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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers S-Z : Dictionary of Theology : 

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A priori
       Knowledge, judgments, and principles which are true without verification or testing. It is universally true. ... read more

A.D.
      From the Latin, "Anno Domini," which means in the year of our Lord. The Western Calendar is dated from the birth of Christ. Therefore, 2000 A.D. means 2000 years after the birth of Jesus. ... read more

Abaddon
      The Hebrew word for "destroyer" whose Greek equivalent was "Apollyon." Abaddon is the satanic angel of the Abyss (Rev. 9:11 ). ... read more

Absolution
      In Catholicism, the act of releasing someone from their sin by God, through the means of a priest. ... read more

Abyss
      The abode of the dead and the place where evil spirits are imprisoned (Rev. 9:1-11). ... read more

Active Obedience
      As distinguished from passive obedience in Reformed Theology. Active obedience is Jesus' actively fulfilling all the law of God. This active obedience is imputed to the believer when he believes; that is, God reckons to the believer the righteousness o ... read more

Adiaphora
      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. ... read more

Adoptionism
      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 ba ... read more

Advent
       From the Latin, “coming.” The coming of or the arrival of something very important as in the advent of Christ’s return. Advent is also a Christian time of preparation preceding Christmas. ... read more

Agnosticism
      The belief that it is not possible to know if there is or is not a God. (Compare Atheism, Deism, and Theism.) ... read more

Albigenses
      A heresy during the middle ages that developed in the town Albi in Southern France. This error taught that there were two gods: the good god of light usually referred to as Jesus in the New Testament and the god of darkness and evil usually associated wit ... read more

Amillennialism
      The teaching that there is no literal 1000 year reign of Christ as referenced in Revelation 20. It sees the 1000 year period spoken of in Revelation 20 as figurative. Instead, it teaches that we are in the millennium now, and that at the return of Christ ... read more

Anabaptists
      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 beli ... read more

Angel
      Angel means messenger. Angels are created (Psalm 148:2,5; Col. 1:16), non-human, spirit beings (Heb. 1:14). They are immortal (Luke 20:36), innumerable (Heb. 12:22), invisible (Num. 22:22-31), sexless (Matt. 22:30), and do the will of God (Psalm 103:20). ... read more

Animism
      The belief that everything in the universe contains a living soul. The belief that every object is indwelt by a spirit. ... read more

Annihilationism
      The teaching that when a person dies, he is annihilated, most often this doctrine is applied to the wicked, thereby negating eternal hell fire. This is contradicted by the Bible in Matt. 25:46 which says “And these will go away into eternal punishment, bu ... read more

Anthropic Principle
      The idea that the universe exhibits elements of design specifically for the purpose of containing intelligent beings; namely, humans. Much debate surrounds this issue. Is the universe necessarily arranged by God so as to make life possible or is it simp ... read more

Anthropomorphic
      Manifesting in human form. It is from the Greek "anthropos" meaning "man" and "morphe" meaning "form." In biblical theology, God is described in anthropomorphic terms; that is, in human terms with human attributes. For example, God has hands an ... read more

Antichrist
       A figure who opposes God. The word is used to describe a spirit of rebellion against God, "...the spirit of the Antichrist..." (1 John 4:3) and of a specific future person identified as the man of lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3). He actively opposes Christ ... read more

Antinomianism
       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 ... read more

Apocalypse
      From the Greek word for "revelation," or "unveiling." It is synonymous with Armageddon and refers to those future things dealing with the return of Christ and the great battle of Armageddon. ... read more

Apocrypha
      The word apocrypha means hidden. It is used in a general sense to describe a list of books written by Jews between 300 and 100 B.C. More specifically, it is used of the seven additional books accepted by the Catholic church as being inspired. The entire l ... read more

Apollinarianism
       Apollinarianism was the heresy taught by Apollinaris the Younger, bishop of Laodicea in Syria about 361. He taught that the Logos of God, which became the divine nature of Christ, took the place of the rational human soul of Jesus and that the body of C ... read more

Apollyon
       Greek for "destroyer." He is the angel of the Abyss, "They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon," (Rev. 9:11 ). ... read more

Apologetics
      The word "apologetics" is derived from the Greek word "apologia," which means to make a defense. It has come to mean defense of the faith. Apologetics covers many areas: who Jesus is, the reliability of the Bible, refuting cults, biblical evidences in ... read more

