Glossary of Terms ‘E-F’

Written By Thomas Perez. December 14, 2010 at 6:15PM. Copyright 2010.

Ecclesiology
The study of the Christian church, its structure, order, practices, and hierarchy.

Edify
To build up. In the Christian context it means to strengthen someone, or be strengthened, in relationship to God, the Christian walk, and holiness. As Christians, we are to “let all things be done for edification” (1 Cor. 14:26). We are edified by the Word of God (Acts 20:32) and by love (1 Cor. 8:1). (See also Rom. 14:19; Eph. 4:29 and 1 Cor. 3:1-4; James 4:1-6).

Efficacy
Producing a result. Christ’s atonement was efficacious; it produced the result of forgiveness of sins for the elect. The atonement is efficacious grace in action.

Eisegesis
Eisegesis is when a person interprets and reads information into the text that is not there. An example would be in viewing 1 Cor. 8:5 which says, “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,” (kjv). With this verse, Mormons, for example, bring their preconceived idea of the existence of many gods to this text and assert that it says there are many gods. But that is not what it says. It says that there are many that are called gods. Being called a god doesn’t make it a god. Therefore, the text does not teach what the Mormons say and they are guilty of eisegesis; that is, reading into the text what it does not say. See also exegesis.

Elect, Election
The elect are those called by God to salvation. This election occurs before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4) and is according to God’s will not man’s (Rom. 8:29-30; 9:6-23) because God is sovereign (Rom. 9:11-16). The view of election is especially held by Calvinists who also hold to the doctrine of predestination.

Empiricism
The proposition that the only source of true knowledge is experience. It is the search for knowledge through experiment and observation. Denial that knowledge can be obtained a priori.

Epistemology
The branch of philosophy that deals with the area of knowledge, its source, criteria, kinds, and the relationship between what is known and the one who is knowing it.

Eschatology
The study of the teachings in the Bible concerning the end times, or of the period of time dealing with the return of Christ and the events that follow. Eschatological subjects include the Resurrection, Resurrection, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Millennium, the Binding of Satan, the Two Witnesses, the Final Judgment, Armageddon, and The New Heavens and the New Earth. In the New Testament, eschatological chapters include Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 17, and 2 Thess. 2. In one form or another most of the books of the Bible deal with end times subjects. But some that are more prominently eschatological are Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Joel, Zechariah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, 2 Thessalonians, and of course Revelation. (See Amillennialism and Premillennialism for more information on views on the millennium.). Amomg Preterists, Eschatological views are seen in a different light, and thus interpreted differently. For further information on their view, see ‘Preterism’

Eternal Life
Life everlasting in the presence of God. “This is eternal life, that they may know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent” (John 17:3). There are two senses in which this is used. First, as believers we possess eternal life (1 John 5:13), yet we are not in heaven or in the immediate presence of God. Though we are still in mortal bodies and we still sin, by faith we are saved (Rom. 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9) and possess eternal life as a free gift from God (Rom. 6:23). In some Christian circles, as well in Judaism and Islam, eternal life will reach its final state at the resurrection of the believers when Christ returns to earth to claim His church – it is then that eternal life will begin in its complete manifestation. We will no longer sin. Among Full-Preterists, the idea of eternal life reaching its final state at the resurrection is considered, not as a future event, but an accomplished fact. This preposition is understood due to their belief that the second coming of Christ, having been transpired already; concluded with the resurrection of all believers in 70 AD. This school of thought is concerned primarily with the transformation/resurrection of the soul / spirit.

Eternal Security
The doctrine that salvation cannot be lost. Since it is not gained by anything we do, it cannot be lost by anything we do. This does not mean that we can sin all we want (Rom. 6:1-2) because we have been freed from sin and are set apart for holy use (1 Thess. 4:7). (See Antinomianism.)

Ethics
The study of right and wrong and wrong, good and bad, moral judgment, etc.

Eucharist
The elements of the communion supper in Christian Churches where the bread and wine are consumed as a representation the sacrifice of Christ. They correspond, representational, as the body and blood of Christ.

