ather than force Phil to spend time and money to find me, I'll post this here and let the dogs sniff it in their own back yard. The first place I want to start is the dictionary.
Bib-li-cal also Bib-li-cal adj.The word compares in scope and meaning to words like "constitutional" or "confessional": is means the object being described agrees with some other source document. Does it mean it is identical? No: it means it does not violate that source document.
1. Of, relating to, or contained in the Bible.
2. Being in keeping with the nature of the Bible, especially:
a. Suggestive of the personages or times depicted in the Bible.
b. Suggestive of the prose or narrative style of the King James Bible.
3. Very great in extent; enormous: a natural disaster of near biblical proportions.
In that, I have in the past had a discussion with a fellow who said this to me:
If I say that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the immaculate conception [sic] (or any other RCC distinctive), wouldn't you argue that such a belief is "unbiblical?"The answer is, "Yes, I would. I have in fact, as you know." The issue is whether the doctrine resembles what the Bible says or not -- and whether the matter is taken with the kind of weight the Bible places on such a thing.
Before I go on, this has some pretty significant implications on the link-trolling British blogger's discussion of the T4G affirmations and denials. In my view, when we spend time discussing things in an apologetical context, or in a "bunch of guys who are Christians chewing the fat" context, like Dr. Mohler's choice of words to describe the authority of Scripture rather than why we should desire God when he has spilled the righteous blood of Christ for us, that's like spending a $100 bill on sawdust. Pheh.
Let me give you a Protestant example of this biblical/unbiblical thing first, then we can turn to the matter of the Immaculate Conception (as one example, which this Roman Catholic person presented to me), and then sum up. There is a small KJVO Baptist sect (I would call them a cult, if that matters to you) that doesn't just demand baptism by immersion, but by "straightway" immersion, which is to say straight down and straight up -- because Mt 3:16 saith in KJV, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water".
You and I might laugh at these folks (I laughed when I met a fellow who told me this is what he believed), but they think that everyone else is going to hell because they have faulty baptisms. Now let me ask you: wouldn't you agree that's it's fine for them to perform the baptismal right "straightway", but that to demand that this is the only way baptism can rightly be performed is unbiblical? That is to say, the demand goes beyond the bounds of what the Bible teaches us and demands something that the Bible does not demand.
"Cent, how can you say such a thing?" you might say, astounded. "You are yourself a Baptist and would deny the infant baptisms of all Lutherans and Presbyterians -- not to mention Catholics! You're completely inconsistent and self-incriminating here!"
Well, if I thought all Lutherans and Presbyterians were going to hell based on the kind of baptism they are taking or giving, you might be right. The problem is that I don't think that at all: what I think is that baptism is for the believer, and it is an outward sign of an inward reality -- a symbol of identification with Christ done in obedience. So those who baptize infants might, in my view, put the cart before the horse, but they're not going to hell for it. They are allowed their mistake in that belief. The difference between me and the straightway advocate is that I allow for the fact that the method of baptism is secondary, and that there is no violation of the Gospel if one is sprinkled or dipped or comes up straight-way.
In that, let's consider the immaculate conception. You know something? Up until 1854 when Pius IX declared that anyone who disagreed with this was "condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church", I'd say that he is welcome to believe it as long as it doesn't lead one to lift Mary above the status of faithful human being. The 4 Bible texts Pius used to make his declaration are thin at best, but that's his faith: I leave it to him to work it out. However, when he makes the demand that those who reject this idea are "condemned, shipwrecked and separated", what he is saying is that the belief that Mary had no original sin is of equal importance and equal weight to the belief that Christ was both God and man, or that Christ rose from the grave.
What forces this belief into "unbiblical" rather than extra-biblical is the demand that it is an integral part of the faith. Just like the straight-ways who think that anyone dipped sideways, or who goes down forward and comes up, have fallen into Satan's snare of lies, the demand that everyone accept the immaculate conception as a core belief on-par with the Resurrection over-reaches the bounds of what the Bible teaches about saving faith.
One last pass at this for clarity's sake. The Bible certainly does not teach which operating system to use on your computer, or whether Linux, Mac or Windows is Christ's choice for computing output. However, I prefer Mac OS, and most people prefer Windows. Now which choice is "biblical"? None of them are. However, that does not mean that any of the are unbiblical -- unless someone demands that Mac OS is God's OS and all other PC users are heretics based on a very thin interpretation of Deu 32:10, Ps 17:8 and Prov 7:2.
At the place where we make demands that Scripture does not make, and burden people with rules that Scripture does not endorse, we have become unbiblical. Let's keep that in mind as we say we are people who are preaching and teaching the Gospel.