Glossary of Terms ‘C-D’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14, 2010 at 6:12PM. Copyright 2010.

Calvinism
A system of Christian interpretation initiated by John Calvin. It emphasizes predestination and salvation. The five points of Calvinism were developed in response to the Arminian position. Calvinism teaches:
1 Total depravity: that man is touched by sin in all parts of his being: body, soul, mind, and emotions,
2 Unconditional Election: that God’s favor to Man is completely by God’s free choice and has nothing to do with Man. It is completely undeserved by Man and is not based on anything God sees in man (Eph. 1:1-11),
3 Limited atonement: that Christ did not bear the sins of every individual who ever lived, but instead only bore the sins of those who were elected into salvation (John 10:11,15),
4 Irresistible grace: that God’s call to someone for salvation cannot be resisted,
5 Perseverance of the saints: that it is not possible to lose one’s salvation (John 10:27-28).

Canon
This is another word for Scripture. The Canon consists of the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New. Others sects include the Apocrypha – an additional 15 more books.

Capital Sins
In Catholicism, the seven causes of all sin: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth

Catholic
Universal, the entire Christian Church. Often applied to the Roman Catholic Church. Actually, the word simply means universal.

Causality
The relationship between cause and effect. The principle that all events have sufficient causes.

Charismatic Gifts
The special spiritual gifts given to the church. They are for edifying and building up the church. They are mentioned in Rom 12, 1Cor 12 and 1Cor 14: Word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues.

Chiliasm
Also known as millennialism. The belief that there is a future 1000 year reign of Christ where perfect peace will reign and the Lord Jesus will be King on earth.

Christ
Christ is a title. It is the N.T. equivalent of the O.T. term “Messiah” and means “Anointed One.” It is applied to Jesus as the anointed one who delivers from sin. Jesus alone is the Christ. As the Christ He has three offices: Prophet, Priest, and King. As Prophet He is the mouthpiece of God (Matt. 5:27-28) and represents God to man. As Priest He represents man to God and restores fellowship between them by offering Himself as the sacrifice that removed the sin of those saved. As King He rules over His kingdom. By virtue of Christ creating all things (John 1:3; Col. 1:16-17), He has the right to rule. Christ has come to do the will of the Father (John 6:38), to save sinners (Luke 19:10), to fulfill the O.T. (Matt. 5:17), to destroy the works of Satan (Heb. 2:14; 1 John 3:8), and to give life (John 10:10,28). Christ is holy (Luke 1:35), righteous (Isaiah 53:11), sinless (2 Cor. 5:21), humble (Phil. 2:5-8), and forgiving (Luke 5:20; 7:48; 23:34).

Christian
The word “Christian” comes from the Greek word christianos which is derived from the word christos, or Christ, which means “anointed one.” A Christian, then, is someone who is a follower of Christ. The first use of the word “Christian” in the Bible is found in Acts 11:26, “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” It is found only twice more in Acts 26:28 and 1 Pet. 4:16. However, it is important to note that (in my opinion) it is the true Christ that makes someone a Christian, not the Mormon one (brother of the devil), or the JW one (Michael the Archangel), the New Age Jesus (a man in tune with the divine Christ Consciousness), etc. The true Christ is God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:5-8; Heb. 1:8): Jesus.

Christology
The study of Christ (Jesus) as revealed in the Bible. Some of the issues studied are: 1) His deity, 2) His incarnation, 3) His offices (See Christ), 4) His sacrifice, 5) His resurrection, 6) His teaching, 7) His relation to God and man, and 8) His return to earth.

Church
The word is used in two senses: the visible and the invisible church. The visible church consists of all the people that claim to be Christians and go to church. The invisible church is the actual body of Christians; those who are truly saved. The true church of God is not an organization on earth consisting of people and buildings, but is really a supernatural entity comprised of those who are saved by Jesus. It spans the entire time of man’s existence on earth as well as all people who are called into it. We become members of the church (body of Christ) by faith (Acts 2:41). We are edified by the Word (Eph. 4:15-16), disciplined by God (Matt. 18:15-17), unified in Christ (Gal. 3:28), and sanctified by the Spirit (Eph. 5:26-27).

