Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What does "biblical Christianity" mean to evangelical Protestants, and does it entail the emphasis on and especial attention to sola scriptura?

I think this question is important, because it may be jargon for something in the evangelical Protestant culture.

share|improve this question
6  
What does "Biblical Christianity" mean to Evangelical Protestants? It means Evangelical Protestantism. :-) –  DJClayworth Feb 16 at 21:34
    
Typically we mean that the sensus plenoir should be obvoius to everyone, and that it exactly fits what we do. Except when we don't. In which case, the plain sense needs some modification. –  Affable Geek Feb 19 at 23:11
    
Biblical Christianity is Sola Scriptura –  Clifford May 9 at 21:37
    
To Evangelicals "Biblical Christianity" means rabid faith-alonism. Rejection of baptism as non-essential. Reject of any notion of free-will. Rejection of any notion of cooperation with God's grace. In short, what they really mean by it is Calvinism. Maybe a slightly dumbed down Calvinism that they don't choose to call that (for obvious PR reasons) but Calvinism none-the-less. –  david brainerd Jun 13 at 4:43
add comment

2 Answers 2

Biblical Christianity vs. un-Biblical Christianity

In regards to protestantism, Biblical Christianity could probably be defined or characterized by how one would describe un-Biblical Christianity. What is unbiblical Christianity? It is Christianity (or the claim thereof) that lives or teaches something in contradiction to Scripture.

Naturally, to conclude that something contradicts the truth of the Scripture, one must have an idea of what is meant (ultimately, by God) by what is written. That involves fallible humans, and therein is a source of inconsistency and disunity.

In general, Biblical Christianity means that you live and believe things consistent with the testimony of Scripture. Though some might claim something as narrow as @Anonymous ("whatever-I-believe-in"), I don't think this is what is meant by most people who use the phrase. They are, at least, claiming that what they believe is not their own idea, but is taken from the Bible.

A related phrase, "that's [not] Biblical," answers the question as to whether or not an idea is compatible, harmonious, or incompatible with the Scripture. For people who claim to hold to sola scriptura, the Bible is the ultimate check of any idea, and so everything a Christian believes and does should "be Biblical" because those things should all be harmonious (or at least compatible—an allowance for people who don't agree with you but whose conclusions are at least a reasonable interpretation) with the testimony of Scripture.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I was flipping through Christianity For Dummies the other day, and I noticed that the author of the book liked to use the term "biblical Christianity," which then made me suspicious about his usage of the term. He claimed that he would write from a neutral perspective and admitted that he came from an "evangelical Protestant" background, but after reading a couple of excerpts, I had the feeling that this guy seemed to conflate evangelical Protestantism and Christianity as a whole. One example was when he said that God intended to save people from Hell without specifying any source where he got that information. I conjectured that people would be saved from sin, not from Hell, which then made me wonder whether there was a difference between "sin" and "Hell". Additionally, some Christian denominations, such as Jehovah's Witness or Seventh Day Adventist, reject Hell; therefore, I felt that the author wasn't doing his research and stopped reading.

Anyway, given that the author comes from an evangelical Protestant frame of mind, "biblical Christianity" is likely a code word for "everything-that-agrees-with-whatever-I-believe-in" with a strong emphasis on sola scriptura.

share|improve this answer
    
Well, you could surely say that about almost any book on any controversial subject: Unless the writer is very carefully distinguishing "group A believes X while group B believes Y", and is being meticulously fair, he is going to end up saying that the "rational" view or the "scientific" view or the view that "most experts say", etc, is the view that he agrees with. –  Jay Feb 18 at 6:39
1  
Of course there's a difference between "sin" and "Hell": Hell is a place while sin is an action. But it's perfectly reasonable to talk about being "saved" from both. If we say someone is "saved from Hell" we mean he won't be condemned to go there. If we say he is "saved from sin" we might mean that he is saved from judgement for his sin, in which case that's just another way of saying "saved from Hell"; or we might mean that he is saved from earthly consequences of sin, like a ruined and wasted life. –  Jay Feb 18 at 6:42
    
@Jay Some Christians (i.e. Jehovah's Witnesses) don't believe in Hell. –  Anonymous Mar 17 at 20:34
    
Whether or not you believe that Hell exists shouldn't prevent you from rationally discussing the nature of the place, or I suppose I should say what people who do believe it exists believe to be the nature of the place. I don't believe there's such a place as Atlantis but I still acknowledge that it is supposed to be a place west of the Pillars of Hercules, ruled by King Atlas, consisting of rings of land and sea, etc. A more serious issue would be to point out that there are people who say that Hell is a state of mind and not a place, etc. –  Jay Mar 17 at 21:14
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.