Unction

Dictionary.com

noun
1. an act of anointing, especially as a medical treatment or religious rite.
2. an unguent or ointment; salve.
3. something soothing or comforting.
4. an excessive, affected, sometimes cloying earnestness or fervor in manner, especially in speaking.
5. Religion.
the oil used in religious rites, as in anointing the sick or dying.
the shedding of a divine or spiritual influence upon a person.
the influence shed.
extreme unction.
6. the manifestation of spiritual or religious inspiration.


Etymonline.com

“act of anointing as a religious rite,” late 14c., from Latin unctionem (nominative unctio) “anointing,” from unctus, past participle of ungere “to anoint” (see unguent).


This term may not appear as much as some but it can easily sound foreign to even a Christian if they haven’t stopped to consider its meaning and context.

To follow are some words from the message spoken at my own church this morning on this very term:

Unction is the “manifestation of spiritual influence and inspiration; it is the special filling or coming of the Holy Spirit, which makes the Word of God run from the mouth of the preacher to the hearts of the hearers!” An unknown Scottish preacher defined unction this way: “It is a sweet violence that pierceth into the heart and affections and comes immediately from the Lord. We call it unction.”

 


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Theology – part 3

Theology can be said to have 4 broad categories or areas of focus within it. These would include:

  1. Exegetical Theology
  2. Historical Theology
  3. Systematic Theology
  4. Practical Theology

Exegetical Theology. It is looking at the Bible as such; it “…includes all that belongs to the explanation and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures (1).” This is the area of theology focused on things such as Greek text, Hebrew text, textual criticism, hermeneutics, exegesis, biblical theology, and more. This area always begins with looking at the text of Scripture itself and the interpretation of its content.

Historical Theology. This traces the history of Church doctrines and their development. This area of theology naturally traces doctrinal differences, the Church’s understanding of the Scriptures, and the Church’s response to heresy. As this area closely follows the Church through history, you also see the rise & fall of territorial and denominational differences.

Systematic Theology. This theology can be described as the “child” of the previous two. From dictionary.com, it is “…a form of theology in which the aim is to arrange religious truths in a self-consistent whole (2).” It includes apologetics, dogmatics, ethics, and polemics. This is where various studies of the faith come together into a greater, cohesive framework. Dispensationalism and Covenantalism are theologies of the systematic sort as they seek to tie various scriptures together, albeit, with different approaches (giving implications of differences in other areas of theology as well).

Practical Theology. If systematic theology is the “child”, practical theology is the “grandchild” of the first two areas. As the name implies, you get to see Scripture lived out. This includes areas of study within homiletics, liturgy, poimenics, catechetics, church order, and missions. All of these involve the methodologies employed as the gospel is shared in preaching, worship, outreach, and more.

With each of these broad areas, there are sub-areas as you have now seen. Some of these have already been addressed in previous posts as part of this series, and I have therefore linked them for your convenience. Expect to see some of these other terms in future posts for your reading convenience.

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Sources:

  1. http://www.biblicalcyclopedia.com/E/exegetical-theology.html
  2. dictionary.com

Torah & Pentateuch

Dictionary.com

Torah

noun, ( sometimes lowercase)
1. the Pentateuch, being the first of the three Jewish divisions of the OldTestament.Compare Tanach.

2. a parchment scroll on which the Pentateuch is written, used in synagogue services.
3. the entire body of Jewish religious literature, law, and teaching as contained chiefly in the Old Testament and the Talmud.
4. law or instruction.

Etymonline.com

Torah

“the Pentateuch,” 1570s, from Hebrew torah, literally “instruction, law,” verbal noun from horah “he taught, showed.”

Pentateuch

first five books of the Bible, c. 1400, from Late Latin pentateuchus (Tertullian, c.207), from Greek pentateukhos (c. 160), originally an adjective (abstracted from phrase pentateukhos biblos), from pente “five” (from PIE root *penkwe- “five”) + teukhos “implement, vessel, gear” (in Late Greek “book,” via notion of “case for scrolls”), literally “anything produced,” related to teukhein “to make ready,” from PIE *dheugh- “to produce something of utility” (see doughty). Glossed in Old English as fifbec.


