Christian Dictionary

Predestination – Short Version

Are all things predestined?  Are all things already predetermined?  Did God create some sort of cosmic “blueprint” that already has every minute detail planned out from beginning to end?

Or are some things able to be changed by the choices of free moral agents?  Are people really free to make choices that have any kind of effect on their lives, their surroundings, and their future?

In this post I want to examine what the Bible has to say about predestination. Continue reading

Sovereignty

Many times, when I am having a discussion with someone about things like healing, trials, blessings, etc, the phrase “God is sovereign” will come up.  While I agree with this phrase wholeheartedly, it seems to me that people have different ideas about what this phrase actually means.  The purpose of this post is to examine what sovereignty means in general, and then look at Continue reading

Chosen in Christ

What does it mean when the Bible tells us in Ephesians 1 that we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world?  Does that mean that God picks people out for eternal life before they are even born?  Does it mean that God looks at all of the people that will eventually live, and choose to save some but not others?  If you have ever wondered about this, then hopefully this post will be helpful to you. Continue reading

Tithing and Giving

Note:  I originally wrote this article back in February of 2012 on my old blog.  This subject came up recently in a class I was teaching, and I thought this would be a good time to post it here on my current site.  Since the main goal is to bring a clear definition to the word “tithe” I have decided to file it under my Christian Dictionary category.


There are many different types of offerings described in the Bible. In the Old Testament, instructions are given for tithes (Deut 14:22), wave offerings (Ex 29:27), burnt offerings (Lev 9:16), first fruits (Lev 23:9-14), and sin offerings (Num 29:11), just to mention a few.

In the New Testament, instructions are given for free will offerings (2 Cor 9:7), and there are many examples of being generous and sharing with others (Acts 2:44-45).

Problems and confusion come in when you mix and match the different offerings and their associated instructions, selecting which parts to keep and which parts to ignore. The purpose of this study is to examine the offering known as tithing, giving an overview of the practice as it is defined in the Bible. Continue reading

Church Definition

I believe that words are important.  If we all have different definitions of a word, confusion will undoubtedly enter into our conversations.  Unless both parties in a conversation have the same idea of the meaning of the words in that conversation, there is no chance at having full clarity.

Over the course of time, the meanings of words can change because of various reasons.  Every now and then, I add words to my “Christian Dictionary” category on this blog when I feel like there is some value to be had by Continue reading

Election

premium-qualityThis is the second installment in a collection that I am tentatively calling “Christian Dictionary.”  I am hoping to give my thoughts on some theological words that, in my opinion, are often misunderstood because of various traditions that surround them.

This article is about the Greek word “eklektos” that is often translated as “chosen” or “elect.”  It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of the definition of this word.  There are huge theological issues that rest on how this word is defined.  It affects how we see ourselves, and it affects our view of the character and nature of God. Continue reading

Sanctified

fine-chinaGrowing up in church, one of the words I heard used from time to time that I didn’t really understand was “sanctified” or “sanctification.”

Based on the way I heard it used, I came to believe that sanctification meant something like this: “A change in behavior that occurs over time where the Christian sins less and less.” It was often referred to as “the process of sanctification.” Basically, it seemed to mean that you were growing in your ability to avoid sin, both externally and internally. Continue reading