Christian Definitions

Abba--- [Gk. Abbá a transliterated loanword from Aram, which represents two homonyms in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic that are identical orthographically and phonetically, but distinct morphologically; one homonym may be translated as 'the father' or 'my father,' the other as 'dada,' 'daddy.']. (from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)

Arminians---opposing Calvinism: relating to or following the Protestant theologian Arminius or his doctrines, which rejected the Calvinist view of absolute predestination

Atheism—The doctrine or belief that there is no God.

Baha’i--- religion founded by Baha Ullah (born Mirza Huseyn Ali Nuri) and promulgated by his eldest son, Abdul Baha (1844-1921). It is a doctrinal outgrowth of Babism, with Baha Ullah as the Promised One of the earlier religion. The Baha'i faith holds that God can be made known to humankind through manifestations that have come at various stages of human progress; prophets include Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha Ullah. Baha'is believe in the unity of all religions, in universal education, in world peace, and in the equality of men and women. An international language and an international government are advocated. 7 million

Buddhism---Buddhism is a non-theistic Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. religion and philosophy with about 375 million adherents worldwide. The vast majority live in Asia. It consists of two major schools: Mahayana and Theravada . Mahayana is in turn divided into East Asian (including Pure Land , Chan/Zen , Nichiren , Shingon and others). Tibetan is (sometimes grouped with Shingon under the term Vajrayana ). However there are many other sects besides these.

Calvanism---doctrine of faith and predestination: the religious doctrine of John Calvin, which emphasizes that salvation comes through faith in God, and also that God has already chosen those who will believe and be saved

Cao Dai Religion-- CaoDai is a universal faith with the principle that all religions have one same divine origin, which is God, or Allah, or the Tao, or the Nothingness, one same ethic based on LOVE and JUSTICE, and are just different manifestations of one same TRUTH. GOD AND HUMANS ARE ONE. Humans shall observe LOVE and JUSTICE in order to be unified with GOD.

Contemplative Prayer—As it is expressed in a modern day movement is mystical in which one empties the mind of thought through repetition, usually of a word or phrase or focus on the breath. This practice leads to silence, the absence of thought, but it actually leads one away from Christ.

Deists—Rational belief in God: a belief in God based on reason rather than revelation, and involving the view that God has set the universe in motion but does not interfere with how it runs. Deism was especially influential in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Dispensation-----[Gk.diakoní] (2 Cor 3:7-9); AV MINISTRATION; NEB also DISPENSED. The term refers to the action of giving out, specifically referring to God's dealings with men. In 2 Cor 3 Paul contrasts the brightness of Moses' face in the giving of the OT law (v. 5; which brought death (v. 7), with the "greater splendor' (v. 8) of the giving of the Spirit which brought righteousness (v. 9). In the AV of 1 Cor 9:17; Eph 1:10; 3:2 Col 1:25, the Greek term oikonomía is rendered "dispensation" with the obsolete meaning of administration as of a household, of a commission, or of stewardship. (from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, revised edition, Copyright © 1979 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. All rights reserved.)A period of time under which mankind is answerable to God for how it has obeyed the revelation of God which it has received.

Deity [Gk. tó theíon] (Acts 17:29); GODHEAD ; [theiót¢s] (Rom 1:20); GODHEAD ; [theót¢s] ( Col 2:9); NEB GODHEAD . These three closely related Greek terms are descriptive of the basic nature of God. They seem to vary but slightly in connotation.

Dominion Theology---Has two movements. 1. Reconstructionism says “Theonomy” is the idea that everyone is still bound to the Old Testament laws. 2. “Kingdom now Theology” says ,since the time of the reformation, God has restored “truths” to the church.

EDGE---When Fundamental Evangelical Christian traditions meets the secular world.

Enlightenment---18thCentury rationalistic movement: an 18th-century intellectual movement in western Europe that emphasized reason and science in philosophy and in the study of human culture and the natural world

Existentialism—The idea that people are free and thus responsible for what they make of themselves.

