Main Dictionary of Theological Terms

Dictionary of Theological Terms

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Lafin ab, "foom," postrius, "subsequent,
following"; argument from effect to cause,
foom particulars to general principles. It is
inductive as opposed to deductive. It is the
mode of argument employed in empiricism.*

Argumentsfor Gots Eristence.

Lalin, ab, "from," pntn, "frrS:'; argument
from cause to effect, or from an original principle or presupposition* to its logical eflects.


The head or superior of an abbey. The
word comes from the Aramaic abba, "father." At first the tfile abbot was given to
every monk, but after the sixth century it
was limited to the heads of religious houses.
Later it was extended to the heads of other
institutions. In the Roman hierarchy, abbots
are usually subject to the authority of a diocesan bishop. In Germany the tttle abbot

was given to some Protestant divines, especially if they received the revenues of

is deductive rather than inductive, from general principles to individual conclusions. The

former abbeys.

sigrificance of the pn'us in its designation is that
there are certain innate ideas that must come
before, and fumish a basis for, eperience.
See Argumantsfor God)s Existence.


A Palestinian Aramaic word that is found
in three places in the NT to refer to God. It
means "father." It is the address of a child
as distinct flom a slave and denotes family
intimacy. In Mark 14:36 Christ :uses abba
to address God in His prayer in Gethsemane.
In Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6 Christians use
the same form of address to God. It is used
in such a way that it both emphasizes our
nearness to God and inculcates respect.
Each time it is used it appears with the word
pater, $irng us the tttle Abba Father for God.
Christians must never confuse intimacy with
God their F; ather with familiarity and triteness. There is no basis in the NT use of
abbato support the almost blasphemous ref-

erences some make to God as "Dad" or
"Daddy." It is surely significant that the Aramauc abba is not translated into Greek as
papabut is merely transliterated.

An exlreme German sect of the Reformation period, followers of Nicholas Storch, who
considered that no other teaching than that
of the Holy Spirit was necessary. They thus
rejected all human teaching, refirsing to leam
to read and write. Their name originates
from the A B C D 's which they despised.
2. As an adjective, abecedarian may be
used to mean "alphabetically arranged,"
as Psalm 119.

Theologically, it means innate power to
do the will of God. It is taught by Pelagians
and denied by all Reformed creeds.


1. The solemn oath by which Roman Catho-

lics suspected or convicted of heresy deny
or remove the charge.
2. In England, the Oath of Abjuration required every person who held any office,
civil, military, or spiritual, to abjure the exiled James II and repudiate any right he or

his descendants claimed to the throne. The
justices of the peace could require any citizen to take the oath. Any who refused were

liable to imprisonment for as long as they
continued in their refusal.

Fromthe Latin verb abluere, "to wash off"
it signifies a ceremonial and s)..rnbolic washing. In the OT priests and Levites were required to wash prior to performing their
religious duties (Lev. 8:6; Exod. 30:19-21;
Num. 8:21). Various things rendered an Israelite ceremonially unclean and required
an ablution: contactwith adeadbody (Num.
19:11-13);eating "that which died of itself
or that which was torn with beasts" (Lev.
17:15); leprosy (Lev. 13:14); various skin
diseases, scurf, mould in clothes, fungus
in houses, discoloration ofthe skin, scabs,
and inflammation (Lev. 14); discharges
from the human body (Lev. 15); copulation (Lev. 18);menstruation (Lev. 15); and

childbirth (Lev.12).
There were special ablutions to be per-

formed on the day of atonement (Lev.
16:24-28I Numbers 19 details the rite of
the red heifer and the water of separation
for those rendered unclean through contact
with the dead. In other cases fresh, usually
running, water was sufficient for ritual purification (Lev. 15: 13).
Exodus 19:10-14 records the ablutions
of the children of Israel before the Lord came
down to meet with them at Mt. Sinai. From
1 Sam. 16:5 we may gather that the act of
ablution became accepted practice before the

presentation of a sacrifice. A special ablution mentioned in Deut. 2l:1-9 was the
washing of hands by the elders of a village
nearest to where the victim of an unknown
murderer was found. The washing of hands
declared, "Our hands have not shed this
blood, neither have our eyes seen it" (v. 7).
Pilate sought to employ this sy,rnbolic ritual
to rid himself of guilt in the death of Christ
(Matt. 27 :2 4), but obviously inappropriately.

The Jews in Christ's day elevated the
ritual purification produced by the washings
of Judaism to ethical purification. Ablution
could never remove moral defilement, but
clearly the Pharisees held it in higher honour
than ethical integrity (Matt. 15:1-9). Thus
they multiplied their ablutions (Mark 7:3,4)
and found fault with Christ's disciples for
failing to observe their rituals (w 2, 5)
The NT epistles contain only two references to ablution, Heb. 6:2; 9:10. In 6:2
"the doctrine of baptisms" (lit. washings, ablutions) is said to be a fundamental principle of Christiamty. It signifies "a statement
of the nature and design of Christian baptism, as distinguished from the baptism of
John and the ceremonial washings or baptisms under the law" (John Brown).
Hebrews 9:10 specifically names OT ablutions as "carnal ordinances," that is, ordinances that were merely of an external and
symbolic nature. They served to cleanse the
body from ceremonial defilementbut could
not cleanse the soul from moral guilt. Thus
they were only a temporary institution, "imposed" (v. 10) until their shadowing forth of
the truth of purification would give place to
the actual substance of it in the atonement

of Christ (w. 10-14).
That emphasis on the passing of all symbolic ablutions, with the sole exception of
Christian baptism, renders the reinstitution
of ceremonial washings by the Greek and
Roman churches all the more objectionable.
In the Greek church ablution is a ceremony
observed seven days after baptism. It is to
wash off the unction of the chrism, or, the
oil used in baptism.

The Roman Catholic church has introduced ablutions into its liturgy of the mass.*
According to the Roman Missal,* the priest
celebrating the mass washes his hands as an
expression of his desire for inward purification. As he washes he is supposed to recite
Psa. 51:2 quietly. Another ablution takes
place when at the end of the mass the priest
or deacon purifies the paten (shallow dish


for holding the bread of the Eucharist) over
the chalice, which he then washes with water or with wine and water poured over his
fingers into it. Finally, he drinks this water/
wine mixture. In this way Rome provides
for the washing of the Eucharistic vessels
while ensuring that any remains of what she

tion of desolation is an idol placed in the
temple in Jerusalem.
Duolation(the word is plural in the Greek
of Matt 24:15 and Mark 13:14) signifies a
laying waste. Abomination always causes

holds to be the very body and blood of Christ

desolation, disaster, and judgment. The presence of an abomination, an idol or anything
else the Lord has denounced as repugnant

are consumed and not flushed away,

to Him, renders a place unfit for the pres-


would happen with normal washing.

In His Olivet discourse the Lord Jesus
Christ said, "When ye therefore shall see
the abomination of desolation, spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place,
(whoso readeth, let him understand) then

let them which be in Judaea flee into the
mountains" (Matt.24:15,16; see also Mark
13:14). Thus the key to understanding the

term "abomination of desolation" is to be
found in the prophecy of Daniel where there
are three, or possibly four, references to it:

l2:ll; and possibly
8:13.The various Hebrew and Greek

Dan. 9:27; 11:31;

terms rendered abomination and abominable carry the idea of something abhorrent, detestable, disgusting, foul, horrible,
and impure, and therefore repugnant and
unlawful on that account.
While abomination may describe a
merely human prejudice or convention
(Gen. 43.32; 46:34), it usually refers to
something deeply offensive and repugnant
to the Lord. Hence the Bible labels sodomy,
bestiality, sacrilege, and idolatry "abominations" (Exod. 8:26; Deut. 17:l;7:25,26).
One of the Hebrew words fanslated 'hbomination," shiqquts, is most frequently used as
a description of heathen gods. For example,
in 2 Chron. 15:8 it is translated "abominable
idols," while in 2 Kings 23:13 it describes

Ashtoreth, "the abomination of the

ence and service of the Lord. Though the
expression of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matt.
24 and Mark 13 is eschatologrcal, we must

not overlook the timeless principle He
teaches. Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly prevalent in churches to accept what

God has rejected as abominable. In the
name of justice and love, many churches
have opened not only their membership
but even their ministry to sodomites. The
acceptance of the abomination of sodomy
guarantees both the loss ofthe Lord's presence and the certainty of His wrath. The
same may be said of those interfaith services which are so often hailed as progressive and enlightened attempts to unite a

divided world. Joint worship with what
God has called abominable inevitably
brings dire consequences.
The entire phrase the abomination of dcso-

lation, then, obviously refers to an idol, or
false god, and its worship, placed in the
temple of God and causing desolation. Two
of the four references noted in Daniel (8:13
and 11:31) are generally taken to refer to
the pollution of the Temple by Antiochus
Epiphanes in 168 s.c. Antiochus, with the
help of some apostate Jews, set up a statue
in the Temple, raised an altar to Jupiter
Oll.rnpus on the altar of burnt offering, and
sacrificed swine's flesh. He dedicated the
Temple to his idol and rescinded the Mosaic
laws. Thus was the Holy Place desolated but
not destroyed.

Daniel's other two references (9:27;

Zidonians," and Chemosh, "the abomination
of the Moabites." Since shiqquts is the term
Daniel uses in 9:27; 11:31; and 12:11,

commentators argue that the case of

the strong inference is that the abomina-

Antiochus gives us a clue to the proper un-

12:11)clearly cannotbe to Antiochus. Some



derstanding of Matt. 24:15. As the Speahus Commentary puts it, "We should naturally nnderstand lMatt. 24:15] as implying
some pollution of the Temple by the Jews,
to be punished by its destruction at the
hands of the Romans." Those who see "the
abomination of desolation" fulfilled in the

destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans
appeal to Luke 2t:20. They hold that the
wording "when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh' explains the desolation
of Matt.24:15.
However, this argument misses the mark.
Luke 21 does not record the same discourse
as Matt. Z4.Itprecedes the Matthew account


was given

in the temple (Luke 21:1),

whereas Matt.24 was given after He "went

out, and departed from the Temple" (v. 1)
"as He sat upon the mount of Olives" (v. 3).
The discourse in Luke 21 coincides with
Matt.24 as far as v. 11. That is, Luke 21:711 corresponds with Matt 24:3-8. Then
the two portions diverge. Luke 21:12 specifically states that the rest of the discourse
is a retrospect-that the Lord goes back to
what happens before all the things He has
just spoken about. Matthew 24:9 clearly indicates that in His second discourse He continues His prophery of future events, without
any retrospect.
This yields two important conclusions.

