The Absurd (109): From Kierkegaard, belief in Jesus as the son of God is not rational. It is absurd. Christian doctrine is absurd, irrational, and cannot be justified or explained rationally and logically.

Acrostic Poems (36): Poem in which each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Actual Entities (120): Due to Whitehead, unit of process or self-produced happening.

Agape (22): Greek word used in the New Testament to mean the love we are called to have for each other. 1 Cor 13:13 uses the word "agape". Distinguished from eros (erotic love) and philia (fraternal love).

Aggiornamento (117): Italian for "bringing the Church up to date". Phrase used by Pope John XXIII to describe the purpose behind Vatican II.

Agrippa II (43): ( ruled 39-44 A.D.) Ruler of Galilee after Herod Antipas.

Prince Albert of Brandenburg (90) : Bishop of Magdeburg, and Archbishop of Mainz. His monetary needs led to heavy use of indulgences to raise funds, and were a proximal cause of Martin Luther's break with the established church.

Alcuin (85) : Charlemagne's "Prime Minister in things of the mind." Founder of medieval French learning.

The Aldersgate Street meeting (100): John Wesley attended a meeting on May 24, 1738 in Aldersgate led by a former Lutheran minister who was now a Moravian Pietist. During the meeting he had a conversion experience which put him on the road to developing Methodism.

Alexandrian Theology (82) : The Logos assumed human nature, but Jesus had no independent hypostasis. No human in Jesus independent of Logos.

Alexandrian synthesis (113): A form of biblical exegesis dependent on allegory to ferret out hidden meaning from the scripture. Particularly associated with Origen.

Alienation (4): State of affairs that exists when one is a stranger in regard to someone else. It points to the wall that comes up between people to separate them.

Allegory of the Cave (40): From Plato's Republic. In a cave, the shadows cast by people are what we see, and interpret as reality. Actually there are real people we do not see, what we do see are simply poor representations of reality.

Allegory (113): Seeking to uncover the hidden meanings beneath the historical circumstances.

Roland Allen (127): Pioneer nineteenth century analyst of of evangelistic methods and theology. He argued that St. Paul had, more than any other in the early church, a clear view of the universality of the gospel. Paul also struggled to find ways to allow converts to express their faith through their own culture, rather than having an institution imposed on them.

Amanuensis (63): Secretary or scribe.

Amarna Letters (8): Letters sent to Pharaoh Akh-en-Aton from the Canaanite city kings in the 14th century B.C. These were tablets that were no longer needed when the royal headquarters were moved, and so were dumped in a trash pit. The letters make much of the 'abiru (habiru), which some have claimed were the Hebrews. However, recent analysis indicates that these were bandits, and not a group anything like the Hebrews.

Ambiguity (34): As a literary critical term, refers to the possibility of more than one meaning.

Pierre Ameaux (92) : Geneva citizen who, after attacking Calvin for false preaching, was forced to humiliate himself in public to make amends.

Amme ha-arets (43): literally "people of the land," used as an epithet implying ignorance ("hayseed", "hillbilly").

Anabaptists (91) : Radical movement of Gebel and Manz. Began to re-baptise people, hence the name. Fiercely persecuted. Mennonite and Hutterite sects are the remaining direct descendants.

Analogy (2): A term that is "like" something else; "God is like a father".

Analogy of Religion (98) : (1736) Book by Bishop Joseph Butler, written to oppose the Diests. A strong defense of miracles and prophecy. Asserted that both natural religion and revelation are irrational.

Anaphora (79) : First part of the eucharistic prayer ("Lift up your hearts ...").

Angst (109): From Kierkegaard, German for anxiety. Technically, refers to the basic human condition coming from the unreliability of everything that brings us meaning, hope, and joy. The result of our inability to really accept Matthew 6:25-34, ..."consider the lilies of the field...". Anxiety resulting from our futile attempts at control.

Anthropomorphic (4): Speaking of God in human terms.

Anthropomorphism (2): "human form" Gk - Use of human characteristics to describe God. God becomes angry, God is pleased, God walks in the garden, etc.

Anti (61): Greek; for (many), on behalf of (many).

