Glossary of Biblical Definitions for Worldview
Definitions in Philosophy
This glossary of Biblical definitions focuses on words that are important to the concept
of a Biblical and Christian worldview and to personal salvation. 1) The latter
focus is not comprehensive, but we have chosen those words that
Christians commonly misuse and thereby limit their experience to
honor God, His blessing in their lives, and affect the world for
change. We strongly believe that neither fullness in
worldview nor fullness in the Christian life can be achieved
without focused attention on definitions. After all,
salvation and obedience are foundational to a sound Biblical
and Christian worldview! Of special
importance are these words: emotions, ethic, ethics, evangelical, heart, law, justice,
philosophy (and all its synonyms),
righteousness, salvation, and truth.
2) The glossary is a mini-overview of a Biblical and Christian
worldview. To know these definitions and many of their
nuances is to have a basic understanding of worldview! 3) This
glossary is concerned with establishing definitions that are
consistent throughout this website. 3) My research
has shown that The Creation (Cultural) Mandate, The Kingdom of God, Biblical
Worldview, Biblical Ethics, The Gospel, and The Great Commission
are one and the same.
Readers should keep in mind that almost every word has more than one definition. We
usually list only the one here that is most relevant to
worldview and salvation. See more
Sources of definitions.
Many of the definitions are my own, with priority given to
Biblical uses. Some are direct quotes of references cited.
Some are compilations of several sources. All are designed
to give the reader the best definition within all the
considerations of a Biblical worldview.
A B C
D E F
G H I
J K L
M N O
P Q R
S T U
V W X Y Z
Absolutes: statements that are
true anywhere at any time, for example,
the Law of
Non-Contradiction, God is
Trinity, and God is "the same, yesterday, today, and forever."
God is the ultimate absolute.
Addiction: a term used by
professionals (physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.)
and laymen to refer to problems of a repetitive nature that
dominate a person's life, usually in a severely destructive way.
The term is used so loosely as to be of little value. Its
modern denotation began with addiction to heroin, and as such,
included a physical dependence on a drug, as well as its
severely habitual nature. However, it is now commonly used
for such things as "sexual addiction" and "gambling addiction"
that clearly have no drug dependence inherent to the problem. Apart from
the drug dependence, addictions are better labeled as "besetting
sins." Also, see
Additional Comments. For a comprehensive exploration
of philosophical, theological, medical, and psychological
issues, see this book, Addiction and Virtue: Beyond the
Models of Disease and Choice by Kent Dunnington.
(noun): to love and love,
respectively. See sub-section of Love.
"All truth is God's truth":
term among Christians in philosophy, psychology, and other areas
who believe that truth
is found outside of Scripture. There are
at least two major problems with this approach. (1) All
knowledge outside of Scripture is empirical,
and empiricism (induction) is by definition a
A Critique of Empiricism.) (2) Scripture is the ultimate
authority on all areas of knowledge. While the Bible does not
speak in detail to all areas, it is the controlling authority
for all study. Far and away, the common error among Christians
in the "academy" and in churches is to limit the breadth and
depth of Biblical knowledge by either by assuming its
limitations or by not investigating it comprehensively. Almost
without exception, those who use "all truth is God's truth"
restrict the application of Scripture and give false
truth-claims to knowledge outside of the Bible.
Light: This description of Satan
is given in II Corinthians 11:14. The danger of Satan and
his fallen angels is not in their evil, grotesque appearance,
but when they come masquerading with kind and good ideas.
Satan's first words in the Bible are "has not God said,"
distorting God's Word to Eve and seducing her. This
disguise has great implication for those trying to understand a
Biblical worldview: principles may come quite close to being
God's Word, but be the actual word of Satan. So, we must
be diligent in our study of God's Word systematically that our
theology, ethics, and worldview are clearly and soundly
the study of the origins, nature, and destiny of man. Any study
of man must begin with the study of God (the Bible) or it will
be incomplete, erroneous, or falsely understood. This
science must be controlled, directed, and filtered through
Scripture. Psychology is a major division of anthropology.
In fact, by our definition here, psychology is anthropology, separated
(mostly) from the history (origins) and future (destiny)
of man. Thus, theology (the study of God) and psychology
(the study of the mind of man) are central to anthropology.
This identity is the reason that Psychology comprises a large
section of our Worldview Areas. Men and women's
relationships to each other is Sociology. The Christian
will, then, connect God, man, and his social life with The Two
Great Commandments, "You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind," and
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37, 39).
(Note the "psychological" terms of heart, soul, mind,
adds, "strength.") As these Two Commandments are a summary of
the Ten Commandments, and indeed, all the commandments of
Scripture, Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology are central
themes of God's Word to man. See our Areas of
characteristics that are ascribed to God. "God is spirit" (John
4:24). Thus, any description of God having body parts (eyes,
hands, head, etc.) is an anthropomorphism. It is correct to
identify characteristics of the human mind, where man
the image of God. A common error is to ascribe emotions to
God. Very simply, God is immutable or unchangeable, “the same
yesterday, today, and forever.” Emotions are a precondition to
change (past, present, or future) and, often, particular
thoughts, speech, or behavior occur because of the effect of
these emotions. For a short discussion, see
Feelings in Body and Soul. For a more complete discussion,
A Definition of Emotions.
"against law." Usually, the word is used by those who
defend Biblical law as having application as the normative
principle for Christian and social behavior against those who
claim to be "under grace and not under law." Practically,
antinomianism cannot exist with total chaos and anarchy.
So, the dilemma is not really no law or total law, but which
laws will be applied to what situation. See the
Law, Love, ... Justice.
"hidden or obscure." Protestants use this word to refer to the
books that the Roman Catholic Church believes are
Spirit-inspired, but we do not. Roman Catholics, then,
would not refer to these books as Apocrypha, since to them they
are indeed the Word of God. Thus, the proper designation
of the Canon is "the 66
books of the Protestant Bible."
Apologetics: the development of
any worldview area that gives evidence (defense) of Biblical
truth: archeology, creation science, philosophical consistency
(coherence, correspondence, epistemology, etc.), agreement of
over 40 Biblical authors, positive changes in history
(individuals, groups, and nations) because of the life of Christ
and His effect on people, etc. Apologetics are exceedingly
beneficial to Christians themselves, to complete their faith and
to see a complete Biblical worldview. Apologetics
conferences are wrongly named because they inevitably involve
instruction to Christians and are, thus, not a defense of the
faith to unbelievers.
The Arts: See
and The Arts.
Autographs: see Inerrancy, Infallibility, and
see First Principle
synonym of faith. See Faith below.
Believe: verb form of faith.
See Faith below.
Bible-believer, or Bible-believing Christian:
synonym of Evangelical
counseling: See Nouthetic
counseling. The two terms are equivalent.
ethics: See Ethic and
psychology: see Psychology
Study that is
principally concerned with the overall theological
message of the whole Bible. It seeks to understand the
parts in relation to the whole and, to achieve this, it
must work with the mutual interaction of the literary,
historical, and theological dimensions of the various
corpora, and with the inter-relationships of these
within the whole canon of Scripture. Biblical
Biblicism: simply, the
belief that the Bible is man's only source of truth and that the
Bible governs and defines all areas of knowledge.
Biblicism is often used, derogatorily and falsely, to those who
believe and work from this premise, that they are narrow-minded
and do not value other sources of knowledge (especially, natural
revelation) and that they do not use other sources of theology.
True Biblicism uses all sources of knowledge, but always allows
Scripture to be the controlling authority. For a more
complete discussion of this word, see
Biblicism Applied to the Study of History.
Bondage of the Will: the title of a book written by
Martin Luther in which he responds to the "free will" of
Desiderius Erasmus. While the will is not coerced, it is
in "bondage" to its being Regenerate or Unregenerate.
Born-again, Born from above: See
beliefs that are essentially
consistent with those of John Calvin. Reformed
and Presbyterian are very
close, but not necessarily identical with Calvinism.
Calvinists would differ primarily in the areas of mode of
baptism, infant or adult baptism, and form of church government.
While TULIP (Total
Depravity or Total
Grace, and Perseverance of
the Saints) is often used as a summary for Calvinism, it is
focused on personal salvation. Calvinism more broadly
includes God's Sovereignty, Providence, and Predestination of
"everything that comes to pass," whether great or small.
Thus, STULIPPP (adding
and Predestination) would
be a better mnemonic for Calvinism.
“canon” is derived from the Hebrew word "qaneh" which means a
reed used as a measuring stick It was the term used by the
early church fathers to denote which books were true Scripture,
inspired by God. Believers in the early centuries had to
decide which manuscripts were Spirit-inspired and those that
were not. Protestants and Roman Catholics differ on what
is the true Canon.
a modern word meaning the Work
or Vocation in which one
is engaged to produce income and to which one has committed many
years or an entire lifetime. Career
is not a proper concept for Christians because it divorces this
area of work from Vocation, the
"calling" of God. See Job, Work, and
Catholic Church: the universal
church, as in The Apostles' Creed, "I believe in the holy
catholic church." This term is not to be confused with the
Roman Catholic Church. See The Church.
voluntary giving to a specific
need, wisely, within Biblical parameters (for example, "if a
person will not work, neither shall he eat," II Thessalonians
3:10), to anyone that has true needs. For more see
principles of charity and do a Search of "charity" on this
website. Charity, as
a Biblical concept, never includes any form of government
one who believes in the Scriptures as Truth and the very Word of
God, trusts in His Son Jesus Christ for salvation, and is
obedient to the commandments of both the Old and New Testaments.
For more, see "Christian".
Christendom: a synonym for The Kingdom of God
and The City of God.
Christianity: the only true religion consisting
of Christians who believe in the 66 books of the
Protestant Bible. It includes both The Church and
The Kingdom of God.
Church: consists of both the visible and the invisible
church. The visible church are those true Christians who
are alive on earth at any one time and profess the basic truths
of the Gospel. The invisible church
are those who are true believers and those who have died and are
already in heaven. In The Apostles' Creed, "holy catholic
church" refers to this concept of The Church, not the Roman
Catholic Church. The invisible, not the visible,
Church will be the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-33),
as the visible Church includes "tares among the wheat."
Local) Church: a local body of The Church,
founded upon some form of agreement among its members.
