The Alphabets of Christian Theology
This article covers the major terms used in Christian Theology that start with each letter of the English Alphabet
I will start by giving a definition of Theology. The word Theology is a combination of the Greek word theos which means deity, or God, and the English word ology which means, "the study of." so the most basic definition of Theology is the study of God.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language,
Defines Theology as;
“• The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.
• A system or school of opinions concerning God and religious questions:”
Most people only think of Christianity in relation to Theology. All major religious groups have their own Theology, i e Christian, Judaism, Catholic, Mormon, Islam, Jehovah’s Witness etc
The concept of Theology dates back to ancient Greece. Philosophers like Plato and Aristotle used
Theology when discussing their gods.
Christian Theology is the unique branch of Christianity that embraces the total them of the Bible in an exegetical approach and has it’s own unique words and phrases. Many of which are taken directly from Scripture and explained in depth. The others are to be found nowhere in the Holy Cannon but they define and explain a biblical truth that is definitely taught in Scripture. An example of one of those words is Rapture. Which means to be snatched or caught away. This teaching is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 that says; “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The purpose of this study is to highlight what I believe to be the key word that starts with each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. There are more words for each alphabet but it is my belief that a basic familiarity with these words and phrases is vital to be confident in your faith and more importantly to be a strong defender of the truth that is presented in God’s word. You will find that some of the words and phrases expose error that is propagated by heretical teachings. Others will clarify truths that are hidden in the pages of Scripture.
Alphabets A- G
Apostasy is the falling away from the Christian faith. It is a revolt against the truth of God’s word by a believer. It can also describe a group or church organization that has "fallen away" from the truths of Christianity as revealed in the Bible.
Baptismal Regeneration is 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 heresy. It is the wrong andmisunderstood purpose and power of baptism. 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.) The one and only real requirement to be saved is found in Ephesians 2:8-9 that says; “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. “
The Communicatio idiomatum is Latin for the Communication of the Properties. It is the theological position that the properties of both the human and the divine natures of Jesus are attributed to the one person of Christ. An example of this would be 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. You will see it’s English in the H section
I said one entry per letter but I must insert a second for C because of it’s importance to the Trinitarian belief.
It is Comma Johanna/ Comma Johanneum
And sometimes referred to as Johannine Comma
It focuses on the 13 words that come after the first comma in the verse in (1 John 5:7) which appear in some early printed Greek texts (notably those of Erasmus), later versions of the Latin Vulgate, and in the King James Version of the Bible. See these words below underlined in italics in the KJV and the same verse from the newer ESV,NIV and The NASV.
• 7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” (1 John 5:7–8), KJV
• 7 “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood;8 and these three agree.” (1 John 5:7–8), ESV
“7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
(1John 5:7–8), NIV
7 And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
8 For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
(I Jn 5:7-8) NASV
The preceding explanation is a Bold attempt to discredit the Biblical doctrine of The Trinity and ( 1 Jn. 5:7) is usually used as the main support verse. The attempt fails because The doctrine of The Trinity has numerous verses of support both in The Old and New Testaments and here are some of them.
In The Old Testament, "LORD" is distinguished from "Lord" (Genesis 19:24; Hosea 1:4). The "LORD" has a "Son" (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:2-4). Spirit is distinguished from the "LORD" (Numbers 27:18) and from "God" (Psalm 51:10-12). God the Son is distinguished from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7;.
In the New Testament, John 14:16-17 is where Jesus speaks to the Father about sending a Helper, The Holy Spirit. This shows that Jesus did not consider Himself to be The Father or The Holy Spirit. Consider also all of the other times in the Gospels where Jesus speaks to the Father. Was He speaking to Himself? No. He spoke to another person in the Trinity; The Father.
Each member of the Trinity is God: The Father is GodJohn 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2). The Son is God: (John 1:1, 14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9); In Hebrews The Father recognizes The Son as God (Hebrews 1:8) and John again recognizes The Son as God and the giver of eternal life (1 John 5:20). The Holy Spirit is recognized as God. (1 Corinthians 3:16; Acts 5:3-4) (The One who indwells is the Holy Spirit – (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9; Acts 2:1-4).
Paul recognizes all three in his salutations
Peter and Jude agree with him.
(1 Pet. 1:2, Jude 20-21)
As a Trinitarian believer you should be aware of the comma Johannean argument but Not be weaken in your faith by it. As you can see it is a solid Biblical doctrine, More will be seen about The Trinity under alphabet T
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. This teaching is based on Scriptures like the following; Jeremiah 17:9, 1 Cor. 2:14, Romans 3: 10-18
This is Life everlasting in the presence of God. "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent" (John 17:3).