First, in view of this, it is impossible to
equate the Roman armies compassing
Jerusalem to destroy it with "the abomina-

tion of desolation."
Second, the prophecy of "the abomination of desolation" remained to be fulfilled
a.fter the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans.
Some interpreters seek the prophecy's
fulfilment in the rise of the papacy. Clearly
the idolatry ofthe papal system has caused
untold havoc in the visible church and is
abominable, but it cannot be the fulfilment
of Christ's prophecy. The local and geographical data in Matt 24:16f . forbid any
interpretation that fails to place "the

abomination of desolation" in the Temple
in Jerusalem.
We are left, then, with a prophecy of the
placing of an idol in the Temple in Jerusalem after the destruction of the crty by the
Romans in e.o. 70. That means the prophery yet awaits fulfilment, for there h€$ never
been a temple in Jerusalem from then until
now. The action of Antiochus foreshadowed
the final abomination of which Daniel and

Christ spoke. That final abomination is described by Daniel n 9:26,27 as caused by
"the prince that shall come," a man who will
conflrm a covenant with the Jews and then
break it. This is the "little horn" of Dan. 7:8,

24-26;8:9-12,23-25. He is the Antichrist,
the Man of Sin, and Son of Perdition (Dan.
11:36 with 2 Thess. 2:4). The abomination
of desolntion,therefore, is the final and greatest eruption of idolatry, as the Antictrist sets
up his abominable worship in the Temple in
Jerusalem and proclaims himself to be God.

fu in the case of Antiochus, the Antichrist
will be welcomed by some foolish Jews into
their city. They will think they are opening
their doors to a saviour. In fact, he whom
they welcome will be a desolator, pursuing
a course of persecution, terror, and deception that will be terminated only by the second coming* of the Lord Jesus Christ.

From Latin abortio, "miscarriage," the
term is used in two senses:
1. A spontaneous abor[ion is the act of miscarriage or producing a child before the natu-

ral time, with the loss of its life.
2. A forced abortion is the deliberate expulsion of an unborn child foom the womb, thus
depriving it of its Iife.
Despite the fact that forced abortions are
now legal in almost all developed countries,
they are almost always scripturally unlawfuI. Historically, this has been the almost
uniform Christian position, based, first, on
the truth that man is created in the image of
God, and second, that there is plain Biblical


evidence that God views the child in the
womb as a full person. In earlier times, some
theologians believed that some time after
conception-usually 60 to 80 days into the
pregnancy-ensoulment occurred; until that
time the foetus was not yet a true person.
There is no evidence for such a belief, either in Scripture or in science, and the general belief of Bible believing Christians now
reflects the ancient opinion of Terhrllian
(Apologia,9) that to terminate a pregnancy
is as unlawful as the killing of a full-grown
man. The word of God allows for the taking
of life only under very strictly defined circumstances, such as in a just war, or as punishment for crimes such as murder. An
unborn child has not done anything worthy
of capital punishment. The sole exception
to this general rule is the case in which to
continue a pregnancy would kill the mother.
Because of her views on baptismal regeneration,* the Roman Catholic church usually places the life of the child above that of
the mother, though church law accepts the
principle of "double effect"-i.e., that it for
example, awomanwith cancer of the uterus
needed surgery to save her life, she may have
that surgery, even though it would certainly
kill her unborn child. Protestantism has always accepted that in cases in which it is
impossible to save the life of the mother and
that of the child, the life of the mother should
have the first right to be protected; even an
unborn child does not have an innate right
to kill its parent.
To say that forced abortion-whether as
a form of birth control, or for some personal,
social, or economic reason invoked by the
mother-is scripturally unlanfirl is to say that
according to God's word, such abortion is
murder. The popular claim that an unborn
child is no more than foetal matter, without
personal dig,rty or rights, that it may be disposed of according to a woman's 'tight to
choose what she does with her own body,"
is as baseless biologically as it is scripturally.
The killing of an unborn child is the deliber-

ate taking of a human life, and that is a crime

which God views with abhorrence. Mark
Allison, a minister of the Free Presbl,terian
Church in North America and a theologr
professor in the church's seminary, presented
the case for the protection of the lives of the

unborn as follows:
"The Biblical arguments agarnst abortion
are very straightforward. First, God requires

the same punishment for killing a child in
the womb as He does for killing a man. In
Exodus 2l:22-23 we read, 'If men strive,
and hurt a woman with child, so that her
fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief
follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon
him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou
shalt give life for life." Here is a case in which
a woman with child is struck in such a way
that she gives birth. If the sfiking results in
the death of the child, then the man who
struck the woman is to forfeit his own life.
"Calvin comments, 'Wherefore this, in my
opinion, is the meaning of the law, that it
would be a crime punishable with death, not
only when the mother died from the effects
of the aborlion, but also if the infant should
be killed; whether it should die from the
wound abortively, or soon after its birth.'
Since this punishment is the same as that
for killing a firll-grown man (Gen. 9:6; Exod.
Zl :12;Lev. 24:17),it demonstrates that God
considers the child in the womb as real and
as valuable a person as an adult.

"Second, there are passages throughout
the Scriptures that describe the child in the
womb as a person. For instance, we read

concerning Rebekah that 'the children
struggled together within her' (Gen. 25:22).
The word for 'children' in this passage is
the normal Old Testament word translated
'sons' (Gen. 5:4,7,10; Prov. 7:7). This is
even hue in the New tstament where we
read concerning Elisabeth that she 'con-

ceived a son in her old age' (Luke 1:36;
comp€re with v. 57). Also, the word for


'babe' that is used in Luke 1:41, 44 n reference to the child in the womb is also used
for newborn children (Luke 2:12;2 Ttrn.
3: 15; 1 PeL. 2:2). Hence, God uses the same
words to describe children before and after
birth. Besides these words, there is also
David's description of himself in Psalm

139:1-16, where he uses first-person pronouns to describe his life as an adult (w.


12) and as an unborn child (w. 13-15).
There is a personal identity between the
child in the womb and the lLll-grown man.
"Finally, the Scriptures also portray the
child in the womb as one who can move
(Gen.25:22), respond to noises from the
outside (Luke 1 :41, 44), and be filled with
the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15). The weight of
this Scriptural evidence indicates that God
considers the unborn child aperson and that
therefore the child's life should be protected
as other people's lives are protected. However, even an unborn child has no inherent
right to h[. 'Thou sha]t not kill' (Exod. 20:13)
applies to it as to everyone else. Thus, historic Protestant theologr recognizes that a
woman may obtain an abortion only if her
unbom child is actually killing her.
"When ttre humanistic leaders of society
justify the murder of unborn children, Ctristians should remember the standard raised in
Isaiah 8:20:'To the law and to the testimony:
if they speak not according to this word, it is
becarse there is no liglrt in them.' Believers
must stand against those defending abortion,
for Scripture makes it dear that God hates
hands that shed irurocent blood' (Prov. 6:20)"
(Amerban Reuiualbt,May 1989, pp. 2, 3).

ing to God, solely in the person, and through
the redeeming merit of, the Lord Jesus Christ.
S e e Imput ation; Justifi c ation.

In Roman commercial law arcqtilatiowas
averbal discharge from obligation, an imaginary payment. 'A creditor is an absolute
owner of his own property, and if he pleases
to discharge his debtor from his obligation
to pay the debt which he owes him, he can
do so by a word without any literal payment
being made. He can call the debt paid, and
it is paid. Or he can cancel the entire debt
upon the payment of a part only. This arbitrary and optional acceptance of nothing for
something, or of a part for the whole of a
debt, is acceptilation" (W. G. T. Shedd, History of Christian Doctrine,2:348).

In theologl acceptilation was the term
adopted from its place in Roman commercial law by Duns Scohrs in his controversy
with the followers of Thomas Aquinas.
Scotus rejected their teaching that Christ's
atonement* was necessary and that it rendered to God a true and sufficient satisfaction* for sin. He laid down the proposition:
"Every created oblation or offeringis worth
what God is pleased to accept it for, and
no more." From this Scotus argued that God
accepts Christ's atonement as a satisfaction
for sin, not because of any infinite value
inherent in it, but because He is graciously

willing to accept a satisfaction that is not
sfictly infinite in value. Thus Christ's atonement is sufficient to satisfii the law solely
because God is willing to accept it as such.
He accepted it as sufficient, even though it


was not, just as a man may reccive a por-

From Latin absoluqe,"ta setfree," it denotes
the forgiveness of sirs. Roman Catholicism uses

tion of what is owed to him in full pay-


to us by a relaxation, not a satisfaction, of
the law
The Roman Catholicchurchis still divided

specifically to denote the forgivenes the
church claims tohave the powertobestow on
those who make confession.*

ment of a debt. In this view, salvation comes

on this question, and no pope or council has

The reception of a believer as well-pleas6

established the church's official position. In

contrast, the Lutheran and Reformed

churches have stood for the scriphrral truth
that Christ offered a true and sufficient satisfaction to God for sin. They teach that the
merits of Christ's atonement are real, infinite, and sufficient. Our salvation comes fiom
the satisfaction, not the relaxation, of the law

of God.
The entrance a believer enjoys into God's
presence and grace; he is brought into this
position by the merits of Christ's substitu-

tionary sufferings (Rom. 5:2; Eph. 2:18;


Pet. 3:18).

To deny that the consecrated bread and

wine remain bread and wine is obviously
absurd. Yet Rome defends the absurd by
appealing to the notion that the properties
of the bread and wine are mere accidents;
they are not essential. The essence-the
bread and wine-has been convefted into a
completely different essence, but the accidents of that now nonexistent essence remain. In the language of Thomas Aquinas,
the accidents continue to "subsist in the sacrament without a subject." They do not become the properties of the new substance
(the body and blood of Christ), for as Rome
admits, the same accidents cannot pass


A term that the Roman Catholic church
has borrowed from Greek philosophy and
pressed into service in defence of its dogma
of transubstantiation.*
An accident is a property or characteristic of a substance that is not essential to it.
For example, the roundness and redness of
an apple are properties of an apple but not
essential to its being an apple. They are not
essential to its substance. However, when
we note the presence of all the properties
of an apple-form, taste, odour, specific gravity, chemical constituents-we conclude that
we have an apple. These properties cannot
exist apart from it. Properties do not exist
apart from a subject to which they belong.
That would appear to be self-evident.
But that is exactly what the Roman Catholic church denies in its defence of transub-

stantiation. Rome claims that when
consecrated, the Eucharistic* bread and wine
become the actual body and blood of Christ.
They continue to look, taste, and feel like
bread and wine. If subjected to chemical
analysis, they have all the properties of bread
and wine, and none of the properties of flesh
and blood. If consumed, they have all the

nutritive properties of bread and wine. Yet
according to Rome, they are not bread and
wine. They are Christ's flesh and blood, indeed His entire humanity and deity.


one subject to another.
The best arguments Rome's apologists can
muster to support their theory is that "tran-

substantiation is a real conversion of the
bread and wine into the body and blood of
Jesus Christ. Now, in every conversion there
must be something common to both substances remaining the same after the change

that it was before, else it would be simply a

substitution of one thing for another"
(McClintoctr and Strong).
This is no answer to Rome's dilemma. It
involves an inherent contradiction, for the
consecrated bread and wine and the body

and blood of Christ hold no properties in
common. Rome's admission that none of the

properties of the bread and wine pass over
to the body and blood of Christ, or uice uasa,

is fatal to her entire argument from
accidence. At best, that argument states
what it needs to prove and cannot. Why
must the properties of the bread and wine
remain after conversion? Why would there
not be a conversion of the properties as well
as of the substance, if the bread and wine
were converted? Indeed, would that not
make the conversion complete? It would
certainly settle the argrment about transubstantiation! This notion of the continued existence ofthe discernible properties
of a subject without the subject itseH is a fallacy fabricated to support the irsupportable


The adjustment of language by a Biblical
writer to meet the limitations of his readers,
without any compromise of the tuuth of what
is written. This has some legitimate uses (e.g.,
where God is described as having physical

parts and passions-see Anthropomorphism), but it has been illegitimately used
by liberal scholars, who claim (1)that Christ
accommodated Himself to the prejudices and
errors of the Jews of His day; (2) that Scripture writers adopted pagan ideas and then,
after some polishing, incorporated them into
the Bible; (3) that the early church and the
NT writers placed a meaning on the prophecies of the OT which they cannot properly
have, thru accommodatingthem to their own
messianic ideas.

