James Renihan On The Problem Of Biblicism

D.B. Riker provides a helpful definition: “biblicism is the rejection of everything not explicitly stated in the Bible, and the dismissal of all non-biblical witnesses (Fathers, Creeds, Medieval Doctors, councils, etc.)”

…But here is the problem: This whole method is based upon a form of personal¬†independence, or even self-confidence. Doesn’t it ever cross anyone’s mind that they aren’t necessarily the wisest theologian, the best exegete and most insightful commentator? Don’t they stop to think about God and His purposes? Has the Lord chosen me to know truth that has been hidden from others? Such self-confidence is really arrogance-unbridled and oftentimes evil. It misleads self and others. Is the Christian faith reduced to my conclusions? What right do I have, alone and unaided to think that my reading and study perfectly meshes with the mind of God? Jesus and me with a Bible under a tree-perhaps a romantic notion, but a dangerous and potentially damning notion.*

*Richard Barcellos (ed.), The Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors’ Conference Papers (Palmdale, CA: Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2013), 114,119.


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