Antiochene Theology (82) : Jesus was completely human AND completely divine. The divine and human natures appropriated a new form, or prosopon, in the person of Jesus. Developed by Theodore of Mopsuestia and Nestorius.

Antiochene school of biblical exegesis (113): Form of biblical exegesis which rejects allegory and favors literal and historical explanations. Set considerable store in typology. Associated with John Chrysostom.

Antipope (87) : One who claims to be pope or is set up in opposition to the pontiff lawfully elected or accepted as pope by he church, e.g., the Avignon popes Clement VII and Benedict XIII.

Apocalyptic (27): Apokaluptein (Gk). To reveal. Literature which reveals the final events that shall occur when the kingdom of God is about to be established.

Apocrypha (41): Septuagint books that were not accepted into the Jewish canon. (112): Term introduced by Jerome (c. 342-420) to describe books found in the Septuagint, but missing from the Hebrew canon.

Apodictic Law (16): Law spoken directly to someone. "You shall have no other gods before me...You shall not make for yourself a graven image".

Apologetic theology (106): From the Greek, "to give a reason or defense for what you believe or hope." Theology that seeks to answer the questions that have been raised about the existence of God and faith. The intellectual arm of the evangelistic outreach. A bright side theology that believes that rational thought can touch some aspects of God, and perhaps prove His existence. Contrast W.H. Auden, "However convincing the argument, however holy the arguer, the act of faith remains an act of choice which no one can do for another."

Apostasy (20): Abandoning your declared religion. This is the sin of Deuteronomy, Israel abandoning Yahweh for the Baals.

Apostolic Fathers (80) : The First Letter of Clement of Rome, The Second Letter of Clement, The Letters of Ignatius of Antioch, The "Shepherd" of Hermas, The Letter of Polycarp, The Fragment of Papias, The Letter of Barnabas, The Letter to Diognetus, Didache, The Martyrdom of Polycarp. Key writings from the first and second century.

Aquila (66): Jewish Christian from Rome known to Paul.

Aramaic (35): A semitic language similar to Hebrew. In 500 BC it was the language of commerce and diplomacy in the Near East.

Aristotle (40): Plato's student, said that Form + Matter = Actual Reality.

Ark (17): A box in which were kept the tablets from Mount Sinai, a jar of manna, and Aaron's staff. On top of the box was a "mercy seat" where Yahweh sat when he came down to earth.

Jacobus Arminius (127): (1560-1609) Dutch Reform theologian who rejected Lapsarianism, limited atonement (Christ died only for the elect), irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the elect. He taught that Christ died for all men, salvation is by faith alone, those who believe are saved, those who reject God's grace are lost, and that God does not elect individuals.

Ascents (36): Songs involved in the approach of a worshiper to the temple. ( Psalms 120 - 134 )

Real Assent (110): Due to John Henry Newman. Real assent is the belief in God (faith) formed not merely on an intellectual plane, but penetrating deeply enough that the life is changed and reoriented as a result. In the words of Dallas Willard, "faith that sees everything in the light of God's overriding governance for good".

Jean Astruc (113): (1684-1766) Suggested in 1753 that it was possible to separate different sources in the Book of Genesis.

Asyndeton (47): Omission of the part of speech "particle" from written Greek. Habitually occurs in Mark. This is evidence of a semitic origin for Mark.

Atonement (22): A sacrifice to pay for sins. Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, and on this day, the high priest sacrificed a bullock, a goat, and a ram as burnt offerings. Lev 16:1-34 .

Augustine (83) : (354-430) The supreme intellectual genius of the early church. Especially known for "Confession" and "The City of God."

Augustinian Order of Hermits (89) : Strict ascetic order which Martin Luther joined.

Authentic Existence (115): Due to Heidegger and Bultman - living in a self-giving way to others. Dying to the world and being raised to a transformed life of love and mercy.

Autocephalous Churches (82) : Independent, self-governing churches, especially Orthodox.

First Great Awakening (101): The first great, widespread episode of evangelical revivalism in America, from about 1734-1737. Precipitated primarily by Jonathan Edwards' preaching, although others had earlier set the stage. Reinforced by George Whitefield's preaching. Helped to shape permanently the character of the American Baptist church.