which side. It’s a question on who or what is biblically sound.
Are you just ignorant of the issue?
Yet some don’t have any clue of the matter. So they jump on the bandwagon to fellow Christians who hold the Biblicist position without thinking it over. However, the first question and this one doesn’t solve the issue, rather it leads to further anti intellectualism that is so prevalent in this group.
How do you define the Biblicist view?
Whenever I hear someone explain what a Biblicist is, some automatically quote 1 Timothy 3: 16-17, then declare that their belief is on the Bible alone in matters of Christian living, ministries and doctrine. If by defining Biblicist means that you adhere to Scripture alone as the final authority, then a Calvinist can also be called Biblicist (Remember the 5 Solas include Sola Scriptura). In fact, looking at their theological richness biblically and historically, Calvinism fits in that category. And please don’t appeal on the catechisms or confessions and view it as equal to Scriptures. You’ll end up misrepresenting the Reformed view. I can’t speak for the Arminian but I believe they will also appeal and say that the Bible is their final authority. So by that they are also Biblicist.
What are the basic doctrines a Biblicist adherent to?
As a Calvinist I can point out the doctrine of grace through the TULIP acrostics. As for the Arminians, well I’m not sure but as I check out the web, some might sum it up with the acrostic DAISY (Diminished Depravity, Abrogated Election, Impersonal Atonement, Sedentary grace and Yieldable Justification) although our Arminian friends might disagree. So how about our Biblicist friends? What doctrinal points can they show that is neither Calvinistic or Arminianistic? If they claim to be neural from both and scriptural at the same time, then they have to present something distinct from the two.
Which brings us to the last question….
Are you just a closet Arminian?
When push becomes a shove, a Biblicist will try to defend their position against a Calvinist. As they defend their position, you’ll notice that their counter arguments are similar with that of an Arminian. Sure, they might not believe in losing ones salvation (neither some Arminians), however by looking at what doctrines they stand you can easily say that they’re defending Arminianism. They might say they don’t but in reality they are.
As we question the so-called Biblicist position, we can see that rather than untangling themselves from the issue they further thrown into confusion. Rather side stepping the issue why not confront it. Try studying it, checking the Scriptures and praying for it. By then we will really understand and know the issue.