sacerdotal, sect and sectarian.
What Is Christian Spirituality? > Religious Word Meanings > define Beauty, sect and Escape
Beauty : [Old French biaute < Latin bellus (pretty), influenced by Latin beatus (happy, blessed).] Beauty is a quality of visible matters such as form, color, shape, reflectivity, glow, flow, proportion, or excellence you can see, which gives a sense of happiness or being blessed. Also, obvious truthfulness or originality, including beauty of sound or music; an outstanding example. However, you don't really define beauty; you behold it.
Beauty takes us somewhere -- higher, lower, but most importantly, truer and more whole. It's a vibe, but more; a reality, but also a glimpse of what is beyond. In doing so, beauty is a revealing work of the Holy Spirit. Beauty is a cover for the fake and an expression of the real, the half that's true in many things that are half-true. Beauty is in a lover's embrace, or the celebration of a bright sunshiny day. Beauty is better at communicating than naked fact or plain image, yet there is a beauty in logic and in abstract thought-as-an-art. There is the beauty of a life well-lived and a relationship well-loved. There is beauty in the grit of repentance and forgiveness, in the grace of reconciliation, and the reestablishment of love where love was destroyed. There is, most of all, the Creator of Beauty, the Beautiful Savior, who takes an ugly blood-dripped cross and makes it worthy of jewelry and art. The outstretched arms of the crucified Christ is the ultimate Yes to us all, and that kind of welcome is beautiful in a world of rejection. The risen Christ who comes back to us even from death is beautiful in a world of abandonment. If we follow this Creator, ought we not also bring at least a touch of beauty into whatever we do, especially as a body of believers? And ought we not bear the beauty and grace-full-ness of Jesus' way in our own way of living?
The Ultimate Artist gave us the divine gift of making beauty, and the challenge of making life even more beautiful than it already is.
"Beauty and grandeur are not anonymous; they are outbursts of God's kindness."
Abraham Heschel, *the Prophets*
Be a seeker of beauty -- in the dictionary. Also, check Wikipedia for beauty as described in philosophy.
(1) to cause someone to become more like Ed (whomever Ed is). For a related phenomenon, see Mort-ification.
(2) [ < Latin aedes (structure, temple)] To build; to fortify, strengthen. When something 'edifies', it makes other things stronger or better or wiser or more mature. If spiritual gifts are given to 'edify' others, then the gifts are to be used to strengthen other peoples' faith, or make them wiser in the faith, or help them to better live out their faith, or to make them more effective in their ministry. If the gifts do not build people up in this manner, then the gift is not being used to edify, and it is not being used the way the Spirit wants it used. The Spirit calls on you to do this for one another (Romans 14:19; 1 Corinthians 14:12-16). Edification is the process of being built up or made better. (See also Acts 20:32; Ephesians 4:29; James 4:1-6, and other 'one another' passages.)
The dictionary can edify you further about the definition of edification.
escape [ < Old North French escaper, < Vulgar Latin excappare (to get out of one's cape) < cappa (cape, cloak)] To get away from, break loose, avoid capture. Related words include aversion, avoidance, or evasion. Also, to elude, flee, dodge, or deke.
When used in matters of faith, the meaning of escape is much the same as in psychology and self-help. There are some things which may cause pain or loss, but which are ours to face up to. Things like truth, responsibility, and our own death. Because they are often painful, we'll go to great lengths to escape having to face them; we run away, dump them on someone else, or dope ourselves into artificial bliss. But it catches up with us, and becomes all the more painful because of the attempt to escape. God usually gives little nuggets of joy or reward to those who take their part in such things instead of making their escape. Indeed, often the only way past is through; when that is true, escape becomes ruin.
Escapism is the point of view that the real world is so much of a burden that one's sanity depends on spending a lot of time in fantasy. Fantasy is a good outlet for those burdens, in small doses. But escape becomes escapism when you flee what must be faced, or when so much time is spent in fantasy that fantasy's framework becomes the way you view real life. That is a distortion that repeatedly has led to ruin. Unfortunately, societies and sub-groups within societies also would rather escape it than deal with it; this helps us to ignore the poor, fail to let go of our hatreds, and hold onto possible solutions that don't work. Thus, we are called to escape the world's escapism, as if we were escaping a prison.
You can escape this site to find 'escape' in the dictionary. When you go to the Wikipedia article on escapism (mostly regarding entertainment, fiction, and media), take note of the views of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis regarding the positive side of escape.
eschatology [ < Greek eskhatos (the last). Akin to English 'extreme'.] The study of matters relating to the end times.
Eschatology includes talk, theology, and ideas about heaven and hell, what the Kingdom of God is like in its fullness, and the meaning of eternal life or death. It's an almost-total mystery to all Christians, even if they think it to be otherwise. Even Jesus Himself claimed no special knowledge of when or how, even though He described some things about it. With so little data from God, the only kind of language which can even begin to take on the task is that of the imagination, the making of vigorous images, both beautiful and violent, to catch the feel and pulse and fuzzy shape of it. Godly imagination led to apocalyptic writings like Daniel, Ezekiel, and Revelation. People speak of eschatology with terms such as the Rapture, the Millenium, the Reapers, Armageddon, the Bowls of Wrath, the Bottomless Pit, the Horsemen, the Final Trumpets, the Remnant, the Great Getting-Up Morning, the Judgement Day, the Lake of Fire, the Death of Time, and the New Jerusalem. Our vision of where God is taking the created world shows itself in the choices we make today. Thus, eschatology has a 'now' component, too.
