Worldview Dictionary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A-theology: borrowing a phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche, a theological movement which flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, essentially promoting the idea that religion did not need to invoke the divine.
Abductive Reasoning: is a form of logical inference which starts with an observation or set of observations then seeks to find the simplest and most likely explanation for the observations.
Active Euthanasia: assisted suicide occurring as the deliberate act by a medical professional intended to cause the death of a patient.
Compare with: Passive Euthanasia
Agnosticism: the theological belief that the evidence for the existence of God is inconclusive.
Alethiological Absolutism: the philosophical belief that truth is real (i.e. not a human construction), objective (i.e. has existence), absolute (i.e. unchanging), and universal (i.e. applies across cultures, time periods, and locations).
Alethiological Relativism: the philosophical belief that truth is relative to the individual, culture, time period, and/or location; no absolute or universal truths exist.
Alethiology: the study of truth.
Amino Acid: the basic building block of proteins. There are 20 amino acids which are coded by nucleotides into proteins.
Anarchy: the political belief that government is oppressive and undesirable and should therefore be abolished allowing individuals to govern themselves.
Animal Rights Movement: a form of Radical Environmentalism which places non-human species on par with human beings both intrinsically and morally.
Apologetics: a branch of theology, which seeks to provide a reasoned defense for the Christian faith.
Artificial Intelligence: an artificial mechanism that can mimic human rationality and emotions.
Atheism: the theological state either of being without theistic beliefs, or of actively disbelieving in the existence of any deities.
Axiological Argument: an argument for God’s existence which, in its most basic form, purports that if universal moral laws exists then there must be a moral law giver.
Behaviorism: a branch of psychology which asserts that human behavior can be reduced into terms of principles that do not require consideration of unobservable mental events, such as ideas, emotions, and a mind, i.e. a form of naturalism which claims that all human behavior is the result of materialistic processes and not the free will of the mind.
Biblical Criticism: the critical study and investigation of biblical writings in order to understand the circumstances, background, history, language, authorship, and audience of the written text.
Big Bang Theory: a theory of the cosmos’ origin which purports that the universe arose from a giant explosion around 14 billion years ago.
Bioethics: right conduct in the area of Biotechnology.
Compare with: Biotechnology
Biotechnology: industrial use of living organisms or the application of technique to living organisms.
Bisexual: a person who likes or is attracted to both males and females.
Bourgeoisie: according to Marxism, a class of property owners as well as those who own the means of production; Marxists view the bourgeoisie as the source of society’s problems. Marxists thus call for the elimination of this entire class of people.
See Also: Proletariat
Cambrian Explosion: the sudden geological appearance of most major groups of animals.
Capitalism: an economic system based on the peaceful and free exchange of goods and services without fraud, theft and breech of contract; free market or economy.
Causal Argument: an argument for God’s existence which is a rational reflection of three exhaustive dilemmas regarding the origin of the cosmos: 1) Did the universe have a beginning or has it always existed? 2) Was the beginning caused or uncaused? 3) Was the agent of cause personal or impersonal?
Classless Society: the Marxist sociological vision of a future society free from class antagonism, which will purportedly be brought about by the establishment of communism and the demise of oppressive capitalism.
Coalition Government: a government consisting of an alliance of opposing political groups.
Collectivism: the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution by the people collectively.
Communalism: an economic system in which the community owns the goods and property; a governmental system of autonomous local communities loosely bound in federation.
Communism: the Marxist dream of a future Utopian society brought about by a proletariat revolution and ultimately leading to a classless society in which all property is publicly shared and each person works and is compensated according to their abilities and needs.
Communist Manifesto: the 1848 political tract issued by Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels which outlined the goal and means of achieving of a classless society (i.e. Communism) through a proletarian revolution.
See Also: Marxism
Communist World Government: the end goal of the Marxist dialect — a future one-world communist Utopian state.
Correspondence Theory of Truth: a philosophical belief that a statement is true if it corresponds to the facts of reality.
Cosmic Evolution: the New Age belief that the collective of humanity is progressing toward an age of Higher Consciousness or Enlightenment (i.e. human beings are evolving toward the realization that we are all god).
Cosmology: the study of the structure, origin, and design of the universe.
Creation, Fall, Redemption: the Christian historical belief in the progression of events in God’s creation — that all was created good, but mankind rebelled against God, and requires divine redemption. Thus, all of creation is sacred and stands under the blessing, judgment, and redeeming purposes of God.
Creationism: the belief that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1).
Critical Legal Studies: the deconstruction of law used to discover its subjective meaning and biased intent.
Cult: a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object; a religion.
See Also: Religion
Cultural Relativism: the belief that truth and morals are relative to (or defined by) one’s culture.
Cybernetics: the technological integration of human beings and machines.
Darwinian Evolution: the biological theory of origins which proposes the gradual development of life, over a vast period of time (i.e. millions or billions of years), propelled by Natural Selection, progressing from proteins and amino acids to amebas to simple organisms and finally to more complex life forms like human beings.
Death of God Theology: borrowing a phrase from Friedrich Nietzsche, a theological movement which flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, essentially promoting the idea that religion did not need to invoke the divine.
