Monday, October 03, 2005

clarification on term "neolegalism"

I have realized that my use of the term "neolegalism" has caused some confusion and I wanted to clarify my use of the word. For the record, I wanted to reiterate what I was hoping I had said.

An alert reader of my blog stated " Not to wander too far off topic... but I think that Doug Phillips is on record as opposing the neolegalists."

In part, this is how I responded:

"I would be interested in reading anything that Doug Phillips has had to say about "neolegalists." I guess is all depends on how one defines legalism and then neolegalism. Of course, if you mean neolegalism to only mean the discussions surrounding the Auburn Avenue Controversy, of course Phillips, who does not believe in the baptism of infants, would not be one.

However, I am using this term in the broader sense. Wikopedia defines legalism in this way: "Legalism, in Christian theology, is a pejorative term referring to an improper fixation on law or codes of conduct, or legal ideas, usually implying an allegation of pride and the neglect of mercy, and ignorance of the grace of God."

I would use the term "neolegalism", then, to describe those people who, in their zeal for personal holiness within our post-modern world, superimpose their own application of Biblical principles on others, equating adherence to their own personal standards with another person's spirituality."

Hope that isn't clear as mud, as they say.


At 9:21 AM, Blogger John D said...


I did appreciate your clarification in the comments, earlier.

Thank you.

At 2:26 PM, Blogger prairie girl said...

You are welcome.


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