As long as we know we don't know, it's fine to explore and imagine the End, even exciting. The moment any of us claim to know for sure, we lie, and that's not fine with God. Eschatology is a mystery. The wise Christian trusts the God who rose Jesus, the God who is with them in this life, to stay with them when this life is done. There are signs, however faint, of the Kingdom in the life we live now, kicking at the walls like a baby in the womb, ready to make its escape, out of sight but very much there and about to burst forth. The gathered believers, acting together, are an outpost of this Kingdom in our world today. So we are to live from that Kingdom, and trust it will come in full through God's power, on God's timetable. Beyond that, we're free to speculate, dream, and envision (in keeping with the Kingdom), but not to know.
You can also check the dictionary on eschatology.
Etiology : [ < Greek aitia (cause, beginning) + -logia (study of)]. Pronounced et-ee-O'-lo-jee.
Etiology is about finding the beginnings or origins of something, and to understand how and why it began. The word is usually used nowadays about the origins of diseases, especially the kind which mutate into something deadly, such as HIV or the flu. In other fields, an etiology is often passed on by way of a story, which may or may not be entirely "factual" but lets you know the key core truths. (Such a story is what's usually meant by scholars when they say 'myth'.) Most organizations (such as religions, denominations, nations, clubs, sports) have such stories about their beginnings. Movements, even though they are much less organized, also have their etiologies; two of the most gripping for me are those of the US Civil Rights movement and of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Bible has many etiologies in it, most obviously Genesis chapter 1, the beginning of all beginnings. But notice that it's followed by Genesis 2:1-3, an etiological story about the start of the sabbath, and how and why to do it. The Gospels and Acts tell us how believers in Christ were first trained, first given something to bear witness to, and first gathered in neighborhoods throughout the central and eastern Mediterranean. Everything develops and changes from that start. Where there is a beginning-times (etiology), there is also an end-times (eschatology). Knowing and understanding something's origins is the most important way to keep tuned in to what the whole thing was about in the first place. Not knowing its roots is a sure way to lose its vision and identity.
You can also check the dictionary for 'etiology'.
This is not to be mistaken for E.T.ology, the study of the movie or its main extra-terrestrial character.
sacerdotal [< Latin sacerdotalis (priestly)] Priestly. It also describes ideas which stress how important a priest is, and activities specifically set aside for a priest.
"Sacerdotalism" is the belief, in any religion, that a priest has been given the special authority, to act as some sort of mediator between god and humans, and to conduct activities on an altar to that god. In Protestant Christianity, there are no go-betweens, because each believer has the Holy Spirit in them. The Holy Spirit brings Christ to them, so the connection is already there. Thus, in some sense, all believers can be go-betweens for themselves and each other. A Protestant minister is a servant and teacher of the faith; while they're not mediators more than anyone else, they do have special responsibility to tend to the spirits of the whole body of believers and to make sure the church's sacraments are done rightly. God gives the gifts needed for carrying out that responsibility. The Roman Catholic tradition has priests; they are not supposed to be seen as better or more Godly than others, but their role in the sacraments of the church give them a go-between's role, as representatives of the Church (Christ's body on earth) and thus of Christ. This is especially noticeable in the Eucharist, Confession, and last rites.
You can also check the dictionary for 'sacerdotal'.
Sect: it sounds like dissect and section, and it should, because it comes from the same Latin root word, meaning 'to cut into parts'.
A sect, in its more general sense, is a group that broke off of (or was thrown out of) another larger group for some specific reason. Such groups are usually small, but that's not always the case. Anglicans were a Roman Catholic sect, Methodists were an Anglican sect, Nazarenes were a Methodist sect. Christianity was a Jewish sect. The term should not be used after the group has established its own clear identity and place as a part of society over time. When that has happened, their place is not based on the matters of a split or separation. Thus the above examples were sects, but no longer are. The act of splitting off almost always involves turmoil, and sometimes blood can be shed even among the most peaceable and well-meaning groups. Thus, there is no such thing as 'safe sects'.
In the social sciences, the term 'sect' has a more specific meaning. It's applied to a group that rejects the established social order to form its own community built upon specific principles or persons. This, too, can be dangerous for all. But a sect of either kind may have benefits for the society, if it can remain relatively peaceable. Ernst Troeltsch wrote that sects could lead the overall religious community (which in this way of speaking is called 'church') into change and renewal. The sect can be a *witness* for a faithfully different way to live.
'Sectarian' means that the matter is of concern mostly to those who are either part of the sect or of the group it split from. To anyone else, a 'sectarian' matter can be unimportant, weird, puzzling, or scary.
You can also check for sect and sectarian in the dictionary.
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|ver.: 18 August 2012|
Beauty. Copyright © 1995-2012 By Robert Longman.