Apostasy
      The falling away from the 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. ... read more

Apostle
      Someone sent with a special message or commission. Jesus is called the apostle and high Priest of our confession in Hebrews 3:1. The twelve apostles of Jesus were Simon Peter, Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, J ... read more

Apparition
      An unexpected, supernatural appearance of a ghost or a person. Folklore of apparitions are particularly strong among Catholics who claim appearances of the saints, Mary, and Jesus with messages of repentance and turning to the Catholic sacraments and con ... read more

Archangel
      In the Bible, a Greek word found only in the New Testament in two places: 1 Thess. 4:16, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first" ... read more

Argument from Design
      An attempt to prove God's existence by arguing that the universe and things in it exhibit attributes of design. A design must have a designer. Since the Universe appears designed, it had to have someone who designed it. ... read more

Argumentum ad hominem
      An irrelevant attack upon a person to deflect the argument from the facts and reasons. ... read more

Argumentum ad judicium
      An argument where appeal is made to common sense and the judgment of people as validating a point. ... read more

Argumentum ad populum
      An argument where appeal is made to emotions: loyalties, patriotism, prejudices, etc. ... read more

Argumentum ad verecundiam
      An argument using respect for great men, customs, institutions, and authority in an attempt to strengthen one's argument and provide an illusion of proof. ... read more

Arianism
      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, th ... read more

Ark of the Covenant
       Also called the "Ark of the Testimony" (Ex. 30:6), "Ark of God" (1 Sam. 3:3), and the "Ark of the covenant of the Lord" (Deut. 10:8). The Ark of the Covenant was very sacred to the Ancient Jews. It was a rectangular box made of Acacia wood about ... read more

Armageddon
      The word "armageddon" only occurs in Rev. 16:16. It is the location of the final great battle between good and evil called the Great Day of God Almighty. ... read more

Arminianism
      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 fai ... read more

Ascended Master
      A New Age term designating a person of great learning and wisdom who lives on the astral plane. They are not physical beings. An astral plane is another dimension of reality beyond our world and is outside of time and space. Supposedly, Jesus, Buddha, ... read more

Ascension
      The bodily taking up of Jesus into the heavens to be at the right hand of God the Father. The account of Jesus' ascension is record by Luke in Acts 1:4-11. ... read more

Assumption
       In Catholicism, the taking of the body and soul of Mary, by God, into glory. Catholic doctrine, apparently, does not state whether or not Mary died, but tradition holds that she died and was immediately afterward assumed into heaven both body and soul. ... read more

Assurance
      Theologically, assurance is the state of being confident in a condition or outcome. Usually it is applied to one’s assurance of salvation. Texts often used to support assurance of salvation are John 10:28 “and I give eternal life to them, and they shall n ... read more

Astral Projection
      In Eastern metaphysical and new age philosophies, astral projection is the practice of the soul leaving the human body and traveling around this world or other planes of existence. ... read more

Astrology
       A system of divination using the positions of stars, planets, and the moon, in the twelve Zodiac signs, as a means to predict the future. One's birth date falls into a Zodiac sign and this is used in determining predictive events in relation to the ast ... read more

Atheism
      This word comes from two Greek words, a the negator, and theos, God. Atheism teaches that there is no God of any kind, anywhere, anytime. Some atheists claim to "exercise no belief in a god" the same way they would exercise no belief in pink unicorns. ... read more

Atonement
      To atone means to make amends, to repair a wrong done. Biblically, it means to remove sin. The Old Testament atonements offered by the high priest were temporary and a foreshadow of the real and final atonement made by Jesus. Jesus atoned for the sins of ... read more

Aura
      A term frequently used by New Agers to describe a field of energy emitted by every living thing, particularly people. This aura takes on different colors depending on the person's mood, state of wellness, etc., and some New Age practitioners claim the a ... read more

Autograph
       An original writing of a biblical document. The original manuscript written. The autographs would be the actual, original written document from which copies are made. ... read more

Autonomy
       Freedom from all external constraints. Independence consisting of self-determination. ... read more

Baal
      A Canaanite god. The word means "lord" or "husband." He was a god of weather, associated with thunder, which appointed the times of the rains, and was considered to be the son of the pagan god Dagon. The ancient Jews were often tempted to follow Ba ... read more

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