The responsibility and liability to judgment by God of moral agents for their affec-

tions and actions. The inbred sense of
accountability is a strong indication that the
just Creatorhas written His law on the hearts
of all men (Rom. 2:15).
See Argummtsfor Gots Existmce.



From the Greek akolouthos, "follower."
Cyprian (died e.o. 258) mentions the order
of acolytes, and the Latin church made it
one of the minor orders of the clergr. An
acolyte, then, was a candidate for the priesthood with the task of assisting priests or bishops. His duties included such things as the
Iighting of candles and the preparation of
the elements for use in the Eucharist.*
The Greek church never recognized the
order of acolytes, and the Scriptures make

no mention of it whatever. The Roman
Catholic church still retains it but since 1972
has allowed lay people to become acolytes.
No longer must an acolyte be a candidate

for priestly orders. In reforming the order
of acolyte, Pope Paul VI said he was adaptit "to present-day needs, eliminating
what is obsolete, retaining what is useful


and determining what is necessary"
(Ministeria Quaedam).
In contrast to this claimed authority to
determine the ministerial offices in the
church, the Reformed churches hold that
Scriphrre sets forth the offices the Lord has
established in His church. These offices never

become obsolete and need no others to be
added to them for the proper functioning of
the church.

From the Greek word meaning "indifferent," adiaphonsfs were those Protestants in
Germany at the time of the Reformation,
notably Philip Melanchthon and his followers, who were willing to accept a compromise confession of faith, strongly leavened
with Roman superstition, on the basis that

certain doctrines are of minor importance
and may be taught or denied wrthout dam-

aging the essentials

of the faith.

Melanchthon, opposed by Matthias Flacius,
confessed the error ofhis policy of deliberately veiling real dfficulties by the use of
vague forms of words and treating the concessions made thereby to Rome as matters
of indifference, adiaphora.

"The act of God's free grace whereby believers are received into the number of, and
have a right to all the privileges of, the Sons
of God" (Shorter Cqtechism, 34). The
Westminster Confession of Faith (chap. 12)
speaks of "the grace of adoption" by which
the justified have God's name putupon them
(2 Cor. 6:18;Rev. 3:12);receive the Spirit of
adoption (Rom. 8:15); have access to the

throne of grace with boldness (Rom. 5:2;
Eph. 3:12); are enabled to cry, 'Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6);xe pitied (Ps. 103:13);pro-

tected (Prov. 14:26); provided for (Matt.


6:30, 32; 1 Pet. 5:7) and chastened by Him
as a Father (Heb. 12:6); are never cast off
(Lam. 3:31, but are sealed to the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30); and inherit the prom-

ises (Heb. 6:12) as heirs of everlasting

:3,4;Heb. 1:14).
Robert Shaw in his exposition of the
Confession's statement remarks,'Among

salvation (1 Pet.


men adoption signifies that act by which a
person takes the child of another into the
place, and entitles him to the privileges, of
his own son. Spiritual adoption is that act
by which God receives sinners into His fam,ly, aod gives them a right to all the privileges of His children."
The statements of Scripture on this subject show the inestimable depths of God's
grace to His people. \\4rile men usually adopt
to supply a deficiency, God did not, for He
was fuIly satisfied with "His only begotten
Son." Men usually adopt one or two, but God
will bring "many sons unto glory" (Heb.

2:10). Men are influenced by some excellence, real or supposed, in the one they
adopt, but God had no such inducement, for
guilty sinners have nothing in them to merit
His favour.
We may note:
1. Adoptionis anad,\otaprocess. Itis completed at once and is conferred equally upon
all believers in Christ (Gal. 3:26, 28).
2. It is a gracious act (Eph. l:4,5;1 john
3:1), carried out on the merit of Christ's redemption (Gal. 4:a,5).
3. It is a forensic act, deahng with the legal
right and status of the justifled (ohn 1:12;
Rom. 8:17). It is not to be confounded with
regeneration, which describes an actual
moral change whereby, being born of the
Spirit (ohn 3:3, 5), we "are made partakers
of the divine nature" (2Pet.l:4).
4. Like justification, it is a direct result of our


always results in glorification
in coro-

(Rom.8:16-18). 'Adoption ends

nation" (Thomas Watson).
An early heresy teaching that Christ

a man,

who by God's decree was born

of a virgin, was given supernatural powers at his baptism and, because ofhis char-

acter and work, was raised from the dead
and adopted into the Godhead.
In 8th-century Spain, Felix, Bishop of

Urgel, popularized another form of
Adoptionism. Felix taught that as to His human nafure, Christ was not the natural but
the adopted Son of God. It appears, however, that he did not deny that in His divine
nature Christ was the eternal Son of God.
McClintock and Strong sum up the Spanish
adoptionist views:
"By the use of the term adoptiothis school
wished to mark the distinction of proper and

improperin reference to the Son. They made
use of the illusfation that, as a son cannot
have two fathers, but may have one by birth
and the other by adoption, so in Christ a
distinction must be made between his proper
sonship and his sonship by adoption. Still
they regarded as the important point the different relation in which Christ is called the
Son of God according to his divine or his
human nature. The former relation marked
something founded in the nature of God, the
second something that was founded not in

his nature, but in a free act of the Divine
will, by which God assumed human nature

into connection with himself. Accordingly
Felix distinguished between how far Christ
was the Son of God and God according to
nature, and how far he was so by virtue of
grace, by an act of the Divine will, by the
Divine choice and good pleasure; and the
name Son of God was given to him only in
consequence of his connection with God."

union with Christ (see Mystical Union).
It is receiued by faith (Gal. 3:26) and
exalts to the highest liberty (Gal. 4:7) and
dignity (lsa. 43 :4; Heb. 12 :23, "firstborn,"

Thus in its Spanish form, Adoptionism
may have been only a clumsy attempt at


explaininghowthe man ChristJesus is called




the Son of God. A better solution to that
problem is by a proper understanding of
lhe c o mmunic atio i dio m atum. *

Etrnal Sonship.

Generally, an expression of love, admiration, or obeisance toward another; in religion, the reverence and worship* offered
to God, together with appropriate physical
postures, such as bowing, kneeling, pros-

worship, a clear testimony of His personal
consciousness of His deity* and digmty.
The Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches practice adoration and veneration of the host, Mary, the saints, martps,
and angels. Canon 898 of Rome's Code of
Canon Lau states that the faithful "should
reverence it [the Mass*] with the greatest

adoration." The Second Vatican Council

ing attitude of the creature in the presence

(Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, #50)
notes that Rome "has always venerated [the
mart5nsl with special devotion, together with
the Blessed Virgrn Mary and the holy angels. The Church too has devoutly implored
the aid of their intercession."
To the criticism of Protestants who object
that all such adoration, veneration, and invocation is unscriphrral and derogatory fiom
Christ's right to Christians' adoration as their

of his Creator. It is the expression of the soul's

sole mediator with God, Rome replies

mystical reelization of God's presence in His

follows: when .she' suppliantly invokes" saints
and angels and has "recourse to their prayers,
their power and help in obtaining benefits
from God," it is "through His Son, iesus Christ
our Lord, who is our sole Redeemer and
Saviour" (Council ofTient, Session 25). "For
by its very natue every genuine testimony
of love which we show to those in heaven

tration, etc.
'Adoration is perhaps the highest type of
worship, involvingthe reverent and rapt contemplation of the Divine perfectiors and prerogatives, the acknowledgment of them in

words of praise, together with the visible
symbols and postures that express the ador-

transcendent greatness, holiness, and
lovingkindness. fu a form of prayer, adoration is to be distinguished from other forms,
such as petition, thanksgiving, confession,
and intercession....

"In the OT, the Iiteratwe of adoration
reaches its high-water mark in the Pss (cf.
esp. the group Pss 95-100), where the ineffable majesty, power and holiness of God
are set forth in lofty strains. In the NT, adoration of the Deity finds its most rapturous
expression in Rev., where the vision of God
calls forth a chorus of praise addressed to
the thrice-holy God (4:B-11; 7:11, 12), with
whom is associated the Redeemer-Lamb"



On the social level, bowing to kings and
superiors is acceptable (e.9.2 Sam. 14:4;
Ruth 2:10). To bow down to any but God in
religious worship is idolatry, a breach of the

first and/or second commandments. Thus,
Peter refi.rsed to ailow Cornelius to bow to
him inworship, orhomage (Acts 10:25,26),
as did the angel before

whomJohn fell (Rev.

22:8, 9).In contrast to these reactions, the
Lord jesus Christ received all expressions of


tends toward and terminates





Dogmatic Constihttion, #50).
According to Rome, therefore, adoration
of saints and angels leads Christians to Christ,
thoqh why the angel in Rev. Z2:8,9 seems
to have been unaware of this neither Tient*
nor Vatican II makes clear.
Rome also seeks to evade the force of Protestant criticism of her religious adoration of
mere creatures by artificially distributing ado
ration, or worship, into thrce cate goies: dulia*
is adorafion of saints; hyperdulia* is adoration
of Mary; latria*is adoration of God (Council
of tent, Session 25).
As R. P. Blakeney long ago pointed out
(Manunl of Romish Controuersg,p. 185), these
distinctions are baseless scripturally and useAccording to M att 6:24, dulia
belonp to God. Blakeney's contention is conless practically.


firmed by the superstitions of Roman Catho-

appoint a vicar or rector to a vacant parish.

lics worldwide: "No one could so nicely balance his feelinp, as to give to God, the Viqgin,
and the saints, their exact portion. We may go
even ftrther: in the matter of religious worship and the power to obtain heaven's blessings for us, ttre Virgin and the saints have no
portion at all allotted to them in Scriphre."

This right is founded in the theory of the
Church of England that whoever built a

his heirs. Soon advowsons became "saleable

commodity, transferred, or sold by auction,

to the highest bidder, Iike any other real
property, and the patronage ofthe Church

1. From the Latin word aduentus, "coming";
it can be used to describe either Christ's first
or second coming.
2. T\e seasonpreceding Ctristonas. The An-

glican, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic
churches observe it for four weeks and the
Eastern Orthodox for six weeks.

See Apollgon; Satan.

