• Christ and Church Life and Building Spirit and Bride

    基督與召會
    生命與建造
    那靈與新婦



    As a lover of Christ and a pursuer of truth, I write down my joys, memories and reflections.

    May God lead us all into the secret of His presence, and build us into the oneness of His body in love.
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Dictionary

A

  • Apocalypticism: The belief in an approaching confrontation, cataclysmic event, or transformation of epochal proportion, about which a select few have forewarning so they can make appropriate preparations. From a Greek root word suggesting unveiling hidden information or revealing secret knowledge about unfolding human events. The dualist or demonized version involves a final show-down struggle between absolute good and absolute evil. In Christianity there are competing apocalyptic prophetic traditions based on demonization or liberation. Central to Christianity, the tradition also exists in Judaism, Islam, and other religions and secular belief structures. Believers can be passive or active in anticipation; and optimistic or pessimistic about the outcome. Sometimes used similarly to the term millenarianism.
  • Atonement

B

  • Babylon: A symbol in Christianity of all that is sinful. During the Tribulations, a woman dressed in purple and scarlet appears riding a great beast representing the false religion of the Antichrist. This whore of Babylon commits adultery and enjoys excessive luxuries with the corrupt rulers. God triumphs over the beast, and punishes those who have refused to repent, with special attention to merchants in the cities who have profited from those who followed the Antichrist. When Babylon has fallen, the faithful rejoice.

C

  • Cessationism: The position within Christianity that the Charismatic Spiritual gifts (speaking in tongues, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, intepretation of tongues, etc.) ceased with the closing of the Canon of scripture and/or the death of the last apostle.
  • Christophany: A Christophany is an appearance of the incarnate Christ in the Old Testament, or after his ascension. (A Christophany is thus a special case of a theophany.) The appearance is an “alleged” one because Jews do not typically agree with such a Christian interpretation of Jewish scriptures.
  • Consubstantiation: a theological doctrine holds that during the sacrament, the fundamental “substance” of the body and blood of Christ are present alongside the substance of the bread and wine, which remain present.
  • Covenant Theology: A system of theology that views God’s dealings with man in respect of covenants rather than dispensations (periods of time). It represents the whole of scripture as covenantal in structure and theme. Some believe there is one Covenant and others believe two and still others believe in more. The two main covenants are covenant of works in the O.T. made between God and Adam, and the Covenant of Grace between the Father and the Son where the Father promised to give the Son the elect and the Son must redeem them. Some consider these to be one and the same. The covenants have been made since before the world was made (Heb. 13:20).

D

  • Dispensationalism is a Protestant evangelical tradition and theology based on a biblical hermeneutic that sees a series of chronologically successive “dispensations” or periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants. As a system dispensationalism is rooted in the writings of John Nelson Darby and the Brethren Movement. The theology of dispensationalism consists of a distinctive eschatological “end times” perspective, as all dispensationalists hold to premillennialism and most hold to a pretribulation rapture. Dispensationalists believe that the nation of Israel is distinct from the Church, and that God will fulfill His promises to national Israel. These promises include the land promises, which in the future result in a millennial kingdom where Christ, upon His return, will rule the world from Jerusalem for a thousand years. In other areas of theology, dispensationalists hold to a wide range of beliefs within the evangelical and fundamentalist spectrum.
  • Dualism: A form of binary thinking that divides the world into good versus evil with no middle ground tolerated. A famous historic dualist movement was called Manicheaism. In dualism there is no acknowledgment of complexity, nuance, or ambiguity in debates; and hostility is expressed toward those who suggest coexistence, toleration, pragmatism, compromise, or mediation.

E

  • Ecclesiology: The study of the Christian church, its structure, order, practices, and hierarchy.
  • Eschatology:The study of the teachings in the Bible concerning the end times, or of the period of time dealing with the return of Christ and the events that follow. Eschatological subjects include the Resurrection, Resurrection, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Millennium, the Binding of Satan, the Three witnesses, the Final Judgment, Armageddon, and The New Heavens and the New Earth. In the New Testament, eschatological chapters include Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 17, and 2 Thess. 2. In one form or another most of the books of the Bible deal with end-times subjects. But some that are more prominently eschatological are Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Joel, Zechariah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, 2 Thessalonians, and of course Revelation. (See Amillennialism and Premillennialism for more information on views on the millennium.)
  • Eucharist: Also called Holy Communion, Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, or The Lord’s Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance, generally considered to be a re-enactment of the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus Christ shared with his disciples before his arrest and crucifixion, during which he gave them bread, saying, “This is my body”, and wine, saying, “This is my blood”.

F

G

  • Gnosticism: A theological error prevalent around the time of Christ. Generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis). This knowledge usually dealt with the individual’s relationship to the transcendent Being. It denies the incarnation of God as the Son. In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of mankind and we would still be lost in our sins.
  • Grace: Grace is unmerited favor. It is God’s free action for the benefit of His people. It is different than Justice and Mercy. Justice is getting what we deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we do not deserve. In grace we get eternal life, something that, quite obviously, we do not deserve. But because of God’s love and kindness manifested in Jesus on the Cross, we receive the great blessing of redemption.

