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Obliged to make an exception here, they are as opposed to further innovations as the Arians have been to this, and years later Athanasius dissuades the Churches from the use of "hypostasis," urging the sufficiency of what Nicaea had written Tomus ad Antiochenos 5, 6. But Gregory of Nazianzus says explicitly: "It is permitted, for the sake of clarity, to coin new phrases" Orationes The remark is casual, the application trivial, and opposition to new terms will continue long afterward, on the plea of fidelity to Ephesus, or Trent, or Vatican I, as the case may be.

Theological Terminology

Still, a great principle has been uttered, and now a new mentality begins to appear among the Fathers. Augustine's writings are studded with Scripture, but he also forms terminology with such abandon as to be called the creator of theological language in the West. In the East John Damascene imports the terms of philosophy wholesale into theology and, eight centuries ahead of F. Mention may be made of Alan of Lille's Liber in distinctionibus dictionum theologicalium, called by Y.

Vacant et al. In general, with the bitterness of Nicaea long past and the principle of the differentiation of language not yet explicit, medieval theologians are not vividly aware of the way their language differs from that of Scripture. Even Saint Thomas Aquinas adverts only briefly to the need for new terms Summa theologiae 1a, The next real advance after patristic times occurs in our day with the emergence of the new sciences and the importing of their technical language into theology, e. More important still is the new historical sense grounding a grasp of differing thought patterns and language styles.

There is still some demand for total rejection of theological terms in favor of Biblical terms, but the best exegesis makes free use of non-Biblical terms to explain Biblical categories; and P. Tillich rightly inveighs against expositions of Scripture that use the terms created by the work of philosophers and then denounce the work that so much enriched their language [ Biblical Religion and the Search for Ultimate Reality Chicago 7]. The topic requires a general theory of language and its differentiations.

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If language is an expression of interiority for Saint Thomas, outer word corresponding to inner , its varieties are best set forth in terms of internal operations. A basic scheme of such operations centers on insight, the act of understanding [see under standing intellectus ] that has its agent object in the image and is formulated interiorly in the concept, which in turn is expressed exteriorly in language [B. Thomas Aquinas," Theological Studies 7 — 10 — 49 ]. The insight may be formulated in concepts or not formulated the difference of science and art ; the concept may be either descriptive or explanatory, according as it formulates the relations of things to the human subject hot, rising and setting sun or the relations of things to one another temperature, solar system , with insight and language naturally corresponding in each case [B.

Lonergan, Insight New York ]. It is an excellent resource for Christians at all levels of study. Pastors will find it a compact and dependable source of help for pulpit preparation, students will discover a wealth of information about theological terms and movements, Sunday school teachers will benefit from insights that give substance to their lessons, and everyone who loves the great doctrines of the faith will find the Dictionary of Theological Terms a constant source of instruction and enjoyment.

The third edition is revised from the second edition with almost one hundred new terms and expanded definitions of many of the other terms. And with the Logos edition, all Scripture references are linked to your preferred translation and topics can be searched instantly with the click of a mouse! Antrim, Northern Ireland. Romans Catholics believe that Mary was conceived without sin, was bodily assumed into heaven, and intercedes for Christians as their co-redeemer.

Monergists correctly assert that conversion is the single work of God. It is God who saves through Christ. It is God who creates faith through the hearing of the Gospel. As opposed to synergism. Synergists believe that conversion is a cooperative work between man and God see "Pelagianism". The fifth century heresy of Pelagius who taught that man is not totally corrupt and can be saved by an act of his own will see "Arminianism," "Monergism," "Revivalism," "Total Depravity". A movement that arose in the beginning of the 20th century resulting in the Pentecostal denominations.

Outline of Christian theology

Emphasized the second experience of the "baptism in the Holy Spirit," and the gifts of the Spirit, especially speaking in tongues. Forerunner of the modern Charismatic Movement see "Charismatics," "Glossolalia. God demands perfect righteousness but grants it as a gift. Charles Finney see "Revivalism" and the Holiness Churches see "Holiness Movement," "Sanctification" teach that a Christian can arrive at inherent spiritual perfection in this life.

Perfectionism undermines the truth of justification see "Justification" since the righteousness of Christ is unnecessary. The last point of "Five-Point Calvinism. Some Arminians see "Arminianism" teach a doctrine of Eternal Security or "once saved, always saved" based upon regeneration see "Regeneration" , not election. Once born-again, it is claimed that the Christian cannot be "unborn-again. Lutheranism teaches that a Christian can fall away by rejecting Christ. For Luther, eternal security was found in Christ.