The translation of the Greek word
parahletos,which signifies "one called alongside to help." Paraklefos is used of the Holy
Spirit* 0ohn 14:16,26;15:26; 16:7), where

it is translated "Comforter," with the

church had the perpetual right to choose its
minister-i.e., he became its patoon. This right
became part of his estate to be passed on to


of England is consequently dispersed wherever wealth has found its way" (the words
ofa Church ofEngland apologist, quoted by
McClintock and Sfong).
Many advowsons became the property of
the crown; many more the property of bishops, cathedral chapters, the universities, and
city corporations. Evangelicals set up trusts
to purchase advowsons so that they could

place evangelical pastors in parishes that
otherwise might be left without a clear gospel ministry. They thus sought to make the
best of an evil system. Under the patronage* system church members have no say
in the most important decision affecting the
Iife and wihress of their church, the election
of its minister.

that He is the believer's advocate, helper,
and intercessor (see Rom. 8:26). It is also


used of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 John. 2:1),
and shows Him to be our intercessor, pleading the merits of His own propitiatory sacrifice on our behalf.

the inclination or disposition of the will,*
which is fundamentally governed by love for
God or love for self. AII other affections, or


responses to objects that affect us, are really
expressions ofthe basic affection or disposi-

Latin, meaning "God's Advocate" and the

"Devil's Advocate" respectively; two people

Theologically, some see the affections


tion of our will.

appointed at Rome in consideringthe alleged
miracles of a candidate for canonization.*
God's Advocate sustains the merits of the

Others hold that affection is ffierent from
disposition, contending that affection ctrr exist only after there is an opporhrnity to exert
it on a particular object. Thus, it cannot be

candidate while the Devil's Advocate op-

part of the original constitution of the will.

poses them. The entire performance is mere

This is very faulty logic, for when God created man, He set Himself before man's will
as the supreme good to be chosen, loved,

theatre in the superstitious preservation of a
relic from paganism.


In English law, the right of a patron to

and served, and Satan lost no time in tempting Eve to see herselfas the proper object of
her own affections.



Affection, therefore, is an original part of
man's voluntary nature, the expression or
exercise of the governing disposition of his
will. Since the fall,* this fundamental disposition of man's will has been selfward and
not Godward, rendering all the volitions of
the unregenerate inherently sinfirl.

Relationship by marriage as distinguished

from consanguinity, which is relationship by
blood. The Mosaic law (Lev. 18:7-18)prohibited marriage within certain degrees of
affinity and consanguinity. Though marriage
had previously been permiued in some of
these cases (e.g., Cain had to marry his sister and Abraham married his half-sister, Sa-

cover her nakedness, beside the other in her
Iifetime." This is the only case in the entire
Iist given in this passage in which the reason
for the prohibition is given as avoiding causing vexation to a wife and in which the pe-

riod of the prohibition is limited to her
Iifetime. One would think that if Moses had
intended to attach either or both of these
conditions to the case of a man marrying
the daughter or granddaughter of his wife,
he would have said so. Given the silence of
Scripture, it appears that they take a great
Iiberty who hold that the death of a wife
clears the way for the husband to marry her
daughter or granddaughter.
How far are these enactments binding
on Christians today? Secular law recognizes

rah), the law forbade all marriage and sexual

some of the Mosaic code and prohibih mar-

relations between
1. Parents and their children;
2. Step-parents and their children;
3. A man and his sister, or half-sister;
4. A man and his daughter-in-1aw;
5. A man and his aunt;
6. A man and his sister-in-law, except in the
case where his brother had died without issue. In this case under the law of Levirate*
marriage, he was obliged to marry her and
raise up children to his deceased brother;
7. A man and a woman and her daughter
or granddaughter;
8. A man and two sisters.

riage in cases of close consanguinity.
Though it holds that OT civil law does
not necessarily apply to all societies, the

In these last two cases, many commentators take the prohibition to be restricted
to polygamous marriages and hold that
the law did not prohibit a man marrying
the daughter, granddaughter, or sister of
a deceased wife.
A good case may be made for this position in regard to marrying two sisters, but
there is no good reason to apply it to the
case of man"ying a woman and her daughter. At least the Scripture makes no such
concession in this case as it does in reference to that of marrying sisters.
Leviticus 18:18 says, "Neither shalt thou
take a wife to her sister, to vex her, to un-


Westminster Confession of Faith sets out the

position commonly held by Protestant theology that the Mosaic laws of affinity are
moral enactments of abiding authority:
"Marriage ought not to be within the degrees of consangurnity or affinity forbidden
in the Word; nor can such incestuous marriages ever be made lawful by any law of
man, or consent of parties, so as those persons may live together as man and wife.
The man may not marry any of his wife's

kindred nearer in blood than he may of
his own, nor the woman of her husband's
kindred nearer in blood than of her own"

(chap.24, sec. 4).
The attemptto marry the theologz of traditional African religions with contemporary
"Christian" faith; "an attempt to synthesize
Christianity with Afiican traditional religions"
(Byang H Kato, Theologbal Pitfalls in Africa,
p. 55) African theologr is not merely the
interpretation of Christian theology by African theologians, using Aliican thought forms.
It is the exploration of what the traditional,


pre-Christian, animistic religions have been
saying on the presupposition that they represent authentic divine revelation. In the
subsequent synthesis with Christianity the
Bible's data are accepted only if they support what has already been established from
the kaditional religions. In itselt the Bible is
not the source of truth for proponents of Af-

rican theologr.
Though hailed by many both within and
outside Africa, African theology deserves
Kato's criticism: "It is a frrneral march of BibIical Christianity and a heralding of syncretism and universalism. It has for its funeral
directors the undiscerning theologians who

fail to see the spiritual issues at stake

because of their unguided enthusiasm for pro-

j".tirrg African personality" (pp. 55-56).
See Black Theologg; Ethiopianist Theologg; Liberation Theologg; Political


A term coined in 1869 by

the Gospels.
Tt.rc agrapha are properly sayings attrib-

uted to Jesus in uninspired sources. Some
arose out of variant readings of the text of
the Gospels and appear in the Apocryphal
Gospels, writings of some church fathers, the
Jewish Talmud,* and the Koran. There is no
way that even the most plausible of these

purported sayings of our Lord can be validated-illustrating the folly of making tradition* a basis for doctrinal formulations.
Most of the agrapha are valueless. The
difference between the canonical NT and
the extra-canonical books is so clear and so
great that it leaves no doubt as to the divine
origin of the former and the uninspired (and
poverty-sficken) character of the latter.


Huxley to denote his theory that no one can
know whether God exists, or indeed that
anything exists which cannot be empirically*

accurate to make these part of the agrapha

for the very obvious reison that they have
been recorded in the inspired word, at the
direction of the same Spirit who inspired

Atheism (Scqtical); Empiricism.


A widely spread group ofdissenters from
the medieval papal church. It flourished in
southern France and northern Italy in the
12th century and remained, despite papal
persecution, until the 14th century. The
narne Albigenses comes from the disfict of
Albi in southern France where they were
most numerous.

Latin expression meaning "Lamb of God";

Unfortunately, most of our information

a medallion stamped with the figure of a
Iamb, blessed by the pope, and worn as a

about them comes foom their Romish perse-

talisman to protect the wearer from disease
and calamity.

unscriptural views (see below), others were
probably humble believers who repudiated
the errors and com"rptions of medieval
Romanism. They were accused of espousing dualism,* Manicheism,* and docetism.*

Greek, 'trnwritten things"; sayings ofJesus
not recorded in the canonical gospels, usually claimed to have been preserved by oral
hadition and recorded in later documents.
Some assert that the NT mentions some
agrapha, unwritten saying ofJesus. They cite

Acts 1:5, 7; ll:16; 20:35; and 1 Cor.
11:24f. which record words of His that are
not found in the Gospels. However, it is in-

cutors, and while some of them held

However, Roman Catholic writers level simi-

lar accusations against the Waldenses* who
were certainly innocent of them. The same
is probably true of the Albigenses.
Their origin has been traced by some
to the Paulicians,* and they have been
given a number of names-e.g., Bulgarians,

Boni Homines (Latin, "Good Men"),

Petrobrusians,* Henricians, and Abelardists.

They were also known as Cathars, from

the Greek katharoi, "pure ones." This
would seem to have been the title they
themselves adopted.
Cathars were divided into two classes of
people: Believers and The Perfect. The latterbecame such by spiritual asceticism* and
were held to be the only people who could
approach God directly. Thus they were
deeply venerated by the Believers.
The greatest power of the movement was
smashed by a crusade ofintense persecution
set in motion in e.o. 1208 by Pope lnnocent
III. To accomplish this, the papal authorities
killed many tlrousands of people.Wman(Latin
Christiani$ drsmbes the anfi-rl carnage caused
by Innocent's crusade. The pope's legates led
a military expedition against the Albigenses in
1209 and slaughtered between 20,000 and
40,000 people at Beziers. Twenty years later,

the Albigenses finally "were handed over to
the proselytizing zeal of the order of Dominicars, and the bloody tribunals of the inquisition; and both used their utnost power to bring
the recusant Albigenses to the stake, and also,
by fficting severe punishment on the penitent converts, to irspire dread of incurring the
Church's displeasure" (McClintock and Stong).

A Greek copy of the Scriphues, usually denoted as Codex A or Alexandrinus because
it is supposed to have originated in Alexandria- Written in uncial script, it is on vellum
and dates from the early to mid sth century.
It contains the whole Bible in Greek, including ttre Septuagint* version of the Old Testament. It also includes the first part of the
second episfle of Clement to the Corinthians.
Codex A is defective in several places. Some
leaves of the Psalms are missing as are some
New Testament passages: Matt. 1:l-25:5;

6:50-8:52;2 Cor.4:73-12:6.

is now in the British Museum.



See Tbxtual Criticism; Tertual Criticism
of the Neu: Tbstament.


The school established in Alexandria in
the late second century by Pantanus, which
became the centre of one of the two opposing systems of Bible interpretation in the
church (the otherbeing the Antiochan*)until
they were in effect brought together in the
fourfold understanding of thatgovemed most exposition until the Reformation.
Pantrenus was followed as principal of the

school by Clement, who in turn was succeeded by Origen. To Clement and Origen
the school owed its widespread influence and
success. It was they who effectively united

Christian theolory with Greek philosophy.
In earlier times the Christian apologists and
controversialists had used Greek philosophy
to confront their heathen opponents on their
own ground, but it was left to Clement and
Origen to "build a bridge between the Gospel and Gentile wisdom" (G. P. Fisher). They
adopted a mystical approach to Scripture and






Philip Schaff, who praised the Alexandrian
school for its "immortal service" to its own
and later times-despite the charges of heresy which the orthodox later levelled against

it-admitted its hermeneutical weakness:
"The Alexandrian theologr is intellectual,
profound, stirring, and full of fruitful germs
of thought, but rather unduly idealistic and
spiritualistic, and, in exegesis, loses itself in
arbitrary allegorical fancies."
Without sound Bible exegesis, dogmatic
theologr loses its peculiarly Christian character and strength and descends to the level
of philosophical speculation.'vl/hile one may
believe that the Alexandrian teachers had
the highest motives in marrying their theologr to Greek philosophy, the result was far
from satisfactory and was a marked decline
from the methods of the apostles. In the con-

troversies surrounding the doctrine of
Christ's theanthropic person,* while both
orthodox and heterodox employed the
methodolgr of both the Alexandrian and
Antiochan schools, it would be fair to say


that the mysticism of the Alexandrians led
some in the direction of monophysitism.*

of Christian experience (see 1 Cor. 10:111). He described the Mosaic ritual as a
"shadow" of which the gospel is the sub-

Another name for the Septuagint* ver-

stance (Col. 2:16-17; Heb. 8:1-5).
\Vhile some insist that we may treat as
typical and allegorical oniy those things the
apostles actually named as sudr, Faul's state-

sion of the OId Testament.


ment in Rom. 15:4 appea$ to warrant our

1. Greek allos, "other," and agoreuein, "to
speak in the place of assembly"; a figure of
speech in which a description of one thing
is given under the image of another. It is
usually a story to explain or expound a truth,
in which people, things, and events have

making allegorical applications of the historical narratives of the Old Testament. However, some cautions are in order.
a. We must never deny or lose sight of

another meaning than the obvious or literal.

application and not seek to establish

Both the Old and New Testaments employ
allegory-Psa. B0:B-19; 12:3-7 ; John
10:1-16; Eph. 6:11-17. Many see the entire
book of the Song of Solomon as an allegory,
while others see it as telling an actual his-

any doctrine that we cannot establish by plain Biblical statement. In

torical story that conveys a spiritual message.
2. Whereas allegory is a Scriptural genre,
some employ allegorizingas amethod of interpretation. This is the unwan-antable practice of converting what Scripture records as
history into allegory and drawing all sorts of
dogmatic and moral conclusions from it.