Eutychianism
This is similar to Monophycitism. It states that Christ’s natures were so thoroughly combined — in a sense scrambled together — that the result was that Christ was not really truly able to relate to us as humans. The problem is this implies that Jesus was not truly God nor man. Therefore, He would be unable to act as mediator and unable to truly atone for our sins. (See Hypostatic Union, which is the correct view of Christ’s two natures, and also Nestorianism and Monophycitism which are the incorrect views of Christ’s two natures.)

Evil
Moral rebellion against God. It is contrary to the will of God. There is natural evil (floods, storms, famines, etc.) and moral evil (adultery, murder, idolatry, etc.). Natural evil is a result of moral evil. Adam’s sin resulted in sin entering the world allowing floods, storms, famines, etc. Evil originated with Satan (Isaiah 14:12-15) and is carried on by man (Matt. 15:18-19). (See Theodicy.)

Evolution
Though you might not expect to find the subject of evolution in a dictionary of theology, it is appropriate if you consider that the theory of evolution requires faith. The evidence for evolution is actually quite weak. There are numerous difficulties facing it and, the theory has undergone many changes since its inception in the 1800’s. It is the theory that over an incredible duration of time, life developed from random combinations of non-organic materials. This life was improved upon through mutations and the process of natural selection. The Scriptures do not speak about evolution but instead negate the theory by stating that God created all things (Gen. 1). Excommunication. The act of discipline where the Church breaks fellowship with a member who has refused to repent of sins. Matt. 18 is generally used as the model of procedures leading up to excommunication. Those excommunicated are not to partake in the Lord’s supper. In the Bible, serious offends of God’s law, who were supposed to be Christian, were “delivered over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh” (1 Cor. 15:5; 1 Tim. 1:20). However, upon repentance, the person is welcomed back into fellowship within the body of Christ.

Exegesis
Exegesis is when a person interprets a text based solely on what it says. That is, he extracts out of the text what is there as opposed to reading into it what is not there (Eisegesis). There are rules to proper exegesis: read the immediate context, related themes, word definitions, etc., that all play a part in properly understand what something does say and not what it does not say.

Existentialism
A philosophical viewpoint that emphasis human freedom and abilities. Therefore, subjectivity and individual choice are elevated often above conceptual and moral absolutes.

Expiation
The cancellation of sin. Expiation and propitiation are similar but expiation does not carry the implication of dealing with wrath, of appeasing it through a sacrifice. Generally speaking, propitiation cancels sin and deals with God’s wrath. Expiation is simply the cancellation of sin. Jesus was our propitiation (1 John 2:2; 4:10 – “atoning sacrifice” in the NIV).

Faith
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). It is synonymous with trust. It is a divine gift (Rom. 12:3) and comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). It is the means by which the grace of God is accounted to the believer who trusts in the work of Jesus on the cross (Eph. 2:8). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). It is by faith that we live our lives, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17).

Fall, The
The fall is that event in the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve disobeyed the command of God and ate of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2 and 3). Since Adam represented all of mankind, when He sinned, all of mankind fell with Him (Rom. 5:12).

False Prophet, (The)
The second beast of Revelation (Rev. 13:11-18). He is a person who will manifest himself near the culmination of this epoch shortly before the physical return of Christ. He will be a miracle worker and during the Tribulation period will bring fire down from heaven and command that people worship the image of the Beast (Rev. 11:15). See also (13:16-17). Jesus warned about false prophets in Matt. 24:24 stating that in the last days many false prophets would arise and deceive, if possible, even the elect. False prophets teach false doctrine and lead people away from the true gospel message and teaching of God found in the Bible.

Falsifiability
The ability of something to be proven false. A non falsifiable statement would be, “There is a green lizard sitting in a rocking chair on the fourth largest moon of Jupiter.” This statement is not falsifiable in that it cannot be proven false because it cannot be verified or denied. Jesus’ resurrection was falsifiable in that all the critics had to do was produce the body, but they did not. Falsifiability, generally, is a test of the validity of a belief or occurrence. Something that is not falsifiable can be said to be untrue since it cannot be confirmed or denied.