Decalogue: the Ten Commandments as given to Moses (cf. Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5).
Deconstruction: a theory of literary criticism that seeks to expose the hidden assumptions and prejudices of any written text, emphasizing the “alleged” underlying racist, sexist, homophobic, or bourgeois bias of an author.
Deductive Reasoning: the process of reasoning that starts with an accepted rule (or rules) and generalizes to a specific situation in order to reach a conclusion; if the starting assumption(s) is true, then the conclusion is absolutely certain (e.g. if 5+4 = 9 and 6+3 = 9, then 5+4 = 6+3).
Deep Ecology: a form of Radical Environmentalism that places an intrinsic value on all of nature. This position leads to an eco-centric system of environmental ethics instead of an anthro-centric (people centered) or theo-centric (God centered) system.
Deism: the theological belief that God exists and that He created the world, but that he currently stands completely aloof from His creation.
Design Argument: an argument for God’s existence which, in its most basic form, purports that if something exists that is designed then it has a designer.
Despotism: a government run by an absolute ruler, dictator, king, or tyrant (usually this ruler is cruel and oppressive).
Determinism: the philosophical belief that all natural events, including human actions, are the inevitable consequence in a chain of antecedents.
Compare with: Fatalism, Free Will
Dialectic: an aspect of Hegel’s (and Fichte’s) Idealism that purports that humanity’s philosophical theories are constantly evolving through the conflict of ideas and beliefs — as competing ideas are proposed and assessed, the collective of humanity keeps what is true (or necessary) and progresses forward toward absolute knowledge. The dialectic works through stages or cycles: there is a thesis (a dominant theory) and an antithesis (a viable yet alternative conflicting theory), which will inevitably clash. The result of the struggle and merging that comes from the clash is the synthesis, which becomes the new thesis until challenged by new antithesis. This new thesis will eventually attract another antithesis, and produce a new synthesis. According to the Hegelian Idealist, it is god that is driving this progression and the final stage of absolute knowledge will include some type of collective awareness of our interconnected divinity.
Dialectical Materialism: the Marxist philosophy that combines Naturalism and a distorted version of Hegel’s notion of the Dialectic; the metaphysical belief that materialistic struggles are the mechanism behind social and economic changes (e.g. the current economic clash behind the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie classes will eventually lead to the end of Capitalism and a revolution of Socialism.
Divine Law: any law that comes directly from the character of God via Special Revelation.
Divine Revelation: God’s revealing of Himself and His will through both General Revelation and Special Revelation.
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): a double-strand nucleic acid located in the nucleolus of a cell, DNA is the storehouse for the instructions used to build every protein in an organism.
Documentary Hypothesis: a hypothesis derived from Biblical Criticism which purports that the Pentateuch is a compilation of various sources usually identified as J.E.P.D. — Yahwist author, Elohist author, Deuteronomist author, and Priestly author.
Eco-terrorism: a form of Radical Environmentalism that uses acts of violence, sabotage, vandalism, property damage, or intimidation committed against individuals and companies in the name of environmentalism.
Economic Determinism: the historical belief that economics (or the modes of production and exchange) determines the entire course of history.
Economic Interventionism: the use of political activity undertaken by a state to influence aspects of an economy usually in order to uphold certain moral values.
Embryo: an unborn baby from conception to the eighth week of gestation.
Compare with: Fetus
Emergent Church: a relatively new movement of Christians who are incorporating elements of Postmodernism within their theology.
Empiricism: the philosophical view that knowledge of the world is restricted to our five senses — we can only know what we can touch, taste, feel, smell, and/or hear.
Environmentalism: a broad term that connotes concern and stresses the need for the protection and preservation of the environment.
Epistemology: the study or theory of the origin, nature, methods, and limits of knowledge (or simply, the study of knowledge).
See Also: Metaphysics
Ethical Absolutism: the belief that right and wrong are unchanging, not determined by the individual or the culture; revealed by God through both general and special revelation.
Eugenics: literally meaning “well born,” any attempt to “improve” the genetic qualities of the human race. Such methods include selective breeding, population and birth control, genocide, etc.
Evangelical: a designation for Christians who hold to basic conservative interpretations of the Bible, including the belief in the literal supernatural conception (virgin birth) of Jesus, his resurrection from the dead, and the proclamation of the “evangel” or “good news” of salvation through Christ.
Evolution: the theory that new species arise from Natural Selection acting over vast periods of time on chance Genetic Mutations in reproductively isolated populations.
Evolutionary Godhood: the New Age historical belief that the divine is the source of progression toward godhood (or the realization that we are all god).
Exegesis: extracting an author's original meaning from the text.
See Also: Hermeneutics
Compare with: Isogesis
Existentialism: a philosophic response to Nihilism; the philosophical belief that although life has no inherent purpose, human beings can overcome this situation by creating our own purpose.
Fallacy: an error in either Abductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, or Deductive Reasoning.
Family, Church, State: the Christian sociological belief that society is divided into three God-ordained institutions: family, church, and state.
Fascism: a political system based on national socialism and Darwinian evolution; favors strong centralized government and rejects a free economy and individual liberty.