Many evangelicals, while entirely accepting the historicity of the Scripture narratives,

hold that there is also a spiritual sense behind the literal. Perhaps it would be more
accurate to say that they view much of the
history of the Old Testament as typical as
well as historical. Thus their exegesis of the
history will be literal and grammatical, while
their application of it will be spiritual.
There is biblical warrant for this. We have
the example of Christ and His apostles. ]esus
saw in the story of Moses raising up the brazen serpent the truth of His own redeeming
death (ohn 3:15). Paul saw the story ofSa-

rah and Hagar as an allegory of the church
and ih gracious liberty opposed by Judaism
and its legalistic bondage (GaJ.4:24).Pa,i
also saw the Passover as a type of Christ (1
Cor. 5:7) and treated the historical narrative of Israel's joumey to Canaan as typical

the historicity of the narrative;
b. We must be sober in all allegorical

other words, allegorical application
is to be illustrative, not dogmatic.
The most serious misuse of allegory is
found in the use ofthe alleged fourfold sense
ofScripture. The four senses attributed to a
passage are the literal, the allegorical (or
analogical), the moral, and the anagogical.*
The place of each is summed up in the saying, "The literal shows things done; the
allegoric, what you should believe; the moral
(or topical) what you should do; and the
anagogical, whatyou should hope (referring
to etemal life)."
The first to employ this method were the
Greek philosophers of Alexandria, who applied it to Greek mytholog, to find higher
religious conceptions. They were followed

by Philo and other writers of the Jewish
school of philosophy in Alexandria. Then
many sections of the Christian church began to follow the same method. It became
the chosen mode of treating Scripture in the
Romish church and played a major role in
keeping the Bible a closed book to clergr
and laity throughout the dark ages.
Even when the Reformation* had called
men back to the plain meaning of Scrip-

ture, Rome persisted in her adherence to
the fourfold sense of Scripture. This is interesting because in the classification al15


ready mentioned, the dogmatic (i.e., doctrinal, theological) meaning of Scripture
lies not in its plain sense, but in its allegorical interpretation. This, of course, left
all the room in the world for Rome to cite

a literal fr-rlfilment of some prophetic events
before the second coming of Christ.

The theory of Moses Amyrald (1596-

"Biblical" authority for dogmas for which
she could never hope to adduce proof
from the plain words of Scripture.

Saumur* regarding the extent of Christ's


These views, first introduced into English

1664) and the theological school of
atonement* and the nature of regeneration.*

SeeNames of God.

theology by Scottish theologian John
Cameron, are described as hypothetical


universalism* and mediate regeneration.*
Amyrald and Cameron professed allegiance
to the statements of the Synod of Dort and
a desire to return to the Calvinism of Calvin
instead of what they saw as a sort of reformed scholasticism. They are not to be
associated with the doctrine of mediate imputation* advocated by Saumur professor
Joshua Placaeus, which is at times identified as the Saumur dockine.

The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, used to translate the phrase to A kai
/o O (Rev. 1:8, 11;21:6;22:13).It is the
title of Christ, clearly identi$,ing Him as the
etemal God who spoke through Isaiah, saying, "I am the first, and I am the last; and
beside me there is no God" (Isa. 44:6).


The theory that there will be no
thousand-year period of great spiritual
blessing before the Lord ]esus returns, and

no thousand-year reign of Christ on earth
after His return. Thus in Revelation 20 the
multiple references to the thousand years
are spiritualized to convey the idea of
completeness or perfection: "It expresses

no period of time" (W. W. Milligan).
Amillennialists view the thousand years of
Rev. 20 as a spiritual description of the
entire period between Christ's ascension
and the end of the age. For example, John
Wilmot has a chapter in his Inspired Principles of Prophetic Interpretation entitled,,
"The Millennial Adminiskation of the fucended Christ"-his description of this in-

ter-adventual period. With this view,
amillennialists tend to idealize not only the
events detailed in the book of Revelation
but most other end-time prophecies, so that
their prophetic content lies more in their

elucidation of spiritual principles than in
any reference to time. However, some
amillennialists modi[z this position to allow

Meaning of the Term
Anabaptist means "Re-baptizer." In the
early centuries of church history, the
Donatish,* and later groups such as the
Novatians* and Paulicians* rebaptized some
who had previously been baptized in the
Catholic church.* Their reason for rebaptizing usually was their rejection of the fitness
or authority of the bishop or priest who had
administered the first baptism.*
The Code of Justinian* (n.o. 529)made
rebaptism an offence punishable by deatha fact that produced kagic consequences in
the period of the Reformation* when it was
applied to those groups that repudiated in-

fant baptism and therefore rebaptized (or,
in their view, scripturally baptized) their
Roman Catholic and Protestant converts.
The term Anabaptists is usually restricted
to these groups, and it is to them we give
attention in this article. In investigating them
and their beliefs, we will gratefully avail
ourselves ofthe research done by the Rev.


Myron Mooney in the unpublished thesis
he completed as part of his M.Div. degree
in the \Mhitefield College of the Bible,
Greenville, SC.

ets,* wild enthusiasts who mistook their fanatical dreams for divine revelation and cor-

respondingly devalued Scripture.* Their
leader was a weaver named Nicolas Storch,

The Origin of the Anabaptists
There are three distinct claims made regarding their origin.
The Tiail of Blood Theory. This is the idea
that there has been a more or less continuous Baptist* witrness from the days of the
apostles. The Anabaptists, in this view, are
one of the links in this great historical chain

of a pure-church witness. J. M. Carroll
claimed that "the name Anabaptists is the
oldest denominational name in history" Qiail
of Blood, p. 54).There is, however, no dis-

who was a disciple of Thomas Miintzer. Expelled from Zwickau, the prophets went to
Wittenberg and, during Luther's incarceration in the Wartburg, almost wrecked the
work of reform. They found an ally in the
volatile Carlstadt, and their madness was repulsed only by Luther's timely reappeaftInce
to resume leadership of the work.
Thomas Miintzer left Wittenberg and ultimately settled in Muhlhausen, Thuringia.
Here his views of reform became more radical than ever, and he advocated violent
measures to further his cause: "We must
exterminate with the sword, Iike Joshua, the
Canaanitish nations." In Luther's words,

cernible historical link between the 16thcenhrry Anabaptists and the groups Carroll
claims as their spiritual forebears.
Carroll's views of church successionism
lack all historical evidence and credibility.
Anabaptist historians state as much. K. R.

Muhlhausen, and no longer is pastor."
Arr*.hy prevailed. The peasants of Germany were ready to rise in rebellion against

Dais (Anabaptism


their cruel masters. Mtintzer fanned the

296) holds that there is no proven connec-

flames of their discontent. \4/hen he heard
that 40,000 peasants in Franconiawere arm-

and Asceticism, pp.

tion between the Anabaptists and medieval
groups such as the Albigenses.* Indeed,
Arnold Snyder, writing in the Mennonite
Quarterly Reuiew [uly 1986), traced the origin of the Anabaptists to medieval mysticism.

Whatever merit Snyder's argument may
have, it can trace only a community of ideas

between the Anabaptists and the Roman
Catholic mystics. The uniform testimony of
history is that the Anabaptists were Roman
Catholics who left the Church of Rome at
the time of the Reformation. They were initially a part of the Reformers' movement.
The fact that they later broke away from
the Reformers emphasizes that historically
they are an offshoot ofthe Protestant Reformation. To poshrlate a pre-Reformation origin forthem is to mistake opinion forhistory.
The Theory of a Gmnan Uigtn. Until recent times, the received view among church
historians was that the Anabaptists arose in
Zwickau, Saxony, with the Zwickau Proph-

"Mtintzer is king and emperor of the

ing themselves, he exhorted those of
Thuringia to do the same. His letter to them
was a call to war. The peasants obeyed his
call, and he led them on a march of mad
excess and plunder. Melancthon said,
"Miintzer's progress is marked by more than
Scythian cruelty." Finally in May 1525,
Mtintzer led 8,000 insurgents against the
infantry and cavalry of the princes, with fatal results. Between 5,000 and 7,000 peasants were killed. Miintzer himself was taken
and executed.
Miintzer did not unilaterally cause the
Peasants' War. The peasants' lot was so unjusfly severe that an uprising was inevitable.
The folly of the princes in failing to heed
Luther's calls for justice was more to blame
than Miintzer's actions. But he did call for
war. He did lead the peasants to destruction. And in so doing he brought shame on
generations of Anabaptists, for as noted, until


recently church historians labelled his followers with that name-with how much justice we will consider below.

Along with Miintzer and the Zwickau
Prophets, another group of admitted
Anabaptists displayed similar fanaticism.
These were the followers of John of Leyden,

who set up the Kingdom of New Zion tn
Miinster, Westphalia. McClintock and Strong

outlined the character and history of this
movement: "Its leaders, by their lawless
fanaticism, completely separated themselves from the cause of the reformers,
and with the subject of adult baptism con-

nected principles subversive

to all reli-

gious and civil order."
Despite horrible persecution, the movement gained ground and spread beyond
Germany to Holland and Switzerland. John
Bochhold, or Bochel, and John Matthiesen,
or Matthias, subverted the work of the Reformation in Miinster. Matthieson came forward as their prophet, and at his instruction
the people burned all their books except the
Bible and gave over all their wealth and
movable property for the common cause.
Matthieson was killed in an attack on the

forces of the Roman Catholic Bishop of
Miinster that were then besieging the city.
Bochhold took over the prophet's office
and adopted the name John of Leyden.
Since the Anabaptists called Miinster New
Zion, he styled himself the King of New
Zion and caused himself to be formally

crowned as such.
"From this period (1534) Miinster was a
excesses of fanaticism, lust
and cmelty. The introduction of polygamy,
and the neglect ofcivil order, concealed from
the infahrated people the avarice and madness of their young tyrant [he was about27
years oldl and the daily increase of danger
from abroad. Bochhold lived in princely
luxury and magnificence, he sent out seditious proclamations against neighbouring
rulers-against the Pope and Luther; he
threatened to destroy with his mob all who

theafe of all the


differed from him; made himself an object
of terror to his subjects by fiequent executions" (McClintock and Strong).
In 1535, after a brave defence, Mtinster
was taken and the kingdom of New Zion
was destroyed by the execution of the
Anabaptist leaders. John of Leyden, their
king, and two of his chief aides, were brutally torhrred and slain. John ofLeyden sent
out twenty-six apostles to cary the message
of the Anabaptists abroad, and they metwith

considerable success. The societies they
founded repudiated the worst excesses of
the Mtinsterists, such as polygamy and fanatical intolerance of those opinions different from theirs. They did not, however,
escape some serious doctrinal deviations
which found wide acceptance among
Anabaptists (see below).
Modern Anabaptist apologists deny the
German origin of their movement. They hold
that neither the Zwickau Prophets nor Thomas Miintzer can accurately be described
as Anabaptists and that the New Zionists of

Miinster were a temporary aberration from
Anabaptist principles and practice. At any
rate, they did not originate the movement
and must not be considered normative.
However, this position is not easy to
maintain in the light of all the facts. The
respected leaders of Swiss Anabaptism,
Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz, looked on
Thomas Miintzer as a "true and beloved
brother," a "true proclaimer of the gospel,"
and "the purest proclaimer and preacher of
the purest word of God" (George H. Will'
iams, The Radical Reformation, pp. 7 3-7 8).

