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Adoptionism is an error concerning Jesus that first appeared in the second century. Those who held it denied the preexistence of Christ and, therefore, His deity. Adoptionists taught that Jesus was tested by God and after passing this test and upon His baptism He was granted supernatural powers by God and adopted as the Son. As a reward for His great accomplishments and perfect character Jesus was raised from the dead and adopted into the Godhead. Please see Heresies for more information.
A priori
Knowledge, judgments, and principles which are true without verification or testing. It is universally true.
Teachings and practices that are neither commanded nor forbidden in scripture. An example might be whether or not to use a sound-board in a church, to meet in a tent or a building, to have two or more services or simply one on the day of worship
Any of a group of sects of the early Reformation period of the 16th century that believed in rebaptism of people as adults. Infant baptism was not recognized as valid and the Catholic Mass was rejected. Anabaptist means “one who baptizes again.” They believed in non-violence and opposed state run churches.
The word comes from the Greek anti, against, and nomos, law. It is the unbiblical practice of living without regard to the righteousness of God, using God's grace as a license to sin, and trusting grace to cleanse of sin. In other words, since grace is infinite and we are saved by grace, then we can sin all we want and still be saved. It is wrong because even though as Christians we are not under the Law (Rom. 6:14), we still fulfill the Law in the Law of love (Rom. 13:8,10; Gal. 5:14; 6:2). We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27) and, thereby, avoid the offense of sin which cost God His only begotten Son. Paul speaks against the concept of antinomianism in Rom. 6:1-2: "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?". We are not to use the grace of God as a means of sin. Instead, we are to be controlled by the love of God and in that way bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25).
An ancient theological error that appeared around the year 320. It taught that God could not appear on the earth, that Jesus was not eternal and could not be God. Additionally, it taught that there was only one person in the Godhead: the Father. Jesus, then, was a creation. It was condemned by the Council of Nicea in 325.
The Jehovah's Witness cult is an equivalent, though not exactly, of this ancient error. Please see Heresies for more information.
There are five main tenets of Arminianism: 1) God elects or reproves on the basis of foreseen faith or unbelief, 2) Christ died for all men and for every man, although only believers are saved, 3) Man is so depraved that divine grace is necessary unto faith or any good deed, 4) This grace may be resisted, 5) Whether all who are truly regenerate will certainly persevere in the faith is a point which needs further investigation.1 (Compare with Calvinism)
Baptismal Regeneration
The belief that baptism is essential to salvation, that it is the means where forgiveness of sins is made real to the believer. This is incorrect. Paul said that he came to preach the gospel, not to baptize (1 Cor. 1:14-17). If baptism were essential to salvation, then Paul would have included it in his standard practice and preaching of the salvation message of Jesus, but he did not. (See also Col. 2:10-11.) For more information on this see Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?
Book of life
A book kept by God with the list of names of people who will escape God's wrath (Psalm 69:28; Rev. 21:27). Those whose names are not in the book of Life are cast into hell (Rev. 20:15).
A system of Christian interpretation initiated by John Calvin. It emphasizes predestination and salvation. The five points of Calvinism were developed in response to the Arminian position (See Arminianism). Calvinism teaches: 1) Total depravity: that man is touched by sin in all parts of his being: body, soul, mind, and emotions, 2) Unconditional Election: that God’s favor to Man is completely by God’s free choice and has nothing to do with Man. It is completely undeserved by Man and is not based on anything God sees in man (Eph. 1:1-11), 3) Limited atonement: that Christ did not bear the sins of every individual who ever lived, but instead only bore the sins of those who were elected into salvation (John 10:11,15), 4) Irresistible grace: that God's call to someone for salvation cannot be resisted, 5) Perseverance of the saints: that it is not possible to lose one's salvation (John 10:27-28).
The position within Christianity that the Charismatic Spiritual gifts (speaking in tongues, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, intepretation of tongues, etc.) ceased with the closing of the Canon of scripture and/or the death of the last apostle.
The study of Christ (Jesus) as revealed in the Bible. Some of the issues studied are: 1) His deity, 2) His incarnation, 3) His offices (See Christ), 4) His sacrifice, 5) His resurrection, 6) His teaching, 7) His relation to God and man, and 8) His return to earth.
Common Grace
The grace of God given to the creation as a whole. God still allows the sun to shine upon the unsaved. He feeds them, allows them to work, and have joy. It is common grace that "restrains" the wrath of God until a later time. It is in special grace that salvation is given to the Christians.
