Calling all "Biblicists"

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Siegfried, Oct 17, 2002.

  1. Siegfried

    Siegfried
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    The term "Biblicist" gets thrown around a lot as a moderate position between Calvinism and Arminianism. For those who call themselves Biblicists, I have some questions:

    1. What exactly does the term mean? I think most people who believe the Bible would say that they believe what they do because the Bible teaches it. What is distinct about a "Biblicist"?

    2. Do you also call yourself a "Baptist" or a "Fundamentalist" or some other extra-biblical label? Why do you not just call yourself an "across-the-board Biblicist"?

    3. How does the label "Biblicist" distinguish you from Calvinists or Arminians? Have you met people from those groups who would consider themselves NOT to be "Biblicists."

    I'll appreciate your perspective. I'm not trying to attack what you believe in this thread. I do want to hear the case for why that label is valid.
     
  2. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    Siegfried,

    Calvinism and Arminianism are both systems of doctrine formulated by men. As a rule, Calvinists readily admit to being Calvinists, proudly wear the name, and are not ashamed to say they follow the teachings of Calvin on the doctrine of predestination and election.

    The majority of Baptists do not believe in Calvinistic theology but neither do they believe in Arminian theology. It is totally dishonest for Calvinists to refer to all non-Calvinists as "Arminians" - as if a man had to be one or the other. To do so is as ridiculous as it would be to call a Campbellite a Roman Catholic because they both believe in baptismal regeneration.

    Though I am not a Calvinist neither am I an Arminian. I believe what the Bible teaches about salvation without regard to what either Calvin or Arminus taught. Though both of these men may have taught some things correctly, their doctrinal system is so corrupt as to constitute "another gospel" from the gospel taught in the Bible.

    When the Calvinists insist on the dishonest practice of referring to all non-Calvinists as "Arminians" it only serves as a smokescreen to cloud the real issues in the minds of those who are not familiar with what Arminianism really is.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Mark,

    There are two broad categories with regards to soteriology. There are calvinists and arminians. The distinction deals with whether or not you believe in God's sovereignty in salvation. I am a biblicist; I believe Scripture. There I fall in the broad category of Calvinist. These categories in reality deal very little with the men themselves but rather with the ideas defined by their names.

    Biblicist as typically used is for people who either 1) do not understand the issues involved; or 2) do not want to identify themselves with the position they hold. Biblicist is a useless term because it says nothing. We know that people claim to believe the Bible. We want to know what people believe the Bible teaches. Therefore we use other names to make it easy.

    I have read enough of what you have posted on here to identify you are an arminian. That's shouldn't be a problem for you. It is simply what you believe, or at least what you said that you believe. It is like being a baptist (or any other label that someone might attache to you). It describes what you believe very quickly. That should be to your benefit.
     
  4. Siegfried

    Siegfried
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    Mark,

    Guess what. So do the Calvinists and the Arminians. The names they use to describe themselves are simply shorthand for explaining the basic perspective they're coming from, not an indication of some kind of hero worship.

    I've met a lot of people who call themselves Calvinists and some who call themselves Arminians, and not one has ever suggested that they believe as they do because of the teachings of Calvin or Arminius. Most of them have never read one word of either!

    The point is that both self-acclaimed Calvinists and Arminians believe what they do because it's what they think the Bible teaches. I've never heard one of them refer to the writings of Calvin or Arminius in an argument, but both invariably interact with the text of Scripture. (Some interact more effectively than others, it is true.)
     
  5. Daniel David

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    In the circles I have been in, the following is true in regards to the term "biblicist":

    1. You believe in some kind of depravity (although it would range from total to partial to sickly).

    2. You believe in eternal security.

    3. You do not like unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistable grace.

    4. You think you are a champion for biblical accuracy because you don't use the terms "calvinist" and "arminian".

    Out like the meaningfulness of the term "biblicist".
     
  6. Mark Osgatharp

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    Larry,

    Says who?

    Mark Osgatharp

    [ October 17, 2002, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: Mark Osgatharp ]
     
  7. Daniel David

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    Mark, Calvinism has certain tenets that you do not hold to.

    I would venture a guess and say you do not embrace the normal calvinistic understanding of the following:

    a)Unconditional election; b)Limited atonement; and c)Irresistable grace.

    I not, you are not a calvinist and are by default, an arminian. Just because you deny it, doesn't mean you are not one.

    Alot of people say one thing about themselves only to have everyone else know otherwise. Call yourself whatever you want. If you don't hold to calvinistic beliefs, you are an arminian. The two groups are diametrically opposed to the each other.

    It is nothing to be afraid of. If you are a 2point calvinist, or a 3point arminian, or maybe even a 5point biblicist, man up to it. [​IMG]

    I am just kidding. We all use terms to identify beliefs about us. I am a calvinistic, fundamentalist, dispensational Baptist. That pretty much lets people know my beliefs.
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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  9. Siegfried

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    Pastor Larry,

    Are you sure "Mark Osgathorp" wasn't his answer to the question, "Says who?" I took it that he was agreeing with you. ;)
     
  10. ScottEmerson

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    I don't by the fact that everyone is either Calvinist or Arminian. That is an oversimplification. I can see why Calvinists would wish it to be so, but Arminians would follow the 5-points of the Remonstrants specifically, just like Calvinists would follow the 5-points of TULIP. If a person is 4-point Calvinist, that does not make him 1-point Arminian and vice versa.

    I disagree with Larry's assumption.
     
  11. KenH

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    Isn't a four-point Calvinist nicknamed an Amyraldian?

