church word meanings

Words of the Christian Faith

their definitions and their impact

   the Christian Faith > Word Definitions > Church Words





elsewhere on
the site :


foreword
some basics
subject index.
prayer
intercession
spiritual practices.
holiness
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seasons
doubt
the paranormal.
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worship
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ver.: 13 March 2012


Do the words that Christians and the Christian churches use sound foreign to you? Then try these word definitions and maybe you'll find them to be even stranger.... :)


absolution
adiaphora.
amen.
anoint
apocrypha
apollinarianism
apologetics
apostle
apostasy.
apostolic
appropriation
arianism
atonement
attributes of God
authentic
beatification.
biblical.
blasphemy
blessing, to bless
the body of christ
bread.
burden
catholic.
catechesis
charismata
collect (prayer)
confession
concupiscence
consecration
contrition
covenant
cruciform
deism
deliverance ministry
denomination
dispensationalism
divine unity.
docetism
dogma
doxology
ebionitism
eisegesis
eutychianism
exegesis
expiation   (new)
excommunication.
font
full gospel
gospel
hallelujah!
heresy
hermeneutic
homiletics
hosanna.
hypostatic
incarnation
infallible
iniquity
inspired.
justification
lectionary
Mammon
maranatha
to minister
mission.
missional.
original sin
Nicolaitanism
norm.
open theism
paraclete
parousia.
patristic
Pelagianism
pneumatology
praxis
propitiation
pulpit.
redemption
repentance
the River.
sacerdotal
salvation
scholasticism
'seed faith'
sermon
shout
sinner.
soteriology
spiritual
testimony
theologoumenon
theophany
tradition
unction
unique.
vestments
vicarious
vigil
the Wine.

Why Are There "Church Words"?

A great blog entry on speaking in Christian-specific language is at David Cho's blog. Many of the terms above are technical words which, as he points out, are needed when among technicians. Others are a form of Christian slang - which like all slang is useful, to a point. I hope these church-word web definitions can help people find what Christians mean by those words, because so much truth is behind them. But many of these words set up the feeling of being trapped in a mysterious parallel universe. (I myself get such thoughts when someone says "God told me" (X-Files) or "The Spirit will convict you" (Law & Order).) The trouble is, non-Christians are not a part of that universe, so how can they come to grips with the Savior and His followers if we speak like that? Since we ourselves don't use the terms outside of a churchly context, how can we even know what we're really saying?

Note that ecclesiastical language often uses terms that were once in general use. At some point the public stopped using them, while the church in its churchly contexts kept using them. This is one of the causes of the gap between public and churchly language.

I ask any Christian who reads this to please think before you use church words.
It's better to use terms that others won't have to look up on sites like this one.

Is your prayer life in a rut? Ask yourself some questions.