Biblicism, Bibliolatry, and EGW
by Stephen Foster
Whatever else may be said of her and her writings, the ‘problem’ with Ellen White is that she affirms the Bible.
Which of course begs the question, why is this, or why would this (or how could this) be considered a problem?
Well, obviously it is not a problem for everyone; but it is a huge, impenetrable, insurmountable problem for some of you/us.
If there ever was someone apparently ‘guilty’ of bibliolatry, it had to be her. Of course, I do not believe that there is such a thing as bibliolatry; but if there is, she committed it.
It is seemingly not possible to distinguish between worshipping God and learning of Him. We learn of Him through His Spirit. His Spirit inspired the God-chosen men to write that which we find in Scripture. What we find in Scripture is God.
But supposing that you don’t buy this, and you think that it is indeed possible to distinguish between worshipping God and that which we are encouraged to do in Matthew 11:29 and 2 Timothy 2:15; then White did it—she seems to have reverenced the Bible as God’s words.
It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that Ellen White believed that the Bible represented the Word of God. She seemingly believed that the Bible has, or represents, and/or is a conduit for, transformational power to those who study it.
“The earth itself is not more richly interlaced with veins of golden ore than is the field of revelation with veins of precious truth. The Bible is the storehouse of the unsearchable riches of God. But those who have a knowledge of the truth do not understand it as fully as they might. They do not bring the love of Christ into the heart and life. The student of the Word finds himself bending over a fountain of living water. The church needs to drink deeply of the spirituality of the Word.” MS 117, 1902
Since Jesus claimed to be the Source of that “water welling up into eternal life;” if this isn’t elevating the Bible as representative of, and a source of the living water that Christ claimed to represent, what is?
The question then is, was she right? Should the Bible indeed be held in such lofty esteem, such that we should actually consider it to be the holy Bible?
If the Bible is to be considered holy; if it is indeed representative of the Word of God; if it is actually inspired and brought to us by God (by way of holy men of His); then how is it possible for Biblicism or bibliolatry to be considered pejoratives?
Personally, I think they are pejoratives simply because the enemy would prefer that we not take the Bible as seriously as it should be taken; and that’s all. I’m curious as to what others think.