God: Augustine's concept of the Kingdom of God which
is opposed by the City of Man. See Kingdom of
God. Tertullian referred to these individually as
Athens and Jerusalem. The Scriptures refers to these as
the Kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light. In
modern times, we see this conflict in secular humanism and
Man: see above, City of God.
Government: see (The State).
Civilization: "the sum total of a society's spiritual,
intellectual, ethical, and institutional values, which in
varying degrees will permit those living in it to develop as
completely and harmoniously as possible." See
What Is Civilization?
Civilization is a concept which must be re-thought within a
Biblical worldview. Great architecture, substantive
writing, structured government, and other entities (the commonly accepted criteria of "civilization") along with the
presence of human sacrifice and child abandonment (as was
present in "the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that was
Rome") does not
qualify as being "civilized." A civilization must have
some consistent application of
Theory of Truth: the test of
truth that all statements (judgments, propositions) must be
consistent or harmonize with other statements that are known to
be true. (Also known as the test of consistency of truth.)
The great problem is what each individual or group is willing to
accept as "true." The Bible provides the only such system for
mankind. "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is One!"
"In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
For more on this idea, go to
Truth and do a word search for "cohere."
Grace: God's benefits to mankind for both the
regenerate and the unregenerate. These benefits
are far greater than might be recognized at first glance.
Not only does He send the rain, sunshine, and harvest, He has
structured the universe with fixed properties that are
discoverable by man's mind and investigation and that are always
predictable for man to construct his life and design his
inventions for his own benefit.
Conciliarism: the concept that doctrine of the Roman
Catholic Church resided more in official church councils, than
in the interpretation of the Pope. This difference in doctrine
was a major conflict in the Roman Catholic Church during the
15th and 16th centuries.
Conscience: that faculty of the mind that makes judgments
about whether a thought, spoken word, or action is right or
wrong. Because of man's being finite and sinful, as well
as having imperfect Biblical understanding, the conscience may
be in error on specific judgments. As Christians mature
and become more knowledgeable in the Word, they have "their
senses trained to discern good and evil" (Hebrews 5:14), that
is, their consciences are more consistently aligned with the
Scriptures. The violation of the conscience is always
wrong, even when the judgment of the conscience is wrong (Romans
14:5, 23; James 4:17)!
Church: see the name of the
council, for example, Trent, Council of.
See Biblical counseling.
a contract made between a higher authority with a lesser one
that sanctions benefits for obedience and penalties for
disobedience. In theology there is the Covenant
of Works that God had with Adam and the Covenant of Grace that
God has with His people because of the merits of Jesus Christ.
The Covenant of Grace began with the promise to Adam and Eve
that her seed would "bruise the head" of Satan, as Christ
presented Himself as the perfect atonement. Thus, all
believers of the Old Testament were under the Covenant of Grace,
not a Covenant of Works. See
Westminster Confession of
Faith, Chapter 7.
"it pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the
manifestation of the glory of his eternal power, wisdom, and
goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the
world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in
the space of six days; and all very good." (Westminster
Confession of Faith, IV:1). See
Westminster Confession of
Mandate: the sum of God's decrees given to
mankind before his Fall. These are (1) "the procreation of
offspring, (2) the replenishing of the earth, (3) subduing the
same, (4) dominion of the creatures, (5) labor, (6) the weekly
Sabbath, and (7) marriage" (John Murray, Principles of
Conduct, page 27). The Creation Mandates
should be linked to The Great Commission, which includes "make
disciples of all the nations" and "teaching them to observe all
things that I have commanded you... all authority in
heaven and earth" (Matthew 28:19-20). They can also be
linked to The Lord's Prayer in "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be
done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
See Cultural Mandate.
In essence, The Creation
Mandate, The Great Commission, The Kingdom of God, and The Two
Great Commandments are one and
the same. See discussions on this website for the
equivalence of these concepts.
Creationism (of the soul):
that the soul of each individual is immediately created by God
at conception (fertilization of the egg of the mother by the
sperm of the father). Perhaps the strongest argument
against this view is that God would create a soul that is
corrupted by sin. The alternative and consistently
Biblical view is traducianism. For a discussion of
these views, see
for the Christian, a creed is any
statement that represents Biblical knowledge other than the
original Hebrew and Greek texts. That is, any statement other than
the original text is a representation of it. Translations,
in particular, involve detailed choices of words and nuances
to represent what was said.
While "creed" is usually associated with creedal statements, such
as, The Apostles' Creed, any translation of the Bible is also a
The Christian who claims "No creed but Christ" or "No creed but
the Bible" has not understood how language communicates from one
person to another, one generation to another, and one culture to
No Creed But Christ.
Mandate: another designation of
Mandate. This phrase has
more emphasis on all the cultures of the earth being brought
under the dominion of Christ. That is, the culture is
"transformed by the renewing of minds" through application of a
Biblical worldview. This Mandate
is repeated in The Great Commission
to "go and disciple all
the Biblical definition of death is separation from a former
state of existence. There are four types of death.
1) Separation from self, other people, and God because of the sin of
Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:17, 3:7, 9-11, 23) and one's own sins. 2) Separation
from this sinful way of life (the "flesh" or "old man") upon
profession of faith, and repentance. 3) Physical death, when our
soul/spirit is separated from the physical body. 4) The
Second Death, the most terrible punishment of being separated
from God and the fellowship of any other living person forever
(Revelation 20:14, 21:8). Man's greatest fear is the fear
of death (I Corinthians 15:26; Hebrews 2:15). "The last
enemy that will be destroyed is death" (I Corinthians 15:26).
Thus, in heaven there will be no separation from our true
selves, others, and God Himself.
Deduction: the process of Logic (see definition
"... the belief
or system of religious opinions of those who acknowledge the
existence of one God, but deny revelation: or deism is the
belief in natural religion only, or those truths, in doctrine
and practice, which man is to discover by the light of reason,
independent and exclusive of any revelation from God. Hence
deism implies infidelity or a disbelief in the divine origin of
the scriptures." (From Webster's 1828 Dictionary, below)
Deism is sometimes described as God created the universe, but
then let it continue to exist on its own without His
intervention, as a clock is started by a clock-maker.
Miracles are not allowed in this system because they require
supernatural intervention into those "self-continuing" motions.
nation governed by the majority of people who are actually
controlled and manipulated by people of power. (Joe Morecraft on
American in 1776)
Determinism: "the view that human choice is entirely
controlled by previous conditions. The realm of nature,
including man, is an unbroken chain of cause and effect."
Titus, Living Issues..., page 429. See
Dialectic: "process of thinking by means of dialogue,
discussion, debate, or argument. In ancient Greece, the term was
used literally... Dialectic is questioning and conversation for
Socrates... but Plato regarded it as a systematic method for
studying ... suprasensible reality... German philosophers of the
modern era applied the term "dialectic" only to more
narrowly-defined patterns of thinking ... for Hegel,
(dialectic is) the fundamental process of development—in both
thought and reality—from thesis to antithesis to synthesis."
See "dialectic" in Philosophical Dictionary... below.
Dialectical Materialism: "Philosophical doctrine expounded
by Engels and Marx. By emphasizing the independent reality of
matter and the primary value of the natural world, they rejected
the idealism of Hegel. But they fully accepted his notion of
dialectic as an inexorable process of development in thought,
nature, and history." See "dialectical materialism" in
Philosophical Dictionary... below. "(Dialectical materialism)
"holds science in high esteem and claims that the sense
perceptions of science provide our only real knowledge, (but) is
an approach from the point of view of politics and history,
rather than from that of the natural sciences... and (on) a view
of historical development in which matter in the form of the
economic organization of society is regarded as basic.
(Synonyms are) "historical materialism and economic
determinism." Titus, Living Issues..., page
Dichotomy: the belief that a person consists of two
parts, the material and immaterial. The material component
is the physical body. The immaterial is variously called
the spirit, soul, heart, and mind, depending upon the context in
which it is used in Scripture and the particular function which
is being discussed. See
Heart and Mind.
Right of Kings: the same as
Dominion Mandate: same as Creation Mandate and
Dualism: the philosophy, religion, or cosmology that forces
of both good and evil exist in the universe. In some
ideologies, one is more powerful than the other. In some,
they are equal. In at least one, they collaborate.
The victory of one or the other may be certain or uncertain,
being in doubt until the end of time.
Education: the life-long pursuit of wisdom and
knowledge, necessarily dependent upon one's Christian or
non-Christian beliefs. That most Christian parents turn their
children over to an anti-Christian, public school system is
startling evidence of their not understanding what education
is. Education is inescapably, unavoidably, necessarily
dependent upon one's "religious" beliefs. See
Summary Principles of Education.
Emotion(s): "negatively, the
momentary (acute) and ongoing (chronic, continuous) disturbance
within the mind (soul, spirit) caused by the discrepancy between
perceived reality and one's desires." (From
A Definition of Emotions.)
Positively, emotions result from the fulfillment of one's
desires. Acute emotions fluctuate considerably in
intensity and may cause sudden, not-thought-out reactions which
are often harmful to self and others. Chronic emotions are
more stable and given to attitudes and actions that are more
thought-out and purposeful.
"reliance on experience as the (only) source of ideas and
knowledge. More specifically, empiricism is the epistemological
theory that genuine information about the world must be acquired
by a posteriori means, so that nothing can be thought
without first being sensed." (From online dictionary of
terms below.) Contrast with Rationalism.
Empirical method: the process of drawing conclusions from
various observations. It differs from the scientific
methods in that it is a more casual and not well-defined
process. See Scientific Method.
Epistemology: simply, how does one know what one knows?
Profoundly, how can one know with sufficiency to answer the most
serious questions of life. How can one know truth? It is the great dilemma of all
the great philosophers of history. It is also the essence
of faith and belief—on what basis can I be certain of what I am
to do in this life and what I can hope for after death?
Christians who think about the basic questions of epistemology
will strengthen their faith immeasurably. See Philosophy
1) a synonym of justice
(see below). 2) Fairness. 3) Most importantly, a body of legal
doctrines and rules, developed to enlarge, supplement, or
override a narrow, rigid system of law, as in the history of
English common law which had a settled and formal body of legal
and procedural rules and doctrine to protect rights and enforce
duties that had been fixed by substantive law. Equity provided
remedies in situations in which precedent or statutory law might
not apply or be fair. In this sense, all laws and commandments
of the Bible are to be applied to governments at all levels
(self-government and all duly organized bodies (guilds, cities, counties,
states, nations, and world). See
Law, Love, and Justice...
