Christian, Wife, Mother, Scientist, Traveler

Protestant contrasted to a papist – technically, protestant refers to those churches which came out of the Catholic church in the Reformation (i.e. Lutheran, Dutch Reformed, etc.; those that protested abuses or errors in the Catholic church)  Generally the term is applied to any non-Catholic church.  Papist is anyone who acknowledges the Pope as the head of the church; i.e. Catholics.

Non-Denominational contrasted to denominational – denominational refers to a church or group of churches which operate under a hierarchy of administrative and doctrinal oversight from a central headquarters.  The churches are not autonomous, but receive direction and funds from the hierarchy, and send a stipulated portion of their funds to the central headquarters.  In many cases the church buildings are owned by the denomination, and pastors are assigned by the district or regional leadership.  Non-denominational churches operate independently, with the local church leadership providing the oversight in all areas.  They may engage in various types of fellowship or association with other churches and organizations, but they have the freedom to cease association at any time or to refuse participation in some arena.

Young Earth Creationist contrasted to an evolutionist or neo-evolutionist – a Young Earth Creationist is anyone who believes the world was created by special act of God somewhere less than 10,000 years ago (generally 6000 to 7000 years is the norm).  They believe the days of Genesis 1 are literal 24 hour solar-lunar cycles, and the creation account is intended to be understood literally, including the origin of life for each kind of animal.  Life began through the supernatural act of God.  Evolutionists believe that life began through natural processes, whether by random chance or by divine direction.  They assign millions or billions of years to the age of the earth to accommodate the vast changes that occurred as various kinds of life developed. A neo-evolutionist prescribes to the ancient alien’s concept of humans being seeded on this planet by a species that evolved somewhere else.

Fundamentalist –the Bible is inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of the living God; that it speaks to every area of life; that it shapes one’s worldview accurately; and that it reveals to us where history is headed – One who holds to the fundamentals of Christianity.  Your points are correct.

Literal, grammatical-historical hermeneutic within cultural context of the time period contrasted to needing to be interpreted by a vicor – A vicar is a deputy or representative of an authority.  The Catholic church teaches that the Pope, as the vicar of Christ, and the priests, as vicars of the Pope, are the only capable interpreters of Scripture.  The literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic holds that any believer in Christ is capable of understanding, interpreting, and applying Scripture based on the principles of clear language, and with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Believer’s Baptism, (spiritual) contrasted to paedobaptism or immersion. Believers baptism speaks of the physical baptism administered after a confession of faith in Christ.  It is an outward, physical act that pictures an inward, spiritual reality which occurs at the moment of conversion.  Baptism of the Spirit is that act whereby the Spirit of God places us within the Body of Christ.  Baptism in scripture and all other ancient uses always referred to the act of immersion.  It implies a change that comes as a result of the immersion (ancient Greek pickle recipes describe “baptizing” the cucumbers into the brine, which then come out as pickles).  Paedobaptism is the baptism (usually by sprinkling or pouring) of an infant or child based on the confession of the parents that the child will be raised to believe in Christ.  It is never found in Scripture.

Calvinist, as it pertains to the Doctrine of Election contrasted to Arminianism (partial depravity of man and conditional salvation)  Calvinism refers to five basic theological tenets [TULIP]: Total depravity of man (man is totally incapable of any action to receive God’s favor), Unconditional election (God chooses people for salvation without regard to their choice or response to the Gospel), Limited atonement (the atoning death of Christ is only effective for the elect), Irresistible grace (when God bestows His saving grace on an individual, they are unable to reject salvation), and the Perseverance of the saints (once saved, always saved).  Arminianism teaches that man is totally depraved (fully under the curse and consequences of sin); God conditionally elects people based on their response of faith to the message of the Gospel; Unlimited atonement (that Christ’s death was sufficient for all mankind, but only applicable/effective for those who respond in faith); Resistible grace (that God offers grace to anyone who will believe, but men are free to reject the appeal of the Gospel); and believers can lose their salvation if they stop believing, engage in certain sins, or die with unconfessed sins in their life.  Some people think those are the only two options for identification as believers, but that is not the case.  Many believers disagree with certain points of both Calvinism and Armenianism: some will modify those labels (e.g. 4-point Calvinist), others just don’t use a label.

