Questions tagged [terminology]

questions regarding the meaning or usage of Christian terminology

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Is there a standard definition of what 'heresy' is across Protestant denominations?

Different major branches of Christianity often understand certain terms differently. Is there a standard definition of 'heresy' across major Protestant denominations?
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3 votes
1 answer
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According to Catholic scholars, are the terms "God's Plan" and "God's Will" one and the same?

The Bible very rarely uses the term God's Plan, for instance: Ps 107:11 (NIV): because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. Micah 2:3 (NIV): Therefore, the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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What is the biblical basis for distinguishing between spiritual gifts and church offices?

I've heard Christians claim that someone may have the "gift of apostleship", even though they may lack the "church office" of apostle itself. Same for prophet, evangelist, teacher, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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The priest/preacher's prayer before the sermon/homily -- what is it and why do the ECLA (and others) do it?

Tried to put the gist of this in the subject. Often in my tradition (ELCA), the preacher will say a quick prayer before preaching; often it's the "May the words of my mouth.." prayer, or ...
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According to Biblical Unitarians, what does it mean for Jesus to be the Son of God?

I am curious to hear what the term “Son of God” means to a Biblical Unitarian when it applies to Jesus.
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What is an overview of Christian beliefs on the essential features and functions of an Apostle?

The following are examples of (possible) essential features and functions of an Apostle I've heard from different sources. An authentic Apostle ... Had to be called supernaturally by God Himself in ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why don't Protestants use the Augustinian concept of concupiscence?

Concupiscence, which can be defined as perversity and lack of order, a turning away from the Creator who is more excellent toward creatures which are inferior to Him (To Simplician, I.2.18) which is ...
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2 votes
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In the study of systematic theology what is the motivation behind creating the term "Covenant of Grace"?

Sometimes I'm not clear why a systematic theologian doesn't simply adopt the Biblical term "New Covenant" but using terms like "Covenant of Grace". What is the reasoning behind it?...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is a brief history of the term "reformed" as in Reformed churches and Reformed theology?

Why do theologies and churches based on the teaching of Calvin consistently self-identify using the term "Reformed" even down to the 21st century, such as the 2019 Reformed Systematic ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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What exactly does "Spirit-Filled" mean?

I recently saw this being used on a church website, where they describe themselves as "a regional, Spirit-filled, Word-based church led by Pastors Keith and Margie Nix." Now, I understand &...
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1 answer
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What is the difference between "miraculous" and "supernatural"?

I already asked a question about whether a standard definition for the word miracle exists, but what about the word supernatural? Can something be supernatural and yet not miraculous? Are there ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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According to believers in an eternal conscious torment/separation, what is the biblical basis for distinguishing between life and consciousness?

According to believers in an eternal conscious torment (ECT) or separation (ECS) of the wicked, this is the punishment that Revelation 20 refers to as the "second death". But, if the damned ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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According to Christians who believe that salvation can be lost, what is spiritual rebirth, what is eternal life and can salvation be regained?

According to Christians who believe that salvation can be lost: What is eternal life? Is eternal life attained now (in this life / before death) or at the resurrection? What is spiritual rebirth? ...
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What is the Church's traditional understanding of usury and has it changed?

From scripture, it would seem that the taking of interest on any loan is unjust (Leviticus 25:36–37). Most people are also familiar with the fact that usury used to be condemned by Christians. But, it ...
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Is there a name for solving doctrinal disputes that cannot be decided on exegesis alone by surveying the positions of the Ante-Nicene Fathers?

If two mutually contradictory doctrines A and B can both be defended through careful exegesis of different sets of passages, in such a manner that there is no obvious way to "prove" (in a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Does Sola Scriptura entail Cessationism?

As a follow-up to my previous question What is the difference between Sola Scriptura and the belief in a closed canon?, I would like to know now about the implications that the doctrine of Sola ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What is the reasoning given by Trinitarians for using 'He' instead of 'It' to refer to God, inclusive of 3 persons? [duplicate]

The plain meaning of 'He' is one person. Similar with 'I'. Trinitarians seem to accept that referring to God, inclusive of 3 persons, as 'He' is appropriate. The view of Trinitarianism is that God is ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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What is the difference between Sola Scriptura and the belief in a closed canon?

Does belief in Sola Scriptura entail belief in a closed canon? Does belief in a closed canon entail belief in Sola Scriptura? What is the difference between these two concepts? Is it possible to ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between special revelation and (biblical) inspiration?

From the Wikipedia article on special revelation: Special revelation is a Christian theological term that refers to the belief that knowledge of God and of spiritual matters can be discovered through ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Are there theological explanations for why God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble?

1 Peter 5:5-7 (ESV): 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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Pharisees and Sadducees - A "brood of vipers" [closed]

Matthew 3 and Luke 3 recount the emergence of John the Baptist and the beginning of his ministry. When the Pharisees and Sadducees come to receive his baptism, he calls them out as a "brood of ...
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What is the difference between an apostle and a missionary according to Pentecostal & Charismatic Christianity?

Scripturally speaking, we know that apostleship was one of the most important offices in the early Church: 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then ...
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1 vote
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What is the difference between the "burning in the bosom" of Mormonism and the more general "inner witness of the Holy Spirit" of Christianity?

When it comes to having epistemological certainty that one's beliefs are true, Mormonism has the so-called "burning in the bosom" experience. Please see this related question to find a few ...
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-3 votes
6 answers
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Can you be Christian if you don't believe in God?

Is there anything in Christian canon that stipulates a belief in God is required to call oneself a Christian? Like in Islam, the shahada (profession of faith in Allah), is required to call oneself a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is God's name? [duplicate]

Is it Yahweh or is it Elohim? Do those words mean the same? I heard both these words being used in the comment section to the song what if God was one of us. One line in the song goes, If God had a ...
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What is the standard term for views that aren't Unitarian?

