questions asking for clarification of a theological term

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18
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
30k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

What is the difference between an Apostle and an Evangelist according to Charismatic Christianity?

Consider the following passage from the letter to the Ephesians that lists a number of offices of ministry. Ephesians 4:11-14 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as ...
16
votes
2answers
433 views

What caused the shift from “Faith Of Christ” to “Faith In Christ” in modern translations?

The phrase "Faith in Christ" can also be translated "Faith of Christ": In the older school of translations of the Bible into English (I'll call them the "King James school" of translations), almost ...
11
votes
4answers
9k views

What do Christians mean by “holy”? [closed]

What is the meaning of the word holy from a Christian viewpoint? I observed that the term is used for the gods, especially the Holy God (Father) and Holy Ghost; persons, such as the holy apostles, ...
15
votes
4answers
245 views

Is there a name for believing but not obeying?

Although it is a theoretical question, it is still very interesting for me. Is there a system of beliefs or at least a name for people who believe in the existence of God and that events described in ...
3
votes
1answer
44 views

What term is used to mean a prophetic message has a present and future application?

I am looking for the term that describes prophecy as both present and future in meaning.
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the theory that there is more than one “Satan” called, and what is its basis?

I'm remembering back to a conversation that I had with an individual who was adamant about the fact that Satan was a made up Angel. That instead of Satan being a singular object, satan was actually ...
21
votes
3answers
423 views

What are the main tenets and/or beliefs of the 'Emergent' Church?

'Emergent' is a word I see gets thrown around a lot. Is there any definition to what is and what isn't emergent? Is it a catch-all for certain points of view? Are there people out there that ...
11
votes
2answers
759 views

Is there a difference between Liberal, Progressive, and Emergent Christianity?

In many evangelical circles I hear people use the terms liberal, progressive and emergent quite a bit, especially recently. Do these all refer to the same categorization of groups or of thought? Or ...
3
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
8k views

What is the difference between “infallible” and “inerrant”?

As with many others I know, I believe in both the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible. But what is the difference between these two important terms? If something has no errors (inerrant), then ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

What is the name of the belief that each of us is guilty for the sins of our neighbors?

What is the name of for the doctrine that each of us is individually guilty of all sin; that our own spiritual failures and lack of love are the cause of our neighbor's shortcomings? I do not mean ...
1
vote
2answers
597 views

Definition of “Prince” in Bible?

Quite often "prince" and "princes" are mentioned in the scriptures. Of particular interest are expressions such as these: "Prince of Persia" "Prince of Peace" And similar expressions - ...
12
votes
2answers
5k 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?
19
votes
5answers
11k views

Why does Catholicism have priests but Protestantism does not?

The Catholic Church (and apparently Lutheran, Anglican and Episcopalian churches) have clergy with the title of "priest", as did Old Testament Judaism. Are Protestant "preachers", "reverends", ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

Lutheranism: “Pastor” or “Priest”?

I have noticed that some Lutheran churches refer to their ministers as "priests" while others refer to their ministers as "pastors." When did some Lutheran churches cease using "priest" in favor of ...
7
votes
6answers
108k 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. It generally ...
4
votes
3answers
131 views

Is there a name for the low wall that is often in front of a choir?

There's typically a low wall, about hip-high, in front of the first row of the choir. Religious architecture typically has its own terminology, and Christian architecture in particular. So is there a ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Meaning of term “satisfactory” in T. S Eliot's Journey of the Magi [closed]

In T. S. Eliot's "The Journey of the Magi", the following line appears: Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory Context: The three magi have arrived at the barn and one of them ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the definition of 'free will' as explained in the Bible? [closed]

Reading a question on this site I suddenly realized that I do not know what 'free will' means. I cannot find a definition in other questions asked and my philosophy books clouded the whole issue. ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

In Catholicism, do the teachers more truly constitute the “church” than the hearers?

While reading Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology, I found him claiming that Catholicism makes an important distinction between the teaching church (ecclesia docens) and the hearing church (ecclesia ...
5
votes
1answer
25k views

What is a gospel, and how many gospels are there in the Catholic Bible?

Is there a difference between 'books' and 'gospels'? I've read that there are 73 books in the Catholic Bible, but are all of these considered gospels? Or are there just four gospels in total: Matthew, ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Is there a term for a marriage between a Catholic and a Protestant?

I know that different denominations have different rules about inter-denominational marriages. Is there a specific term for this kind of marriage? I'm looking for any term from anywhere. Best case, ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What is a Miracle and does it require Faith? [closed]

I was reading Matthew 8 today and I was pondering upon the verse (verses 8-13) interaction between Jesus and a certain centurion. To summarize, the centurion tells Jesus that his servant is paralyzed ...
9
votes
2answers
24k views

Is there a difference between prayer and petition?

