A Theological Dictionary (More or Less)
Over the centuries, theologians and biblical scholars have created a large number of technical terms. Sometimes, when I read or say one of them, other definitions pop into my mind.
Amyraldianism – A belief system based on the teachings of the eccentric Englishwoman Mrs. Amy Raldi who taught that the earth is neither flat nor spherical but is instead in the shape of a Möbius Strip.
Antinomian – Someone who hates Gnomes.
Backsliding – How the builders of the Tower of Babel got back to the bottom after carrying a load of bricks to the top.
Beatific Vision – The name of a popular Christian dating website.
Canon Law – Non-negotiable rules for firing heavy artillery.
Catechesis – Gesundheit.
Chiliasm – The painful reaction some people have after eating very spicy peppers.
Covenants – Ants who are into witchcraft.
Dead Sea Scrolls – Sea scrolls that did not survive.
Dogmatics – Programmable robotic canines.
Encyclical – Letters sent from the Pope to his cardinals and bishops by a courier on a bike.
Extra calvinisticum – The condition of owning multiple copies of the Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Extreme Unction – An unction that goes to great lengths.
General Revelation – The commander in chief of the demonic armies at the Battle of Armageddon.
Hermeneutics – The meneutics belonging to your wife.
Hyper-Calvinism – A system of theology based on the teachings of John Calvin’s very high-strung twin brother.
Immaculate Conception – The process involved when Terry Bradshaw came up with the idea to throw a long forward pass, have it bounce off the helmet of Jack Tatum and land in the hands of Franco Harris who would then run for a touchdown.
Impassible – How students define a course with more assignments than they are able to complete.
Infidel – Something that Castro ate.
Lapsarian Debate – Arguments between Christian couples about who fell in love with whom first.
Lent – The act of letting a Roman Catholic borrow something he tried to do without.
LXX – The Roman numeral meaning “seventy.” Pronounced: sep-TU-a-gint.
Magnificat – A cat under a microscope.
Missal – A weapon used by Roman Catholic apologists against Protestants. Many were fired by the Spanish Inquisition during the religious wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Nag Hammadi Library – A large collection of books that detail all of the incessant badgering Hammadi had to endure during his life.
Neophyte – The technical term for any battle in the Matrix Trilogy involving Keanu Reeves.
Ontology – The opposite of Offtology.
Papal Bull – Anything nonsensical said by the Pope.
Pascal’s Wager – Ten dollars Pascal placed on a bet assuming that Occam’s Razor needed to be sharpened.
Pneuma – A woman who has just given birth for the first time.
Popery – A mixture of dried leaves and petals that gives Roman Catholic churches that distinctive smell.
Presuppositionalist – A person who believes the Second Coming of Christ will happen earlier than most people suppose.
Prolegomena – Someone who used to be an amateur legomena.
Theism – The formal study of the English definite article.
Tridentine – Having to do with Roman Catholics who carry three-pronged spears.
Vatican I – The Pope’s home in Rome.
Vatican II – The Pope’s home away from Rome.