Saturday, July 21, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: scripture
An American family Bible dating to 1859.  Most religions have religious texts they view as sacred. Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts are wholly divine or spiritually inspired in origin. The names of sacred scriptures are often capitalized as a mark of respect or tradition.
4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
-Romans 15:4
The word scripture gets its original meaning from Greek word graphe:


which means "writing," "a document," or "Holy Writ." The writings (or documents) of the Old and New Testaments were eventually canonized.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: Kingdom of God
A Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of NGC 3372. The image is 50 light-years wide and a composite of 48 frames. The false color image was created using the following formula: red for sulfur, green for hydrogen, and blue for oxygen emissionsThe Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of heaven seem to be variations of the same idea. A kingdom implies a king. Our king is Jesus. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Jesus' authority did not come from man but from God (Luke 22:29).

The Kingdom of God (or the Kingdom of Heaven) is a key concept in Christianity based on a phrase attributed to Jesus of Nazareth in the gospels. The phrase occurs in the New Testament more than 100 times. Basileia tou theou was commonly translated into English as “Kingdom of God” in the New Testament, and refers to the reign or sovereignty of God over all things. This was as opposed to the reign of earthly powers, especially the Roman empire, which occupied Nazareth and Capernaum, where Jesus lived, as well as other cities mentioned in the Bible as visited by Jesus, most notably, Jerusalem.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: grace
Jesus cast his teachings about grace in parables such as the story of the Good Samaritan.The unmerited love and favor of God.

In Christianity, divine grace refers to the sovereign favor of God for humankind — especially in regard to salvation — irrespective of actions ("deeds"), earned worth, or proven goodness (in Christ); hence, free gift.

More broadly, divine grace refers to God's gifts to humankind, including life, creation, and salvation. More narrowly but more commonly, grace describes the means by which humans are saved from original sin and granted salvation. This latter concept of grace is of central importance in the theology of Christianity, as well as one of the most contentious issues in Christian sectarianism.

Grace is enabling power sufficient for progression. Grace divine is an indispensable gift from God for development, improvement, and character expansion. Without uniting with grace, there are certain limitations, weaknesses, flaws, impurities, and faults (i.e. carnality) humankind cannot overcome. Therefore, it is necessary to grow in grace - for added perfection, completeness, and flawlessness.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: salvation
Francesco de Zurbarin’s Agnus Dei. A lamb on an altar with feet bound together, innocent, trusting and helpless.Salvation refers to deliverance from an undesirable state or condition. In theology, the study of salvation is called soteriology and is a vitally important concept in several religions. Christianity regards salvation as deliverance from the bondage of sin and from condemnation, resulting in eternal life with God.

Christian views of salvationSalvation is arguably one of the most important Christian spiritual concepts, perhaps second only to the deity of Jesus Christ, the lamb of God.

Among many Christians, the primary goal of religion is to attain salvation. Others maintain that the primary goal of Christians is to do the will of God, or that the two are equivalent. In many traditions, attaining salvation is synonymous with going to heaven after death, while most also emphasize that salvation represents a changed life while on Earth as well. Many elements of Christian theology explain why salvation is needed and how to attain it.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Theological Dictionary word of the day: Righteousness
Righteousness in this article refers to the important theological concept in Judaism and Christianity. In one sense, it is an attribute of God whereby he is said to be holy and righteous. In another sense it refers to the righteousness of man; either his inherent righteousness (or the lack thereof), or his potential right standing before God or as being "judged" or "reckoned" as righteous by God (as the patriarch Abraham was in Genesis).

Man cannot be righteous in the sight of God on his own merits therefore, man must have God's righteousness imputed, or transferred, to him.

According to the prophet Isaiah:

6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are
like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins
sweep us away. -Isaiah 64:6
And as Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians:

7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I'm
tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to
take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought
were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of
knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had
going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that
I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn't want some petty,
inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I
could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God's righteousness.
-Philippians 3:7-9 (The Message)


Monday, July 16, 2007

Theological Dictioanry word of the day: Shekhinah
Moses and Shekhinah Glory (the burning bush)Shekhinah (שכינה - alternative transliterations Shekinah, Shechinah, Shekina, Shechina, Schechinah, sometimes spelled Shchinah in Judaism) is the English spelling of a feminine Hebrew language word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem. Shekhinah is the "gentle" or "feminine aspect" of the Divine.

Shechinah is derived from the Hebrew verb 'sakan' or 'shachan'. In Biblical Hebrew the word means literally to settle, inhabit, or dwell, and is used frequently in the Hebrew Bible. (See e.g. Genesis 9:27, 14:13, Psalms 37:3, Jeremiah 33:16), as well as the weekly Shabbat blessing recited in the Temple in Jerusalem ("May He who causes His name to dwell [shochan] in this House, cause to dwell among you love and brotherliness, peace and friendship"). In Mishnaic Hebrew the word is often used to refer to bird's nesting and nests. ("Every bird nests [shechinot] with its kind, and man with its like, Talmud Baba Kammah 92b.) and can also mean "neighbor" ("If a neighbor and a scholar, the scholar is preferred" Talmud Ketubot 85b). The word "Shechinah" also means "royalty" or "royal residence" ( The Greek word 'skene' - dwelling - is thought to be derived from 'shekinah' and 'sakan'. The word for Tabernacle, mishcan, is a derivative of the same root and is also used in the sense of dwelling-place in the Bible, e.g. Psalm 132:5 ("Before I find a place for God, mishcanot (dwelling-places) for the Strong One of Israel.") Accordingly, in classic Jewish thought, the Shekhina refers to a dwelling or settling in a special sense, a dwelling or settling of divine presence, to the effect that, while in proximity to the Shekhinah, the connection to God is more readily perceivable.