Second Advent

Three Theological Words that Sound Alike

A lot of people talk about getting a “stint” in an artery, but they really mean a “stent.”  I created a saying to keep things clear: “I went for a stint in the hospital to get a stent. It was quite a stunt.”

Like everyone else, I get my words confused. This can easily happen when discussing theology.  An internet friend pointed out that, in some of my comments on a discussion forum, I had used the word “immanent” instead of the correct word in that context, “imminent.”

I thanked him, and, upon pondering his comments, remembered yet another similar word, “eminent.” 

“Time to write an article,” I thought to myself.

So this article is about three words that sound alike, have different meanings, but all communicate important ideas in our theology.

Immanent

First in our study of sound-alike theological words is the word, “immanent.”  This word is not well defined in a dictionary, so I turn to Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, p. 267.

Grudem writes:

The technical term used to speak of God’s involvement in creation is the word immanent, meaning “remaining in” creation. The God of the Bible is no abstract deity removed from, and uninterested in his creation.

This stands in contrast to beliefs embraced by some of America’s founding fathers who were Deists. Deists believe God created everything and then left, leaving us to fend for ourselves without His intervention or supervision.

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The Coming of Christ

(About this series)

CHAPTER V - THE COMING OF CHRIST

BY PROFESSOR CHARLES R. ERDMAN, D. D., PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY

The return of Christ is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. It is embodied in hymns of hope; it forms the chmax of the creeds; it is the subHme motive for evangehstic and missionary activity; and daily it is voiced in the inspired prayer: “Even so: Come, Lord Jesus.”

It is peculiarly a Scriptural doctrine. It is not, on the one hand, a dream of ignorant fanatics, nor, on the other, a creation of speculative theologians; but it is a truth divinely revealed, and recorded in the Bible with marked clearness, emphasis and prominence.

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The Hope of the Church

(About this series)

CHAPTER VIII: THE HOPE OF THE CHURCH

BY REV. JOHN MCNICOL, B. A., B. D., PRINCIPAL OF THE TORONTO BIBLE TRAINING SCHOOL

There are many indications of a revival of interest in the study of eschatology. The latest attack upon the Christian faith is being directed against the eschatological teaching of the New Testament. The Christian Church was founded upon the promise of a speedy return of Christ to establish His Kingdom in the world, but its history has taken an entirely different course. The expectation of the early Christians was not fulfilled. The teaching of the apostles has been falsified. Such is the argument that is now being used in some quarters to discredit the founders of Christianity. This is compelling Christian scholars to give renewed attention to the teaching of the new Testament about the Lord’s second coming, and will doubtless lead to more earnest and thorough examination of the whole outlook of Christ and His apostles upon the future.

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