Communicatio idiomatum
The theological position that the properties of both the human and the divine natures of Jesus are attributed to the one person of Christ. For example, John 17:5 is where Jesus, the man, says, "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." We see here that Jesus who was born on earth says He had glory with the Father before the world was. This is because the one person of Christ has two natures: God and man. Jesus is the Divine Word made flesh (John 1:1,14). We see in the single person of Christ both the attributes of divinity and humanity.
It means an inclusion of one substance in another where the body and blood of Christ co-exist in the elements of the Supper. It suggests that a third substance is formed. The body and blood of Christ are "in, with, and under" the elements. There is no permanent relationship with the elements. Instead, the association is limited to the sacramental action. The transformation is effected by the Word of God and not by a priest.
Cosmological argument
An attempt to prove that God exists by appealing to the principle that all things have causes. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes, therefore, there must be an uncaused cause: God
Covenant Theology
A system of theology that views God's dealings with man in respect of covenants rather than dispensations (periods of time). It represents the whole of scripture as covenantal in structure and theme. Some believe there is one Covenant and others believe two and still others believe in more. The two main covenants are covenant of works in the O.T. made between God and Adam, and the Covenant of Grace between the Father and the Son where the Father promised to give the Son the elect and the Son must redeem them. Some consider these to be one and the same. The covenants have been made since before the world was made (Heb. 13:20).
A system of logic, inference and conclusion drawn from examination of facts. Conclusions drawn from the general down to the specific
Moral corruption, a state of corruption or sinfulness. Total depravity is the teaching that sin has touched all aspects of the human: body, soul, spirit, emotions, mind, etc.
The study of moral obligation
The teaching that every event in the universe is caused and controlled by natural law; that there is no free will in humans and that all events are merely the result of natural and physical laws.
The teaching that a human consists of two parts: body and soul. Sometimes the soul is also referred to as spirit. (See Trichotomy)
Dispensation, dispensationalism
In the Scofield Reference Bible a dispensation is "a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God" Dispensationalism says that God uses different means of administering His will and grace to His people. These different means coincide with different periods of time. Scofield says there are seven dispensations: of innocence, of conscience, of civil government, of promise, of law, of grace, and of the kingdom. Dispensationalists interpret the scriptures in light of these (or other perceived) dispensations. Compare to Covenant.
Docetism was an error with several variations concerning the nature of Christ. Generally, it taught that Jesus only appeared to have a body, that he was not really incarnate, (Greek, "dokeo" = "to seem"). This error developed out of the dualistic philosophy which viewed matter as inherently evil, that God could not be associated with matter, and that God, being perfect and infinite, could not suffer. Please see Heresies for more information.
Donatism was the error taught by Donatus, bishop of Casae Nigrae that the effectiveness of the sacraments depends on the moral character of the minister. In other words, if a minister who was involved in a serious enough sin were to baptize a person, that baptism would be considered invalid. Please see Heresies for more information.
In theology, the concept that the world is controlled by two opposing forces, i.e., good and bad, God and Satan. In Philosophy the idea that the world consists of two main components: thought and matter.
The study of the Christian church, its structure, order, practices, and hierarchy.
The proposition that the only source of true knowledge is experience. It is the search for knowledge through experiment and observation. Denial that knowledge can be obtained a priori.
The branch of philosophy that deals with the area of knowledge, its source, criteria, kinds, and the relationship between what is known and the one who is knowing it.
The study of the teachings in the Bible concerning the end times, or of the period of time dealing with the return of Christ and the events that follow. Eschatological subjects include the Resurrection, Resurrection, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Millennium, the Binding of Satan, the Three witnesses, the Final Judgment, Armageddon, and The New Heavens and the New Earth. In the New Testament, eschatological chapters include Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 17, and 2 Thess. 2. In one form or another most of the books of the Bible deal with end-times subjects. But some that are more prominently eschatological are Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Joel, Zechariah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, 2 Thessalonians, and of course Revelation. (See Amillennialism and Premillennialism for more information on views on the millennium.)
Exegesis is when a person interprets a text based solely on what it says. That is, he extracts out of the text what is there as opposed to reading into it what is not there (eisegesis). There are rules to proper exegesis: read the immediate context, related themes, word definitions, etc., that all play a part in properly understanding what something says and does not say.