There are two senses in which this is used. First, as Christians we possess eternal life (1 John 5:13), yet we are not in heaven or in the immediate presence of God. Though we are still in mortal bodies and we still sin, but by faith we are saved (Rom. 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9) and possess eternal life as a free gift from God (Rom. 6:23). Second, eternal life will reach its final state at the resurrection of the believers when Christ returns to earth to claim His church. And we will receive Glorified Immortal bodies (1Cor. 15:51-53). It is then that eternal life will begin in its complete manifestation
Free will is the freedom of self determination and action independent of external causes. It is the ability to make choices. A choice is free if it is consistent with a person's desires and nature. Free will is of two main types: compatibilistic and libertarian.(more research is needed if you desire to understand the difference)
A theological view that was in existence during the time of Jesus and prevailed strongly after the resurrection of Jesus as The New Testament Cannon was being compiled . 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 power and value of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of humanity and we would still be lost in our sins.
Alphabets H - N
A quality of perfection, sinlessness, and inability to sin that is possessed by God alone. As Christians we are called to be holy (1 Pet. 1:16). But this does not refer to our nature. Instead, it is a command of our practice and thought. We are to be holy in obedience (1 Pet. 1:15). God has made us holy through His Son Jesus (Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 2:9). It is a quality or condition of being at one with God. All Christians should strive to achieve this.
(I have made an exception here and will include a second entry for H).
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: divine and human. He is not half God and half man. Therefore, there is a "union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature. Note: This is very similar to The Communicatio idiomatum
To reckon to someone the blessing, curse, debt, etc. of another. Adam's sin is imputed to all people (Rom. 5:12-21), therefore, we are all guilty before God. Our sins were put upon, imputed, to Jesus on the cross where He became sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21) and died with them (Isaiah 53:4-6). Therefore, our sins are forgiven. Understanding imputation is very important. Imputation is the means of our salvation. Our sins were put upon, imputed, to Jesus on the cross. Our sins were "given" to Jesus. When He died on the cross, our sins, in a sense, died with Him. The righteousness that was His through His perfect obedience to the Father in His complete obedience to the Law is imputed, given, to us. In short, our sins were given to Jesus. His righteousness was given to us. Technically speaking our sins were imputed to Jesus. His righteousness was imputed to us.
To be justified is to be made righteous. It is a divine act through which God liberates and individual to be and become all that he or she is meant to be, allowing the individual to act fully and completely "in the image and likeness of God." For Christians, justification is made possible through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24, 5:1) rather than an achievement or accomplishment of the individual. Those who are justified may be expected to act with the same loving kindness, regard for the poor, and love of peace that Jesus so powerfully exhibited.
When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and "sees" him without sin.
Kingdom of God, The
The kingdom of God is a focal point in the teaching of Jesus. For Jesus, "the kingdom of God" or "the kingdom of heaven" begins in the life of the individual who exhibits the love and justice of God. It was this immediate sense of the reality of the "kingdom" that Jesus had in mind when he said that the "kingdom of God is in the midst of you." The notion also refers to the end of time when God's reign will be complete.
The kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven appear to be variations of the same idea.
Entrance into the kingdom of God is by a new birth (John 3:5), repentance (Matt. 3:2), and the divine call (1 Thess. 2:12).
In Christianity, "liberal" is a word used of those who acknowledge the significant role of human reason, science, the arts, and other fields of research in the pursuit of truth, and attempt to frame and express the faith while taking such sources of knowledge seriously. Some more "conservative" Christians see this as a threat to the faith and urge, instead, a reliance upon the Bible as the exclusive source of truth, even though there are numerous passages in the Bible itself that point to nature and human reason as valuable and important.
The result of liberalism 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 through faith alone.
This word Literally, means 1000 years. In the study of end times doctrines (eschatology) the millennium is the duration of Christ's rule over the earth.(Rev. 20:4) The Big debate is been over when the millennium will take place and what it actually is. The terms that have arisen out of this debate are premillennialism, amillennialism, and postmillennialism. Premillennialism teaches that the millennium is yet future and that upon Christ's return He will set up His earthly kingdom. Amillennialism teaches that the millennium is a figurative period and that Christ's rule began when He first became human. Postmillennialism teaches that through the preaching of the Word of God, the world will be converted and will then usher in Christ and the kingdom of God. There are good arguments for each position and at least 2 of them are Wrong. Paul said in (I Cor. 12:14) that we now see through a glass darkly and know in part but when Christ comes back it will all be clear
The belief that all of human experience and events in the time-space continuum can be explained as a function of causes that are purely natural and open to scientific understanding and explanation. This eliminates God from the picture
Alphabets O - U
Occult means "hidden". It covers practices that are not approved of by God and religious authorities, for example, astrology (Isaiah 47:13), casting spells (Deut. 18:11), consulting with spirits (Deut. 18:11), magic (Gen. 41:8), sorcery (Exodus. 22:8), witchcraft (Deut. 18:10), and spiritism (Deut. 18:11).