1) When used to describe one's foundational views, that is, "My
ethic is ...," this word is equivalent to "worldview."
2) It may also refer to one ethical principle, for example:
"Abortion is the killing of an innocent child before birth."
As such, ethic is equivalent to a worldview principle. See
Ethics, Godliness, Law, Justice, Righteousness.
All these terms are intimately related to the other. "Morality
is not a mere aggregate of separate virtues. Only in the context
of the whole do single virtues (ethics) acquire meaning."
(Henry Stob, Ethical Reflections, page 184.)
the application and study of right and wrong to all activities
of life. It may also be used
consistent with "ethic," 1) above, as in "Biblical ethics"
or the "Biblical worldview." Both of these would then be
the same as the Biblical concept of "righteousness" or
"godliness." Ethic may be thought of as a
synonym of a general concept of worldview, while ethics
are more particular in their application. See Ethic above.
Evangelical: one who believes that the Bible is the
infallible, inerrant, and fully authoritative Word of God in
every area of personal life and worldview. Evangelical is a synonym of "Christian" or "Bible-believer,"
when these words are used correctly. The doctrinal
statement of the Evangelical Theological Society is, "The Bible
alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written
and is therefore inerrant in the autographs."* "God is a Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each an uncreated person, one in
essence, equal in power and glory" (Evangelical
Theological Society). Christians commonly wrongly
interchange "evangelical" with "evangelistic." See
autographs are the original texts as they were written by
the various writers of the Old and New Testaments. None are extant today, but examinations
of thousands of manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls,
affirms that Christians today actually have "the very Word
of God written," as the Holy Spirit has preserved the
inspired text for His people from the time of its first
Evangelistic: traditionally, the preaching or sharing of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, it may be used for attempts
to spread the teachings of any belief.
Evolution: the theory that "the process that all
natural reality (organic and inorganic) develops irreversibly in
a direction of increasing complexity and order by inherent
physico-chemical processes" (John R. Reed, Plain Talk about
Genesis, Word Ministries, Inc. and Deo Volente Publishing,
Existentialism: "the only truth is ... the dictates of one's
own being as expressed without the influence of God, man,
society, morals and mores, or anything external to the
biological impulses of the man" (Rushdoony, Systematic
Theology, page 15). This approach is the only one,
even if the process itself is meaningless.
a person with advanced training and education in some area.
The great problem with experts is that their "advanced training
and education" is "foolish," if not governed by the laws of
Scripture. This foolishness can have seriously negative
consequences. For example, God says that children are to
be punished corporally, in contrast to the American Academy of
Pediatrics, which stands opposed to that directive.
"You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell"
1) a synonym for truth, "what is" or reality itself. For a
fact to be true, it must be placed within the Biblical framework
that defines its existence. A "fact" does not exist apart
from a philosophical or religious system. See Sir
Fred Hoyle's quote under scientific method. 2) Knowledge of
a situation, object, or person that is sufficiently and commonly
known among enough people to be acted upon with considerable reliance
and a relatively predictable outcome, but it is not necessarily true.
For example, that the sun will rise tomorrow is a fact. It is
not true because sometime in the future, the sun will not rise.
By virtually all philosophies and worldviews, time and the
universe will not continue, as we know it, forever—whether one's
belief system is Bible-based or naturalism.
Feudalism: the system that predominated in the Middle
Ages, called Medieval Feudalism. It had these
characteristics: (1) principles and laws that came primarily
from the Bible, (2) a covenantal structure of society where
relationships were governed by agreements (covenants) between
people, not only by civil governments but voluntary associations
and guilds, (3) the overwhelming emphasis of government was at
the local level with loose ties at higher levels, (4) each
association and level of civil government had a written
constitution, and (5) the free self-government of men, rooted in
their responsibility to govern themselves and their families.
action taken, based upon one's knowledge (by reflex, experience,
study, advice from others, etc.), with a specific outcome
expected (hope). Reality (God's laws of design and His
Sovereignty) determine whether that expectation occurs.
The Relevance of Faith and my book
Without Faith It Is
Impossible to Please God.
Generic Faith: faith applied to matters not directly
applied to matters of salvation. In the most strict
sense, nothing is outside "salvation," but the term,
"generic faith," helps to show that faith is commonly and
unavoidably necessary to all activities of life. The
mechanism of application to "salvation" is no different than
in everyday life.
Saving Faith: faith applied in matters of salvation
whether in conversion and justification or sanctification.
See The Relevance of Faith, above.
Faith and Truth: Faith does not determine truth,
but an individual's faith determines what he is willing to
accept as true.
principles: like axioms in geometry, these are the unproven
presuppositions that form the basis for anyone's worldview.
Synonyms are religion, philosophy, worldview, ethic,
reality, ultimate reality, value, fact, ontology, metaphysics,
cosmology, epistemology, faith, knowledge, being, critical
philosophy, essence, existence, monism, speculative philosophy,
substance, and ground of meaning (not all of which are listed in
Flood: a worldwide covering of the earth with water, as
God's judgment on the earth. Not only was there a deluge
of rain, the "deeps" and the "heavens" were opened, as part of
this event. There were definitive changes in the earth's
geology and likely other changes in the processes of nature, as
well. See Uniformitarianism.
Foolish: these English words carry from Scripture the
idea of atheism and humanism. "The fool has said in his
heart that there is no God." So, when the Scripture uses
"fool" or any of its forms, God is speaking of a conviction that
a man or mankind is God, and not God Himself. This
position is that of the Unregenerate.
Will, Freedom of the Will: 1) philosophical sense: the mistaken notion, thought to be
necessary to moral responsibility, prevalent among philosophers
and many Christians, that man is "free" to make any
choice that he desires. The error in this thinking is that
some form of predestination is unavoidable. No man makes
decisions without being pre-conditioned by his physical
capacities and his accumulated knowledge over which he had no
choice in his early years. See Predestination. 2) The
Biblical concept is that man is not forced to make any
particular choice. His "freedom" is to choose consistent
with what he is and
what he desires without external compulsion. See Responsibility.
Also, see Chapter IX of the
Westminster Confession of Faith.
Freedom: the fullest implementation of God's laws that
allows an object or person to function at his highest level.
The total absence of law in the natural world is nothingness, as
even atoms, the most basic unit of matter are subject to strict
laws that allow them to function, as they were designed.
The universe functions, as it does, in all its glory, according
to its laws of design. The absence of law in a society is
total chaos, in which nothing or no one is safe from destruction.
Thus, the choice of no law is never an option for anything or
anyone to function at any level. The application of God's
law to all physical and spiritual (individual, family, social
organizations, and the State) spheres allows the highest level
of function of all His created objects. Thereby, freedom
of these objects is achieved. For a complete discussion,
see G. C. Berkouwer,
Functional Knowledge or Functional Value: a synonym of 2nd
definition of Fact.
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revelation: that which God has revealed about Himself in
nature (for example, Romans 1:18ff). General revelation
should be governed by Special Revelation because of its
see Talents and
will: (1) God's revealed will, that is, all the
instructions and commandments in the Scriptures. (2) God's
decretive will, that is, His hidden purposes working in
all lives and throughout history to His own glory (Ephesians
"God's will for my life": usually, the interest of
a young Christian as to what vocation, "calling," or career
that he or she should choose. This choice cannot be
made until God's revealed will is thoroughly
understand, so that all choices can be made within that
which is important to God and ethical (righteous) for that
Summary Principles of Vocation.
Godliness: see ethic, ethics, law, love, righteousness.
Work(s): any action by a regenerate person that is
prescribed by God's Word. While the same "work" by an
unregenerate may have a "good" effect on himself and
on society, God cannot accept it as good because it comes from a
sinful heart with selfish motives. See Chapter 16 of the
Westminster Confession of Faith.
Gospel: the full Gospel includes individual salvation
(past, present, and future), discipline (preaching, teaching,
sacraments, and investigation of overt sin—process of Matthew
18:15-19), and a Biblically complete worldview and ethics.
Most churches leave out the fullness of what salvation is, the
process of dealing with overt sin, and worldview and ethics.
The Gospel is the same as The Great Commission (see
Government: the exercise of authority and rule over a person
or group. Government starts with self-government.
If fact, if self-government in all people were perfect, then there
would be no need of the other governments: family, church,
voluntary associations, and the levels of state government
(city, county, state, and nation). Jesus Christ governs
all these areas and has given specific laws for their governance
in Scripture. Unfortunately, "government" today is equated
with civil government, distorting and wrongly directing actions
that are needed to correct societal wrongs and injustice.
an act of benevolence from one being to another that is freely
given and which is without any merit or claim by the recipient.
The greatest example of grace is God's gift of salvation and all
the great blessings (faith, hope, spiritual fruit and gifts,
adoption, etc.) that come with it. There are many
similarities of grace to Love. See Common Grace.
Special Grace: those excellent gifts to the
Regenerate which include special revelation (The Bible),
saving faith, fruits of the Spirit, spiritual gifts, the
church (local and universal), and much more.
Great Commission: "teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20).
The Great Commission is the same as The Gospel, The
Creation Mandate, The Kingdom of God, Biblical Ethics,
Biblical Worldview, and Christian (Biblical) philosophy.
and Guilt Feelings: See
Guilt and Guilt Feelings.
Hamann, Johann Georg
(1730-1785): known in his own time
as The Magus of the North; a friend, contemporary, and
fellow-town citizen in Königsberg
of Immanuel Kant, but a main proponent of the
sturm and drang
(storm and stress) movement which opposed the tenets of the
Enlightenment from its beginning; had a dramatic conversion (regeneration)
experience in 1758 at the age of 28 years; strong Biblical
apologist; renowned philologist; developed theory of language
that was prescient and still being appreciated; a relatively
unknown Biblical Christian who should be studied by all
Christians engaged in scholarly activities. See
References for books on Hamann by Isaiah Berlin and John R.
(1) Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (the first Paradise)
before the Fall. (2) The regenerate in heaven (the last
Paradise). (3) The fullest implementation of God's
instructions (commandments) to an individual's or group's lives.
All three of these definitions include both physical and
spiritual health, as they cannot be divorced from one another.