Eisegesis is when a person interprets and reads information into the text that is not there. An example would be in viewing 1 Cor. 8:5 which says, "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many," (KJV). With this verse, Mormons, for example, bring their preconceived idea of the existence of many gods to this text and assert that it says there are many gods. But that is not what it says. It says that there are many that are called gods. Being called a god doesn't make it a god. Therefore, the text does not teach what the Mormons say and they are guilty of eisegesis; that is, reading into the text what it does not say. See also exegesis.
A philosophical viewpoint that emphasizes human freedom and abilities. Therefore, subjectivity and individual choice are elevated often above conceptual and moral absolutes.
The cancellation of sin. Expiation and propitiation are similar but expiation does not carry the implication of dealing with wrath, of appeasing it through a sacrifice. Generally speaking, propitiation cancels sin and deals with God's wrath. Expiation is simply the cancellation of sin. Jesus was our propitiation (1 John 2:2; 4:10 -- "atoning sacrifice" in the NIV).
The ability of something to be proven false. A non falsifiable statement would be, "There is a green lizard sitting in a rocking chair on the fourth largest moon of Jupiter." This statement is not falsifiable in that it cannot be proven false because it cannot be verified or denied. Jesus' resurrection was falsifiable in that all the critics had to do was produce the body, but they did not. Falsifiability, generally, is a test of the validity of a belief or occurrence. Something that is not falsifiable can be said to be untrue since it cannot be confirmed or denied.
The idea that all things are predetermined to occur and that there is no ability of the person to alter the predetermined plan of God in any event. This is not the correct biblical view. The Bible teaches us that we can influence God with our prayers (James 5:16). How this influence is worked out by God who knows all things from eternity is something apparently unexplainable in Christianity.
The position that religious doctrines rest not on reason, but only on faith.
The doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds equally from both the Father and the Son.
Foreknow, Foreknowledge
It is God's knowledge about things that will happen. Past, present, and future are all "present" in the mind of God. He inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15). God has infinite knowledge (Isaiah 41:22,23) and knows all things in advance. In the N.T. it does not always mean "to know beforehand" but also to cause to be. See 1 Pet. 1:2,20.
Free will
Freedom of self determination and action independent of external causes.
Originally, a location southwest of Jerusalem where children were burned as sacrifices to the god Molech. It later became a garbage dump with a continuous burning of trash. Therefore, it was used biblically, to illustrate the abode of the damned in Christian and Jewish theology. Gehenna is mentioned in Mark 9:43ff and Matt. 10:28 as the place of punishment of unquenchable fire where both the body and soul of the wicked go after death. It is apparently the future abode of Satan and his angels (Matt. 25:41).
A theological error prevalent around the time of Christ. Generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis). This knowledge usually dealt with the individual's relationship to the transcendent Being. It denies the incarnation of God as the Son. In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of mankind and we would still be lost in our sins. For more information. Please see Heresies for more information.
The Gospel is the good news that we have forgiveness of sins through Jesus. Specifically, the gospel is defined by Paul in 1 Cor. 15:1-4: "Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
The gospel comes from God (Gal. 1:10-12), is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16), is a mystery (Eph. 6:19), and is a source of hope (Col. 1:23), faith (Acts 15:7), life (1 Cor. 4:15), and peace (Eph. 6:15).
A doctrinal view that deviates from the truth, a false teaching. We are warned against it in Acts 20:29-32 and Phil. 3:2. Heresies include teachings that Jesus is not God and that the Holy Spirit is not a person (Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians, The Way International), that men may become gods (Mormonism), that there is more than one God (Mormonism), that Jesus lost His divinity in hell and finished the atonement there, and that good works are necessary for salvation (all cults say this), to name a few.
A set of beliefs or opinions that are not in agreement with accepted doctrinal beliefs of a church.
That branch of theology concerned with preaching and sermons and the proper way in which to deliver them.
A philosophical system of thought that focuses on human value, thought, and actions. Humans are considered basically good and rationale creatures who can improve themselves and others through natural human abilities of reason and action. Secular Humanism is a late development emphasizing objectivity, human reason, and human standards that govern art, economics, ethics, and belief. As such, no deity is acknowledged.
Hypostatic Union
This is the union of the two natures (Divine and human) in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9); thus, He has two natures: God and man. He is not half God and half man. He is 100% God and 100% man. He never lost his divinity.1 He continued to exist as God when He became a man and added human nature to Himself (Phil. 2:5-11). Therefore, there is a "union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature."2 Right now in heaven there is a man, Jesus, who is our Mediator between us and God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). (For related information on Jesus and His two natures, see Incarnation, and the errors concerning His natures known as Eutychianism, Monophycitism, and Nestorianism.)
