Glossary of Terms Used on This Web Site

Arianism: The view of Arius (d. A.D. 336) that the Son was not co-eternal with the Father, but had a beginning; Arius did not believe that the Son is God, but that the Son is an intermediate divine being, both in creation and redemption.

Arminian: Relating to the theology of Arminus (A.D. 1560-1609) and his followers. Against Calvinism, Arminianism opposes absolute predestination and teaches the possibility of salvation for everyone.

Apostolic: Of or pertaining to the apostles.

Binitarianism: The teaching that the one God exists in only two eternal Persons: Father and Son. The independent Personhood of the Holy Spirit is denied.

Canon: A fundamental standard. With reference to the Scriptures, the term indicates the collection of books accepted as authoritative; with reference to church decisions it indicates church law or doctrine.

Ecclesiology: The study of church.

Egalitarian: Of or pertaining to a belief in the equality of all people, particularly with regard to social rights and privileges.

Eschatology: The study of final things.

Exegesis: A critical interpretation of a Scripture. The opposite is eisegesis, which indicates a meaning arbitrarily read into Scripture.

Hermeneutics: The branch of theology that deals with the interpretation of Scripture. A hermeneutic is a method of interpretation.

Homogenize: To blend into a uniform mixture.

Incarnation: The coming of the Word of God in flesh in Jesus Christ.

Justification: Our being "justified," "made just" or righteous before God.

Millenarianism: Belief in a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth.

Multifarious: Multi-faceted or diverse.

Normative: Establishing a norm.

Rapture: In Eschatology, this is the doctrine that believers will be gathered together with Christ at or shortly before his return.

Sabellianism: Named for the second-century Sabellius, Sabellianism or Modalistic Monarchianism, also known as Patripassianism, teaches that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are but different modes or manifestations of the one God, not independent Persons in the Trinitarian sense.

Socinianism: The rationalistic tenets of Faustus Socinus (A.D. 1539-1604) which entail rejection of such orthodox doctrines as the Trinity.

Soteriology: The study of salvation.

Trinitarianism: The teaching of the Trinity. Historical Trinitarianism, as outlined in the creeds, teaches that the one God exists in three co-equal, co-eternal Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Unitarianism: This term, coined in contradistinction to Trinitarianism, denotes the teaching that only one Person is literally God by nature: The Father. The term is used on this web site in its historical Christian sense and not as a label for contemporary Unitarian Universalists, most of whom are humanists and not professing Christians.

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