An unregenerate person cannot be "healthy" in the Biblical
sense, although he may achieve some level of health of mind and
body by some humanistic
standard. See Physician and Pastor as Co-laborers,
Part I and
one of the spiritual (non-material or non-physical) aspects of a
person (others are soul, spirit, mind, will, and
conscience); the life that we live within ourselves, unknown to
anyone except God; the thought-life of a person; the source of
all motives and desires. Thinking and understanding,
rather than emotions, is the predominant activity of the heart. See
The Biblical Heart, Soul, Mind, and Spirit.
Hermeneutics: the rules by which Scripture is interpreted.
Historical method: that which comprises the techniques and
guidelines that historians use as primary sources and other
evidence to research and then to write history. (Slightly
altered from Wikipedia, referenced below.)
History: the highly selective study of people of the past
and the events in which they were involved, according to some
philosophy of life or worldview. For the Christian, God's
hand or His Providence must be seen as the controlling force,
working all things according to His own purposes ("according to
His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself," Ephesians 1:9).
In particular, the interpretation of events is highly dependent
on one's motives in studying the past at all. Much, if not
most of history written during and after the 20th Century, is
extremely biased against its portrayal of Biblical Christianity
as having any significant role anywhere at any time.
Historiography: the critical evaluation of how history is
written, including method, bias of philosophy, accuracy with
other sources, and theory of human behavior used (to name
only a few).
Humanism: a word with a complex history and
application which rejects any positive contribution from a
supernatural source (most frequently the Bible) as solutions to
the problems of mankind. Today,
humanism usually means Secular humanism. In
essence, there are only two religions (philosophies or
cosmologies): Biblical Christianity and humanism. It has
been so since Satan asked the question to Eve, "Has God not
said..." Since then, the greatest issue for any human
decision has been either "what God has said" or "what man has
said." For more on the history and complexity of this
see "humanism" at the Wikipedia reference below.
Religious humanism: "the branch of humanism that
considers itself religious (based on a functional definition
of religion), or embraces some form of theism, deism, or
supernaturalism, without necessarily being allied with
organized religion, frequently associated with artists,
liberal Christians, and scholars in the liberal arts.
(They may be) subscribers to a religion who do not hold
supernatural assertions as a necessary source for their
moral values may be religious humanists" (from "Religious
humanism" at Wikipedia--reference below).
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Idealism: "the theory which asserts that reality
consists of ideas, thought, mind, or selves rather than of
matter" (Titus, page 431). The opposite of idealism is
of God, Imago Dei: the mind of man created to
"think God's thoughts after Him." The ability to store
knowledge and process it through the intellect and the will.
The Image of God.
Induction: a method of reasoning in which "the truth of the
premises merely makes it probable that the conclusion is
Dictionary of Philosophical Terms... referenced below.)
Induction proceeds from observations to conclusions about
"probable" consistency and coherence in those observations.
Deduction within the laws of logic render true conclusions if
the premises are true. Induction does not render
true conclusions, only "probable" ones.
Inerrancy: the belief that the Bible contains no
errors except possibly those of type-setting or copying.
Inerrancy is sometimes limited to the autographs,
that is, the original texts that the Biblical authors wrote on
the "paper" of their day. However, examinations of
thousands of manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls,
affirms that Christians today actually have "the very Word of
God written," as the Holy Spirit has preserved the inspired text
for His people from the autographs themselves. See
Autographs and Infallibility and
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
Inescapable concept: a conclusion that is logically
necessary. An inescapable concept simplifies and narrows
debate within and among worldviews and opinions. For
example. Predestination is an
inescapable concept. Synonyms would include unavoidable or
Infallibility: a synonym of inerrancy. The author
realizes that some distinguish infallibility and inerrancy, for
example in limiting Biblical truth to areas of "faith and
practice." Over the centuries the Bible has been
challenged by archeology, anthropology, numerology, evolutionary
science, historiography, and other areas of study. With
proper research and understanding, the Bible has always been
proven to be God's truth in everything to which it speaks.
"Proper understanding" means that the words and concepts of
modern knowledge, for example, natural science, and the words of
Scripture are not equivalent, even though they may be spelled
the same or seem similar. See Autographs and
Integration: the attempt to merge the "truth" of nature with
the truth of Scripture; that is, natural revelation and special
revelation. This approach should raise considerable alarm
to those who adhere to Biblical Christianity. However, this process is impossible
procedurally, because some authority other than Scripture must
be chosen to decide how this integration is to take place.
That authority is usually the person who attempts the
integration and who does not have either the training or the
education for this process. Almost always, "integration" is
used in association with
"All truth is God's truth," another phrase that should raise
warning flags when a Christian uses it.
Intelligent Design: an alternative to Biblical creationism
that is an attempt to provide an alternative to evolution in the
public schools. However, it misrepresents Christianity, as
the only choice is between Biblical creationism and an
impersonal, godless universe. Intelligent Design
represents Islam, as well as Christianity, and any other
the task at which one works for income. Job
should be distinguished from vocation and career.
not, that you be not judged" (Matthew 7:1): One of the
most misinterpreted verses in the Bible. Its explanation
follows in the context, "For with what judgment you judge, you
will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be
measured back to you" (verse 2). Verse 1 does not say that
we are not to judge, for judgment is unavoidable in human
interactions. We are to judge others, as we are to judge
ourselves, according to the "canon, the measuring stick of
Scripture." Therefore, we are to judge with grace and
truth, justice and mercy, and the spirit and the letter of the
law to ourselves, families, social groups and culture, and in
politics and government. The Apostle Paul explains judging
further in I Corinthians 6:1-11.
Jurisprudence: the study or science of legal theory and
philosophy. "The study of jurisprudence, next to that of
theology, is the most important and useful to men." (Quote is
from Webster's 1828 Dictionary.) The modern concept and
practice of law is amorphous, virtually whatever judges and
jurists want it to be. See
Summary Principles of Government, Law, etc.
Justice: the application of Biblical law in the appropriate
situation or each person getting his just due, both reward and
punishment, by the same criteria. Why designate the appropriate
situation? God's justice has the range of application from
the individual's conscience in society (social justice), to the
laws of church government that require correction (discipline)
of its members, and to the taking of a life in capital
punishment after due process of state law. Properly
applied, justice is always merciful, even to its ultimate
application on earth in capital punishment. Final and perfect
justice will be executed in the Last Judgment.
Keynesian economics, Keynesianism, and Keynesian
Theory: an economic theory based upon the ideas of
twentieth-century British economist John Maynard Keynes. It
promotes a mixed economy in which both the state and the
private sector have important roles. It is virtually the
opposite of Misian economics. (Adapted from
of God: "a community of persons animated by … the Spirit of
God… set down in an environment completely serviceable to
righteousness, peace, truth (justice and mercy), and every other
value that began with the giving of the Holy Spirit and that
will be fully established in the future. A work separate
from the Church, although She is the living, burning center of
the Kingdom, a witness to its presence and power, and a
harbinger of its final coming." Augustine's City of God.
The Kingdom of God is The Great Commission, Biblical
ethics, and biblical worldview.
See The Kingdom of God.
Quotes from Henry Stob, Ethical Reflections, pages 67-69.
The Kingdom of God is what Augustine called the City of God
which was antithetically opposed to the City of Man.
Kingdom of Heaven: equivalent to The Kingdom of God
(above) and The Great Commission (above).
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Laissez-faire economics: economics theory which
advocates that markets and the private sector operate best
without state intervention. This approach is consistent
with Misian economics and a Biblical approach to
economics. It is the opposite of Keynesian
a decree by some authority that when obeyed will bring some
benefit, or when disobeyed will bring some penalty. God is first
truth, and then law. These attributes lay the foundation
of His justice for the application of His love, mercy, and
grace. He has established laws* for nature (animate and
inanimate) and for mankind. Relative to the latter, God's
law is representative of His righteousness and holiness.
Rightly understood, there is no conflict in His laws of
self-government, the family, the church, social organizations,
and state governments (local, state, and national). The
greatest Freedom that any object or being can experience
is to function within the laws of God whether in nature or
organizations of men. When God's laws are broken, destruction,
disease, injury, and death inevitably result. See
Love below. "Law" is used at least 12 different
ways in Scripture, see
What Is Biblical Law? Synonyms for law in the
Bible include commandment, statute, precept, instruction,
judgments, righteous judgments, word, testimonies, His (God's)
ways, a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path.
(See Psalm 119.)
Absolutes: The Law of Non-Contradiction
necessitates of the statement, "There are no absolutes," that
there exists at least one absolute. By this
simple methodology, God has necessitated Absolutes in His
Universe, Himself being the First Principle of Absolutes.
Contradiction or Law of Non-Contradiction: the belief
and axiom of logic that a proposition and its opposite statement
cannot both be true. Associated with this law is the
Law of Absolutes.
Legalism: (1) the attempt by a person to obtain merit or favor with God through
acts of confession or obedience, whether to Biblical law, principles derived from Biblical law, or any
other set of rules or religious practices. The
unregenerate can do nothing to please God (Romans 8:8) and the
regenerate have already been completely forgiven in Christ
and do not need to add anything to what Christ has already done (Romans 8:1). Justification
(complete, total, and final) is one of the most important
concepts for a Christian to understand in the concept of
salvation. The Christian who understands justification is
never concerned with legalism. His only concern is
obedience in the grace and mercy of Christ.
Legalism for the regenerate can be subtle.
We can begin to think that we must live perfectly in order
to please God. God does not require perfection in our
living, especially when we have repetitive ("besetting")
sins. He does require confession and repentance of all sins.
On this basis, we need to keep short accounts with God.
But, we never have to "earn" His favor. In fact, we
cannot earn His favor. Christ has given us (imputed) His
full and complete application of the law in a Christian's
life is not legalism. It is simply obedience to God's
instructions (commandments). The law, then, gives the
Christian instruction the "how" for loving God and loving others, the
Two Great Commandments. As a newborn baby needs
instruction on the laws of human conduct, the regenerate
Christian needs instruction on how to live before God and
others (I Peter 2:2). Biblical law is that instruction. Law
and love are intimately woven together. See Love.
Placing obligations on God: There is also a sense
in which legalism places an obligation or debt upon God.
If we can earn His favor, He "owes" us. If we can
perform steps A, B, and C and expect a particular action
from God for us or in us, we have obligated His service to
us. God is then conditional to our requests or actions.
This He cannot and will not do. His purposes forever and always are
His own (Ephesians 1:5, 9).
