Thursday, February 10, 2011

Theology Thursday



Named after Moses Amyraut (1596-1664), Amyraldism describes a modified form of Calvinism in which the doctrine of limited atonement is rejected. Therefore, Amyraldians believe that the atonement was made for all people, elect and non-elect, yet only those who accept the Gospel—the elect—are saved. This form of Calvinism is very popular, being held by most dispensationalists and many Calvinists. It is also known as four-point Calvinism and hypothetical universalism.


The “Apostolic Fathers” is a designation for a first and second century group of Christian leaders and their writings. None of their works are part of the Christian Scriptures, but the “Fathers” are believed to have been taught by the Apostles or had a close relationship with first generation apostolic teachings; hence the term “apostolic.” It is debated as to exactly who is included among the Apostolic Fathers and what writing should be consider a part of this corpus, but most common among them are  St. Clement of Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and St. Polycarp of Smyrna, the Shepherd of Hermes, and the Didache (“The Teaching of the Twelve”).


[hap’-aks luh-gawm‘-uh-nawn’] (Greek hapax, “once” + Greek legein, “to count” or ”to say” = ”once said”)
This is a word that only occurs once in a particular body of literature. With regards to the Scriptures, exegetes will often find a word that only appears one time. In the New Testament alone, there are 1,932 words that occur only once (USB). When this happens, it is often difficult to determine the exact meaning of the word because there are no other usages with which one can compare it.


(Latin, “mother of the faithful”)
Held by Roman Catholics, mater fideium is the description of the institution of the Church in relation to those who are her members. The institutional Church is the mother of the saints, keeping them pure and administering grace through the sacraments. This concept was popularized by Cyprian in the third century who said, “And He who does not have the Church as his mother, cannot have God as his father. . . He who does not uphold this unity does not uphold the law of God, does not uphold the faith of the Father and the Son, and has neither life nor salvation.” (De unitate Ecclesiae, IV, V, VI: PL IV, 513, 514, 516-20).


(Latin, the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit)
The belief that the Spirit who inspired Scripture also authenticates and proves its divine origin through the Scripture itself. This is especially emphasized by Calvinists. Cf., Heb. 10:151 John 5:7-8


A theological system that organizes theological history through a paradigm of three implied covenants: 1) Covenant of Redemption, 2) Covenant of Works, 3) Covenant of Grace. The Covenant of Redemption refers to the eternal covenant among the members of the Godhead to redeem fallen humanity through the sacrifice of God the Son on the cross. The Covenant of Works is the implied covenant made by God with Adam (as humanity’s federal head or representative) in the Garden to give life in exchange for obedience to God’s commands and death for their violation. The Covenant of Grace is God’s covenant with man to give salvation to whomever trusts in God for redemption. Covenant Theology is often referred to as the alternative to Dispensational Theology. However, many theologians would see the contrast between the principles of each as a false distinction since they deal with different issues at a fundamental level.


(Greek hairesis, “a taking or choosing, faction”)
An opinion, belief, or doctrine that is in opposition to an established belief of a particular tradition. In Christianity, an individual heresy can have historic value (more serious) or traditional value. In other words, a belief can be considered heretical to Baptists (e.g., paedobaptism), but is not heretical in the historic sense. To be an historic heresy, it would have to be in variance to that which has been believed by the majority of Christians of all time (e.g., the deity of Christ).

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