Glossary

I have been asked to provide a glossary of terms which I often use on this blog. The following is my answer to that request with rough and brief definitions as I understand and employ them. This list was put together quickly; expect it to grow and be refined quite a bit.

For suggestions on better wording or to request words or phrases to be added to this list click here.

  • Amillennialism – the eschatological view which believes that the millennium of Revelation 20:1-6 is a reference to the spiritual reign of Christ in and through his church between his first and second coming. It also views the world as progressively getting worse until Christ returns.
  • Antinomianism – a term coined by Martin Luther, from the Greek ἀντί, “against” + νόμος, “law”) is a belief or tendency that consider existing laws as no longer applicable to themselves.
  • Anthropomorphic – this term is used to describe God in human terms in order to tell us something about God.
  • Arminianism – Arminius was a sixteenth century Reformer in the tradition of John Calvin who departed with many of Calvin’s followers on their view of predestination. Arminianism is the term used to refer to those who share Arminius’ theology.
  • Calvinism – comes from the name “John Calvin” and refers to those who followed in John’s tradition. More narrowly speaking the term is used on Covenant of Love to refer to those after John Calvin who invented the theological acronym T.U.L.I.P. In the strict sense, John Calvin was not a Calvinist.
  • Church Fathers – a reference to all of the leaders of the early church from the times of the Apostles (not including them proper) to St. Augustine who is considered by many to have been the last Church Father.
  • Christus Victor – an atonement theory. Christus Victor is the view that Christ’ life, death, resurrection and ascention proper are all aspects of the same atonement where Christ died not the victim but as the victor who delivers us from Sin, Satan and Death.
  • Covenantal Theology – the historic Christian belief that God set about to restore creation through Covenantal relationships. Contrary to Dispensationalism, Covenant theology believes that God had one plan, one purpose, one Kingdom and one people-group.
  • Dispensationalism – an approach to the scriptures which maintains a separation between “Israel and the Church”, “Law and Grace” and “Kingdom of God and Kingdom of Heaven” among other things. In terms of end times, Dispensationalism is “Left Behind” theology complete with all the fixings of a computer chip as the mark of the beast, a secret rapture and a seven year tribulation of some sort.
  • Eschatology – refers to the study of last things. From the historic Christian perspective, the “eschaton” (end) started with Christ’ resurrection, so we are living in the eschaton.
  • Evangelical – an evangelical is characterized by four things: Biblicism, Evangelism. Conversionism; Tradition.
  • Heresy – a particular belief system which has been deemed by the Church whole – an ecumenical council proper – as dangerous to the historic faith.
  • Historic Pre-millennialism – the eschatological view that believes that the millennium of Revelation 20:1-6 is a reference to a literal one thousand year reign of Christ on the earth after his second coming. Dispensationalism also holds to “pre-millennialism” but historic pre-millennialism eschews Dispensationalism because it is based on Covenantal Theology.
  • Imputation – there are two ways this term is used on Covenant of Love, the first is in the abstract theological sense, “the alian transfer of Christ’s righteousness”, the second is in the Biblical sense (on the (N)KJV translates it “impute) logizomai meaning to credit, reckon or declare. Context will determine in which sense I am using the word “Impute”.
  • Kingdom of God/Heaven – refers to the dominion of God.
  • Neo-Reformed – a phrase used and applied to a certain subgroup of Reformed Calvinists who aggressively oppose other Christian traditions and who would wish to see Evangelicalism reduced to strict Calvinism only. It is a new form of Fundamentalism.
  • Open Theism – the belief that the future is at least partly open. Note that Open Theist do not deny God’s omniscience as is commonly caricatured.
  • Orthodoxy – a particular belief in the Christian Church which has stood the test of time and is accepted by all branches of the faith.
  • Post-Conservative – the belief that all Christian traditions must – at least in theory – be open to revision in light of further biblical study.
  • Post-millennialism – the eschatological view which believes that the millennium of Revelation 20:1-6 is a reference to the spiritual reign of Christ in and through his church between his first and second coming. It also views the world as progressively getting better until Christ returns and the Church will hand over the Kingdom of God – already established by the spread of the Gospel – to Christ.
  • Participation (see Union with Christ)
  • Pelagianism – the fifth century heresy named after Pelagius. Pelagianism is the view that man could – in theory but not in reality – live a perfect life and get to heaven.
  • Penal Substitution – an atonement theory which holds that that Christ died on the cross to take God’s rather on himself in place of man’s deserved wrath. Christ paid a ransom to God on our behalf.
  • Reformed – a term is used interchangeably with “Calvinism” but not necessarily meaning in the narrow sense, those who hold to T.U.L.I.P.
  • Simple Foreknowledge – the belief that God knows the future in its entirety because he “viewed” history play out like a movie before time began.
  • Sola Fida – protestant mantra meaning “justified by faith alone”; it should be remembered that “faith is never alone”.
  • Sola Scriptura – protestant mantra meaning “scripture alone is our supreme authority”; it does not mean that scripture is our only authority.
  • Union with Christ – everything we are, either individually or corporately, is made possible by being “in Christ” or “participating in Christ”. We are resurrected in Christ, we are justified in Christ, et cetera.

Also, check out the Blogossary website to learn what blog related terms, such as HT, means.

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OF A TERM I USE SOMEWHERE AND DON’T SEE IT DEFINED HERE, LEAVE A COMMENT AND I’LL ADD IT TO THE LIST.

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