(2) a set
of rules, frequently that are extra-biblical (as the Pharisees
had) or selectively Biblical that are used to determine whether
another person or group is sufficiently "spiritual" to be
acceptable to the person or group holding those rules.
Modern issues involving legalism include young-earth vs.
old-earth creationism, theonomy, charismatic gifts, observance
of the Sabbath, eschatology, and a variety of dietary and health
practices. These rules violate the oneness of Ephesians
4:1-5 for all the regenerate.
Leisure: a humanistic notion that is often substituted for
the Biblical concept of rest. The Bible knows nothing of
leisure: only Work and Rest, both of which are
instructed in the 4th Commandment and the New Testament concept
of Good Works, especially Matthew 11:28-30. Leisure
has the idea of being free from work and doing what one wants to
do. Biblically, one is never free from God's commandments.
Getting sufficient Rest is one of God's commandments,
cited in this definition. One may counter, "Leisure may be
used for Bible study or mercy ministry." I would answer,
"These are Good Works, not leisure!"
Rex: literally, "the law is king." Also the title
of Samuel Rutherford's book, published in 1644, early in the
deliberations of the Westminster Assembly that produced the
Westminster Confession of Faith. Apart from the influence
of the Bible, virtually all cultures had the standard, rex
lex, "the king is law." Whatever the king said was
law--no man had any rights above what the king said. Under
Biblical law, a man has the right to appeal to the law as
written in his country.
Licensure: standards that are set by the state which have to
be met for individuals in a particular profession to practice
their trade. De facto, the state has thus
created a monopoly that limits creativity and new developments in
that profession. See
Licensure of Medical Practice.
Liberty: See Freedom.
"the study of the methods by which the conclusion is proved
beyond all doubt," or to the contrary, by which the conclusion
is proved to be erroneous. The process of Logic, however,
says nothing about the truth of the premises. The truth or
falsity of the premises is not part of the logical process. See
The Role of Logic (in truth) and
Unraveling the Concept of Logic.
Logos: "word" in New Testament Greek. However,
when used in reference to Jesus Christ, as "In the beginning was
the Word, and the Word was with God..." (John 1:1), it has a
greater depth and breadth of meaning than may be realized.
John Calvin translates it as "Speech." Some other possible
translations are: computation, accounts, measure, esteem,
consideration, value, ratio, proportion, pretext, purpose,
theory, argument, proposition, principle, law, rule, thesis,
hypothesis, reason, formula, debate, narrative, fable, speech—to
name a few. For more on logos,
sacrificial acts (speech and behavior) within Biblical or Godly
parameters (law, precepts, principles, etc.) for the greatest good of the one loved (God,
spouse, child, neighbor, and even enemies). Biblical
parameters (law) limit "anything goes," as acts of love.
For example, a man cannot divorce his wife because he "loves"
another woman. Sacrifice on the part of the one who loves
illustrates its supreme value. The ultimate act of love,
as sacrifice, is "to lay down one's life" (John 15:13). Obviously, love is one of
the richest of Biblical concepts. It is commonly misunderstood by many Christians,
even concerning the greatest act of love in history, God's
sacrifice of His Own Son for the greatest good of those whom He
loved. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
Love is obedience to all the commandments of God.
Law, Justice, Love, Law, etc.
Love - Agapeo and Phileo: From the
conversation between Peter and Jesus in John 21,, these words are often
contrasted. Biblically, however, they have the same
meaning! (1) Jesus and Peter would have spoken
Aramaic in which there are no corresponding words for
agapeo and phileo; that is, to differentiate
"brotherly" love from the "agapé" of the New Testament. (2) John often
introduces "slight variations in all sorts of places without
real difference of meaning," e.g., John 3:5. (3) Peter
answers, "Yes, Lord." "Why would he say 'Yes,' if he
means 'No?' ... He is accepting Jesus' word, not declining
it." (4) Elsewhere in the New Testament, phileo
is used where it cannot possibly be "brotherly" love,
mandating at the very least it sometimes means the same as
agapeo. Examples are found in John 5:20 ("as
the Father loves the son"), John 16:27 (of the Father's love
for His own), I Corinthians 16:22 (love for Jesus Christ),
and Revelation 3:19 (the Father rebukes only those whom He
loves). I would contend, along with Gordon Clark, that
agapeo and phileo throughout the New Testament
are synonyms. (The quotes and other notes herein are
from Leon Morris' International Commentary on the New
Testament: John [1977 Edition], pages 870-873.
Also, see D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd
Edition, pages 31-32.)
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Materialism: 1) the belief that only matter is real, in
contrast to Rationalism or Idealism that considers only thought or mind
Under materialism, "mind" is an "epiphenomenon." 2)
The Biblical, moral concept whereby "things" are over-emphasized
in one's life, even to the extent that "things" are worshipped.
"You cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew
6:24). Synonym of Naturalism
Mathematics: "The science of quantity; the science which
treats of magnitude and number, or of whatever can be measured
or numbered. This science is divided into pure or speculative,
which considers quantity abstractly, without relation to matter;
and mixed, which treats of magnitude as subsisting in material
bodies, and is consequently interwoven with physical
considerations." (From Webster's 1828 Dictionary, reference
Mechanism, Mechanistic Materialism: the philosophy of
naturalism that nature can be described in terms of mechanical
laws. For example, "mind and its activities are forms of
behavior. Psychology, then, becomes a study of behavior,
and mind or consciousness are interpreted as muscular, neural,
or glandular behavior. These processes may then be
explained by physics and chemistry. Values and ideals
become merely subjective labels for physical situations and
relations." Titus et al., Living Issues..., page
251. See Dialectical Materialism.
Illness: a term that is so generally used and misused as to
be of virtually no use. The term is an attempt to equate
physical illness with aberrant emotions and behaviors. Based
upon a philosophy of materialism, this attempt is
understandable. However, man is both Body and
Soul (Spirit, Heart, Mind). The problem is that
there is no "normal," as a standard. Because of the Fall
of mankind in Adam, this lack of a standard can be understood.
As the New Adam, Jesus Christ is our normative standard within
the limits of our being human and He being God. See
Behavior or Disease? and
The Nature ... of Mental Illness.
Metaphysics: one of the four branches of philosophy
(along with ethics, logic, and epistemology). It "is concerned with the
nature and structures of being or ultimate reality... (with)
such issues as the nature of existence, properties, and events;
the relation between particulars and universals, individuals and
classes; the nature of change and causation; and the nature of
mind, matter, space, and time." (John Jefferson Davis,
Theology Primer: Resources for the Theological Student,
Baker Book House, 1981, page 30).
(of man): see Image of God.
Christ: see article
Christ this website.
Mind-body problem. "The difficulty of explaining how the
mental activities of human beings relate to their living
physical organisms" (from the philosophical dictionary below).
From a Biblical perspective, this problem does not exist, as man
has an immaterial mind, as well as a material brain, portrayed
in Scripture. See
Image of God, Mind, Soul, and Spirit.
Economics: the economic approach of Ludwig von Mises, which
is essentially the same as Laissez-faire economics.
medicine: all medical theory and practices are based upon
evolution and naturalism, even Mechanistic Materialism.
Modernism, modernist, modernity: the attitude (arrogance) that modern knowledge is
virtually all that could be valid or true. It exists in
both Christians and non-Christians. Many modern Christians
see no need to study the writings and teachings of past
Christians. Yet, he who does not or will not learn from
history is condemned to repeat the same mistakes of the past.
Modernism is also simply a continuation of the
Enlightenment's attempt to find meaning apart from God and
within man himself.
responsibility: synonym of Free Will.
morality: See Ethic and Ethics which are synonyms.
Sometimes, morals or mores are defined by what a society or
group of people does without regard to Biblical standards.
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Nationalism: an entity that transcends local groups, such as
tribes, small towns, and identifiable cultures, that is
coalesced under a central government, and that is arranged
according to boundaries that are determined by topography,
treaty, or conquest. Few nation states existed before the
19th century. The aims of the nation are often quite
different from those local groups. By the power and
administration of the central government, as well as,
assimilation by proximity and exposure of these groups to each
other, local distinctives and identities are lost. The
rights of these local groups are often subjected to the "rights"
of the whole. Fervent nationalism becomes "my country,
right or wrong!" Christians may never violate biblical
ethics because of a love for their country.
theology: theological principles derived from nature or
empirical methods. A more accurate term is General
revelation, in contrast to Special Revelation.
Natural theology is subject to the presuppositions of its
Naturalism or Scientific Naturalism: "the belief that all objects, events, and values
can be wholly explained in terms of factual and/or causal claims
about the world, without reference to supernatural powers or
authority" (from Dictionary of Philosophical Terms... below).
For Christians this "supernatural powers or authority" is the
Bible. Synonym of Materialism and Positivism (1).
Naturalistic Fallacy: an attempt to derive ethics
(principles of right and wrong) from "what is" or "what has
been," especially any concept of evolution in the past or nature
as it has been found today. An example would be the
eugenics movement, which proclaims that it is "right" to assist
natural selection by population planning, either in total
numbers or human traits that are "preferred" for one reason or
another. Adolph Hitler implemented this reasoning in
monstrous and heinous programs.
Needs: any thing without which a person cannot live or
function to his maximal ability in the tasks to which God has
called him or her. Any person's greatest need is
regeneration and obedience to the Word of God. While in
this physical life, such things as air, water, food, and shelter
are necessary to sustain physical life. Spiritual needs
include Bible study, worship, an active church life, personal
ministry, etc. Christians must take great caution that
needs are not confused with desires, nor that true needs become
lust (inordinate desires). For example, Bible study is a
great need in every Christian's life, but when it begins to
obstruct obligations to one's family, job, or other daily
responsibilities, then it has become a lust. See
Need and Needs.
Neighbor: Anyone with whom a person may come in contact, as
close as one’s spouse, or more distant as one’s enemies in
warfare to missions around the world that provide physical help,
as illustrated in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke
10:25-37) or that evangelize the unreached. Obviously, one’s
responsibilities increase, as the proximity of the neighbor
increases. The closest neighbor is your spouse, or other member
of your family, if not married.
Nouthetic Counseling: equivalent to Biblical counseling.