Fatalism—The idea that all events are predetermined and humans are powerless to change them.

Hedonism—Defines “pleasure” is the highest good.

Hinduism---Hinduism is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is often referred to as Santatana Dharma by its practitioners meaning "the eternal law" or "eternal way". Historically, Hinduism in the wider sense includes Brahmanism, religions that evolved from or are based on Vedism in ancient India; in a narrower sense, it encompasses the post-Buddhist religious and cultural traditions of India. Among its roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India. Hinduism is often presented as the " oldest religious tradition" among the world's major religious groups.

Islam--- [Arab.,=submission to God], world religion founded by the Prophet Muhammad. Founded in the 7th cent., Islam is the youngest of the three monotheistic world religions (with Judaism and Christianity). An adherent to Islam is a Muslim.1.5 Bil

Jainism--- [i.e., the religion of Jina], religious system of India practiced by about 5,000,000 persons. Jainism, Ajivika, and Buddhism arose in the 6th cent. B.C. as protests against the overdeveloped ritualism of Hinduism, particularly its sacrificial cults, and the authority of the Veda. Jaina tradition teaches that a succession of 24 tirthankaras (saints) originated the religion. The last, Vardhamana, called Mahavira [the great hero] and Jina [the victor], seems to be historical.

Juche---The Juche Idea (also Juche Sasang or Chuch'e; pronounced is the official state ideology and state-sponsored religion of North Korea and the political system based on it. The doctrine is a component part of Kimilsungism, the North Korean term for Kim Il-sung's family regime. The core principle of the Juche ideology since the 1970s has been that "man is the master of everything and decides everything".19 million

Judaism--- the religious beliefs and practices and the way of life of the Jews. The term itself was first used by Hellenized Jews to describe their religious practice, but it is of predominantly modern usage; it is not used in the Bible or in Rabbinic literature and only rarely in the literature of the medieval period. The word Torah is employed when referring to the divinely revealed teachings of Jewish law and belief. Judaism is used more broadly, including also the totality of human interpretation and practice. Thus, one may speak of "secular Judaism," referring to an adherence to values expressed by Judaism but removed from any religious context. The most important holy days in Judaism are the weekly Sabbath, the major holidays of Rosh ha-Shanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkoth Simhat Torah, Passover, and Shavuot. 14 million

Leper, Leprosy---Heat, drought, and toil amid dry powdery substances, tend to generate skin disease, especially in absence of nourishing diet and personal cleanliness. Leprosy, beginning with little pain, goes on in its sluggish but sure course, until it mutilates the body, deforms the features turns the voice into a croak, and makes the patient a hopeless wreck.

Separation of lepers from society has been common in all countries, partly from the dread of contagion, and also among the Israelites from the conviction that it was the special visitation of God. It was generally hereditary (compare 2 Sam 3:29, "let there not fail from the house of Joab ... a leper"). Lepers associated together without the camp, as they still do

Fewer than 7,000 registered cases of leprosy currently exist in the United States. Each year some 300 new cases of leprosy are identified in the United States. The vast majority of these patients are immigrants who acquired the disease in their home countries.

Liberation Theology---Liberation theology rose to prominence in Latin America in the 1970s, is a determined effort to make theology relevant in the midst of poverty and suffering by Gustavo Gutierrez. An important characteristic of liberation theology, and one which it shares with theological liberalism generally, is its shift in focus from God to man. But the Bible states clearly that man's relationship with God is of primary importance. Liberation theology is an attempt to merge Christianity with Marxism. This presents serious problems since Marxism is atheistic, proclaims the class struggle, and leads to disastrous consequences wherever its prescriptions are put into practice.

Open Theist---Jesus is limited in dealing with humans. He neither predetermines nor foreknows our moral choices.

Millennial–A----The events in Scripture are happening now in our life time.

Millennial–Post----The earth is getting better until Jesus returns.