In this week’s post, things are easily defined. The Torah is the Hebrew term for what is also called the Pentateuch (Greek/Latin). In other words, they are two names from different languages for the exact same thing. You will also hear it called “The Law” in English as this is a translation of the Hebrew term.

Personally, I find both terms helpful. Torah = the law which is very telling of the content contained within. Also, to call it the Pentateuch is helpful as Penta means 5 as is seen above in the etymonline entry. There are 5 books in the Pentateuch/Torah which include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy which are the first 5 books of the Old Testament section of the Bible.

That’s all there is to it. Of course, there are other names for other sections of the Bible but that’s out of the scope of this post. Look’em up if you’re curious!

 


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Holy

Dictionary.com

adjectiveholier, holiest.

1. specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated:

holy ground.
2. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man.
3. saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life.
4. having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.
5. entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.
6. religious: holy rites.
7. inspiring fear, awe, or grave distress: The director, when angry, is a holy terror.
nounplural holies.
8. a place of worship; sacred place; sanctuary.

Etymonline.com

holy (adj.)
Old English halig “holy, consecrated, sacred; godly; ecclesiastical,” from Proto-Germanic *hailaga- (source also of Old Norse heilagr, Danish hellig, Old Frisian helich “holy,” Old Saxon helag, Middle Dutch helich, Old High German heilag, German heilig, Gothic hailags “holy”), from PIE *kailo- “whole, uninjured” (see health). Adopted at conversion for Latin sanctus.

Primary (pre-Christian) meaning is not possible to determine, but probably it was “that must be preserved whole or intact, that cannot be transgressed or violated,” and connected with Old English hal (see health) and Old High German heil “health, happiness, good luck” (source of the German salutation Heil). Holy water was in Old English.

Holy has been used as an intensifying word from 1837; in expletives since 1880s (such as holy smoke, 1883, holy mackerel, 1876, holy cow, 1914, holy moly etc.), most of them euphemisms for holy Christ or holy Moses. Holy Ghost was in Old English (in Middle English often written as one word). Holy League is used of various European alliances; the Holy Alliance was that formed personally by the sovereigns of Russia, Austria, and Prussia in 1815; it ended in 1830.


Obviously, the word “holy” has quite a history and didn’t always mean what it does today – at least in the common vernacular. Scripturally speaking, we see much more consistency as to its meaning.

The definitions above hint or point to the words meaning but don’t come out and say it so I will. The word “holy” is to be “set apart”. It designates sacred things, persons, etc. because these are set apart from others in one fashion or another. It is a word that says something both about what it is describing as well as what is not being described with that word.

When talking about God, this means God is inherently separate from human beings. This becomes all the more obvious when considering God’s other characteristics.

  • He is infinite. We are finite.
  • He is immortal. We are mortal.
  • He is spirit. We are created material.
  • He is holy. We are inherently unholy.

…I think you start getting the idea.

 


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Old vs Young-Earth Creationism (Creationism part 4)

Summation Chart – Young vs. Old Earth

Young-Earth Old-Earth
Thousands of years Millions even billions of years
A literal reading of Genesis 1-2 An at least partially symbolic reading of Genesis 1-2
A largely unified position Unified in old planetary/universe age and in symbolic reading. Varied on just about everything else.
 The creation story is historical narrative. The creation story is allegory, metaphorical, etc. At most, it is only partly narrative.
The fall of man brought death into the world (though there are those who do allow some form of death before the fall). Death was part of the creation from very early and definitely before man’s fall.
Accepts science but rejects anything that appears to clash with the literal interpretation Accepts much of what has been found by modern science as fact

Young and Old-Earth creationists hold mankind to be a special creation of God.

I hope this mini-series has serviced to help shed light on the subject of creationism. If any of this has peaked your interest, I recommend you use the material here as a starting point. To follow, you will find additional information that will help you in such an endeavor.

For further reading:

If you have yet to read the previous Creationism articles, use the following links to take you to each. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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