"Nouthetic" was coined by Jay Adams from the N.T. Greek Word,
nouthesis. It "is motivated by love and deep concern, in
which (Christians) are counseled (according to the Bible) and
corrected by verbal means for their good, and ultimately of course,
that God may be glorified," for example, see Romans 15:14. (Competent to Counsel,
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Ontology: thought that is concerned with the nature of
ultimate reality. Synonym for Truth, Ethic,
Metaphysics, and Worldview. While there may be
shades of differences between these words, each is concerned
with what is the most basic foundation for reliable thought.
Operationalism: see this discussion of
Orthodox: orthos, right true, straight; doxa,
opinion, praise. Orthodox doctrine is true doctrine
according to some standard, usually creeds or confessions that
are true to Scripture. Being Greek Orthodox is only one
application of this term to a specific branch of Christianity.
Dead orthodoxy: This term, as commonly used, is
seriously flawed. Orthodox doctrine, as defined here,
assumes the presence of regeneration. Only a
person who is truly born-again can actually believe true
doctrine. Where regeneration is present, the
Holy Spirit of God resides in that person. He can only
manifest that life of God. A better expression of what
is meant by dead orthodoxy would be "faith without works is
dead" (James 2:20). "Deadness" exists where there is
false faith (i.e., temporary and historical faith).
Only spiritual life can exist where true faith (belief in
true doctrine) exists.
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an unregenerate, one who has not been "born-again," by the process of Regeneration.
All people are separated into two groups, Regenerate and
Unregenerate. No Worldview that does not take
this division into deliberate account cannot be considered to be
a Biblical Worldview. Remember, a Pagan is a
person who worships other gods, shakes his fist in the face of
God as his enemy, and "does whatever he wants," regardless of
what God says is right and wrong.
primarily used in the Bible as designating the relationship
between a believer and God. Unless one realizes the degree
of enmity and hatred that God has for sin and unbelieving sinners, one
cannot appreciate the breadth and depth of Biblical "peace."
For what it is not, see "How Emotions Re-define
Phileo (verb): to love. See Love.
Philosophy: (from philo-
"loving" + sophia
"knowledge, wisdom," literally "one who loves knowledge of
wisdom".) 1) at a personal level, one's worldview or
ethic, whether examined or unexamined, coherent or inconsistent,
informal or formal (as an established system agreed to by many
persons, as in humanism or Roman Catholicism), and including or
excluding a supernatural (metaphysical) dimension, founded upon
some set of first principles (axioms, presuppositions,
assumptions, postulates, propositions, etc.) accepted by faith
as true. 2) Formally, "a persistent attempt to
acquire an understanding and appreciation of the cosmos as a
whole; a passionate endeavor to see the world of men and things
as they truly are; the untiring effort to disclose the structure
and pattern of the world, to discern and apprehend the
interrelation of things, to see how part is linked to part, and
how all things join to constitute a single and intelligible
whole" (Henry Stob, Theological Reflections, Eerdmans:
1981). Sum: a diligent attempt to know truth (see Truth
below). Ultimately, there are only two philosophies
(religions or cosmologies): that
which is consistently and coherently Biblical, and all others.
Philosophy and Religion are synonyms. See
Religion and the Synonyms listed under First
Philosophy, definitions of:
Pietism: the dominant measurement of one's Christian
experience since the mid-19th century. Essentially, it is
believing and living the Christian life, based primarily upon
one's emotions. To some extent, all Christians measure
their lives in this way. To some extent, sanctification is
an emotional experience. But, pietism has come to dominate
Christians' understanding and experience. Some examples
include basing decisions on finding "peace," "the Lord
told me to ____" (do a certain thing), I "feel" that this verse
means _______, and "I felt good about the worship service
today." For more on this subject, see "How Emotions Re-define
Polanyi, Michael (1891-1976):
born Hungarian, worked most of
his life in Britain. He has possbily written the most important
works of the 20th century to refute the "objectivity" of
science. His book,
is an extensive history and refutation of scientism
and a major defense of the subjectivity of the scientific
method. (These were his re-worked Gifford Lectures of 1951-52.
When scientism and the scientific method are refuted, atheism
and secular humanism has nothing left upon which to stand.
Polanyi provides more than enough ammunition to destroy these
two intellectual enemies of Christianity and truth.
Politics: from the Greek, polis or state. “The
science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the
regulation and government of a nation or state, for the
preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending
the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control
or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and
the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the
preservation and improvement of their morals. Politics, as a
science or an art, is a subject of vast extent and importance.”
(Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)
Positivism: "the belief that natural science, based on
observation, comprises the whole of human knowledge...
reject(ing) as meaningless, the claims of theology and
metaphysics. The most influential twentieth-century version is
logical positivism" (from A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms...
below). Synonym of Materialism and Naturalism.
"Most generally, abandonment of Enlightenment confidence in the
achievement of objective human knowledge through reliance upon
reason in pursuit of foundationalism, essentialism, and realism.
In philosophy, postmodernists typically express grave doubt
about the possibility of universal objective truth, reject
artificially sharp dichotomies, and delight in the inherent
irony and particularity of language and life." (From the
philosophical dictionary in references below.) One
consistently prevalent and dominating tenet of both Modernism
and Post-modernism is the exclusion of Biblical Christianity and
its God from any meaning related to man's existence.
Post-modernism at its core is simply irrational; there is no
meaning anywhere. This position simply contradicts men and
women's everyday pursuits of knowledge, purpose, and
Pragmatic Theory of Truth: one of the classic tests of truth. The
Word of God is the most practical book ever written. See
The Pragmatic Test of Truth.
Pragmatic Knowledge or Pragmatic Value: a synonym of 2nd
definition of Fact.
philosophical or cosmological sense:
any theory of the causes and effects that determine what an
individual is and does. Some theory of predestination is
unavoidable (inescapable) because no person chooses his genetic and
spiritual condition, nor the early teachings of his parents and
others. All decisions after the age of "accountability" are
absolutely determined by these prior factors. Also, on
this basis no one is "free" from predestination to be able to
make "free" choices. 2) Biblical sense: God's
ordering of all events from eternity past to the present to
eternity future "who works all things according to the counsel
of His will" (Ephesians 1:11). See Free Will.
Prehistory: the history of the Bible goes all the way back
to Creation! Thus, prehistory is a misnomer. It is
also a misnomer apart from the Bible, as all peoples have left a
history, whether in buildings, implements, paintings, and even
writings. Prehistory is a word from an evolutionary
worldview that there was a time when man did not have more than
a guttural language. However, Biblical history and
archeology show that man has always had a highly intelligent
language. Prehistory is not found in Webster's 1828
Presbyterian: essentially a synonym of Calvinism,
except that Presbyterian also identifies its form of church
government with a board of ruling elders in the local church
which groups with other churches in a presbytery or synod.
Most Presbyterians believe the Westminster Confession of Faith
along with its Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Presbyterians also believe in infant baptism as a sign of God's
Covenant with His people.
Presupposition: see first principle
of the Intellect: knowledge in the understanding or the
rational mind provides the direction for the emotions and the
will, after one's first principles are believed. This
position demands the pursuit of education (knowledge),
especially a systematic understanding of Scripture.
the evidence which is acceptable to a person concerning some
statement about reality. Absolute proof of God,
materialism, or any other philosophical or religious system
does not exist. When the atheist asks for "proof," he has
already decided what he will or will not accept to support or
deny his position. Proof is always relative to the
philosophy, religion, and beliefs of any person.
Psychiatry: the practice of psychology by practitioners who
are licensed to practice medicine. The only difference
between psychologists and psychiatrists is that the latter are
able to prescribe medications and procedures that are considered
"medical" by the state licensing authority. All
evaluations and references to "psychology" on this website apply
equally to psychiatrists and psychiatry. Most Christians
who are psychiatrists practice secular psychology. (See
Psychology (true or Biblical): is the study of an individual person’s thoughts,
speech, and behavior relative to himself, his neighbor, and God,
as governed and defined by specific Biblical criteria. Secular
psychologists and Christian psychologists who try to “integrate“
psychology with Biblical principles would deny this Biblical
criterion. See Anthropology in Glossary
above and Worldview Area of
Secular: All psychology that does not have the Bible as
its governing truth in all areas of theory and practice.
Even the psychology that is taught and practiced by most
Christians is secular psychology.
Psychotherapy: the sophisticated name given by
psychologists to simply talking with people who need advice
about some problem in life with themselves or others. While
it may involve listening, asking questions, and giving advice or
directions, it is still just conversation. The preferred term is
Counseling which can be done by anyone with some training and/or
experience, especially those who know and can apply the Word of
God. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of a person
giving "psychotherapy" has no correlation with his or
her level of
Puritans: the word was first applied to Christians in
England at the time of the Reformation who believed that all
Roman Catholic worship should be "purified" according to
Biblical standards of worship. As with most labels, there
was a variety of beliefs within the ranks of the Puritans, both
in England, America, and elsewhere. In general, the
Puritans were known for their strong Calvinism and their
vigorous practice of a Biblical mindset. They are a model
to be emulated in their Biblical humility and rock-solid stance
for righteousness, even to challenge kings and other government
Essay on Milton. For a more complete historical
review of the Puritans, see
Pilgrims and Puritans.
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Quakers: a sect founded by George Fox about 1660 whose
beliefs include each individual being directly responsible to
God (they have no priests or pastors and no religious ceremonies
and do not call themselves a church), and being guided by an
"inner light" that comes directly from "God within." Since
they accept this "inner light" as equivalent or superior to
God's Revelation in the Bible, they could not be labeled
"Christian," in the Evangelical sense (above). They
are also called the Religious Society of Friends (RSOF).
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perhaps one of the most heinous categories ever created
concerning mankind. Biblically, there are no races, only
humans. "Male and female" were the only categories of
creation. Both were created in the "image of God."
On this simple basis, Christians ought to be in the forefront of
living and working towards this reality in their daily lives and
especially in their churches.
Rational thinking: the informal process of moving through an
argument in a "reasonable" or "consistent" manner. This
process has little relevance to formal logic which (applied
correctly) is quite precise and by which one can draw
conclusions that are just as true as the premises. See
Unraveling the Concept of Logic.
Rationalism: "the belief that human reason alone can
discover the basic principles of the universe... the mind has
the power to know some truths that are logically prior to
experience, and yet not analytic (that is can be broken down
into smaller parts). Titus, Living Issues..., pages
Realism: "the belief that the objects of our senses
exist independently of their being known or related to mind."
