Theology Terms

  1. Aesthetics
    Area of philosophy concerned with defining the nature of beauty or standards by which something can be considered beautiful.  In theology: that which reflects God's own character and nature.
  2. Agnosticism
    System of belief in which opinion on religious statements is suspended because it is assumed they cannot be proven or disproven or are seen as irrelevant. Greek: a (no) and gnosis (knowledge)
  3. Anthropology
    Scriptural teachings about humans as God's creatures and questions into the constitution of human beings, ie relationship between the body, soul, and spirity. Greek: anthropos (human) and logos (words).
  4. Apocalypse
    Greek for "unveiling" or revaltion.  Revealing that which was previously hidden.  Also used as another name for final book of the bible (Revelations).
  5. Atheism
    System of belief that asserts categorically that there is no God.  Also usually asserts that only existence is the material universe and that the universe is merely the product of chance or fate.
  6. Canon
    Literally "standard" or "rule".  Collection of books that the Church has recognized as the written Word of God and functions as the standard of faith and practice.
  7. Christ, Christology
    Greek word for Christ is equivalent of Hebrew term Messiah and means "anointed one".  Chistology = study of answering "Who is Jesus?" (his identity) and "What is the nature and significance of what Jesus accomplished in the incarnation?" (his work.
  8. Church
    All those who, by faith in Christ as the fullest revelation of God, have entered a new relationship with God an one another, are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit on Earth, and have been given the task of proclaiming the reign of God in the world.  Related to Greek ekklesia (gathering, assembly, or congregation)
  9. Creation
    Everything that exists other than God, as result of God's spoken word. God is neither equated nor bound to the universe but is distinct and involved with the universe.  Can include physical and spiritual realms.
  10. Deus absconditus, Deus revelatus
    Literally: "the hidden God", "the revealed God".  Used by Martin Luther about paradox between hidden God revealing himself and reveald God hiding himself.  Unknowable God is revealed in Christ, yet in the cross, His true glory is hidden to human wisdom.d
  11. deus ex machina
    Literally: "a god from a machine".  Used in theology to criticize Christian doctrine for using this method for explaining things that could be explained more easily (eg. Creation of Universe).
  12. Doctrine
    Theological formulation that attemps to summarize Scriptural teachings on a particular topic in a statement.  Ideally faithful to scripture while giving attention to traditions of church and patterns of the day.
  13. Economic trinity
    Manifestations of the three persons of the trinity to the world, particuarly in relation to God's plan (economy) for salvation.  God's outward relationship with the world.
  14. Eisegesis
    When a person interprets and reads information into a text that is not there through preconcieved notions.  Literally "reading meaning into".
  15. Epistemology
    Philosophical study in how one gains knowlege/knows something. Western categories: Rationalism (gained through use of reason and logic) vs Empiricism (gained through gathering info using senses).
  16. Eschatology
    Theological study to understand the ultimate direction and purpose of history as it moves toward the future (end of history/Christ returning to establish eternal kingdom).  3 forms: Consistent (teachings of Jesus proclaim imminent end), Realized (first coming is the full presence of the Kingdom), and Inaugurated (first coming is beginning of Kingdom while the fulfillment is yet to come).  Greek eschaton (last).
  17. essence/essentia
    Fundemental nature of something that makes it what it is.  Each person of the trinity is said to have the same essentia. Latin esse (to be).
  18. Exegesis
    Process of seeking to understand what a text means or communicates on its own.  Literally "drawing meaning out of"
  19. Faith
    Refers both to intellectual belief and relational trust or commitment (especially) to God and Christ's teachings.
  20. Feminism
    Any movement that attempts to emphasize or recover female perspectives.  In theology, sought to show God's feminine characteristics and how scripture is ofted with male biases and assumptions.
  21. fides quaerens intellectum
    Literally "faith seeking understanding".  Idea that religious matters are understood by first believing the gaining an intellectual understanding.  Faith is logically and chononlogically prior to reason.
  22. General revelation
    God reveals something about divine nature through created order. Indirect form of revelation available to all humankind.
  23. Grace
    God's loving actions toward creation and humans in particular. 3 kinds: Common (God's providential care for all people), Efficacious (special application to those who come by faith to Christ for salvation), and Prevenient (God's enabling all people to come to him if they so choose).
  24. Hermeneutic of suspicion
    Interpretive practice of coming to a text with questions or suspicions about its truthfulness. Also allows text to call into question reader's assumptions and worldview.
  25. Hermeneutics
    Study of how texts ought to be interpreted, esp. sacred text.  Also concerned with roles and relationships between author, text, and original or subsequent readers.
  26. Immanence
    Idea that God is present in, close to, and involved with creation.  God is constantly involved with creation without becoming exhausted by creation or ceasing to be design.
  27. Incarnation
    Assertion that, in Jesus, the Word of God appeard in human form.  Some believe that in doing this God the Son voluntarily became fully human while others assert that there was no loss in divine nature.
  28. Love
    Expression of the essential nature of God, the perfect charactarization of the relationship between God and humans.  Fundamental charactaristic of Christian discipleship and hence of Christian ethics.
  29. Magisterium
    prerogative of the church to proclaim and teach the good news of Jesus.  In Roman Catholic Church, the authoratative teaching body consisting of bishops under the authority of the pope.
  30. Paradigm, Paradigm Shift
    A conscious or unconsious structure of thought, belief, and action. A shift is a change in the structure that results in the ability to percieve and consider things differently.
  31. Revelation
    Refers to both the process by which God discloses the divine nature and the mystery of the divine will and purpose of humanity.
  32. Sacrament
    Sacred practices of the church used by God to confirm divine promises to believers and are the means by which recipients enter the truth they represent.
  33. Sin
    The fundamental unbelief, distrust, and rejection of God and human displacement of God as the center of reality.
  34. Salvation
    God's activity on behalf of creation and especially humans in bringing all things to God's intended goal. God's deliverance of humans from the power and effects of sin through the work of Jesus Christ to enjoy the fullness of life.
  35. Special Revelation
    God's divine self-revelation culminating in the incarnation and can exclusively completely disclose God's promise of salvation and its fulfillment in Christ.
  36. Theology
    A religious belief system about God or ultimate reality. Ordered, systematic study or interpretation of the Christian faith and experience of God's divine self-revelation.
  37. Tanscen
Card Set
Theology Terms
Terms for vocab quiz in THEO 2300