The end-time belief that Jesus will physically return after post the Church has established his year reign in the earth see "Reconstructionism," "Theonomy".

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  • The end-time belief that Jesus will return physically to the earth to establish a year reign. Most pre-millennialists are dispensationalists see "Dispensationalism" who believe in the Rapture see "Rapture" and a literal seven year tribulation see "Tribulation in which the anti-Christ will appear. A popular modern men's movement with Charismatic roots see "Charismatic" calling Christian men to make seven promises relating to their Christian life see "Legalism".

    Propitiation literal: "causing one who has been justly hostile to another to become favorable via a payment. Jesus is our payment or "propitiation" see "Reconciliation," "Redemption". Redemption literal: "to buy back. A 19th century end-time notion based upon a faulty interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4: Rapturists believe that they will be "snatched" out of this world prior to the great tribulation see "Tribulation". Those who believe in a rapture are pre-millennialists see "Pre-millennialism" and are a thorn in the side of the post-millennialists. Theologically, because of the sacrificial see "Sacrifice," "Atonement" death of Jesus Christ, God has reconciled sinners unto himself.

    God has made us his friends because of Christ see "Propitiation". The Post-millennial see "Post-millennialism" teaching that the Church, by the preaching of the Gospel, will be enabled to reconstruct the culture around biblical laws see "Theonomy". A theology based upon the three solas literal: "alone" of the 16th century Reformation. We are saved by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone. These truths are drawn from Scripture Alone.

    Today there is a significant revival of Reformation theology to counter the experience-based theology of modern Evangelicalism see "Evangelicalism" and the Pelagianism see "Pelagianism" of Revivalism see "Arminianism," "Revivalism". The change that takes place in the Christian's life as a result of being brought to faith in Jesus Christ through the Gospel and being born-again see "Gospel," "Faith," "Regeneration," "Sanctification.

    Such renewal is merely begun in the Christian's life see "Perfectionism". We need to be born-again because we were born wrong in Adam the first time. The new birth is totally the work of God see "Monergism". Much controversy exists over when that new birth takes place. Lutherans believe in "baptismal regeneration" see "Baptism". Reformation theology see "Reformation Theology" teaches that repentance is the combination of contrition sorrow over sin and faith in the forgiveness of sins promised in Jesus Christ. Such repentance is the result of hearing the Law and the Gospel.

    Many Evangelicals see "Evangelicalism" erroneously teach that repentance is a human decision to forsake sin and live a moral life prior to coming to faith. Finney, a classic Pelagian, see "Pelagianism" taught that man is not dead in his trespasses and sin see "Decision Theology," "Total Depravity" but is capable of deciding to be a Christian. The new birth see "Regeneration" , according to Finney, was nothing more than an individual deciding to repent see "Repentance" and live a moral life.

    Finney was a perfectionist see "Perfectionism" who rejected the cardinal truth of justification see "Justification". His influence is widely felt today in much of Evangelicalism see "Evangelicalism". Sacrament literal: from the Latin sacramentum, "mystery".

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    • According to the Reformation perspective: A sacrament is a sacred act, instituted by the Lord Jesus, containing visible elements in which God promises and offers the forgiveness of sins. According to this definition, there are two sacraments: Baptism see "Baptism" and the Lord's Supper see "Lord's Supper". The Roman Catholic definition of a sacrament allows for five additional sacraments: Confession, confirmation, marriage, ordination, and last rites. God appointed sacrifices as a means whereby the guilty could offer acceptable worship.

      The idea of sacrifice pervades the whole Bible. Unbloody, such as 1 first-fruits and tithes; 2 meat and drink-offerings; and 3 incense. Bloody, such as 1 burnt-offerings; 2 peace-offerings; and 3 sin and trespass offerings.

      A Glossary of Theological Terms

      We learn from Hebrews that sacrifices had no inherent value or efficacy. They were the "shadow of good things to come" and pointed to Jesus' death on the cross. Salvation literal: "to be delivered, taken out of a snare, or set free. Salvation involves the totality of what God has done for us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have been delivered from sin, death, and the power of the devil. It is God who has saved us in Christ. As a theological category, sanctification defines the Christian life lived as a result of justification see "Justification".


      While justification and sanctification must be distinguished and not confused, they can never be divided. While justification is a completed work in Christ, sanctification is progressive. The transgression of God's Law. Original sin defines human nature see "Total Depravity". Actual sins are thoughts, words, and deeds contrary to God's Law or the failure to do the good that God commands.