Occult practices such as Ouija boards, tarot cards, astrology charts, contacting the dead, séances, etc. thrive today, because they are practices frowned on by organized Christianity and thus have the allure of the forbidden. These practices should be avoided like the plague by all Christians.
The following is heresy straight from the pit of hell
The teaching that there was a race of people before Adam and Eve who lived in the Garden and that the fall of Satan caused a widespread destruction of the world. The result of this destruction was so vast that the world needed to be re-made with Adam and Eve being the first of the new order (This attempts to make God a failure and a liar which He states that He cannot do (Heb. 6:17-18).
The Qur'an (Koran, Quran) is the Holy Book of Islam and the religion's most sacred writing. Muslims consider it the actual word of Allah(their god) and not the words of Muhammad to whom it was given. Muslim tradition states that the angel Gabriel visited Muhammad and gave him the words directly from Allah. These words were Allah's words of wisdom, truth, and commandments to His creation. The Qur'an (which means recitation) was revealed in the Arabic dialect used by the Quraish tribe of Mecca of that time. This dialect became the formal Arabic of the Islamic nations due to the distribution of Qur'anic scriptures throughout the Islamic empire. In the Arabic the Qur'an is poetic in style with rhymes, meter, and shifts in line lengths. Those who speak the language say it is a beautiful work.
The Quran is divided into 114 chapters, called Surahs. The word surah means "row". Today the Koran is arranged with the longer surahs first and the shorter ones after, with the whole thing divided into 30 approximately equal lengths.
Reconciliation is changing for the better a relationship between two or more persons. Theologically it refers to the change of relationship between God and humanity made possible in the life and work of Jesus.
We are now able to have fellowship with God (1 John 1:3) whereas before we could not. So, we are reconciled to Him through Jesus His Son. (Rom. 5:1& 10-11).
Sola Scriptura is the teaching that the Scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation and proper living before God. Sola Scriptura means that the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments are the final authority in all that they address (1 Cor. 4:6) and that tradition, even so-called Sacred Tradition is judged by Scriptures. Sola Scriptura does not negate past councils or traditions. Instead, it is above them and they are to be judged by scripture. The teaching also states that the Scriptures contain all that is necessary for salvation and proper living before God.
The word "trinity" is not found in the Bible. Nevertheless, it is a word used to describe one fact the Bible teaches about God: Our God is a Trinity. This means there are three persons in one God, not three Gods. The persons are known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and they have all always existed as three distinct persons. The person of the Father is not the same person as the Son. The person of the Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. The person of the Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. If you take away any one, there is no God. God has always been a trinity from all eternity: "From everlasting to everlasting, You are God," (Psalm 90:2).
God is not one person who took three forms, i.e., the Father who became the Son, who then became the Holy Spirit. This belief is known today as the "Jesus Only Movement (also known as Oneness Pentecostalism)". It is taught by the United Apostolic and United Pentecostal churches, and is an incorrect teaching.
Nor is God only one person as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Way International, and the Christadelphians teach (These groups are classified as non-Christian cults).
The Bible says there is only one God. (Issa. 45:1,6,18) Yet, it says Jesus is God (John 1:1,14); it says the Father is God (Phil. 1:2); and it says the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Since the Son speaks to the Father, they are distinct persons. Since the Holy Spirit speaks also (Acts 13:2), He is a distinct person. Conclusion: There is one God who exists in three persons
It is 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.
This is definitely a false teaching and there is sufficient scripture that verifies that it is false.
Alphabets V - Z
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 (1 Pet. 2:24).
Word of God, The
It is inspired: (2 Tim. 3:16).
It is truth: (Psalm 119:151).
It makes you free: (John 8:32).
It produces faith: (Rom. 10:17).
It judges: (Heb. 4:12).
There is only one entry for x
Ex-nihilo is a Latin phrase which means out of nothing. It is often used by Christians to describe the biblical view of creation, i.e. Creation ex-nihilo.
Yin and Yang
Yin and Yang is a dualistic philosophy of passive and active, good and bad, light and dark, positive and negative, male and female, etc., and that they are in opposition, each is part of the whole and works together.
The stars in the heavens divided into twelve main groups. Imaginary patterns are imposed upon various star patterns as an aid to remember the stars. In Astrology, the Zodiac signs are suppose to signify personality types for the people born under them. The Zodiac signs are determined by durations of time in the calendar. The twelve signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. They are Satanic and it is not recommended that Christians follow this type of mysticism It is forbidden in (Isa. 47:13-14)
Rev. George Pryor Th.M.