Thursday, December 16, 2010

Theology Thursday


(Latin, “rule of faith”) This is a phrase used often in the early Church to refer to the summation of the Christian faith. The regula fidei was seen as the faith which was held “always, everywhere, and by all.” It was seen as being inherited and passed on, not through an avenue of inspired or infallible information distinct from that of Scripture, but as representative of the essential doctrinal and moral elements of the faith contained in Scripture. This concept served as a theological barrier to gauge and protect orthodoxy. Also known as the “analogy of faith,” from Latin analogia fidei.


[or''-thuh-dawk''-see] (Greek orthos, “right, true” + Greek doxa, “opinion, thinking”)
Orthodoxy has been widely acknowledged to refer to adhering to the teachings and traditions in an established faith or religion. With respect to Christianity, the concept generally means recognizing and accepting the fundamental teachings and doctrines held by all Christians of all time, everywhere. All three branches of Christianity (Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox) consider the early ecumenical confessions such as the Apostles” Creed, Athanasian Creed, and Nicean Creed to be their primary sources relating to orthodoxy.


Also referred to as “free will theism” and “openness theology,” It is the belief that God does not exercise meticulous control of the universe but leaves it “open” for humans to make significant free will choices that impact their relationships with God and others. A corollary of this is that God has not predetermined the future. Open Theists further believe that this would imply that God does not know the future exhaustively. (ref. theopedia).
Proponents of this view are Gregory Boyd, John Sanders, and Clark Pinnock.
View Michael Patton”s discussion on Sovereignty here.


The belief among Calvinists that Christ’s humanity is not infinite or omnipresent and therefore can only be at one place at one time, even after the ascension. This, according to adherents, is the historic view as espoused by the Chalcedonian definition since, according to the definition, Christ’s human nature cannot share attributes with the divine nature. The implications would be at odds with the Roman Catholic view of Transubstantiation as well as the Lutheran view of Consubstantiation, both of which believe that Christ’s human nature can be at more than one place at one time during the sacrament of mass or the Lord’s Supper. The “extra” has to do with the belief among Calvinists that while Christ’s humanity was finite, there was a sense in which Christ was still infinite, holding the world together. In other words, finite could not contain the infinite (finitum non capax infiniti).


[doo''-uh-liz''-um] (Latin duo, “two”)
Early philosophical system which sees the universe in terms of two antithetical forces which are continually at odds. These two forces are responsible for the origin of the world. Often the dualist worldview produced a metaphysical separation between the spiritual and physical, with the spiritual being good and physical being evil. Christianity has rejected all forms of a dualism yet its assumptions often find their way into the church.


A biblical interpretation paradigm common in conservative fundamentalist and Evangelical Christian theology. Originating from the Plymouth Brethren in the nineteenth century and popularized in the Scofield Reference Bible in the twentieth century, dispensationalism has three primary characteristics: 1) the call for a consistent literal or “normal” hermeneutic, particularly regarding biblical prophecy, 2) the separation of Israel from the church, 3) the separation of human history into several distinct epochs, “economies,” or dispensations in which God relates to mankind in distinct ways. With regard to soteriological history (history of salvation), dispensationalism teaches that salvation has always been by faith alone, by grace alone, yet the content of the Gospel has been progressively revealed through biblical history. Dispensationalism has a variety of forms and has gone through some recent developments.


[seh-say''-shun-iz''-um] (Latin cessare, “to stop”)
The theological position which asserts the gifts of the Spirit have ceased after the apostolic era; gifts such as miraculous healings, tongues, and prophetic revelations. It is to be contrasted with continuationism (i.e., the gifts are operative after the apostolic age). Though there are some variations in modern views,  the consensus agrees that the supernatural elements described above have been done away with in the life of the church.


[thee''-iz-um] (Greek theos, “God”)
Worldview that believes that an eternal God freely created all of existence (time, space, matter, celestial realms and bodies) out of nothing (ex nihilo) and that he continues to act within the creation in varying degrees. This is to be contrasted with atheism (the belief that there is no God), pantheism (the belief that all is God), polytheism (the belief in many gods), and deism (the belief that God does not interact with creation).


[cawm''-pluh-mehn-tayr''-ee-uh-niz''-um] (Latin complere, “to fill out”)
Theological position held by many Christians (contra egalitarianism) believing the Bible teaches that men and women are of equal worth, dignity, and responsibility before God (ontological equality), but that men and women have different roles to play in society, the family, and the church (relational distinct roles). For the complementarian, these roles do not compete but complement each other.


Also, “general revelation.” Revelation of God that is natural and evidenced by all creation (in contrast to special revelation). Because of this general medium of revelation, natural revelation is available to all people of all times in all places. Examples of natural revelation are the human cell (evidencing God’s complexity), the sunset on the beach (evidencing God’s aesthetic attention), and the cosmos (evidencing God’s power). Romans 1 and Psalm 19 speak explicitly about natural revelation and its ability to evidence the nature and attributes of God, holding all accountable to acknowledge him as creator.


The doctrine, often associated with Calvinism and first articulated by Saint Augustine, which holds that those who are truly elect of God will persevere in belief until final redemption. This doctrine is sometimes used synonymously with “Eternal Security” and “Once-saved-always-saved,” but advocates would prefer a certain nuance, believing that the emphasis is upon the perseverance of the believer”s faith as a means or evidence of their security which is ultimately brought about by God”s grace. In other words, there is a type of faith that does not persevere and there is a type that does (Mark 4:3-20). This doctrine is accepted by Reformed Protestants, but rejected by Arminians, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox, all who believe that a once saved believer can lose their salvation.

No comments:

Post a Comment