Even the spiritualistic ravings of the
Zwickau Prophets cannot be shrugged off
as atypical of Anabaptists, for they were
clearly repeated among Swiss and Dutch
Anabaptists. It would appear, therefore,
that Anabaptism first arose in Germany
with the Lutheran Reformation.
The Theory of a Swiss Ongrn. Anabaptist

scholars, dismissing the claim that the
Zwickau Prophets or the followers of Tho-


mas Miintzer were Anabaptists, trace the
origin of their movement to Zuich, 1524Z\.There it sprang up among the followers
of Lllrich Zwngh.Its leaders were Conrad
Grebel (died 1526), Felix Manz (executed
n 1527, the first Anabaptist martyr in Switzerland), and George Blaurock (exiled foom
1527 and martyred in Tyrol in
1529). There is no doubt that Anabaptism
arose in Ztxrch as claimed. What is not established is that the Ztrtch movement pre-


ceded an Anabaptist movement in Germany.

It would appear that Anabaptism followed
in the train of the Lutheran and Zwinglian
Reformations and that neither its German
nor its Swiss expression derived its existence

from the other, anymore than did the
Lutheran Reformation spring from the
Zwinglian, or vice versa.

The Beliefs of the Anabaptists
According to Harold S. Bender (Twentieth Centurg Encyclopedia of Religious
Knowledge), the Anabaptists formed a radi-

cal but Biblical branch of the Reformation. Anabaptism "conceived of itself as
carrying through in a more complete and
consistent fashion the original goals ofthe
Reformation which had been abandoned
by Luther and Zwingli;namely the restoration of original, unadulterated New Testament Christianity."
Bender goes on to set out the distinctive

doctines of Anabaptism:
"The distinctive Anabaptist tenets were:
a voluntary church of believers only, with
baptism of adults on confession of faith and

commitment to discipleship; separation of
church and state; frrll liberty of conscience;
holiness of life in fi.rll obedience to Christ;
nonconformity to the world; a love-ethic including nonresistance and total rejection of
warfare and the use of force; a brotherhood
type of churctr with mutual aid; non-swearrng of oaths; Iiteral obedience to the Sermon

on the Mount and the other teachings of
Jesus; and simplicity of

life and

dress. The

doctrines of the historic early Christian
creeds, as well as the Protestant doctrines


jusffication by faith, the sole authority of
Scripture, and the priesthood of all believerc, were fully held, though nottheologrcally
developed. The Anabaptists emphasized an
existential more than a theological Christianity. Their major break with Protestantism
was on the central concept of the gathered
church rather than the folk-church, and the

nature of Christianity as discipleship or
transformation of life rather than primarily
as the enjoyment of forgiveness and salvation as status. Their rejection of war and
insistence on religious Iiberty in an age when
even the church (both Roman Catholic and
Protestant) used war and force as an instrument of promotion and protection of the
faith, is remarkable. They have been the
almost foqgotten forerunners of much that
is today commonly accepted by Protestant
Christendom, particularly in England and
the United States."
This statement is typical of the claims
made nowadays for Anabaptism, but it obscures the serious deficiencies of Anabaptist
theology. To say that among Anabaptists
"the Protestant doctrine of justification by

faith, and the priesthood of all believers,
were fi.rlly held, though not theologically developed" conceals the fact that in vital ways
the Anabaptist position on justification was
closer to the Council of Tient than it was to
the Reformers. Bender's statements that "the
Anabaptists emphasized an existential more
than atheological Christianity" and thatthey
broke with Protestantism on "the nature of
Christianity as discipleship or transforma-

tion of life rather than primarily as the en-

joyment of forgiveness and salvation


status," are an admission of this affinity to

Rome's doctrine of justification. An "existential Christianity" in contrast to a theological Christianity is primarily subjective,
with the ever-present danger of exalting
personal feelings and ideas to a place of
authority that is equal or superior to God's


written word. And it also runs the very real
risk of attributing to sanctification what belongs to justification in the plan of salvation, resulting in a species of the notion of
salvation by works.
Anabaptist apologists vigorously deny
these charges. However, the history and
writings of the early Anabaptists supply

they taught that children were born in a

ample testimony that they did fall into

fide,* justtficaaon by faith alone.

these heresies.

Not only did Thomas Miintzer and the
Zwickau hophets claim direct revelation that
olten relegated the Bible to the position of
"a dead letter," as Nicholas Storch called it,
but the same idea found acceptance among
some Swiss and Dutch Anabaptists. Some
of them, like Jacob Storger, set up "the inner

state somewhat like Adam's before the fall.

This is pure Pelagianism.*
These anthropological and soteriological
deparhrres from the Biblical faith of the Reformers had serious consequences, chiefof
which was, contrary to Bender's claim, a repudiation ofthe Protestant doctrine of sola
Anabaptists laid great stress on the redemptive value of personal suffering.
Leonard Schiemer said, "Without my suffering God cannot save me in spite of all
His power." Hans Hut taught that we can

be justified only through our personal suffering. Hubmaier taught that God expects a
sinner "through remorse, regret, and con-

as the standard for judging doctrinal
truth, while others,like DavidJoris (who later
recanted and died a Calvinist), believed they
enjoyed clearer revelation than Biblical writers such as David and Paul.

trition" to "make a payment to His godly

On the subject of salvation, the affinity
of leading Anabaptists with the Roman
Catholic position may be seen from the

Rome's soteriology* does. Anabaptists further betrayed their theological affinity with
Rome by adopting the doctrine of the possibility ofjustified souls falling away and be-


Jacob Kautz taught that walking the way

which Christ blazed for us is the only payment for our sins.
Peter Walpot taught that following Christ's
words and commands is alone what saves us.
Michael Sattler rejected all idea of unconditional election.
Balthasar Hubmaier denied man's total
depravity because of the fall* and cham-

pioned the idea of man's freedom of will*
(paradoxically he claimed that in Eden
man had been "forced against his will" to
sin, yet somehow now enjoys a "free" willl).
These were not merely aberrant views
by an Anabaptist lunatic fringe. Anabaptist
theologr reflected the Roman Catholic idea
of synergism.* It also reflected Rome's notion of children being innocent of original
sin. In Rome's case original sin is removed
by baptism, while the Anabaptists went one
better (or worse)-rejecting infant baptism,

and offended righteousness."
All this is directly in line with the theology of Trent and affords faith no greater


in the


of salvation than

ing eternally lost. Hans Denck taught that
God may reject in damnation some whom
He had received in faith, while Hubmaier
taught that through perverseness, truly regenerate souls could bring themselves again
under condemnation.
These are serious departures from the
Biblical faith of the Reformers and explain
the fervency with which the Protestant leaders opposed the Anabaptists. Many of the
Anabaptist characteristics enumerated by
Bender evoke support from most modern
Christians. Separation of church and state

has become accepted dogma

for most

churches, and in this Anabaptists blazed the
way. Or did they?
According to Arnold Snyder, Swiss
Anabaptists made a "serious attempt. . .to establish itself as a territorial church" (Menno-

nite Quarterlg Rwiatt, Jaruary 1983, "The
Monastic Otig,"s of Swiss Anabaptist Sec-

tarianism," p. 7). He points outthatthey temporarily succeeded in doing so in Waldshut

than their Docetic* views of the person of

and Hallau, while they made vigorous attempts to do the same in Schaffhausen, St.
Gall, and Griinigen. According to Zwingli,
Grebel and Manz wished to reform the
church in Zurich by electing a new "Godfearing" city council. And, of course, Thomas Miintzer's Peasants' War and the
Miinster rebellion were overt attempts to integrate church and state.
While not all Anabaptists would have
agreed with these attempts, the question still
remains: Were the Anabaptists proponents
of separation between church and state because they failed to obtain the kind ofstate
church they preferred? Would their doctrine

Anabaptist leaders held defective views of
the humanity of Christ. Menno Simons denied that Christ's flesh was derived from

have followed the same course if their
claimed founders, Grebel and Manz, had
been able to work through the city council
to produce a church to their liking?
We cannot be sure, but we can be sure
that the notion that the Anabaptist leaders
saw the issue of church and state much more

clearly than the Protestant Reformers and
tried to take the Reformers'work to its logical and Biblical conclusion is not justified
by the facts.
Many of the Anabapfsts' most serious departues from the faith are entirely ignoled in
Bender's statement of their beliefs. Their
Pelagian tendency, alrearly noted, is emphasizal
by tlreir doctrine of free wi[* of original sin,*
and of the relation of faith to regeneration.*

They tended also to asceticism,* Felix
Manz going so far as to say that those who
join themselves to the church should know
themselves to be without sin (Davis, p.7O).
Davis summarizes Anabaptist asceticism:
"Luther's and Calvin's Reformation may
be considered a Protestantization of Au-

gustine of Hippo, so Anabaptism is a
Protestantization of Francis of Assisi,
Gerhard Groote, and, perhaps even more,
a Protestantization of Erasmus" (p. 297).
Among serious Anabaptist doctrinai departures, perhaps none is more important

Christ. Even some of the most celebrated of

Mary. This was the generally received
Anabaptist position. Bernard Rothmann,
Melchior Hoffman, Obbe Philips, and Adam
Pastor all echoed Simors'betef.John S. Oyea
an Anabaptist, says that docetism was "the
usual deviation from orthodox Christologr
in Central German Anabaptism" (Luthuan
98, 192).
Antitrinitarianism was also rife among

Reformers Against Anabaptists, pp.

