I have always loved words. I once got a huge (10 pounds) dictionary for Christmas one year… boy, was I excited! I couldn’t wait to use it during our next game of family Scrabble and beat everyone with the amazing words I would spell. I also just loved perusing the old dictionary and finding new words I had never heard of. (Nerd alert!)
But it’s that love of words that has helped me as I study the Bible. There are SO many words in the Bible that describe God, His character, His abilities, His attributes, and more. And, while there will NEVER be enough words to fully describe God, I love learning about the ones that make a good attempt.
In theology there are huge words that are sometimes very hard to understand. I call them 50-Cent Theology Words (a term my dad used in the pulpit when I was a kid). They’re the really big ones that catch you off guard and make you wonder what they mean. Theologians will occasionally throw out a big word (I’m talking 4 syllables) and just expect everyone to know what that means! Yikes!
So, I have written several posts about a few different 50-Cent Theology Words (as I like to call them) that will help us understand just what these big words mean and, therefore, understand God better.
There are great books out there that have helped me in understanding these big theological words (and, yes, sometimes I just ask my seminarian husband), so a lot of the explanations I will share will come from theologians who have studied much more and much longer than I have. We have a lot to learn from them so their input is valuable.
This blog post you are reading will be updated regularly with new 50-Cent Theology Words to learn. So bookmark this page and come back to learn more! And, if you ever find a word that you don’t know the meaning of, ask me! If I don’t know, I will find out for you.
Okay, now to the 50-Cent Theology Words! Enjoy!
Aseity | “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:2 “Children sometimes ask, ‘Who made God?’ The clearest answer is that God never needed to be made, because he was always there. He exists in a different way from us: we, his creatures, exist in a dependent, derived, finite, fragile way, but our Maker exists in an eternal, self-sustaining, necessary way—necessary, that is, in the sense that God does not have it in him to go out of existence, just as we do not have it in us to live forever…” Continue Reading
Infinity | “To infinity and beyond!” What a statement from a little, plastic toy. 😆 But our God, the God of the Bible, is actually infinite. More so than we could ever comprehend. Here’s what Berkhof says in his Systematic Theology book:”The infinity of God is that perfection of God by which He is free from all limitations. In ascribing it to God we deny that there are or can be any limitations to the divine Being or attributes. It implies that He is in no way limited by the universe, by this time-space world, or confined to the universe…” Continue Reading
Immutability | “If God were not immutable, He would not be God. Change in God would diminish His being and, therefore, make Him become less and less. Which is not who God is. He is YHWH, the great I AM. He is being, not becoming. This is also why we rely on Him for our own becoming and being. He exists outside of time because He always is, but that does not mean He is not at work in our lives. Scripture assures us that He IS always working in the world and in us…” Continue Reading
Anthropomorphic | “Well, that is really a mouthful! But once we know the meaning of this big word, we will see that it is full of grace toward us. Here’s what R. C. Sproul says:
‘Anthropomorphic comes from the Greek word anthrōpos, which means ‘man,’ ‘mankind,’ or ‘human,’ and morphology is the term for the study of forms and shapes. Therefore, we can easily see that anthropomorphic simply means ‘in human form.’ When we read in Scripture that the heavens are God’s throne and the earth is His footstool…'” Continue Reading