Circumcision
An operation (note the shedding of blood) that entered one into the covenant in O.T. times. It was instituted by God (Gen. 17:10-14) and performed on the eighth day after birth (Luke 1:59). It was a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:12; Rom. 4:11). In the N.T. the physical operation is not practiced. Instead, a circumcision of the heart of the Christian is taught (Rom. 2:29; Col. 2:11-12). This is the true circumcision (Rom. 2:29).

Codex
An early book form made from papyri leaves cut, folded, and sewn together in the middle to make a book. First used in the 2nd century.

Common Grace
The grace of God given to the creation as a whole. God still allows the sun to shine upon the unsaved. He feeds them, allows them to work, and have joy. In some schools of thought, It is common grace that “restrains” the wrath of God until a later time. It is in special grace that salvation is given to the Christians in this age. In other schools of thought (as in Ultimate Reconciliation), common grace is indeed given to believer’s & non-believer’s alike, however; non-believers will enjoy ultimate reconciliation based on the common work of grace on the cross – effectual for all men.

Communion
The Lord’s Supper (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 1:23-26). It is the breaking of bread (Acts 2:42,46) and a time to give thanks (Luke 22:17,19). It was originally instituted by Jesus (Matt. 26:26-29) on the night of the Passover meal which was an annual occurrence celebrating the “passing over” of the angel of death that claimed the firstborn of every house in Egypt (Exodus 12). The Lord’s Supper, or communion, replaces the Passover meal with the “body and blood” (Mark 14:22-24) of Jesus. It is to be taken only by believers (1 Cor. 11:23-28). (For further study see John 6:26-58 and 1 Cor. 11:27-34).

Condemnation
Declaring an evildoer to be guilty; the punishment inflicted. Without Jesus we stand condemned before God not only because of the sin of Adam (Rom. 5:16-18) but also because of our own sin (Matt. 12:37). However, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death” (Rom. 8:1-2). Christians have passed out of condemnation because they are forgiven in Christ.

Conditional Immortality
The view that immortality is given only to those Christians who believe in Christ. The rest are destroyed and do not exist. Some adherents to conditional immortality believe that the wicked will be punished in hell for a period proportional to their sins and then they are annihilated.

Confession
The act of disclosing one’s sins. In Catholicism, it is telling sins to a priest and the Lord forgives the person through the priest. Biblically, confession of sins is done to the one offended without the mediatorship of a priest.

Confessional
In Catholicism, a small compartment where the priest hears the confessed sins of a sinner.

Confirmation
In Catholicism, a ceremony performed by a bishop that is supposed to strengthen a person and enable him to resist sin. It is usually done at the age of 12. The Bishop dips his right thumb in holy oil and anoints the person on the forehead by making the sign of the cross and says, “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Consubstantiation
It means an inclusion of one substance in another where the body and blood of Christ co-exist in the elements of the Supper. It suggests that a third substance is formed. The body and blood of Christ are “in, with, and under” the elements. There is no permanent relationship with the elements. Instead, the association is limited to the sacramental action. The transformation is effected by the Word of God and not by a priest.

Contrition
In Catholicism, extreme sorrow for having sinned with a deep repentance concerning that sin.

Conversion
Turning from evil to God. God converts (Acts 21:19) the unsaved into the saved, from the unregenerate to the regenerate. It is produced through the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 10:14; 1 Cor. 15:1-4) and results in repentance (Acts 26:20) and a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). The fruits of conversion are listed in Gal. 5:22-23.