    Let's face it, the average person in the pew has no definable theology as they have never put that much thought into it. Most people spend their time on shallow, light pop Christian reading.

    Most of what we spend our time on in this forum the average person in the pew wouldn't have the foggiest notion what(or why) we were arguing about.

    May God bless 'em. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
     
  12. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Scott, if you had read what I said you would understand that I am not talking about specific agreements with numbers of points. I am talking about broad categories about salvation with respect to who is in charge of it. There are only two positions: 1) God is in charge (it is nicknamed calvinism); 2) man is in charge (it is nicknamed arminianism). Where is your third category? I am not suggesting that you toe the line of 5 points of arminianism. I am suggesting that your general worldview has man in charge of who gets saved. That is called arminianism.

    And yes, Ken, Amyraldians are generally 4 pointers. But it is not as much fun becuase if you call someone an amyraldian, no one knows what you are talking about.

    [ October 17, 2002, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  13. KenH

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    Excellent point, Pastor Larry. [​IMG]

    It can also be described as one either believes in salvation by free grace or believes in salvation by free will.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite

    [ October 17, 2002, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    We do oversimplify the terms "Calvinism" and "Arminianism" and use them to broadly define two opposing views of soteriology. These are quick "shorthand" terms that can be helpful in the short run, but actually become confusing in the long run. It simply is not true that there are just two views of soteriology. In another thread (http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=35;t=000289), I attempted to define some of the terms used in soteriological discussions (e.g. Arminianism, Calvinism, Amyraldism, Pelagianism, etc.). You may not exactly agree with all the definitions, but it does serve to show the variations of soteriological belief, however subtle. For in-depth discussions we need to get beyond the terms "Calvinism" and "Arminianism," because they do not sufficiently describe what many people believe, and often cause us to misrepresent the views of others. I may strongly disagree with your viewpoint, but it is not fair for me to misrepresent you as believing something you do not. It is a shame that "Calvinism" does not simply mean the "five points" or "tulip", and that "Arminianism" does not simply mean the five articles of Remonstrance. If a person is a four-pointer or three-pointer or two-pointer, he just isn't a five-pointer, is he? Sometimes a person may have to say, "I'm not really a Calvinist or an Arminian - here is what I believe about these things," and then lay them out for all to see.

    Back to the original question - "Biblicist" is a wonderful term that reminds all of us that we are more interested in what the Bible teaches than what Amyraut, Arminius, Calvin, or Pelagius taught (or Spurgeon or Graves). But as far as describing any concrete beliefs are far as soteriology is concerned - it simply does not do it! Siegfried, on your questions I would say that [1] Biblicist means that one believes (or thinks he believes) the Bible on the issue of soteriology; [2] it means one does not wish to be called or identified as either a Calvinist or an Arminian; [3] it means that the one using the term thinks he is right and others differing are wrong (which pretty well describes all of us :D ).
     
  15. ForumChaplain

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    God is in charge, a term used to beautify Calvinism. Man in in charge, a derogeratory term held by no one that i know. Assigned by Calvinist to help give credence to their position untill they can find it in the bible.

    I have been kicked out of both houses, but i found solace in another house.. Christs....
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    So do you believe that God or man is in charge of who gets saved?? You have consistently argued that it is in man's hands. Are you now going to deny that and change positions or will you stick with it??

    You have not been kicked out of any house. You have built your own and you live quite comfortably in it, which is fine. As you continue to interact with Scripture, I hope that you will continue to refine your house, as I have.

    _____________________

    With due respect to my friend Robert, while I agree that the two terms are grossly oversimplified, this is not a discussion that warrants the finer distinctions that you make. Even as you have defined it, there are still two broad categories. The various nuances serve to refine the theological understanding of one's position. For instance, I am Calvinist but am probably more properly an Amyraldian though I comfortably swing back and forth. However, I do not believe in the priority of regeneration. I believe that faith and repentance precede regeneration. I believe that the effectual call is a sufficient unilateral enablement to bring about faith and repentance. I am in the minority of Calvinists with that view and some would even doubt my calvinism because of it. However, I remain unconvinced that there are more than two broad categories.
     
  17. rlvaughn

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    Pastor Larry, I basically agree that there are two broad categories. But I think it is a mistake to say that "Calvinism" and "Arminianism" are the two categories. They may be representative of the categories, but I do not think they are the two categories. This may be a fine distinction, but I believe a necessary one for fruitful discussion.

    I would consider salvation by grace and salvation by works to be the two broad soteriological categories.
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    I don't have a problem with this though the arminians won't like it. I would suggest salvation by grace vs. salvation by merit. That way the arminians can't object to being labeled as "works salvationists." It is clear that they place merit in man by virtue of man's unilateral choice to be saved.
     
  19. Siegfried

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    Back to topic.

    Here's the point. Calling yourself a Biblicist says nothing about what you believe, because it distinguishes you from no other believer who bases his theology on the Bible (or at least makes some attempt to do so).

    We can argue whether there is a logically consistent position between Calvinism and Arminianism, but if that position exists, "Biblicist" is an empty and inadequate name for it.

    While I appreciate the sense that theology should be tied to the Word of God rather than a man's name, I am inclined to believe that calling oneself a Biblicist is intellectually dishonest. The clear implication is that "anyone who disagrees with me doesn't believe the Bible." Since I know many self-proclaimed "Biblicists," I understand that this is not their intent, so I must stop short of such an accusation.

    Is there another term you could use that would avoid hogging the moral high ground?
     
  20. Daniel David

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    How about preservationist? It discards any negative ideas and remains faithful to the Bible.
     

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