Theology – Words about God.
The church has developed its own language over the past 2000 years to find ways to talk about God. God is bigger than we are an unknowable, however we keep working to use the limited language we have to describe God. From the Bible, our traditions, our experience and ability to reason, we all have things we can say about God (analogical language).
Theology is made up of two Greek words. Theos = God; Logos = word
Theology is words about God or language about God or the study of God.
The words below have been a part of our Sunday school word wall each week. We are seeking to help children learn the language of the church to help them talk about God.
Atonement – at-one-ment. Jesus’ death on the cross makes us at one with God.
Baptism – one of the 2 sacraments. We use water to welcome a believer into the family of God. It is a death to a life enslaved by sin and resurrection to a new life in Christ
Christology – study of Christ. Who was/is Jesus and what has he done for us.
Communion – Also known as the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist. It is one of 2 sacraments. We eat bread and drink of the cup, remembering Jesus’ last supper with his disciples.
Creation ex nihilo – God created the world from nothing
Doxology – words of praise or glory
Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda – the church reformed and always reforming
Election – being chosen by God
Faith – trust in God
Gospel – The Good News
Grace – God forgives us whether we deserve it or not
Holy Spirit – Hebrew ruah/Greek pnuema the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit inspires us and works in and through us to bring about the work of God.
Imago dei – image of God.
Incarnation – Jesus became human.
Justification – God declares us free from sin because we believe
Koinonia – community, relationships with others, particularly church community
Liturgical year – the way the church tells the story of God through the circle of the year
Liturgy – the work of the people
Manna – “what is it” referring to the food that was provided by God to the people of Israel in the wilderness
Nativity – Latin for Birth – church term for the birth of Jesus.
Omnipotence – all powerful, God’s power is limited only by God
Offering – to carry up. Bringing something to God.
Providence – God’s continuing action and plans for the world
Protestant – churches that follow the traditions from the 16th century
Q – German quelle – source. The name given to an unknown collection of Jesus stories thought to be used by the writers of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.
Revelation – (latin revelation – an uncovering) an act of self-disclosure and self-communication.
Sacrament – An outward sign of an inward grace. Baptism and Communion
Salvation – Saved from sin and given eternal life by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
Sanctification – God’s continuing work in Christian believers so they grow in grace and holiness of life marked by good works.
Sin –missing the mark, straying from God
Sovereignty – God is in control
Theology – words about God
Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three Persons in one Godhead. 3 in 1 and 1 in 3
Unconditional Election – God saves people because God wants to. Associated with Augustine and Calvin
Vocation – God’s calling to live a life of service and devotion
Word – Greek – logos A name for Jesus. Also a way to refer to the Bible and its preaching.
Yahweh – vocalization of a name for God.
Zealot – someone who is enthusiastic and determined for a cause
**Note: this is by no means an exhaustive list. This is a sampling of words that covers many aspects of theology and relate to some important concepts.
For Further Reading:
Holding Faith by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Rigby
Faith Seeking Understanding by Dr. Daniel Migliore