Thursday, June 2, 2011

Theology Thursday


The theistic belief that God, if he exists, is a sadist who enjoys to inflict pain and suffering on those who do not have the power to fight back. This is normally associated with the problem of evil in which the assertion is made that if God was all-good and all-powerful, he would eradicate evil from the world. Since evil is not eradicated, the sadotheist denies his goodness replacing it with a sadistic attribute.


[ih-gal''-ih-tayr''-ee-uh-niz''-um] (French egal, “equal”)
Theological position held by many Christians (contra complementarianism) believing the Bible does not teach that women are in any sense, functionally or ontologically, subservient to men. Women and men hold positions in society, ministry, and the family according to their gifts, not their gender. The principle of mutual submission teaches that husbands and wives are to submit to each other equally. Prominent egalitarians include Doug Groothuis, Ruth Tucker, William Webb, Gorden Fee, and Linda Belleville.


The “Messianic Secret” is a phrase that seeks to explain a common theme among the Gospel writers (especially Mark), where Christ seems to desire his identity to remain hidden. For example, in Mark 8:27-30 after Peter confesses that Christ is the Messiah, Christ “sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.” Explanations for this vary, but most conservative scholars believe that Christ was not hiding his identity per se, but simply revealing himself selectively and progressively to those who would be his followers and would carry his message once his identity had been vindicated by the resurrection.


This refers to the method of conducting a Sunday morning church service where all the events surrounding the service are tailored with the unchurched in mind. The goal of this model is to attempt to make the “seeker” feel comfortable by making the service understandable and enjoyable. In this sense, the church is attempting to build a bridge with the unbeliever with the ultimate goal that they will hear the Gospel and be saved. The preaching model in the seeker churches follows suit. Every sermon is simply another way to present the Gospel. Deeper learning, fellowship, and discipleship are encouraged but are not normally part of the Sunday service. They are commonly found in mid-week small groups and studies. Opponents of the seeker model will argue that the Sunday service is not meant to be for the unbelievers, but for believers. There is a wide range within the spectrum of how seeker-sensitive a church might be. One end might be thought of as “seeker-friendly” and the other “seeker-driven.” Rick Warren and Bill Hybels are often thought of as the modern day “fathers” of this model. It is primarily found in evangelical churches.


A method of textual criticism (reconstructing the original text of Scripture) which believes that the most accurate reading of the Scripture comes from an approach that takes into account all the evidence. It deals with each variant (differences in the manuscripts) by examining them on a case-by-case basis, believing that the variant that best accounts for all the others represents the best or the preferred reading. This method is to be distinguished from those which one look to one text-type as the standard. Also known as genuine or moderate eclecticism.


(Greek ana, “again” + Greek baptizo, “baptize”)
The Anabaptists were a sect of Christians in the “Radical Reformation” of the sixteenth century that sought to bring further reform the church beyond that of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and the other mainline reformers. In doing so they rejected all tradition as man-made, rejected any relationship between the government and the church, and instructed those who had been baptized as infants to be baptized again as believers. Because of their increasingly radical views, the Anabaptists were persecuted by both Protestants and Roman Catholics. Descendants of the Anabaptists include Amish, Hutterites, Mennonites, Church of the Brethren, and Brethren in Christ.


[truh-doo''-shuh-niz''-um] (Latin tradux, “a shoot” or “a sprout”)
The theological position in anthropology which argues that God creates the soul indirectly through the parents as he does the body. Trudicianists believe that there is a distinction between the material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit), but they do not believe that they are created through two separate acts of creation. They believe that the immaterial is created in and with the material. Therefore, for the traducianist, there is never a time when the body is without a soul. Traducianists argue against “anthropological creationism”which asserts that God creates the immaterial (soul/spirit) directly and then places it in the material body at or sometime after conception. Traducianists believe that God ceased from ex nihilo (“out of nothing”) creation on the sixth day and since then all creation is done indirectly. Traducianists also argue that a belief in “anthropological creationism” evidences gnostic or dualistic leanings, implying that the body is a lesser entity than the soul.