Conviction
The work of the Holy Spirit where a person is able to see himself as God sees him: guilty, defiled, and totally unable to save himself (John 16:8). Conviction of the Holy Spirit of an unbeliever reveals sinfulness and guilt and brings fear. Conviction of the Holy Spirit of the believer brings an awareness of sin and results in confession and cleansing. This conviction is produced by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), the Gospel (Acts 2:37), the conscience (Rom. 2:15), and the Law (James 2:9). Conviction of our sins brings us to the cross. It shows us our need for forgiveness.

Coptic
The Afro-Asiatic language of the Copts, which survives only as a liturgical language of the Coptic Church.

Cosmological Argument
An attempt to prove that God exists by appealing to the principle that all things have causes. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes, therefore, there must be an uncaused cause: God.

Cosmology
The study of the origin and structure of the universe.

Covenant
An agreement between two parties. The agreement, according to Ancient Near East custom, consists of five parts: 1) Identification of parties, 2) Historical prologue where the deeds establishing the worthiness of the dominant party is established, 3) Conditions of the agreement, 4) Rewards and punishments in regard to keeping the conditions, and 5) Disposition of the documents where each party receives a copy of the agreement (e.g. the two tablets of stone of the 10 Commandments).
Ultimately, the covenants God has made with man result in our benefit. We receive eternal blessings from the covenant of grace. (For further study see Gen. 2:16-17; 9:1-17; 15:18; Gen. 26:3-5; Gal. 3:16-18; Luke 1:68-79; Heb. 13:20).

Covenant Theology
A system of theology that views God’s dealings with man in respect of covenants rather than dispensations (periods of time). It represents the whole of scripture as covenantal in structure and theme. Some believe there is one Covenant and others believe two and still others believe in more. The two main covenants are covenant of works in the O.T. made between God and Adam, and the Covenant of Grace between the Father and the Son where the Father promised to give the Son the elect and the Son must redeem them. Some consider these to be one and the same. The covenants have been made since before the world was made (Heb. 13:20).

Creation
Everything that exists except God himself. This includes material as well as immaterial things and time. God is the creator, (Heb. 11:3) we are the creatures. The creator/creature distinction must be maintained to properly remain in humble relationship with God. We are not God, cannot create, nor can we help ourselves do good in order to be saved. Only God is God. Only He can create. And, only He has the ability to save man.

Cult
A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity, it is outside of Proto-Orthodoxical beliefs. According to mainstream Christianity or Orthodox Christianity, it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable. In their opinion such cults include, but are not limited to; Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Christadelphians, Unity, Religious Science, The Way International, and the Moonies.

Death
The word “death” is used in two main ways in the Bible. First, it is used to describe the cessation of life. In some circles death is used in reference to the lost. In their opinion this refers to their eternal separation from God as a result of sin (Isaiah 59:2), in a conscious state of damnation without hope (1 Thess. 4:13; Rev. 20:10,14,15). Death to humans is unnatural. When God created Adam and Eve, death was not part of the created order. It was not until they sinned that death entered the scene (Rom. 5:12; 6:23). Some hold to the contention that Death will be destroyed when Christ returns and the believers receive their resurrected bodies. Others believe death to have been destroyed already in Christ – maintaining that the soul, spirit or conscience never dies.

Decalogue
The Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. “Deca” means ten in Latin. Logue comes from “logos” which means “word.”

Decrees, of God
The Decrees of God is His eternal purpose, according to His will, whereby He has foreordained whatever comes to pass. His Decrees do not negate the responsibility of people for their sins nor does it mean that God is responsible for sin. But, it necessarily is true that God knows all things actual as well as potential, and that that which exists, exists due to His creative effort. It also follows that God has eternally known all events that have occurred, are occurring, and will occur in this creation including the fall, redemption, glorification, etc. Yet, God is not the one responsible for the sin in the world but has decreed, by His permission, that it be allowed to exist. Isaiah 46:9-10 says, “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.” God’s efficacious decrees are those decrees which God has purposed and determined to occur, i.e., Acts 2:23 “this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” God’s permissive decrees are those decrees where He permits things to occur such as evil.

Deduction
A system of logic, inference and conclusion drawn from examination of facts. Conclusions drawn from the general down to the specific.

