Yesterday I posted the following tweet:
Nobody should be allowed to say "that's not biblical" unless they can give a succinct, coherent, and orthodox statement regarding what it means to be biblical.
— Tentative Apologist (@RandalRauser) January 27, 2018
Some fellow with the Twitter handle @noah_nonsense replied by asking what was wrong with saying “That’s not biblical” without definition. I replied by citing two points:
1. in untold numbers of cases it reduces to “I don’t like that” which doesn’t have anything to do with the Bible, per se. 2. Too often labelling serves as a placeholder for actually thinking.
“What does it mean to check if one’s teaching is biblical? How does one do that?”
Noah, in turn, challenged me to define the criterion of biblical teaching to which I replied:
“I didn’t appeal to that criterion. You did. So the onus is upon you to define it.”
At that point, Noah said he thought he’d “smelled” heresy in my tweets and now he knew he was right! And with that, he promptly blocked me on Twitter (an act for which I’m grateful).
So I guess the answer is that you can smell unbiblical or heretical teaching. Apparently, it’s an olfactory kind of thing.
Frankly, I couldn’t have asked for a better illustration of the original point. If you are unable to define what it means to be biblical, then stop accusing people of failing to be biblical! And for goodness sake, don’t retreat to calling them heretics!