Immaculate Conception
The teaching that Mary was conceived without original sin. Typically believed as true in Roman Catholicism.
A system of logic where specific facts are used to draw a general conclusion.
An issue within Reformed theology dealing with what may have happened in God's mind regarding the logical order of His considering whom to elect into salvation before the foundation of the world. The word means "after the fall." The position is that God first decided he would allow sin into the world and second that he would then save people from it. By contrast, the supralapsarian ("before the fall") position holds that God first decided that he would save some people and then second that he would allow sin into the world.
In Hinduism, the total compilation of all a person's past lives and actions that result in the present condition of that person. Normally, it is associated with reincarnation.
Law of non-contradiction
The Law of non-contradiction is the law that something cannot be both true and not true at the same time when dealing with the same context. For example, the chair in my living room, right now, cannot be made of wood and not made of wood at the same time. In the law of non-contradiction, where we have a set of statements about a subject, we cannot have any of the statements in that set negate the truth of any other statement in that same set. For example, we have a set of two statements about Judas. 1) Judas hung himself. 2) Judas fell down and his bowels spilled out. Neither statement about Judas contradicts the other. That is, neither statement makes the other impossible because neither excludes the possibility of the other. The statements can be harmonized by stating: Judas hung himself and then his body fell down and his bowels spilled out.
In order to make the set of statements contradictory, we would have something like: 1) Judas hung himself. 2) Judas did not hang himself. Since either statement excludes the possibility of the other, we would then have a contradiction.
In Christianity, the movement away from traditional orthodoxy often in an attempt to harmonize biblical teachings with science, humanism, or other secular fields. The result is often a denial of essential biblical doctrines such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His resurrection, and salvation by grace.
Limited atonement
The teaching held in Reformed (Calvinist) circles of Christianity that Jesus bore only the sins of the elect, and not that of the entire world. It maintains that the sacrifice was sufficient for all, but intended for the elect.
The Greek word for "word." Mentioned only in the writings of John. John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word [logos] and the Word [logos] was with God and the Word [logos] was God." The Logos is sometimes used to refer to the second person of the Trinity as the Son in pre-incarnate form. Jesus is the word [logos] made flesh (John 1:1,14).
The branch of philosophy involved with examining and discussing the ultimate nature of reality. The term comes from "meta" which means "after" and "phusika" which means "physics." Around A.D. 70 Andronicus applied to the section of Aristotelian writings that came after the physics section; hence, metaphysics.
In the New Age, metaphysics deals with spiritual concepts such as reincarnation, auras, chakras, Ascended Masters, etc. and other such ideas of a spiritual nature not generally associated with Christianity.
Middle Knowledge
That knowledge of God dealing with what individuals will do in a given set of circumstances. God has an infinite set of potential circumstances that could exist and knows all actual choices that would be made by individuals in each set. (See also Free Knowledge and Natural knowledge.)
The error that there is only one person in the Godhead who manifests himself in three forms or manners: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The teaching that God alone is the one who saves. It is opposed to synergism which teaches that God and man work together in salvation. Cults are synergistic. Christianity is monergistic.
A non-Christian cult begun in 1830 by Joseph Smith. The Mormon church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, denies the historic Trinity and efficacious atonement. Some of its unique doctrines are that God used to be a man on another world who became a God and came to this world with one of his wives. We all are literally born in heaven as spirit brothers and sisters and then inhabit human bodies on earth. For more information on this cult, please see Mormonism on CARM.
Natural knowledge
A term used in describing a type of knowledge possessed by God. Often it is raised in discussions dealing with individuals’ free will and God’s infinite knowledge. God’s natural knowledge would be His knowledge of all things of potential existence influenced by individuals though not necessarily in actual existence. God knows this set of knowledge from all eternity, before the creation of the universe. It is called natural because it is a natural attribute of God’s existence. See also Free Knowledge and Middle Knowledge.
The belief that all of human experience can be described through natural law. It asserts that biological evolution is true and that there are no supernatural realities.
A focus on existential and psychological aspects of religious experience and denounces the literalism of the Bible. Experience with the divine is what makes scripture real, not biblical revelation, not reason. Neo orthodoxy is subjective and selective in its "orthodox" positions.
A branch of philosophy which asserts that reality exists apart from the human mind and that the knowledge of this reality is based upon observation.
