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Why I’m Not a Biblicist: Craig A. Carter joins Matthew Barrett for a Credo Colloquy

Welcome to the second Credo Colloquy, an exclusive dialogue between Credo Fellows. In this new series leading theologians engage one another on some of the most important issues in theology facing the church. In this second colloquy, editor-in-chief, Matthew Barrett sat down with Credo Fellow, Craig A. Carter.

In this conversation, Carter describes why he is not a “biblicist,” arguing that modern evangelical biblicism is in desperate need of a retrieval of classical metaphysics in order to avoid repeating the errors of the Radicals of the sixteenth century and overcome the revisionism of modern theology. The irony with biblicism is that it’s not biblical enough.

Using the illustration of a three-legged stool, Carter describes pro-Nicene theology as consisting of exegesis, doctrine, and metaphysics. Exegesis and doctrine may be strong in evangelical theology today, but many are lacking in their awareness of the importance of metaphysics in the task of theology. Without the metaphysics that informed our creedal heritage, evangelicals will be cut off from their roots, revising key doctrines of orthodoxy in light of modernity.

The question of roots is important. Do we see ourselves as possessing a heritage prior to the Reformation? Are we Protestants or not? Are we catholic? In order to be a Protestant, one must first be catholic.

We hope that you find this colloquy enlightening, and we encourage you to return in the future for many more conversations like this one. Thank you for joining us at the Credo Colloquy.

Craig A. Carter

Craig A. Carter is the author of Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition: Recovering the Genius of Premodern Exegesis (Baker Academic, 2018) and Contemplating God with the Great Tradition: Recovering Trinitarian Classical Theism (Baker Academic, 2021). He is currently writing a third volume in the Great Tradition trilogy on the recovery of Nicene metaphysics. Other upcoming projects include an introduction to Theology in the Great Tradition and a theological commentary on Isaiah. He serves as Research Professor of Theology at Tyndale University in Toronto and as Theologian in Residence at Westney Heights Baptist Church. His personal website is and you can follow him on Twitter.

Matthew Barrett

Matthew Barrett is the editor-in-chief of Credo Magazine, director of the Center for Classical Theology, and host of the Credo podcast. He is professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the author of several books, including Simply Trinity, which won the Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in Theology/Ethics. His new book is called The Reformation as Renewal: Retrieving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He is currently writing a Systematic Theology with Baker Academic.

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