questions asking for clarification of a theological term

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1answer
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What does “to pray” mean in Catholicism?

The general usage of to pray in non-Catholic religious settings seems to indicate worship of God, raising one's heart to God, and forms of reaching out or responding to God. However, we often hear ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the Protestant belief known as “faith alone”?

"Faith Alone"? If you have heard the term "Protestant" before, chances are you have also heard the saying "faith alone." The way Protestants speak of "faith alone" might almost give one the ...
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14answers
14k views

What exactly does it mean that Jesus Christ is the son of God?

What does it mean to a Christian that Christ is the son of God? On the one hand, obviously, the normal biological meaning of son does not apply. On the other hand, "we are all children of God", but ...
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2answers
8k views

What is the “gospel” supposed to mean?

What is the gospel supposed to mean? In what ways can it be used? What do Christians generally mean when they use the term "gospel"?
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2answers
243 views

What's the basic premise behind “restorationist” movements?

To the untrained ear, the labels used in Christian circles for some groups of churches as either "reformational" or "restorationist" don't seem that different. If the label "reformed" is a direct ...
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1answer
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What are the relationships between 'Bible', 'Hebrew Bible', 'Aramaic Bible', 'Tanakh' etc?

What are the relationships between the terms 'Bible', 'Hebrew Bible', 'Aramaic Bible', 'Greek Bible', 'King's Bible', 'Torah', 'Tanakh', 'Old Testament' and 'New Testament'? Wikipedia seem to have ...
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4answers
729 views

What is the difference between the grave and Hades? [closed]

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise ...
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3answers
15k views

What does it mean to “Bless the LORD”?

Psalm 103:1-2 (KJV) Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits What does it mean to say "Bless ...
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2answers
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Does the word 'testament' in the titles OT and NT imply the death of the testator in both covenants?

A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his estate and provides for the transfer of his property at death. This property an ...
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1answer
91 views

Do Catholics have an “Apocrypha” or just a “Bible”?

Pardon my ignorance here, but I am just wondering if the Apocrypha is labeled as such by Catholics? To clarify, a Protestant would refer to the 66 books of Protestant Scripture as "the Bible", and to ...
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4answers
5k views

What is the difference between a dogma, a doctrine, an infallible statement, an ex cathedra statement, etc.?

There are a variety of terms used in the Catholic Church to refer to particular statements or beliefs. Here are a number of some such terms: Dogma Doctrine Infallible statement Infallible papal ...
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1answer
373 views

What significance did the “heart” possess in the ancient cultures contemporary with the biblical era?

I've had as hard a time with the concept of the heart as I've had with the concept of the soul. Currently I am thinking the heart is a reference to what your goals are and what you direct your ...
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2answers
595 views

What does “amen” mean?

One of the most common responses that Christians make is to say the word "amen". Here's an example from a Mass: Priest: May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. ...
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5answers
594 views

What is the opposite of sin?

We have: Good - Evil Love - Hate Virtue - Vice Bless - Curse Righteous - Wicked Obedience - Disobedience _____? - Sin I don't mean sin as a general disposition, or original sin. I mean a deed ...
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2answers
715 views

What is the “eschatological tension”

I was listening to a recorded sermon on my way to work today and the preacher mentioned the eschatological tension. Is there a good definition of what the eschatological tension is? If it makes a ...
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1answer
578 views

What is the LDS definition of “Divinity”

Prompted by this comment. In answering a question on the divinity of Christ, I used the understanding (definition) of the term that is commonly understood in mainline protestant terms. From ...
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3answers
466 views

What is “the spirit of this world.” referred to by John-Paul II

The Wikipedia article on the "Prayer to Saint Michael" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_to_Saint_Michael) says that Pope John-Paul II referred to "the spirit of this world" when recommending the ...
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4answers
8k views

What is temptation?

Temptation, in the common secular sense, seems to indicate an attraction to something. Temptation The act of tempting The condition of being tempted. Something attractive, tempting or ...
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3answers
268 views

What does it mean / how do you know / how would you explain “God is working” or “God is at work”?

Usually this phrase may come up during testimonies or used at church. How would you explain it to someone who asks "How do you know it was God at work?" (usually an unbeliever) Suppose someone has ...
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4answers
5k views

What does “scripture” mean in NT writing?

This is slightly a take-off from: What does it mean that all scripture is God-Breathed? The Bible as we know it today wasn't canonized and compiled into a single volume until much later. In ...
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3answers
7k views

What is the Christian definition of “The Messiah”?

Christianity is the religion of people who consider Jesus to be "The Messiah". But what is the Christian definition of "The Messiah"? Since Christian theology is based on the notion of "The ...
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5answers
795 views

In what different ways is the word “cult” used as a label inside Christianity?

The word "cult" gets bandied about quite a bit, but is there an official definition or some kind of formula which can be used to consistently identify whether a group is a cult or not? Baring an ...
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2answers
55k views

When did “tithing” come to mean “giving 10% of your gross income to the Church”?

I know the word "tithe" has "tenth" built into it, and so some Christians assume that every usage of the word "tithe" in Scripture is referring to "giving 10% of your gross income to the church." But ...
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2answers
1k views

Are “sin” and “transgression” different in LDS terminology?

I noticed in the opening address at the October 2012 General Conference, that -- at least in the context of a speech -- the terms "sin" and "transgression" were stressed independently and each more ...
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4answers
379 views

You might be a “fundamentalist” if ___

What sources could one appeal to if trying to argue if a doctrine was or was not consistent with fundamentalism? The question What is fundamentalism? identifies the historical source and some of the ...
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6answers
72k views

What is the Biblical definition of “prophecy”?