Occam's Razor
The philosophical rule that the simplest explanation is preferred over the more complicated one and that explanations should be first proposed in relation to concepts that are already known. Another way of seeing it is to say that the fewer assumptions that need to be made to support an explanation of something, the better. The principle is attributed to William Occam of the fourteenth century.
Ontological Argument
An attempt to prove God’s existence first postulated by Anselm. In brief, it states that God is a being of which no greater thing exists or can be thought of. Therefore, since we can conceive of God as the greatest of all things that exist, then God must exist.
The study of the nature of being, reality, and substance.
The practice of infant baptism.
The teaching of a monk named Pelagius in the fifth Century. He taught that man's will was and still is free to choose good or evil and there is no inherited sin (through Adam). Every infant born into the world is in the same condition as Adam before the fall and becomes a sinner because he sins. This is opposed to the Biblical teaching that we are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3) and that we sin because we are sinners. Pelagius said we are able to keep the commandments of God because God has given us the ability. Therefore, there is no need of redemption and the crucifixion of Jesus is merely a supreme example of love, humility, obedience, and sacrifice. This heresy has its relatives in the form of the cults that deny the total dependence upon God and maintain that salvation is obtainable through our own efforts. (Compare to Arminianism and Calvinism.)
Permissive decree
In Christian theology, those decrees (ordained events) of God that are different from His direct decrees. An example of a permissive decree would be the fall of Adam into sin. God does not desire sin, yet He permitted its occurrence. He decreed that it would occur by permission, not by direct action of His will. A direct decree of God would be the incarnation of the Son.
The idea that reality consists of different kinds of things. The term is used in different fields of study. Social pluralism deals with the many different types of social structure. Cultural pluralism deals with the many different types of culture, etc.
The study of the Holy Spirit, His person, works, relation to the Father and Son, relation to man, ministry in salvation and sanctification, conviction, and indwelling.
A relativistic system of observation and thought that denies absolutes and objectivity. Postmodernism has influenced theology, art, culture, architecture, society, film, technology, and economics. Traditional social, art, social, and cultural, constructs are discarded and reinterpreted in relativistic terms. An example of postmodern thought would be the validation of homosexuality as an equally legitimate sexual expression over and against the Judeo-Christian ethic of heterosexual monogamy. In other words, previously taboo practices and beliefs are given equal validity to traditional values and norms often to the point of displacing the latter. This equalization and displacement are not restricted to religious realms, but affect all circles of human interaction.
A method in philosophy where value is determined by practical results.
Predestine, Predestination
The doctrine that God has foreordained all things which will come to pass yet He is not the author of sin. He does, however, use sinful things for His glory and purpose. For example, the crucifixion was brought about by sinful men who unjustly put Jesus to death (Acts 4:27); yet, in that death, we are reconciled to God (Rom. 5:10).
Predestination maintains that God is the one who decides who will be saved (Rom. 9:16) and that it is not up to the desire of the person (John 1:13). God is the one who ordains the Christian into forgiveness, "...and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48). Also, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and who He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified" (Rom. 8:29-30). Further verses to examine are Eph. 1:4,11; Rom. 9. (See also Election and Sovereignty.)
The act of passing over something, or neglecting it. In theology, it is the Reformed doctrine that God passed over people by not electing them into salvation. Instead, only those elected to salvation will be saved and passed over all others.
This means the turning away of wrath by an offering. It is similar to expiation but expiation does not carry the nuances involving wrath. For the Christian the propitiation was the shed blood of Jesus on the cross. It turned away the wrath of God so that He could pass "over the sins previously committed" (Rom. 3:25). It was the Father who sent the Son to be the propitiation (1 John 4:10) for all (1 John 2:2).
A branch of philosophy where truth is determined by reason.
The view that truth is relative and not absolute. Truth varies from people to people, time to time and there are no absolutes. See CARM's Relativism section.
A group of religious leaders in the Jewish religion from the second century B.C. to the first century A.D. In Hebrew their names mean "the righteous ones." They were smaller in size than the group of the Pharisees. The Sadducees were generally on the upper class, often in a priestly line, and the Pharisees in the middle class, usually merchants and tradesmen. The Sadducees accepted only the Torah, the first five books of the old Testament, as authoritative. They held rigidly to the old Testament law and a denying the life after death, reward and punishment after death, the resurrection, and the existence of angels and demons. They controlled the temple and its services and were unpopular with the majority of the Jewish population.