Fast/Fasting
Depriving oneself of food for a period of time for a specific purpose, often spiritual. It is the “weakening” of the body in order to “strengthen” the spirit. It is interesting to note that sin entered the world through the disobedience of eating (Gen. 3:6). We are called to fast in the N.T. (Matt. 6:16 ). (See also 1 Kings 21:27; Psalm 35:13; Acts 13:3; 2 Cor. 6:5).

Fatalism
The idea that all things are predetermined to occur and that there is no ability of the person to alter the predetermined plan of God in any event. This is not the correct biblical view. The Bible teaches us that we can influence God with our prayers (James 5:16). How this influence is worked out by God who knows all things from eternity is something apparently unexplainable in Christianity.

Fellowship
There is no specific definition given in the N.T. But we are called into fellowship with one another (1 John 1:3, with Jesus (1 Cor. 1:9), with the Father (1 John 1:3), and with the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). Fellowship implies sharing common interests, desires, and motivations. Fellowship requires that time be spent with another communicating, caring, etc. It carries with it a hint of intimacy. As Christians we fellowship with one another because of our position in Christ, because we are all redeemed and share an intimate personal knowledge of Jesus. We share a common belief (Acts 2:42), hope (Heb. 11:39-40), and need (2 Cor. 8:1-15). The Greek word for fellowship is koinonia. This word is also translated communion in 1 Cor. 10:16 in the KJV. This is where we get the term the communion supper.

Fideism
The position that religious doctrines rest not on reason, but only on faith.

Filioque
The doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds equally from both the Father and the Son.

Firstborn
The first of the mother’s offspring. It stands figuratively for that which is most excellent. The firstborn male of the family carried certain familial rites and privileges (Gen. 27:1-29; 48:13-14) and was given a double portion of the inheritance (Deut. 21:17). The term is also applied to Christ as the pre-eminent one and the first one raised from the dead (Col. 1:15,18). It does not mean first created as Jehovah’s Witnesses believe. In fact, the firstborn rites were transferable. Compare Jer. 31:9 with Gen. 41:50-52.

Forgiveness
There are seven words in Scripture that denote the idea of forgiveness: three in Hebrew and four in Greek. No book of religion except Christianity teaches that God completely forgives sins. God remembers our sins no more (Heb. 10:17). God is the initiator of forgiveness (Col. 2:13). There is only one sin for which the Father does not promise forgiveness: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:28; Matt. 12:32). The contexts suggest this to be the sin of attributing to unclean spirits the work of the Holy Spirit. For man to receive forgiveness, repentance is necessary (Luke 17:3-4). For the holy God to extend forgiveness, the shedding of blood is necessary (Heb. 9:22; Lev. 17:11). Forgiveness is based upon the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Fool
Hater of God. One who is morally weak, who misuses what God has given him for selfish purposes. He is lustful (Prov 7:22), lazy (Ecc 10:15), does not fear God (Prov 14:1), hates knowledge (Prov 1:22), and is self-righteous (Prov 12:15). As Christians, we are to avoid foolishness (Eph. 5:4). (See Eccl 7:25; Prov 3:35, 10:8)

Foreknow, Foreknowledge
It is God’s knowledge about things that will happen. Past, present, and future are all “present” in the mind of God. He inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15). God has infinite knowledge (Isaiah 41:22,23) and knows all things in advance. In the N.T. it does not always mean “to know beforehand” but also to cause to be. See 1 Pet. 1:2,20.

Free Knowledge
The free act of God’s will where, after His free act of creation, He knows all things that are going to happen and that this knowledge is contingent upon His free creative will. Therefore, the free knowledge of God would be different if He had chosen a different creative fiat. In other words, because God created one possible existence instead of another, the range of His knowledge regarding actual existence would have been different had He created something different in the first place. (See also Natural knowledge and Middle Knowledge.)

Free will
Freedom of self determination and action independent of external causes.

Freethinker
A person who forms his opinions about religion and God without regard to revelation, scripture, tradition, or experience. The individual is said to be out of the box.

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