In common parlance, prophecy is often considered to be "predicting the future." For some, it conjures up images of telephone psychics and the like. Others might envision a crystal ball, or a Jamaican ...
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2answers
3k views

What is the difference between a Bible College and a Seminary?

I see some Christian education institutions refer to themselves as "Bible College" and some as "Seminary" and some as "Bible College and Seminary". What is the difference between those, if any?
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2answers
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What is the difference between a professing and a non-professing Christian with regards to their faith, beliefs, etc?

I have come across these terms many times but didn’t really come to understand the difference between the two. Is it that a non professing Christians stopped believing in Christianity or is it that ...
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4answers
15k views

What's the difference between the Gospel and the Bible?

The title almost says it all: What's the difference between the Gospel and the Bible? Does one contain the other or what? What does each one include? Where did each one come from (or who authored ...
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1answer
404 views

What is synthetic theology?

In a comment conversation on another question I suspect (at the chastisement of my interlocutor) I may have misused the term "synthetic theology" (or, perhaps, theological synthesis?). I think I had ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the significance of the Bible to Christianity? [closed]

What exactly is the significance of the Bible to Christianity? Is Christianity defined by the Bible? If so, is belief in the Bible the most important (or foundational) belief in Christianity? Is ...
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1answer
160 views

What is Lordship Salvation?

I have heard the term "Lordship Salvation" several times now, including in an answer I read recently. Can anyone explain to me what this is? Is this the official position of any major churches? Is ...
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4answers
307 views

What is “heresy”?

I have seen the word "heresy" used on this site a lot recently (and have used it myself a couple of times in jest) but I was wondering if someone could explain the meaning of this term as it is used ...
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3answers
4k views

What is meant by “God is Omnipotent”?

I'm questioning my own understanding of the term "Omnipotence" in response so a comment on one of my answers. In the comment, the poster included a definition of Omnipotence taken from the Wikipeda ...
3
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2answers
222 views

New Testament terms for the people of God

I commonly hear Christians refer to themselves either with that terms, "Christians," or as "believers". However, when I read the New Testament, particularly Paul's epistles, these do not strike me as ...
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3answers
11k views

What is the difference between Evangelical and Protestant?

Just the other day, I heard somebody talking politics and contrasted the Roman Catholic church's political influence with "the Evangelical vote". In this sense, as is often done in US media, the word ...
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6answers
3k views

What is the history of the concept of a “personal relationship with Jesus”?

It is common these days to hear questions like: Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or... The most important thing is your personal relationship with Jesus. The Bible never ...
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4answers
313 views

Catholic view of Biblical saints

Saints are present throughout the Bible. In my understanding, Protestant use of this word applies to all believers, which I understand is the New Testament (and OT?) meaning of the word. In my ...
12
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1answer
22k views

Why do Mormons use the term “elder” for their missionaries?

Most of the Mormon missionaries I've encountered are young men doing a couple year stint. They are typically identified as "elders", but my understanding is that this designation is only temporary ...
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7answers
22k views

What is God's definition of forgiveness?

I have wrestled with this topic for years and have come to all sorts of conclusions along the way. Please, I'm searching for what others perceive is God's definition of forgiveness. If we are ...
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2answers
9k views

Why is the word “Ark” used for Noah's boat and the Ark of the Covenant?

What exactly is the meaning of an "ark" that applies to a boat and that thing that melts off the Nazi's faces in the first Indiana Jones movie?
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1answer
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What were people called who believed in the “Christ” before Jesus was born?

About 2000 years ago Jesus Christ died on a cross. A person who is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings is called Christian. My question is what were people called who followed the Messiah ...
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4answers
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What are the reasons for calling oneself a “follower of Jesus” rather than a Christian?

In the last several years, I've noticed a trend of people who reject the label "Christian," and instead prefer to use terms like "Christ follower" or "follower of Jesus." (Not to be confused with ...
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1answer
341 views

Who is Ba'al from the Old Testament?

Judges 6:31 NIV But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If ...
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1answer
313 views

Is veneration worship?

I answered this question calling adoration and veneration honor given to God and the saints accordingly. If you look at the edits for my answer, I think I had some confusion as to the terminology ...
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3answers
2k views

When talking about the Trinity, what does “persons” mean?

The triune God is defined as three persons equal in nature. What does "persons" mean in this statement? Can the word "persons" be replaced with "personalities" or "roles"?
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4answers
2k views

Is it fair to say that Baptists have a liturgy?

One distinctive of Baptists and many other congregational churches is that they have no prescribed method of worship. Unlike, say, an Episcopalian or a Roman Catholic, there is no prayer book and no ...
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3answers
16k views

What is the difference between Natural Law and Divine Law?

In Catholic understanding, there is a divine law and a natural law. Based on my reading, it seems like Divine Law = Revelation (as a Protestant would call it) and Natural Law = what you could deduce ...
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5answers
120k views

What is the difference between a pastor, a priest, and a minister?

No, this is not the start of a joke about a bunch of people walking into a bar. Rather, I thought it would be helpful to clarify various titles that people give to leadership roles in churches.
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5answers
170 views

Is Christianity the sum of the actions and beliefs of its adherents or a set of actions and beliefs defined by the Bible? [closed]

This question is closely related to those regarding the definition of a Christian that was also discussed on the meta site here and here. While I consider that question answered and outside the scope ...