Depravity
Moral corruption, a state of corruption or sinfulness. Total depravity is the teaching that sin has touched all aspects of the human: body, soul, spirit, emotions, mind, etc.

Deism
The belief that God exists but is not involved in the world. It maintains that God created all things and set the universe in motion and is no longer involved in its operation. (Compare to Atheism, Agnosticism, and Theism)

Demon
A fallen angel that assists Satan in the opposition of God. Demons are evil (Luke 10:17,18), powerful (Luke 8:29), and under the power of Satan (Matt. 12:24-30). They recognized Christ (Mark 1:23,24) and can possess non-Christians (Matt. 8:29).

Deontology
The study of moral obligation.

Determinism
The teaching that every event in the universe is caused and controlled by natural law; that there is no free will in humans and that all events are merely the result of natural and physical laws.

Devil
Greek is “diabolos,” which means accuser. He opposes God and is completely evil. In some schools of thought, he is often called Lucifer which is a Latin translation of “light bearer” This concept is taken from found in Isaiah 14:12. He is also known as the accuser of the brethren in (Rev. 12:10), dragon (Rev. 12:9), the devil (Matt. 4:1), the tempter (Matt. 4:3), the accuser (Rev. 12:10), the prince of demons (Luke 11:15), the ruler of this world (John 12:31). Depending on the eschatological position, upon Jesus’ return, the Devil will be vanquished – His future is the lake of fire. Some believe this has happened already as in Full Preterism. Some believe the term “Devil” as an metaphor for all that is bad and/or evil – an allegory.

Dialectic
The practice of examining ideas and beliefs using reason and logic. It is often accomplished by question and answer.

Dichotomy
The teaching that a human consists of two parts: body and soul. Sometimes the soul is also referred to as spirit. (See Trichotomy)

Didactics
The branch of education dealing with teaching.

Diocese
In Catholicism, an area of many parishes presided over by a bishop.

Disciple
A pupil or follower of a religion, a person, or a movement. As Christians we are to be disciples of Jesus (Luke 14:26,27). We follow in the teaching and example of what He said and did. A disciple is a convert but not all converts are disciples. As disciples we are to bear our cross daily (Matt. 16:24). This means to live and die for Him if necessary (Matt. 16:25).

Dispensation/Dispensationalism
In the Scofield Reference Bible a dispensation is “a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God” Dispensationalism says that God uses different means of administering His will and grace to His people. These different means coincide with different periods of time. Scofield says there are seven dispensations: of innocence, of conscience, of civil government, of promise, of law, of grace, and of the kingdom. Dispensationalists interpret the scriptures in light of these (or other perceived) dispensations. Compare to Covenant.

Divinity
The nature or quality of being God. It belongs to God alone. Jesus was divine in nature (Col. 2:9) as well as being a man.

Docetism
Docetism is a belief with several variations concerning the nature of Christ. Generally, it taught that Jesus only appeared to have a body, that he was not really incarnate, (Greek, “dokeo” = “to seem”). This error developed out of the dualistic philosophy which viewed matter as inherently evil, that God could not be associated with matter, and that God, being perfect and infinite, could not suffer.

Doctrine
A set of accepted beliefs held by a group. In religion, it is the set of true beliefs that define the parameters of that belief system. Hence, there is true doctrine and false doctrine relative to each belief set. In Christianity, for example, a true biblical doctrine is that there is only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8). A false doctrine is that there is more than one God in all existence.

Dogma
A generally held set of formulated beliefs.

Donatism
Donatism is the taught by Donatus, bishop of Casae Nigrae that the effectiveness of the sacraments depends on the moral character of the minister. In other words, if a minister who was involved in a serious enough sin were to baptize a person, that baptism would be considered invalid.

Dualism
In theology, the concept that the world is controlled by two opposing forces, i.e., good and bad, God and Satan. In Philosophy the idea that the world consists of two main components: thought and matter.

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