16th-cenhrry Anabaptists. Baptist historian
W. J. McGlothlin wrote, "Most of the forms
of Unitarianism were represented among
Anabaptists" (A Guide to the Studg of Church
History,p. 231). The Itaiian Anabaptists and
the Polish Brethren were Unitarian. Modern

Anabaptists deny that these groups may
properly be described as Anabaptists. But
even excluding them, the stigma of Unitarianism lingers with recognized Anabaptists.
Han Denck, John Companus, David Joris,

Adam Pastor, Mechior Hoffman, Louis
Haetzer, and Claas Epp undermined the
doctrine of the Tiinity.*
It would be wrong to saddle all 16th-cenhrry Anabaptists with all these heresies. But
it is equally unhistorical to speak of the
Anabaptist "radical Reformation" or to give
the impression that the Anabaptists represented a nearer and purer rehrrn to New
Testament Christianity than did the churches

of the Reformation. Anabaptism at its best
was doctrinally flawed on the crucial matters of the person of Christ and justification.
It presented a wide spectrum of belief and
practice with baptism upon profession of faith
(usually by pouring or sprinkling, not by
immersion) as the common doctrinal bond.

The Spread and Suffering of the

The Anabaptists presented a series of
beliefs and practices that appeared to



threaten all good govemment in both church
and state. No doubt Roman Catholics and
Protestants in both overreacted, though that
is easier to see with the benefit of hindsight
than it would have been amid the upheav-

als of the 16th century. As a result,
Anabaptists suffered persecution, olten unto
death. fu we have noted, Felix Manz was
executed in Zurich, a stain on the Zwinglian
Reformation that time has not removed. He
was followed by many more martyrs, especially in regions nrled by Roman Catholicism,* though the Protestants were not free
fuom Anabaptist blood.
Despite all their sufferings, the Anabaptists
spread quickly. They were all but eradicated
in Switzerland but spread through Germany,
Austria Poland, Moravia, Holland, and England. Starting in the 18th cenhry, they even
peneffated into the llkraine, Southern Rus-


It is one of the four senses in


Scripture was interpreted by the Alexandrian
school* of Origen and by the Roman Catholic church. "The anagogical sense is when
the sacred text is explained with regard to
eternal life;for example, the rest of the Sabbath, in the anagogical sense, signifies the
repose of everlasting happiness" (McClintock
and Strong, l:212). This example uses an
interpretation which the New Testament itself appears to use. In the view of many,
Hebrews 4 attaches such an eschatological
significance to the sabbath. However, the
anagogical meanings claimed by Romish in-

terpreters were usually very much more

i*uginary. Coming foom a distaste for and
distrust of the literal sense of Scripture,
anagogical intelpretation did more to obscure God's word than to elucidate it.


sia, and Siberia. The most influential
branches of the movement were the followers of Jacob Hutter (the Hutterite Brotherhood), of Balthasar Hubmaier, and of Menno

1. A form of scholastic* reasoning based on

Simons (the Mennonites). Simons (14961561) led the Dutch Anabaptists in a vigorous and extensive movement that was for
some time the strongest Protestant group in
Holland. From Europe the Anabaptists emigrated to North America" where their influ-

another in a mrmber of points will probably
resemble it in others. On this basis scholasticism developed an inticate system of natural theologr,* arguing from the finite to the
infinite. The basic fallacy in this approach,
as in so many others, is in making man's
reason the starting point and ultimate reference point of knowledge, which in reality
means that man is the judge of God and the
determiner of what God is.
2. In the study of Christian evidences* and
epistemologl,* analogr has a varied meaning and usage. Bishop Butler tifled his fa-

ence is still sbong in the Mennonite churches

and among the Amish people.

In retrospect, perhaps the fairest summary we can make of the turbulent and

tragic confrontations between the
Anabaptists and the mainstream Reformers is that the Anabaptists as a whole were
neither as pernicious as the Reformers

imagined, nor as pure as their modern
apologists insist-though in the ferment of
the 16th-century Reformation it is understandable that the Reformers did not discriminate between the better Anabaptists
and their less worthy colleagues.

From the Greek anago"to lead," or "bring


the inference that an object which resembles

mous book of Christian evidences the
Analog of Religian Natural and Rarcaled to
the Constitution and Courses of Nature. Bttt-

ler argued in favour of the probability of
Christianity by means of analogical reasoning. That is, starting with the known 'tonstitution and courses ofnature," he proceeded
to reason about unknown possibilities. The
analogz (or likeness) between the natural
realm and that of Scripture irgues strongly


for the probability that nature and Scripture
have the same Author, God.
For example, on the subject of a future
life, Butler argues (to quote Cornelius Van

Til's summary), 'Although we have in our
lifetime undergone much change, we have
still survived. Therefore, it is likely that we
shall survive death also" (Van Til, ChristianTheistic Euidences, class syllabus, p. 5). Butlerbelieved whatthe Bible taught aboutthe
certainty that death was not the end of man's
existence. His argument from analogy was
that such a revelation is not unreasonable.
Van Til regarded this use of analog, as defective and ultimately unchristian and ineffective for its professed purpose, the defence
of Christianity from scepticism.
Butler argued as an inconsistent empiri-

cist,* one who believed that reason could
accept only what came to it via the experience of the senses. Later empiricists, such
as David Hume, rejected his use of analogy.
For example, Hume rejected Butler's argument for a future life by saying that such a
belief has no real point of resemblance to
the changes from embryo to infant to mature age-a resemblance on which Butler had
rested his case. Hume argued that human
experience cannot predict the future. "AnaIogy cannot carry us into the unknown" (Van
Til, p. 30).
Despite this, it is the usual method of
apologetics* to depend to some degree on a
false view of analory. "If we seek to defend
the Christian religion by an 'appeal to the
facts of experience' in accord with the current scientific method, we shall have to adulterate Christianity beyond recognition. The
Christianity defended by Bishop Butler was
not firll fledged Christianity. It was Christianrty neatty trimmed down to the needs of a

method that was based upon non-Christian
assumptions. And what was true of Butler is
largely true of English-American evidences
and apologetics in general" (Van Til, p. 51).
Van Til replaces Butler's notion of analory with one that is squarely based upon

the presupposition of the ontological
Trinity,* self-revealed in the selfauthenticating Scriphres,* and firlly declared
Jesus Christ.
He is the Creator and upholder of all things,
the One by whom all created things exist
and have their meaning. Without Him nothing has any meaning.
"fu Ctristians we hold that it is impossible
to interpret any fact without a basic falsification unless it be regarded in its relation to

in the incarnate Son, the Lord

God the Creator and Christ tre Redeemer.
...That this implies a reversal of the method
employed by Butler and the others is apparent We do not offer Ctristianity to men apolo
getically, admitting that their interpretation of
life is right as far as it goes. In particular we
do not accept the 'appeal to facts' as a com-

mon meeting place between believers and
unbelievers. Christianity does not thus need
to take shelter under the roof of 'known facts.'
It rather offen itself as a roof to facts if they
would be known. Chistianity does not need
to take shelter under the roof of a scientific
method independent of itseH. It rather offers
itself as a roof to methods that would be scienffiC' (Van Til, p. 5a).
In otherwords, God is the "mnstihrtive Creator and interpreter of the facts of the universe." Man can be only a re-interpreter. His
highest adrievementisto think God's thoughts
after Him. That is the fue use of analogy-to
think of things as God does. fu Van Til put it
nbis Sunseg of Christian Epistemolng:
"The necessity of reasoning analogically
is always implied in the theistic conception
of God. If God is to be thought of at all as
necessary for man's interpretation of the facts
or objects of knowledge, he must be thought
of as being determinative of the objects of
knowledge. In other words, he must then be

thought of as the only ultimate interpreter,

and man must be thought of as a finite
reinterpreter. Since, then, the absolute selfconsciousness of God is the final interpreter
of all facts, man's knowledge is analogical of
God's knowledge. Since all finite facts exist

by virtue of the interpretation of God, man's
interpretation of the finite facts is ultimately

dependent upon God's interpretation of the
facts. Man cannot, except to his own hurt,
look at the facts without looking at God's
interpretation of the facts. Man's knowledge
of the facts is then a reinterpretation of God's
interpretation. It is this that is meant by say-

ing that man's knowledge is analogical of
God's knowledg." (pp. 203,204).
See Presuppositionalism; Unioocaktg.
The Greek noun used in Luke 22:19 ar:d
1 Cor. 11 :24,25 in the phrase eis ten emen
anamnesin, translated "in remembrance of
me," [t., "for my remembrance (or, memorial)," in reference to the Lord's Supper.*
The Roman Catholic church makes a lot
of this term in defence of its dogma of the
mass* as a sacrifice of expiation* made to
God for the sins of the Iiving and the dead:
"ln all the Eucharist* prayers we find after the words of institution a prayer called
the anamnesis or memorial. In the sense of
sacred Scriphre the memorial is not merely
the recollection of past events but the proc-

lamation of the mighty works wrought by
God for men. In the liturgical celebration of
these events, they become in a certain way
present and real....In the New Testament,
the memorial takes on a new meaning.
When the Church celebrates the Eucharist,
she commemorates Christ's Passover, and it
is made present: the sacrifice Christ offered

once for all on the cross remains ever
present. As often as the sacrifice of the cross
by which Christ our Pasch has been sacri-

Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice."


the bread and wine in the communion feast
are designed to remind zs of Christ's sacrifice at Calvary, there is no logical presumption that the reminder of the sacrifice is itself
a sacrifice. In fact, the opposite is kue. That
which is to us a reminder of Christ's sacrifice is presumably not the very sacriflce it is
designed to remind us of. If, however, the primary design of the communion service is to
offer to God a reminder of Christ's sacrifice, it
may be logical to look on that reminder as a
sacrifice, or the same sacrffice re-presented to
God, as Rome's standards like to put lt (Catechism of the Catholic Church, fl 1366; Council
of Trenf Session 22, chap. l).
However, it is quite clear that Rome's liturgical use of anamnesis does not correspond with Christ's simple use of the term
in instituting the Lord's Supper. There He
clearly intended the bread and wine to be a
constant reminder to His people of His sacrifice at Calvary. There is no suggestion either of reminding God of Calvary (could He
forget?) or of making physically present that
which is past. Yet it is on this nonexistent
usage and meaning of anamnesis that modern day ecumenists* largely depend to produce an accommodation between Protestant
theologr and the Roman dogma of the mass.
The Oxford Conference's Agreement in
Faith is a series of papers on the question of

the unity of the Anglican Communion with
the Roman Catholic Church. It pays particular attention to the work and the documents
produced by the Anglican/Roman Catholic
International Commission (ARCIC). ARCIC
used the idea of anamnesis as a bridge be-

ficed is celebrated on the altar, the work of
our redemption is carried out.' Because it is
the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice" (Catechism of the

believe that the only sacrifice that takes place

Catholic Church, fl 1362-1365).
In this use of anamnesis it is God who is

in it is the spiritual sacrifice of praise that
the people of God offer in thanks for His

reminded Christ's death, otherwise there

grace that redeemed them by the once for
all atoning sacrifice of Christ-which can in
no way be offered by us. ARCIC empha-

would be a complete lack of logic in the statement, "Because it is the memorial of Christ's

tween the Roman Catholic and Anglican
views of the eucharist. Rome views it as a
true propitiatory sacrifice for sins. Anglicans





sized the memorial aspect of the eucharist:

"The notion of memorial as understood in
the passover celebration in the time of ChrisL
ie the making effective in the present of an
event in the past, has opened the way to a

clearer understanding of the relationship
between Christ's sacrifice and the eucharist's.
The eucharistic memorial is no mere catling
to mind of a past event or of its significance,

but the church's effectual proclamation of
God's mighty acts. Christ instituted the
eucharist as a memorial (anamnesis) of the
totality of God's reconciling action in Him"
(Agreement in Faith, p. 7 4).

