of Christian Terms
Technically, there are several kinds of agnosticism:
A person who says "I don't personally know whether
or not any god exists. It might be possible to know such a thing, but
I personally don't know."
Someone who believes it is not possible to know
whether there are any gods.
A religious agnostic is a person who
believes that there is a god or gods but it is not possible to know
anything about such god(s).
The belief that there is no god.
- DEISM, DEISTIC
Deism describes the relationship between a god and that
which it creates. Deism is the belief that a god distances itself
from that which it creates, that it does not get involved in the activities
of the things it created. A deistic god is essentially an "absentee
father" god -- it creates a universe and then sits back and says "I
made you, but I don't want to get involved. You're on your own!"
A divine being, a god.
Having the nature of a god or gods.
- DIVINE CHARACTERISTICS OR NATURE
Christianity claims that the God of all things is unique
in that He alone has the following divine characteristics:
God of Judaism and Christianity is the Supreme Being.
He is not merely a different type of being or a
superior being but the Supreme Being.
is unique. The Bible describes Him in Greek as monogenesis,
i.e., "one of a kind", "having a unique nature."
ETERNALNESS He always
has existed and always will exist. He had no beginning and will
never cease to exist.
- OMNISCIENCE He knows all things.
- OMNIPOTENCE He is all powerful.
- OMNIPRESENCE He is everywhere at
the same time.
- ALIVE The one God is a living being.
- HOLINESS Holy means pure,
- TRIUNE NATURE The one God consists
of three distinct persons:
- JEHOVAH - often referred
to as the Father
- JESUS - often referred to as
- THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Christianity claims that, in addition, this unique God shares the following
characteristics with certain other things:
PERSONAL God is a
living person with thoughts, reactions, etc., not an impersonal thing.
is separate from that which He created. The universe itself is
The one Supreme Being who created and sustains all things.
- GOD vs god
When the Bible talks about other "gods" it means
false gods or anything a person puts ahead of
God in priority, such as money. Christians often talk about "Have
you made money your god?", i.e., is making money or keeping money more
important to you than serving God? In English translations "God"
(capitalized) always refers to the God of the Bible, whereas "god"
(lowercase) always refers to false gods or things man puts ahead of God.
A living being that will live forever. Note the technical
difference between eternalness and immortality:
God is eternal because had He had no beginning. He also
is immortal because He will live forever. Humans, angels, demons,
etc., are immortal because we will never cease to exist, but not eternal
because we did not always exist.
It is important to realize that in practice eternal
and immortal are often used interchangeably
and the technical difference is not always maintained.
The belief that there is only one Supreme Being.
Christianity is unique in that it teaches there is only
one God but He has a triune nature, i.e., He
consists of three distinct persons, not one. God has
not chosen to reveal to us exactly how this works.
It is important to distinguish monotheism from
Pantheism is the belief that the universe and god are one
and the same, i.e., that the universe itself is god.
The belief that there is more than one god.
A sentient being has intelligence, is aware
of its own existence, and aware that there is a 'big
picture'. For instance, cats, dogs, and horses have intelligence
but probably are not sentient.
A spirit is a living being that is incorporeal,
i.e., it does not possess a physical body. Note that Jesus took on
a physical human body. It is not an inherent part of His nature. By
comparison, our bodies are part of our human nature but we put on clothes.
The belief that there is a god or gods.
Theistic is an adjective that describes the relationship
between a god and that which it creates. A theistic god does not
distance itself from that which it creates, that it gets actively
involved in the activities of the things it created. In fact,
the God of the Bible 'micromanages' things.
One God consisting of three distinct persons. This
is not the same as three gods.
(c) 1998 by Rick Reinckens
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