Millennial–Pre---The belief that God (Jesus) will win the conflict of the ages when Jesus returns to earth. He will then set up His righteous Kingdom on earth for 1000 years followed be eternity.

Modernism---Arts modern styles in art: the revolutionary ideas and styles in art, architecture, and literature that developed in the early 20th century as a reaction to traditional forms of the Christianity movement within Roman Catholicism: a movement in European Roman Catholicism in which scholars and theologians attempt to accommodate the contemporary world view within Roman Catholic theology and doctrine

Monotheism—The belief in a single, universal, all-encompassing deity.

Nazirite (separated, consecrated)-a person who took a vow to separate from certain worldly things and to consecrate himself to God (Num 6:1-8). Among the Hebrew people anyone could take this vow; there were no tribal restrictions as in the case of the priest. Rich or poor, man or woman, master or slave-all were free to become Nazirites.

Nazirites did not withdraw from society and live as hermits; however, they did agree to follow certain regulations for a specified period of time. While no number of days for the vow is given in the Old Testament, Jewish tradition prescribed 30 days or a double period of 60 or even triple time of 90 to 100 days. Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist were the only "Nazirites for life" recorded in the Bible. Before they were born, their vows were taken for them by their parents.

Once a person decided to make himself "holy to the Lord" (Num 6:8) for some special service, he then agreed to abstain from wine and other intoxicating drinks.

While under the Nazirite vow, a person also refused to cut his hair, including shaving (Num 6:5).

The Nazirite vow was a part of the old law and is not imposed on modern Christians. But because it was personal and voluntary, we do have much to learn from this Old Testament practice. God wants us to live a separated, holy life and to abstain from things of the world. Christians must be dedicated to God's service not just for 30 days or one year but a lifetime.

Nihilism—A complete denial of all established authority and institutions.

Pentecostals---emphasizing the Holy Spirit: belonging or relating to any Christian denomination that emphasizes the workings of the Holy Spirit, interprets the Bible literally, and adopts an informal demonstrative approach to religious worship.

Postmodern---After modernism: relating to art, architecture, literature, or thinking developed after and usually in reaction to modernism, returning to more classical or traditional elements and techniques

Pluralism---No one faith (religion) is exclusively true.

Pragmatism—An approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.

Preterist---Belief of some Bible teachers that the prophecies of the Olivet Discourse were all fulfilled in 70 A.D. in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. I.e., They believe that the “Great Tribulation took place during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. (False Doctrine) Hank Hanegreeff R.C.Sproul

Purgatory (Lat., "purgare", to make clean, to purify) in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God's grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. The faith of the Catholic Church concerning purgatory is clearly expressed in the Decree of Union drawn up by the Council of Florence (Mansi, t. XXXI, col. 1031), and in the decree of the Council of Trent which (Sess. XXV) defined: "Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful".

Rastafarianism--- a religious-cultural movement that began (1930s) in Jamaica. Rastafarians believe that Haile Selassie, also named Ras Tafari, the last emperor of Ethiopia (d. 1975), is the Messiah. They tend to reject European culture and ideas and are particularly noted for their use of marijuana. Reggae music is heavily influenced by Rastafarianism. There are some 180,000 Rastafarians worldwide.

Rationalism—Reason is the right basis for regulating conduct.

1. understanding of nature of real life: a practical understanding and acceptance of the actual nature of the world, rather than an idealized or romantic view of it
2. arts literature lifelike artistic representation: in artistic and literary works, lifelike representation of people and the world, without any idealization
3. philosophy theory that things exist objectively: the theory that things such as universals, moral facts, and theoretical scientific entities exist independently of people’s thoughts and perceptions
4. philosophy theory that people perceive independent world: the theory that although there is an objectively existing world, not dependent on our minds, people are able to understand aspects of that world through perception
5. philosophy theory that statements have truth values: the theory that every declarative statement is either true or false, regardless of whether this can be verified

Reformed Theology:
Is a theological system and an approach to the Christian life that emphasizes the rule of God over all things. Named after French reformer John Calvin , this variety of Protestant Christianity is sometimes called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology. The Reformed tradition was advanced by theologians such as Martin Bucer , Heinrich Bullinger , Peter Martyr Vermiglilain , and Huldrych Zwingli and also influenced English reformers such as Thomas Cranmer and John Jewel . Yet due to John Calvin's great influence and role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates throughout the 17th century , the tradition generally became known as Calvinism. Today, this term also refers to the doctrines and practices of the Reformed churches , of which Calvin was an early leader, and the system is best known for its doctrines of predestination and total depravity .