Titus, Living Issues ..., page 435. The opposite of
realism is Idealism.
Reality: the presence of the Sovereign God through His laws
for the physical universe, living organisms, man, and the
spiritual world. Negatively, no living thing is free from
these laws without severe consequences. Positively,
everything in the universe functions at its best according to
these laws -- see Freedom. For example, the laws of the
universe keep planets in their orbits. The laws of
biochemistry sustain the cells of living creatures.
Spiritual laws must govern one's behavior towards God and others,
or quarrels, fights, and wars result. This Reality
prevents any creature from being independent of either God or
everything else in the universe.
Reasonable: thinking that is supposed to arrive at
truth. For example, many have argued that reason is more
important than faith in arriving at truth. The
problem is that there is no universally agreed upon process of
thinking that is considered valid. Augustine of Hippo
stated "I believe in order to understand." Biblically,
this method is correct. But, atheists would argue that
"pure reason" must come first. However, no one can avoid
presupposition (first principles) which are prior to
reason (positions of faith), require no proofs or argument, and
actually determine what that person or group considers
Reconstruction: a synonym of Theonomy.
a movement of the Holy Spirit that causes an increasing rate of
the number of persons who are regenerated, and then apply Biblical
truth to the mores of a culture and the legislation of its laws.
Jesus Christ has caused the greatest reforms in
history generally and vastly underrated by Christians and
non-Christians alike. See
What If Jesus Had Never Been Born. Contrast with Revolution.
True reformation has a broad and lasting influence on
individuals, The Church and churches, and cultures,
contrasted with Revival, which usually has only a
temporary effect, primarily restricted to individuals and local
Reformation: the great historical events that began
with Martin Luther's nailing his 95 theses to the door of the
church in Wittenberg and an entire reconsideration of The
Church and all its teachings strictly according to Biblical
Reformed: See Calvinism.
Reformed Baptist: generally, a Calvinist who
believes in immersion for baptism on profession of faith (not
infant baptism) and churches that are independent of any higher
Regenerate: the person who has been acted upon by God's
Spirit to be "born-again" or "born from above."
See Pagan and Regeneration. The whole of the
human race is divided into these two categories called sheep and
goats, believers and unbelievers, wheat and tares, etc.
Regeneration: The change wrought by the Holy Spirit in the
soul or spirit of a person that changes trust (belief or faith)
in oneself, as the source of truth about life and how to live
it, to trust in the Bible, as God offers forgiveness in Jesus
Christ and tells us who we are and what our responsibilities
are. Regeneration is initiation of sanctification. Other terms
in the Bible for regeneration are “born-again” and “born from
The new birth is by the grace of God; that change by which the
will and natural enmity of man to God and his law are subdued,
and a principle of supreme love to God and his law, or holy
affections, are implanted in the heart.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
Regenerate man, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit , has a
more valid understanding of the Bible than unregenerate man.
for a more detailed discussion of the term that is a key to
Religion: on a practical and functional level, a synonym of
Philosophy and Worldview, that is, the most basic
rules (usually unexamined) by which a person governs his life.
However, commonly and traditionally, it is erroneously limited
to established belief systems, usually ones with supernatural
beliefs. (For more on this common use of
"religion," see its reference at Wikipedia.com-- below.) At the most basic level, there are
only two religions: Biblical Christianity and all others.
One could also say that the only religion is Biblical
Christianity and everything else is a distortion of it. See the Synonyms listed under First Principles.
a nation governed by constitutional law and enforced by
representatives of that law who are elected by the people.
(Joe Morecraft on America in 1776)
Responsibility: man is responsible for his thoughts and
actions because God says that he is, not because he is morally
"free." Man is free to choose
consistent with all his predetermined conditions. See
Free will and Predestination.
those activities that allow a person to become strengthened to
Work and do Good Works, and not become "weary in
well-doing." These activities include the instructions in
the 4th Commandment for the Sabbath and sleep, primarily.
Some activities of a quiet nature, such as light reading,
walking, and quiet conversation may be included here.
Retirement: a modern concept that at the end of one's
primary means of producing income, a person does whatever he
wants, usually what he has always wanted to do, but never had
the time. It is an unbiblical notion because one never
"retires" from God's Work or Good Works.
However, such "retirement" can be a great opportunity for one to
be more fully engaged in Good Works to advance the cause
of The Kingdom of God.
Revival: changes in individuals and local churches in
response to special times and manners of preaching which is
usually temporary in effect. Contrast with Reformation.
Revolution: "the radical change of social patterns in their
essential constitution, through violence and compulsion."
(Henry, C.F.H. Aspects of Christian Social Ethics,
page 17) Contrast with Reformation.
lex: literally, "the king is law." Also known as
the Divine Right of Kings. See Lex rex.
Rights: rights are ethical or legal claims of duties or
freedoms that are given to those people under a higher
authority. The only legitimate rights are those given by
God in His Word. The Declaration of Independence declares
that all peoples have "inalienable rights, that among these are
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Since God is
the highest authority, there is no court of appeal higher than
Righteousness: all that God requires of men and women, as
defined by the Bible. There are the Two Great Commandments
of loving God and neighbor, the Ten Commandments, the "new
commandment" of Christ, and all the other commandments,
precepts, and principles of the Holy Scriptures. Within
Biblical definitions, righteousness is a synonym of Biblical
ethics and Biblical worldview.
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Salvation: simply, "to be rescued from something."
Thus, to understand any form of salvation, one must know from
what he has been saved. Salvation in the Bible is no
different. But, few Christians seem to understand the full
extent of the terrible and severe circumstances from which they
have been rescued, and the great opportunities which they
have been given in their earthly life, not just heaven.
The Kingdom of Heaven begins now! See
Salvation: Its Phases and
Wonderful Fullness: Often Considered Too
Science: a pivotal word for worldview concepts. Beginning
with the Scholastics about 1200, theology was called "The Queen of the
Sciences." "Science," as used in this
sense, referred to any
area of systematic study. Webster's Dictionary of 1828
(see References below), in
his 2nd definition states, "In philosophy, a collection of the
general principles or leading truths relating to any subject.
Pure science ... is built on self-evident truths; but the term
science is also applied to other subjects founded on generally
acknowledged truths...." In modern times, "science" refers
to the physical and natural sciences. The great problem is
that the more precise sciences of physics, chemistry, and
mathematics connote the same precision to such areas as biology,
psychology (of man), and medicine, that these latter areas do not have.
For more on this discussion, see
What Is Science? Science could also be considered a
synonym of Systematics, as in systematic theology.
By science and systematics, subject matter is fitted and
understood as parts of a whole. Then, the whole is greater
than the sum of its parts.
Scientific Naturalism: See Naturalism.
Scientific method: a system of steps by which theories about
the physical universe may be tested and "proved." This
proof is limited to the design of the experiment. It
is not proof in the philosophical sense of finding truth.
Many people are deceived by the use of proof in this way.
The scientific method, by design, is limited to proofs in
the physical world. It can say nothing about the
supernatural world because the method excludes any supernatural
interference by design. See Proof.
"Writers on scientific method usually tell us that
scientific discoveries made "inferentially," that is to say,
from putting together many facts. But this is
far from being correct. The facts by themselves
are never sufficient to lead unequivocally to the really
profound discoveries. Facts are always analyzed
in terms of the prejudices of the investigator. The
prejudices are of a deep kind, relating to our view on how
the Universe "must" be constructed." Sir Fred Hoyle,
Highlights in Astronomy (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman
and Company, 1977), page 35-36.
Scientism: the philosophy that only through the natural
sciences may truth or knowledge be obtained. Biblically
and philosophically, however, such science cannot qualify as a
source of truth. See
Science as Truth and
... Pragmatic Value.
Humanism: humanism based upon secularism.
Secularism: a modern term that certain practices or
institutions (public or private) should exist separately from
Religion (as erroneously and narrowly defined-- see
Religion in this Glossary). "In the extreme, it is an
ideology that holds that religion has no place in public life"
(from Wikipedia below).
justice: the comprehensive application of Biblical law,
love, and mercy to all levels of government: self, family,
voluntary groups, churches, and state (local, state, and
national). Great errors in the modern application of
social justice is, first, neglect of Biblical law, but more
specifically, the omission of responsibility, opportunity for
retribution, and egalitarianism. Jesus Christ has caused
the greatest changes towards social justice by both civil
law and compassion generated by the love of Christ. See
What If Jesus Had Never Been Born. For the background of
social justice in God's law, love, grace, mercy, and justice,
Socialism: "a political and economic theory that advocates
the public ownership and management of the principal means of
production, distribution, and exchange." (Titus...,
Living Issues..., page 437) "The political application
of the belief that man's salvation lies in the application of
intelligence (apart from the Scriptures) to man's problems." (Rushdoony,
Salvation and Godly Rule, page 115)
Sociology: "the systematic study of the development,
structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized
groups of human beings." (2) See
Anthropology (above), as this worldview area must be Biblically
defined to be acceptable to a Biblical worldview.
Social justice is a better name for this area.
The Five of the Reformation: sola Scriptura, soli
Deo gloria, solo Christo, sola gratia, and sola fide.
In the same order, the only and ultimate authority are the 66
books of the Protestant Bible, only glory to God, only by Christ
is a person saved and has any merit with the Father, only by
grace without any human works is one saved, and only by faith
and not by works is one saved. See Trent, Council of.
(of man): the immaterial component of man that thinks and
feels. See Mind and Spirit. (Human)
spirit is virtually synonymous with soul. Heart, soul,
mind, and spirit are all facets of the immaterial component of
The Image of God.
Revelation: the 66 books of the Protestant Bible,
infallible, inerrant, entirely sufficient, and fully
(of man): the immaterial component of man that thinks
and feels. See Mind and Soul. See
The Image of God.
Spiritual Gifts: those special abilities given by
Christ, as he ascended into heaven, to individual Christians for
the building up of the visible and invisible Church,
numerically by evangelism, spiritually by teaching and
preaching, and physically by works of mercy (Ephesians 4:7-16).
as noun or adjective, any legally constituted government: city,
county, state, or nation. Christians need to re-institute
the concept that "government" includes self-government, that of
the family, church, and other formally organized bodies, not
just legal institutions. The more that non-state
government is exercised, the less the need for the state.
A synonym is Civil Government.
Subconscious mind: See
Exploring the Unconscious.