According to this ARCIC statement, anamnesis means the "making effective in the

present of an event in the past." It firther
defines the term as "the effectual proclamation of God's mighty acts" (ibid, p. 47).lt
bases this interpretation on an appeal to the
understanding of the passover by the Jews
at the time of Christ. This appeal to Hebraic
thought was effectively rebutted by another
particrpant in the Oxford Conference, who
was, as he said, "in a small way a student of
Rabbinics." He pronounced the passover

reference as "absolute nonsense" (ibid, p.
75). It is not the only nonsense in the ecumenical misuse of anamnesis.
In the light of ARCIC's "realist language"
to describe the eucharist, with the implication that communicants feed upon the achral body and blood of Christ, the use of
anamnesis to mean "the effectual proclamation" of Christ's sacrifice is significant. It is
used as a Protestant escape route, a way to
appear to retain the old biblical position of
the Genevan and English reformers (both

were invoked at the Oxford Conference),
while receiving that in some sense the Eucharist is an actual sacrifice and that in its
celebration the faithfi-rl particrpate as if they
were really there-i.e., as if they were actuaily, historically present at the cross.
The entire basis of this construction is a
fallacy. The "realist language" of the NT,
"This is my body; this is my blood," is de-

monstrably figurative. Two things make this
clear. First, Christ spoke these words and
celebrated the Lord's Supper beforeHe died
His sacrificial death. This is an insurmountable objection to every notion of His giving
His actual body and blood to the disciples
to consume, or that He was offenng the Supper as an actual sacrifice for sins. Second,
Paul used realistic language about the Lord's
Supper in 1 Cor. 11:25, where he quoted
Christ and certainly gave the inspired interpretation of His words: "This cup is the new
testament [covenant] in my blood." This gives
the full meaning of Christ's words, "This is
my blood." The communion wine is not the
actual blood of Christ but "is the new covenant in [or, byJ my blood"-i.e., "the covenant sealed or put into operation by virtue
of my blood." Paul's statement also makes it
clear that the verb "is" means "represents,"
"expresses," or "declares." This is obvious
from the fact that for bloodhe uses cup, and
a literal cup cannot be the new covenant.
The cup represents and declares the covenant. In addition to all this, it should be
noted that even if we were to accept the
presence of the actual body and blood of

Christ in the communion feast, that still
would not make the Lord's Supper a sacrifice for sins, but the reception of what Christ
sacrificed once for all.
The meaning of anamnesis precludes all
' realist" interpretations of the Lord's Supper.
It is a feast to remind us of Christ's finished
work, in which we personal$ remember that
work and by faith spiritually feast upon, or
participate in, its benefits. But if the actual
body and blood of Christ were present and a
sacrifice were being offered, we would notbe
ranembering,but participating. We do not remember things ftrat we are currently doing!
The ecumenical use of anamnesis is a
misuse. It is the destruction of an impoftant
biblical term and its reconskuction-by giv-

ing it a meaning it never had-to bolster a
sacrificial theory of the Lord's Supper that is
repugnant to Scripture.




alone; eremite, from erernos, "desert," (An-

From the Greek verb anntithemi, "to lay
up"; anathenta is found in the Greek NT in
two forms, one with eta (ong e) and the other
vith epsilon (short e) in the penult syllable.
Origmally the word denoted any,thing laid

glicized as "hermit") signified a desert

up, or set apart, for divine service. This meaning is reflected in Luke 21 :5 where it is trans-

excessive austerity, choosing the wildest localities fortheirretreats. Many of them "vol-

lated 'gifu." The LXX used anathema to

untarily subjected themselves to the

hanslate the Hebrew cherern, which the AV
trarrslates as "accursed" (osh. 6:17, l8;7:1,
ll, 12, 73, 15; 1 Chron. 2 :7); "cursed thing"
(Deut.7:26; 13:17); "curse" (osh. 6:18;Isa.
34:5; 43:28); "utter destruction" (Zech.
l4:ll); "devoted" (Lev. 27 :21, 2 8, 2 9; Num.
18:14) and "dedicated thing" (Ezek. 44:29).

vicissitudes of the weather, without habita-

\Vhile there appears to be a great breadth
of meaning in chqern, all the way from ' dedicated" to "accursed," the fact is that what
was dedicated or devoted to holy use was
off-limits for secular use. Thus it was banned.

Anyone failing to observe the ban would
come under appropriate condemnation: he
would be accursed. That was the meaning
that attached ta anathema when the LXX
translators used it to translate cherem.

The NT carries on this meaning.


Corinthians 16:22 pronounces the flrrse on

any who love not our Lord Jesus Christ,
anathema maranatha. Elsewhere the AV
translates anathems "accursed" (Rom. 9:3;
I Cor.l2:3; Gal. 1:8) and once "curse" (Acts
23 :12). Thrs arutthema signifies the utter ruin
of one devoted to destruction. It is significant that this is the word Paul used in Gal.

1:8, 9 to condemn anyone who would


In time these distinctions came to indicate the degree of austerity by which a recluse lived. The anchorites practised

tion or clothing, restricted themselves to
coarse and scanty fare, wore chains and iron
rings, and even throughout many years maintained painfrrl postures, such as standing on

top of a pillar" (McClintock and Strong).
Those pillar-dwellers were cilled stylites.
Anchorites abounded in the ancient Eastern church and were admired as men of superior holiness whose blessing or opinions
were often sought. When they Ieft their rekeats to re-enter society with a message of
warning, instruction, or encouragemenl they
were received as if they were inspired prophets of God.


The Hebrew mal'ak, and the Greek
angelos carry the idea of "agent" or "messenger" and are used in the following ways:

1. To describe intelligent, moral, immortal,
and spiritual creatures ofGod, higher in rank

than man (Ps. 8:5).
2. fu the title given in Rev. 1-3 to the messenger or ministering elder of a local church.
3. fu a tifle of Christ as mediator,

(angel)oftre mvenant''(lVIaL 3:1;d Gen 48:16,
etc.). This title in no way lessens the Script.ue

"preach any other gospel" than the gospel of
free, redeeming, justifuing grace received by
faith without the works of the law.

testimony to Christ's deity, forMal 3:1 identifies
be angelwi*r hn'odan, "the Lord" The definite



An ascetic whose title indicates that he
has retired from human society; from the
Greek ana, "back," and chorein, "to retire."
fucetics used different appellations to express their solitary lifestyle: monk, from
monos, "alone," signified one who dwelt


artide in ha'odonalwaysrefers to God. Thus the
of wryelta describe Christ does not mmpru
mise His deity but emphasizes ltrat the Faftrer
sent Him as

tre only Redeemer of His elect


Considering the normal use of the word
in Scripture we may note the following data
about angels.

1. Their creation (Ps. 148:2, 5; Col. 1:16;
cf. 1 Kings 22:19; Ps. 103:20, 21). Thatthis
took place within the creation week of Gen.
1 is clear fiom Exod. 20:11.
2. They are spiritual and incorporeal Matt.

8:16; 12:45; Lt*.e. 7:21; 8:2, 3O;
24:39: Col. 1 :16; Heb. 1:7,


14), though


may assume a bodily form for a specific service for the Lord (e.g., Gen. 19:1, etc.).

1:14; note Luke 15:10;Ps. 34:7; 91:11;Matt.

18:10; 1 Cor. 11:10; 1 Tim. 5:21; Luke.

perform exkaordurary service.
Because of the fall, they have an important
part in God's special revelation.* Berkhof remarks, "They olten mediate the special rev10. They also

beings, endowed with intelligence and will

elations of God, communicate blessings to
His people, and execute judgment upon His
enemies. Their achvity is most prominent in
the great turning points of the economy of

(2 Sam. 14:20;Matt.24:36; Eph. 3:10; I
Pet. 1:12; ?Pet.Z:ll). fu responsible moral

See Satan.

3. They are rationai, moral, and immortal

agents, they are rewarded for obedience and
punished for disobedience.
4. Some are good and some evil. Holy angels
Matt 25:31;Mark 8:38) are "elect' and therefore loyal (1 Tim. 5:21). Ottrers are called the
devil's angels (Matt. 25:41), those who sinned

(2 PeL 2:4) and "kept not their first estate"
and are under condemnation (ude 6, 7).
5. They have great power but are under
divine control (Ps. 103:20; Col. 1:16; Eph.
l:Zl;3:lO; Heb. 1:14; cf. Luke 11 :20-22;
2 Thess. 2:9; 1 Pet. 5:8.)
6. They are very numerous (Deut. 33:2; Psa
68:17;Mark 5:9, 15;Matt 26:53;Rev. 5:11).
7. T}rcy are organized in ranlis of dignity and
fnnction. Chmrbim (Gen. 3:24; Exod. 2 5: 18;
2 Sam. 22:ll ;Ezek. I ;Rev. 4) more than any
other creatures reveal the power and majesty
of God. Seraphim (lsa- 6:2, 6) are clearly prepared for the immediate execution of the

Lord's commands. Principalities,

throncs, and daminiorn (Eph. 3:10; Col. 1:16;
2:10; Eph. l:21; Pet. 3:22) indicate Godordained differences in rank or dignity.


8. Only two are achrally named in Scriphre.
Michael (Dan. 10:13, 21;Jude 9;Rev. 127)
is called the archangel, which would seem
to place him first in rank itmong, or at least
in the first rank of, the angels. Gabriel is the
only other angel named (Dan. 8:16; 9:21;

The thrice daily recitation of prayers and

Hail Marys* to the Virgin Mury by Roman
Catholics. The hours for these prayers are
marked by sounding a bell three times,
three strokes each time. The Angelus was
instituted by Pope John XXII in 1316.
Since then several popes have granted indulgences to those who say the Angelus
prayers on their knees.
The introduction of the Angelus occurred
during a period of increasing devotion to
Mary and the popular acceptance of such
notions as her assumption,* her immaculate
conception,* and her participation in procuring redemption, as co-redemptrix, and co-

mediatrix with her Son.


The system of doctrine and government

of the Church of England. Historically,
Anglicanism embraced avariety of theological positions. 'lhe Church of England does
not hold to a definite theological system but
has long been divided into parties that have
very little in common beyond their adherence to the church. These parties are gener-

ally known as high church


Luke 1:19,26).

Anglo-Catholicism), and low church (evan-

9. Their ordinary service is praising God (ob
3 8:7; Isa. 6:3; Rev. 5;11 ) and since the fall,*
ministering to the heirs of salvation (Heb.

gelical), and broad church (liberal;


At first, however, Anglicanism, despite its


adherence to episcopacy, was clearly Protestant. For the most part, Anglicanism repudiated Rome's views on papal supremacy
and sacramentalism* and sfongly defended
justification* by faith alone. However, the

Church of England and has prompted the
use of such Romish inventions as monasticism, the mass,* and auricular confession.*

Church of England repudiated Puritanism
as surely as it did Romanism. Thus, in time
it came to see itself as a middle way between
Geneva and Rome, while remaining avowedly Protestant. Later, it declined further by
presenting itself as a middle