Philippians 4:6 uses two words, possibly implying a difference between prayer and petition. Can someone explain what this difference is? Philippians 4:6 (NIV) 6  Do not be anxious about ...
0
votes
3answers
258 views

Can theology still be defined “the science of faith”?

According to Wikipedia, Richard Hooker (March 1554 – 3 November 1600) was an English Anglican priest and an influential theologian. He was one of the most important English theologians of the ...
14
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
132 views

What is meant by “order” in reference to ministries within the Church, and how did its usage come about?

FMS' answer to What are the positions relative to each other in the Catholic church's clerical hierarchy? mentioned a twofold hierarchy in the Church, that of order and that of jurisdiction. Given ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

How does C. S. Lewis define the “natural” and “supernatural” in his book Miracles?

In the second chapter of Miracles, C. S. Lewis sets out to define the terms "natural" and "supernatural" as well as the term "sub-natural". I'm interested in help drawing out what Lewis is saying in ...
1
vote
4answers
706 views

What is the difference between original sin and original guilt?

This is a question that every convert to Eastern Orthodoxy always asked. The question can be stated differently: Does the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin include Original Guilt? Fr. John Romanides ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the background of the words “notitia,” “fiducia,” and “assensus” and how do they relate to the biblical notion of “faith”?

The book Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (page 18) describes notitia, fiducia, and assensus as the three essential elements that make up the biblical notion of "faith." notitia ...
13
votes
5answers
305 views

What basis is there for defining sin as “rebellion”?

Many popular Protestant gospel explanations and frameworks define the essence of sin as rebellion against God. Two Ways to Live: The sad truth is that, from the very beginning, men and women ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Who uses the term “God-talk”, and what do they mean?

I've seen many books and articles that use the word God-talk. This seems, often, to be used as a friendlier alternative to theology, which comes from the Greek θεός (theos) for God, and λόγος (logos) ...
7
votes
1answer
86 views

Creed, Encyclical, Decretal, Canon, Bull, etc - What's the difference?

In Catholicism, what is the difference between a Creed, an Encyclical, a Decretal, a Canon and a Papal Bull? Are there any other decrees or formal or informal outlines of official church doctrine used ...
23
votes
2answers
11k views

From a Fundamentalist standpoint, what does the phrase “Inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God” mean?

Many denominations teach that the Bible is the "inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God." Detractors of Christianity, and even some denominations within Christianity, disagree with all or some of ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

What is the difference between commandments, testimonies, statutes, precepts, judgements, and law?

Reading Psalms 119, we see the following words: Commandments Law Way Testimonies Precepts Judgments Statutes Ordinances Word Deut 26: 16 - 19 reads 16 “This day the Lord your God commands you ...
2
votes
2answers
163 views

Why is Satan referred to as Beelzebub? [closed]

In one of the passages in the bible, Satan is referred to Beelzebub which means "lord of flies." But why flies? Why is this name so significant?
2
votes
2answers
450 views

Why is globalization the mark of the beast?

Was listening to a sermon on K-WAVE from Calvary Chapel on the radio. The pastor stated that "globalization" was a mark of the beast and that it signifies Jesus will be returning soon. What's the ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Xmas a secular name for Christmas?

I heard that Xmas is a secular way of "taking Christ out of Christmas". When and why did this practice originate? Is there any truth to the claim that it has a secular or "un-Christian" origin?
7
votes
1answer
195 views

Is “Worship Pastor” a new term?

From Wikipedia article "Worship pastor" A Worship Pastor usually refers to a person in some Christian churches, largely in North America, who ministers within the church via music performance, ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

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 ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

Where did the idiom “asking Jesus into your heart” come from?

Where did the idea of "asking Jesus into your heart" come from? That figure of speech is not explicitly from the bible or probably even early church history. Can anyone find its first use and maybe ...
14
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the Catholic concept of grace?

This question reminded me of a question I've had for a long time: What is the Catholic concept of grace? A look at the dictionary says: grace [greys] noun favor or goodwill. Synonyms: ...
5
votes
7answers
30k views

What is God's definition of forgiveness? [closed]

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Why are church leaders called “Father”?

Could anyone explain to me why some groups of Christians call their leaders "Father"?
3
votes
2answers
210 views

What is Protestant Scholasticism?

I read a tag line advocating Lutheran Theologian Dr. Jack Kilcrease offering a class on "Protestant Scholasticism", which I had never heard of before. This seems odd to me because of Luther's ...
14
votes
3answers
21k views

What does INRI stand for?

On the crucifix there is sometimes a plate above Jesus' head that has the letters INRI. What does INRI mean or stand for? Why is it there?
17
votes
6answers
1k views

What is “faith?” [closed]

The Bible and Christians talk about faith a lot. Matthew 12:32 talks about "faith as a mustard seed" for instance. I've heard many Christians say things like "I don't have enough faith," or "I want ...