Glossary

by
11 March 2016

Adiaphora: Greek, “indifferent matters” — matters in faith or morals not essential to the faith, concerning which variation is licit. Contrast de fide.

Anathema: Greek “accursed”, and therefore “cut off” (from Church) — judgement and punishment against person on basis of theological position contrary to orthodoxy (and therefore also condemnation of that position).

Apostolic succession: transmission of teaching and authority from apostles, person to person, especially from bishop to bishop by ordination with laying on of hands.

Canon: Greek “rule” or “standard”, used especially of Church’s determination of books regarded as scriptural (”canonical” books); cf. regula fidei (Latin, “rule of — doctrinal standard entrusted to the Church by the apostles.

De fide: doctrines belonging to essence or “deposit” of the faith (Jude 1.3); contrast adiaphora.

Erastianism: doctrine or tendency that subordinates Church to rule and determination of the State (from Thomas Erastus, 16th- century Swiss theologian).

Fathers: see patristic.

Filioque: Latin, “and from the Son” — words added to “Nicene Creed” in West concerning origin of the Holy Spirit from the Father “and the Son” together.

Glossolalia: transliteration of word for “speaking in tongues” in New Testament.

Indefectibility of the Church: belief that the Church preserves the faith and, in the long run, fulfils its mission.

Dulia/Hyperdulia/Latria: patristic distinction between, respectively, honour (due to the saints), highest honour (due to Blessed Virgin Mary), and adoration (due only to God).

Lex orandi, lex credendi: Latin, “the rule (or pattern) of prayer is the rule (or pattern) of belief” — statement about foundational role of liturgy and worship as expression of the faith.

Marcionism: dualist heresy of Marcion of Sinope (c.85–c.160), who distinguished between evil creator God of the Old Testament and good redeeming God of the New Testament, rejecting former.

Marks of the Church: description of characteristics of Church in Nicene Creed — “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic”.

Paraclete: name for Holy Spirit, from Greek parákletos, derived from John 14-16, meaning comforter or advocate.

Patristic: period of Church Fathers (Greek, patéron; Latin, patrum) and mothers (and study of their writings), roughly until the seventh ecumenical council (AD 787).

Precepts/counsels: moral injunction binding upon all Christians (precepts, e.g. the Ten Commandments); disciplines or states of life conducive to Christian perfection (counsels), especially poverty, chastity, and obedience, not required of all Christians.

Restorationism: rejection of tradition of the Church beyond traditions reconstructed as belonging to the “apostolic period”; characteristic of groups such as Christadelphians and Jehovah’s Witnesses, but also of some Protestant sects.

Christmas Subscription Offer

Treat friends and family to a gift subscription this year.

We’ll send a Christmas card announcing your gift and your choice of free book:
After Prayer by Malcolm Guite or
Revenge of the Flower Arrangers 
by Dave Walker

Choose a gift subscription

Forthcoming Events

21-22 February 2020
Church Times Festival of Faith and Literature
With Sam Wells, Catherine Fox, Mark Oakley, Suzannah Lipscomb and many others. 
See the full programme

26 March 2020
Theology Slam Live Final
Theology Slam is back, continuing its search for the most engaging young voices on theology and the contemporary world. Find out more

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read five articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)