When talking about views that aren't Trinitarian (such as LDS, JW, Christian Science, and so on) people often use the term 'Non-Trinitarian'. Is there a standard term for views that are 'Non-Unitarian'...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is this belief called?

There is a belief that according to Hebrews 10:26, the "unforgivable sin" is sinning willfully after having been saved. What is this belief called and what is its theological origin? I'm not ...
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2 answers
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According to Catholicism, what is the difference between veneration and devotion?

I've seen both terms (veneration and devotion) used when referring to the Catholic attitude toward Mary and the Saints. According to Catholicism, what is the difference between these two terms?
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1 vote
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Is there a specific term to denote an encounter with the Holy Spirit?

Encounters with God (the Father) are called Theophanies, encounters with Jesus are called Christophanies, but what about encounters with the Holy Spirit? Is there a specific term for an encounter with ...
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0 answers
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How do Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians "seek" and "find" God?

Many Christians encourage people to "seek" God. Similarly, many Christians claim that God can be "found". I'm also well aware of the existence of many passages in the Bible that ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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According to Catholicism, how should Christians "seek" and "find" God?

Many Christians encourage people to "seek" God. Similarly, many Christians claim that God can be "found". I'm also well aware of the existence of many passages in the Bible that ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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According to Protestantism, how should Christians "seek" and "find" God?

Many Christians encourage people to "seek" God. Similarly, many Christians claim that God can be "found". I'm also well aware of the existence of many passages in the Bible that ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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Is there a standard definition of the word 'miracle' in Christianity?

Simple question: What does the word 'miracle' mean in Christianity? Is there a standard definition, and if so, what is the biblical basis? Or on the contrary, are there multiple definitions, and if so,...
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1 vote
2 answers
127 views

How do Christians who subscribe to the "religion vs. relationship" dichotomy make sure that their own relationship with God is genuine?

Many Christians emphasize the importance of having an actual relationship with God/Jesus as opposed to merely being religious. The previously asked question What is the origin of the "religion vs....
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1 vote
4 answers
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How do Christians who emphasize the "religion vs. relationship" dichotomy respond to claims of "relationship with God" in other religions?

Many Christians emphasize the importance of having an actual relationship with God/Jesus as opposed to merely being religious. The previously asked question What is the origin of the "religion vs....
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4 votes
5 answers
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Should Christians have a conscience about pagan or idolatrous nomenclature?

Given that much of modern science is steeped in atheism/secular humanism/agnosticism, and that those who don't believe in magic or magic persons (God/gods/spirits/demons/fairies, etc.) ironically seem ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is there a name for a category of Christians who lack a doctrinal position in the debate about God's nature?

If a Christian considers that the burden of proof has not been adequately met by any known theological doctrines about God's nature, including mainstream ones such as Trinitarianism, Binitarianism, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Term for an Unconsecrated Church

Is there any special term for an unconsecrated or not-yet-consecrated church, chapel, cathedral, etc.?
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Is there a special name for a category of Christians who believe in modern-day godly miracles but reject modern-day spiritual gifts?

I understand the word 'cessationist' to be a catch-all term that englobes all Christians who believe that either all or some subset of the spiritual gifts and offices originally available in the ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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Do Christians believe that Adam and Eve were Christians?

I don't think I have ever heard either a Christian or a Jew or anyone else really refer to Adam and Eve by their race/religion. It appears as if they are considered "pre-race" or "pre-...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Are there any Christian groups or denominations that make a distinction between the gift of healing and just praying for the sick to get healed?

In informal conversations with cessationists, I've heard claims to the effect that the gift of healing is fundamentally different from just praying for a sick person to get healed. That someone with ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Do Latter-day Saints consider Jehovah's Witnesses, Biblical Unitarians and any other groups that deny the divinity of Jesus to be 'true Christians'?

Is belief in the divinity of Jesus an essential feature of a true Christian, according to Latter-day Saints? If so, would that imply that Christian denominations or groups that deny the divinity of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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According to Latter-day Saints, what are the essential features of a true follower of Christ, and can such be found in other denominations? [duplicate]

Not much to add to the title. I would like to know the Latter-day Saints' definition of a true follower of Christ, that is to say, what features are considered by them to be essential for a person to ...
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1 vote
2 answers
200 views

According to Jehovah's Witnesses, what are the essential features of a true follower of Christ, and can such be found in other denominations?

Not much to add to the title. I would like to know the Jehovah's Witnesses' definition of a true follower of Christ, that is to say, what features are considered by them to be essential for a person ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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What is the term for God's chosen people who were inspired to write the Bible?

God chose men to write different parts of the Bible. What were these men called?
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What is the difference between a missionary and an apologist when it comes to proselytizing for the Christian faith?

At first glance both Christian missionaries and apologists appear to be dedicated individuals who share the same goal of winning people over to Christianity, by presenting the Christian faith in a way ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What does the Chalcedonian Creed mean by person?

The creed says: the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the difference between praising and preaching?

The original context of the question is Acts 2:11 (ESV): 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” Some claim that the ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What is the biblical basis for the term 'the lost'?

Is there a passage that denotes some group of God's creation as 'lost'? Or is it a made up term that has little foundation in the text?
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2 votes
1 answer
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Was the Latin word lucifer exchanged in Isaiah 14:12 for the Hebrew word Helel and do they, along with the Greek word phosperous mean morning star?

A knowledge of the Hebrew, Greek and Latin words used for english translation in the Old and New Testament. I've read conflicting information.
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