Dispensationalist progressive unfolding of redemption contrasted to unfolding of redemption of works/covenant of grace framework or promise/fulfillment paradigm of New Covenant Theology making the Mosaic Law obsolete in the law of Christ  Dispensationalism describes an observation in Scripture that God works in different dispensations or administrations as he reveals His plan of salvation to mankind throughout history.  This doesn’t mean there are different ways of salvation – it is always by grace through faith, requiring obedience to God’s revealed will.  Covenant theology essentially teaches that each covenant is a separate plan of salvation, one replacing the previous.  In dispensational theology, the various covenants continue in their effectiveness for the specified people.  As such, God’s covenant with Moses (the rainbow) still stands as a promise to all mankind; God’s covenant with Abraham still stands as a promise to bless all people through his seed (Christ); God’s covenant with Israel still stands as a schoolmaster (the Law) to bring us to Christ; God’s covenant with David still stands as a promise to establish an eternal kingdom through David’s greater son (Christ), and so on.

Cessationist contrasted to continuationists of spiritual gifts – cessationism teaches that the sign gifts (tongues, healings, prophecy, etc.) ceased in regular use once the message of the gospel was authenticated by them and the revelation of scripture was complete with the closing of the New Testament canon.  This doesn’t mean that God cannot still use those gifts in special circumstances.  Continuationists believe that the sign gifts should be normative for Christian experience on a daily basis, as appears to be the case in the book of Acts.  In actuality, the book of Acts demonstrates an initial flurry of sign gifts, gradually diminishing as the church became established.

Futurist contrasted to Preterism (majority of prophecies already fulfilled). Futurism as applied to eschatology means that the book of Revelation describes events which are still future, and will be fulfilled in connection with the return of Christ.  Preterism doesn’t interpret the book literally, but rather symbolically, and teaches that it represents various ages of the church (the 7 churches and the messages to them describing the character of each age). As such, the majority of the prophecies have already been fulfilled.  A problem with preterism is that it requires an inconsistent hermeneutic, sometimes literal, other times symbolic, and there are historic events that don’t fit with their interpretation.

Restorationist (restoration of Jewish Kingdom) contrasted to supersessionist (replacement theology) Supersessionism is largely based on Covenant Theology, wherein God’s covenant with the church replaces God’s covenant with the Jewish people.  The church becomes the inheritor of all the promises made to Abraham and the Jewish people.  In order for that to be true, the various covenant promises must be either nullified or symbolic rather than understanding them literally.  Conversely, Restorationism teaches that the Jews have been and always will be God’s chosen people, and that God will still fulfill the literal promises He made.  It follows a literal-historical-grammatical reading of Scripture.  The church is grafted into the tree of Israel, receiving some of the blessings as chosen people, but national Israel retains its unique identity as the sole recipient of the covenant blessings of the land.  Christ will return to establish His throne in Jerusalem over a restored Jewish kingdom as well as becoming King of kings, ruling over the nations of the world.

Pre-Millennialist contrasted to amillennialist (reject there will be a 1000 year reign of Jesus) Pre-millennials follow a literal-grammatical-historical reading of Scripture, while Amillennials must resort to spiritualizing of millennial prophecies.

Pre-Tribulationist (rapture before tribulation or wrath) contrasted to mid- or post- Again, using a clear language, literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic, the natural reading of Scripture points clearly to a pre-tribulational rapture.  Every other view either twists the simple meaning of verses or ignores them altogether.  It follows an observed principle in Scripture that God provides a way out for His people before He pours out His wrath on unbelievers.  Mid and Post trib positions also blur the lines of distinction between Israel and the church.

add another page.