Masquerades #5: Biblicism

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Tim Lane and Paul Tripp, in their book How People Change, have a chapter in the beginning called The Gospel Gap in which they identify Christian externalism as a false replacement for gospel-shaped, Christ-confident, and change-committed Christianity.  There are 7 things that surface which deceptively replace authentic Christianity that these few blog posts will share as I quote from the book:

5. Biblicism

John is a biblical and theological expert. His theological library includes rare, antique Christian volumes, and he is always seeking to buy first editions. John frequently uses phrases like “biblical worldview,” “theologically consistent,” and “thinking like a Christian.” He loves the Bible (which is a very good thing), but there are things in John’s life that don’t seem to fit.

Despite his dedicated study of Christianity, John isn’t known for being like Christ. He has a reputation for being proud, critical, and intolerant of anyone who lacks his fine-grained understanding of the faith. John endlessly critiques his pastor’s sermons and unnerves Sunday School teachers when he enters the room.

In John’s Christianity, communion, dependency, and worship of Christ have been replaced by a drive to master the content of Scripture and systematic theology. John is a theological expert, but he is unable to live by the grace he can define with such technical precision. He has invested a great deal of time and energy mastering the Word, but he does not allow the Word to master him. In biblicism, the gospel is reduced to a mastery of biblical content and theology.

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