"Survival of the Fittest": a phrase coined by Herbert
Spencer (1820-1903), as a description of the work of Charles
Darwin (1809-1882). Spencer's work was published before
that of Darwin and differed at several points.
Syllogism: the arrangement of all the steps of formal
logic. See Logic above.
Systematics, as in systematic theology. See
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Talents: abilities, given by God, to believers and
unbelievers, for the enrichment of mankind. These may be
technical, for example, in engineering or architecture, or
artistic, in music or painting. Contrast with Spiritual Gifts.
Theistic evolution: the synthesis of some theory of
evolution that is directed by God over long periods of time.
Neither the Biblical account nor the evidences of evolution
necessitate this conclusion.
a government based upon "ultimate reality" or one's (or a
group's) most basic belief. It has been wrongly assumed that a
theocracy is based upon religious belief, for example, Old
Testament Israel or the Muslin states. However, all law is
based upon ethics, and ethics is based upon
ultimate reality. Thus, democracy or communism is as much a
theocracy as one that is overtly "religious." All beliefs are
based upon personal choice about ultimate concerns. Therefore,
all governments are theocracies. See
Theocracy Is An Inescapable Concept.
Theonomy: literally, “the law (nomos-) of God (theos-); the
application of all the laws (statutes, commandments, precepts,
etc.) of the Old and New Testaments to the individual, family,
social groups, church, and nations—with the exception of those
sacrificial, ceremonial, and dietary laws that Jesus Christ fulfilled in His sacrificial
life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
For a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of theonomy,
Reconstruction and Theonomy: Reviews.
Tradition: doctrines or practices within churches or
Christian groups that have become customary from one generation
to the next. Tradition is perhaps the most
dangerous threat to Biblical truth. The Roman Catholic
Church never had a chance to be corrected by the Reformation at
the Council of Trent because their tradition was held on
the same level of authority as Scripture. Today,
Protestant churches often unwittingly allow tradition to
supplant Biblical truth.
the belief that the soul
of every individual, is not created at conception (creationsim),
but is received from the soul of his or her parents., much like
genetics and other physical qualities. The other
possibilities are creationism, pre-existence, or
reincarnation. Traducianism is the only view that
satisfies all Biblical criteria. See
Transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2):
the word "transformed" comes from the Greek word, metamorpho,
which is used in only two other situations in the New Testament,
of Christ's transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9) and
the transformation that occurs to believers in heaven (II
Corinthians 3:18). This word is a powerful statement of
what will happen to the Christian's being when he is diligent to "renew his
mind." Most Christians never even approach this diligence
and therefore never experience that "transformation."
Council of: met three times over a period of 18 years:
1545-1547; 1551-1552; and 1562-1563, as an official response to
the standards of the Reformers and Conciliarism. This
council could be considered a watershed for the Roman Catholic
Church. The central cry of the Reformation was sola scriptura,
that Biblical authority exceeded any other form of authority
(truth). From this central tenet, the Reformers gained important
understandings of justification by faith without humans works of
any kind (Ephesians 2:8-9). But, the Council of Trent chose to
continue with their other “authorities“: the councils of the
church, church tradition, and the magisterium. Thus, they never
worked from Scripture alone and continued their distortion of
Biblical truth, salvation, and Christ’s sufficient work upon the
cross. For more information, see
The Council of Trent.
Trichotomy: the belief that the person consists of
three parts: body, soul, and spirit. It is the belief of
this author that this position is unbiblical, as only two states
exist within God's order: the material (physical—what
can be touched, felt, smelled, tasted, and seen or that which is
composed of atoms and molecules) and the immaterial (spiritual—God,
angels, Satan, fallen and fallen angels) which for man is
variously called his soul, mind, heart, and spirit.
Trichotomy is usually a method for psychologists to claim that
there is a realm for their expertise, the spirit, while the
physician takes care of the body and the pastor takes care of
the soul. See
Heart and Mind.
1) objectively, reality or "what is"; the universe as it really
is; how every part of the universe is related to every other
part. 2) The 66 books of the Protestant Bible. 3) Subjectively, Jesus Christ, "I am the way, the
truth, and the life" (John 14:6). (4) Honesty
in thought, word, and deed. See
Truth: Concepts, Nuances, etc. See Faith for the
relationship of faith and truth. See Websters 1828
dictionary on "truth."
"All truth is God's truth." A true phrase that is
quite complex in its application. It is mostly used
(erroneously) by psychologists and scientists who are
Christians in an attempt to integrate natural
revelation (nature) and special revelation (the Bible).
Virtually every attempt at integration minimizes, if not
denigrates, the proper authority of the Bible and the nature
of its truth. See
"All truth is God's truth,"
synonym of Fact.
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Ultimate reality: synonym for Truth, Ethic, Metaphysics,
and Worldview -- see those words in this Glossary.
Unconscious: see Subconscious mind.
Uniformitarianism, Uniformity of Nature: the position
of modern science that all processes and laws in nature have
always functioned, and will function in the future, as they do
in the present. The Biblical position differs, first, in
that God created everything. Second, the Fall of Adam and Eve
caused cataclysmic changes in the universe, such that it groans
for regeneration (Matthew 19:28; Romans 8:19-22). Third,
the Flood caused changes in nature that had not happened before
and have not happened since. Fourth, God will one
day destroy the present universe and create a new one (II Peter
University: schools which developed out of the monasteries
of the Middle Ages which sought to "uni-fy" all sources of
knowledge from an understanding of both God's Word and World
(natural science). The authority given to natural
revelation (nature) and special revelation (Bible) has varied
among thinkers from the beginning of this attempt. Because
both man and nature have experienced the effects of the Fall,
however, this pursuit should properly give the authority to The
Unregenerate: all persons before the Holy Spirit has changed
them through the process of Regeneration. The
entire population of mankind from The Beginning are either
regenerate or unregenerate (sheep and goats, saved and unsaved,
Christian and pagan, etc.).
a word invented by Thomas More (1478-1535) as the title of his
book that described a fictional island with perfect harmony of
legal, social, and political systems. Utopia was
derived from Greek, ou-topos, meaning "no place,"
and eu-topos, meaning "good place." Since
that time, it has been applied to any situation with hoped-for
characteristics of Utopia, a place that from a Biblical
perspective will never exist until Jesus Christ establishes His
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Knowledge: a synonym of 2nd definition of Fact
the degree to which a person will be motivated to obtain an
object or a goal; value is totally subjective -- no object
determines its own worth, only the person who desires it.
For example, one ounce of gold in one situation (prosperity)
may buy a month's worth of groceries, while in another situation
(famine), it may buy only one loaf of bread. Ultimately, God (as a Person) determines what something is
worth which He has revealed in His Word.
Vocation: vocatio, Latin for "calling." (1) In
the narrow sense, the career or primary focus of one's working
energy. It may or may not be one's primary source of
income. For example, many women are "called" to be
mothers. (2) In the fullest sense, vocation includes all
"good works," that is, all the tasks to which God calls His
people, including Bible and theological study, worship, raising
families, works of mercy, and evangelism. Some of these
are incumbent upon every Christian; others are special callings
with God's provision of natural talents or spiritual gifts.
Vocation, Career, and Leisure.
Welfare: "financial assistance paid by taxpayers (and
administered by state agencies) to people who are unable to
support themselves" (Wikipedia definition, modified by Ed).
Under Biblical principles and law, there is no justification for
this concept of Welfare. See
law and force and
the not-so-great welfare state.
Westminster Confession of Faith: the doctrine produced
at the request and funding of the English Parliament with
representatives from most of the Reformed bodies in England,
Scotland, and Ireland, written between 1643-1648. It
consists of the confession itself and the Larger and Shorter
Is" Fallacy: the reasoning that "what is," or even
"what has been," is a basis for ethics (principle of right and
wrong). For example, the huge program of modern welfare is
the right and best approach to the problem of the "poor" because
faculty of the mind by which we determine either to act or not
to act in a particular direction, or the faculty which is exercised in deciding,
among two or more objects, which we shall embrace or pursue. The
will is directed or influenced by the judgment and the
Conscience. The mind's understanding or reason compares
different views; the judgment determines which is preferable,
and the will decides which course of action to pursue. In other
words, we reason with respect to the value or importance of a
decision; we then judge which is to be preferred; and we will
act to achieve what we consider the most valuable.
These are but different operations of the mind, soul, or
intellectual part of man. (From Webster's 1828 Dictionary
below). A synonym of Faith, as an act of the will
is an act of faith, as in "I believe that the action that I have
taken (willed) is correct."
God or God's Will: see God's Will, "The will of God for
"Worldview" in that section on the Homepage
and its links to more discussion. See Ultimate Reality
and Synonyms under First Principles.
"any continuous application of energy toward an end." (From
Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia, edition unknown, cited by
Rushdoony in Salvation and Godly Rule, 1983, page 399.)
This definition centers on the Biblical concept of
Good Works where the "end" is the Glory of God and the good
of men or mankind. Vocation is a better term than "work"
for one's Career or primary means of producing income, as
it has the sense of being "called" by God as an "end."
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Zoroastrianism: This religion dates back to the 6th century
B.C., started by Zoroaster (Zarathushtra) and was once the
dominant religion of Greater Iran. It is
a cohort of the
ancient Vedic Hinduism, considered by some to have influenced
Judaism and Christianity (although such a position would deny
verbal inspiration of the Bible). It proclaims one God,
Ahuramazda or Wise Lord, who is a friend of
mankind. Mankind, then, functions as a junior partner in the goal of defeating and
removing all evil from the material world by the end of time,
when everything will be made perfect. Evil is considered as the
absence of good, but does not have an independent existence.
This religion is still practiced by 200,000-300,000 people
today. Followers are also called
Zarthushtis. For further information, see various texts
and online sources for Zoroastrianism. Information and
quotes here come largely from
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frequently go to
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary,
as a reference for words, because it precedes 1) the watering
down of language, 2) the infiltration of liberal thought on
words and culture, and 3) the influence of pietism, mysticism,
and emotional thinking on Christians that began in the mid-19th
Merriam-Webster Online Search
A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names @
http://www.philosophypages.com/dy/index.htm. This is
an excellent resource for managing the complexity and confusion of these
4 . Harold
H. Titus, et al, Living Issues in Philosophy, 7th
Edition, D. Van Norstrand Company, 1979.
Glossary of Medieval and Reformation History:
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