H

  • Hyssop (牛膝草)
  • Hypostatic Union: This is the union of the two natures (Divine and human) in the person of Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 10:30-33; 20:28; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8). He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9); thus, He has two natures: God and man. He is not half God and half man. He is 100% God and 100% man. He never lost his divinity.1 He continued to exist as God when He became a man and added human nature to Himself (Phil. 2:5-11). Therefore, there is a “union in one person of a full human nature and a full divine nature.”2 Right now in heaven there is a man, Jesus, who is our Mediator between us and God the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). (For related information on Jesus and His two natures, see Incarnation, and the errors concerning His natures known as Eutychianism, Monophycitism, and Nestorianism.)
Jesus as God Jesus as Man
He is worshiped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33). He worshiped the Father (John 17).
He is prayed to (Acts 7:59). He prayed to the Father (John 17).
He is sinless (1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15). He was tempted (Matt. 4:1).
He knows all things (John 21:17). He grew in wisdom (Luke 2:52).
He gives eternal life (John 10:28). He died (Rom. 5:8).
All the fullness of deity dwells in Him (Col. 2:9). He has a body of flesh and bones (Luke 24:39).

I

  • Inerrancy: Without error, non-errant. In Christianity, inerrancy states that the Bible, in its original documents, is without error regarding facts, names, dates, and any other revealed information. Inerrancy does not extend to the copies of the biblical manuscripts.

K

  • Kenosis: This is a teaching concerning Jesus’ incarnation. The Kenosis attempts to solve some paradoxes between the nature of God and of man as united in Jesus. For example, how could an all knowing God become a baby, or how could God be tempted? The Kenosis maintains that God, when becoming a man, divested Himself of some qualities of being a man. In a sense, the Kenosis is God minus something; God subtracting some qualities of deity to become a man. The Hypostatic Union is God plus something; God adding human nature to Himself. The Kenosis, then, jeopardizes the true incarnation because it puts in doubt the full indwelling of God among men in the person of Jesus.

P

  • Panentheism: The belief that the universe is contained within God. The universe is a part of God, but not all of God.
  • Pantheism: This is an identification of the universe with God. With this view there is a blurring of the distinction between the Creator and the creation as well as an attack upon the personality and nature of God. Pantheism tends to equate God with the process of the universe and states that the universe is God and God is the universe. This is not true because God is the creator of the universe and therefore separate from it.
  • Pentecost (五旬節)
  • Pneumatology: The study of the Holy Spirit.
  • Premillennialism in Christian end-times theology is the belief that Christ will literally and physically be on the earth for his millennial reign, at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it holds that Christ’s physical return to earth will occur prior to the inauguration of the millennium. It is distinct from the other forms of Christian eschatology such as postmillennialism or amillennialism, which view the millennial rule as occurring either before the second coming, or as being figurative and non-temporal. Premillennialism is largely based upon a literal interpretation of Revelation 20:1-6 in the New Testament which describes Christ’s coming to the earth and subsequent reign at the end of an apocalyptic period of tribulation. It views this future age as a time of fulfillment for the prophetic hope of God’s people as given in the Old Testament.

S

  • Sacrament: A visible manifestation of the word. The bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper are considered sacraments in that they are visible manifestations of the covenant promise of our Lord: “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you,'” (Luke 22:20). God, in the OT, used visible signs along with His spoken word. These visible signs, then, were considered to have significance. “Among the OT sacraments the rites of circumcision and the Passover were stressed as being the OT counterparts of baptism (Col. 1:10-12) and the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 5:7).”
  • Socinians: The Socinians believed that God’s omniscience was limited to what was a necessary truth in the future (what would definitelyhappen), and did not apply to what was a contingent truth (what might happen). They believed that, if God knew every possible future, human free will was impossible; and as such rejected the “hard” view of omniscience.  The Socinians held that Jesus Christ did not exist until he was conceived as a human being. This view differed from the orthodox view, which holds that Christ (the Logos) is God and therefore uncreated and eternal; it also differed from the Arianview, which held that Christ (the Logos) preexisted the human life of Jesus but nonetheless was a creature created by God.
  • Soteriology is the study of religious doctrines of salvation, which are a feature of various religions. Christian soteriology is the study of how God ends the separation people have from God due to sin by reconciling them with God’s self. Many Christians believe they receive the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation bought by Jesus through his innocent suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead three days later. Christian soteriology examines how an individual is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and reconciled to God. Humankind is saved from both physical and spiritual destruction as a result of one’s guilt of sin and the resulting condemnation,

T

  • Transubstantiation: The change of the substance of host bread and sacramental wine into the substance of the Body and Blood (respectively) of Jesus in the Eucharist, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.
  • Trinity

U

  • Urim and Thummim: The Urim “lights” and Thummim “perfections” were gemstones that were carried by the High Priest of Israel on the ephod / priestly garments. They were used by the High Priest to determine God’s will in some situations. Some propose that God would cause the Urim and Thummim to light up in varying patterns to reveal His decision. Others propose that the Urim and Thummim were kept in a pouch and were engraved with symbols identifying yes / no and true / false. It is unclear whether the Urim and Thummim were on, by, or in the High Priest’s ephod. No one knows the precise nature of the Urim and Thummim or exactly how they were used. The Bible simply does not give us enough information. References to the Urim and Thummim are rare in the Bible. They are first mentioned in the description of the breastplate of judgment (Exodus 28:30; Leviticus 8:8). When Joshua succeeded Moses as leader over Israel, he was to receive answers from God by means of the Urim through Eleazar the High Priest (Numbers 27:21). The Urim and Thummim are next mentioned in Moses’ dying blessing upon Levi (Deuteronomy 33:8). The following Scripture likely also speak of the Urim and Thummim: Joshua 7:14-18; 1 Samuel 14:37-45; and 2 Samuel 21:1, Ezra 2:63, Nehemiah 7:65.
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