Romantic—An 18 th century artistic movement: relating to the movement in late 18th- and early 19th-century music, literature, and art that departed from classicism and emphasized sensibility, the free expression of feelings, nature, and the exotic

Scientology--- is a body of beliefs and related practices initially created by American speculative fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. The major organization promoting Scientology is the Church of Scientology, a hierarchical organization founded by Hubbard, while independent groups using Hubbard's materials are collectively referred to as the Free Zone. Hubbard developed Scientology teachings in 1952 as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Hubbard later characterized Scientology as an "applied religious philosophy". 500 thousand

Shinto--- ancient native religion of Japan still practiced in a form modified by the influence of Buddhism and Confucianism. In its present form Shinto is characterized less by religious doctrine or belief than by the observance of popular festivals and traditional ceremonies and customs, many involving pilgrimages to shrines. 4 million

Sikhism--- Sikhism IPA: was founded on the teachings of Nanak and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally the counsel of the gurus) or the Sikh Dharma. 23 million

Spiritualism—The idea that dead people can communicate with the living. 15 million

Systematic Theology:
In evangelical circles, it is used to refer to the topical collection and exploration of the content of the Bible , in which a different perspective is provided on the Bible's message than that garnered simply by reading the biblical narratives, poems, proverbs, and letters as a story of redemption or as a manual for how to live a godly life. One advantage of this approach is that it allows one to see all that the Bible says regarding some subject (e.g. the attributes of God), and one danger is a tendency to assign technical definitions to terms based on a few passages and then read that meaning everywhere the term is used in the Bible (e.g. " justification " as Paul uses it in his letter to the Romans is different from how James uses it in his letter). In this view, systematic theology is complementary to biblical theology . The latter traces the themes chronologically through the Bible, while the former examines themes topically. The latter reflects the diversity of the Bible, while the former reflects its unity.

Talmudic Period---A period characterized by the compilation of the Talmud (oral law, Mishna and Gemara), a huge work defining Jewish Law and tradition that laid the foundations on which Jewish life was built then and now.

Theism---1. belief in God: belief that one God created and rules humans and the world, not necessarily accompanied by belief in divine revelation such as through the Bible 2. belief in god or gods: belief in the existence of a god or gods

Unitarian Universalist Association, Protestant church in the United States formed in 1961 by the merger of the American Unitarian Association (see Unitarianism) and the Universalist Church of America. Having largely shared common concerns and positions throughout the 19th and 20th cent., the two churches formed a Council of Liberal Churches in 1953 as a preliminary step to merger. 800 Thou.

Vedanta (Sanskrit veda,”knowledge”; anta,”end”), one of the six orthodox philosophies of Hinduism, chiefly concerned with knowledge of Brahman, the universal supreme pure being. Vedanta is based on the speculative portion of late Vedic literature, primarily the treatises known as Aranyakas and Upanishads.

Wesleyanism---based on Wesley’s teaching: based on, consisting of, or resembling the teachings, practices, and beliefs of the Christian preacher John Wesley and his brother Charles, or of Methodism.

Zoroastrianism--- religion founded by Zoroaster, but with many later accretions.

Zoroastrianism's scriptures are the Avesta or the Zend Avesta [Pahlavi avesta=law, zend=commentary]. The Avesta consists of fragmentary and much-corrupted texts; it is written in old Iranian, a language similar to Vedic Sanskrit. 2.6 million

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