The method of study in the Middle Ages which was used to support the doctrines of the church through reason and logic.
Sola Fide
The teaching that faith alone saves a person when he places his faith and trust in the sacrificial work of Christ.
Sola Gratia
The teaching that God pardons believers without any merit of their own based solely on the sacrificial work of Christ.
Sola Scriptura
The teaching that the Scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation and proper living before God.
The study of the doctrine of salvation. It is derived from the Greek word soterious which means salvation. Some of the subjects of soteriology are the atonement, imputation, and regeneration.
The right of God to do as He wishes (Psalm 50:1; Isaiah 40:15; 1 Tim. 6:15) with His creation. This implies that there is no external influence upon Him and that He also has the ability to exercise His power and control according to His will.
The teaching that the individual is the source and judge of all religious knowledge based upon his own knowledge and experience.
The teaching that we cooperate with God in our efforts of salvation. This is opposed to monergism which is the teaching that God is the sole agent involved in salvation. Cults are synergistic in that they teach that God's grace combined with our efforts are what makes forgiveness of sins possible.
An issue within Reformed theology dealing with what may have happened in God's mind regarding the logical order of His considering whom to elect into salvation before the foundation of the world. The word means "before the fall." This position holds that God first decided that he would save some people and then second that he would allow sin into the world. By contrast, the infralapsarian ("after the fall") position is the reverse in that it holds that God first decided he would allow sin into the world and second that he would then save people from it.
Teleological argument
An attempted proof of God's existence based upon the premise that the universe is designed and therefore needs a designer: God.
The study of final causes, results. Having a definite purpose, goal, or design.
The study of the problem of evil in the world. The issue is raised in light of the sovereignty of God. How could a holy and loving God who is in control of all things allow evil to exist? The answer has been debated for as long as the church has existed. We still do not have a definitive answer and the Bible does not seek to justify God's actions.
It is clear that God is sovereign, and that He has willed the existence of both good and evil, and that all of this is for His own glory. Prov. 16:4 says, "The LORD works out everything for his own ends -- even the wicked for a day of disaster"; Isaiah 45:7 says, "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things."
Total Depravity
The doctrine that fallen man is completely touched by sin and that he is completely a sinner. He is not as bad as he could be, but in all areas of his being, body, soul, spirit, mind, emotions, etc., he is touched by sin. In that sense he is totally depraved. Because man is depraved, nothing good can come out of him (Rom. 3:10-12) and God must account the righteousness of Christ to him. This righteousness is obtainable only through faith in Christ and what He did on the cross.
Total depravity is generally believed by the Calvinist groups and rejected by the Arminian groups.
A theological term referring to the relation of God to creation. God is "other," "different" from His creation. He is independent and different from His creatures (Isaiah 55:8-9). He transcends His creation. He is beyond it and not limited by it or to it.
The theory accepted by Catholicism, that in the Lord's Supper, the elements are transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus. However, there is no perceptible or measurable change in the elements. The transformation occurs during the Mass at the elevation of the elements by the priest.
The teaching that the human consists of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. (Compare with Dichotomy.)
Type, Typology
A type is a representation by one thing of another. Adam was a type of Christ (Rom. 5:14) and so was Isaac (Heb. 11:19). The Passover was a type of Christ (1 Cor. 5:7). There are many types in the Bible and most of them are too extensive and deep to be listed.
An example of a typology follows: Isaac a type of Jesus.
Tritheism is the teaching that the Godhead is really three separate beings forming three separate gods. This erring view is often misplaced for the doctrine of the Trinity which states that there is but one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
A theological error that holds to the unity of God by denying the Trinity, the deity of Jesus, and the deity of the Holy Spirit. Unitarians teach the unity of God and hold to a common system of believing as you will about God, salvation, sin, etc. They often profess to have no dogma. Unitarians also hold to the universal redemption of all mankind.
The teaching that all people will eventually be saved through the universal redemption of Jesus. Some universalists teach that even the devil, after a time of punishment, will be redeemed.
Venial Sin
In Catholicism, a sin but not as bad as mortal Sin. It lessens the grace of God within a person's soul.
Vicarious Atonement
The theory of the atonement which states that Christ's death was "legal." It satisfied the legal justice of God. Jesus bore the penalty of sin when he died on the cross. His death was a substitution for the believers. In other words, he substituted himself for them upon the cross. Jesus hung in our place as He bore our sin in his body on the cross. See 1 Pet. 2:24.

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