Morgan Guyton has a very strong (and, in my view, entirely justified) reaction to the abuse of the term “biblical.”
… In how many other “Bible” churches out there has “Biblical” become a code-word for an ideological platform that serves a purpose completely foreign to God’s mission but cherry-picks verses out of the Biblical text to justify itself?
Good question! (Of course, his question follows an example.)
Nonetheless I want to sound another warning: Let’s watch out about the abuse of the word “unbiblical” as well.
Declaring something unbiblical also requires a view on what the Bible does and does not require, but instead of declaring a particular view in bounds, it declares it out of bounds. It can be abused in the same way. The word “biblical” is a positive adjective which tends to lead people to accept a statement, even if it has no biblical warrant. “Unbiblical” is a negative adjective (in most churches) which tends to make people reject an idea, even without biblical warrant.
So am I saying one can never use the adjective “biblical?” No. What I am suggesting is that many of us use it, and its opposite, too much. We use it as a sort of shorthand for “you ought to believe this” (or not), rather than as a statement backed by the appropriate study and research.
Instead, I suggest that we skip the adjective and do the work. If you provide a sound backing from the Bible, appropriately interpreted, for what you say, others can apply the adjective “biblical” to it. If not, well, not so much!