Fatalism: the philosophical (or religious) belief that all events are merely the product of fate (i.e. predetermined and inevitable) and thus cannot be otherwise
Feminism: a broad term that connotes concern and stresses equality between the sexes.
Compare with: Radical Feminism
Fetus: an unborn baby from the eighth week of gestation until birth.
Compare with: Embryo
Form Criticism: a method of Biblical Criticism that studies and investigates the structural form of a biblical text. The goal is to discover the “pre-historical” oral and written traditions that gave rise to the manuscript which has been handed down to us.
Free Will: the philosophical belief that rational agents possess the power (at least to some extent) to exercise control over their thoughts and actions; the belief that rational agents can initiate unique actions or thoughts which are not the inevitable result of causal natural laws.
Compare with: Fatalism, Determinism
Freedom: liberty of person from slavery, oppression, incarceration.
Gay: a colloquial description of a homosexual or lesbian person.
General Revelation: God’s revelation of Himself and His will to all persons at all times and in all places. This revelation takes place through nature (Psalm 19:1–6; Romans 1:18–20), history (Acts 14:14–18; 17:24–31), and the human heart and conscience (Romans 2:14–15).
Compare with: Special Revelation
Genetic Mutation: changes in the genetic makeup of an organism.
Global Islamic States: the political vision of many Muslims to bring all nations under Shari’ah Law, whether accomplished through peaceful means or Jihad.
Hedonism: the ethical belief that pleasure is the principal good and should be the highest aim of the individual and society.
Hermeneutics: the science of biblical interpretation used to discover the accurate meaning of a given text.
Higher Consciousness: the ever-increasing awareness of one’s spiritual essence and the underlying spiritual nature in all things.
Historical Determinism: the Islamic historical belief that history is not made up of a series of chance happenings; rather, Allah superintends history throughout time, guiding it toward an expression of his will.
Historical Evolution: the Secular Humanist historical belief that history is to be understood in terms of unguided evolution but which can now be guided by the ingenuity of mankind.
Historical Materialism: the Marxist historical belief that society has progressed through economic developments and changes (e.g. social classes, political structures, ideologies, etc.).
Historical Revisionism: the re-interpreting of the past to serve an ideological purpose.
Historicism: the Postmodernist historical belief that past beliefs, morals, and truths should only be understood in relation to the cultural/historical periods in which they arose, not according to any eternal standard of morality and truth.
Homology: the study of the similarity in structure between different organisms.
Homosexual: a person who is sexually attracted primarily to members of her or his own gender.
Humanism: the belief that humanity is the highest of all beings and that truth and knowledge thus rest in science and human reason.
Humanist Manifesto: the title of three manifestos laying out a secular humanist worldview. They are Humanist Manifesto I (1933), Humanist Manifesto II (1973), and Humanist Manifesto III (2000), although the latter is actually titled Planetary Humanism. The central theme of all three is the elaboration of a philosophy and value system that does not include belief in God.
See Also: Secular Humanism
Icons of Evolution: distortions of pro-evolution evidence commonly found in biological textbooks.
Identity Politics: a political ideology which seeks to advance the interests of particular groups in society which have been perceived to be the victims of social injustice.
Ideology: the doctrines, opinions, or way of thinking of an individual or group.
Imago Dei: possessing the image of God.
Imperialism: a national policy of forming and maintaining an empire; the struggle for the control of raw materials and world markets, the subjection and control of territories, and the establishment of colonies.
Inclusivism: the religious belief that in some sense Jesus Christ is somehow superior to other religious figures and that salvation is somehow based upon his person and work.
Inductive Reasoning: the process of reasoning that starts with a general principle and moves toward a rule in order to draw a conclusion; the conclusion is not “absolutely certain” (e.g. a court trial).
Integrity: the quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness, honesty, sincerity.
Intelligent Design: the study of information and design in life and the cosmos.
Interventionism: the use of political activity undertaken by a state to influence aspects of an economy usually in order to uphold certain moral values.
Involuntary Euthanasia: assisted suicide occurring when a second party makes the decision about whether active or passive measures should be taken to end a patient’s life.
Compare with: Voluntary Euthanasia
Irreducible Complexity: the philosophical concept that considers the complexity of living organisms — if any part is removed, the system loses function.
Isogesis: reading a personal bias into a text.
See Also: Hermeneutics
Compare with: Exegesis
Jihad: an Arabic word that means “striving in the way of God.” This striving can take a number of forms, including the daily inner struggle to be a better person or armed struggle fought in defense of Islam.
Justice: fair handling; due reward or treatment.
Justice, Freedom, Order: the Christian political principles of human governments believed to be instituted by God to protect the innocent, punish the guilty, and preserve the rights of all people against the sinful tendencies of mankind.
Kalam Cosmological Argument: an argument for God’s existence which is a rational reflection of three exhaustive dilemmas regarding the origin of the cosmos: 1) Did the universe have a beginning or has it always existed? 2) Was the beginning caused or uncaused? 3) Was the agent of cause personal or impersonal?
Karma: the total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during each phase of existence, determining the person’s destiny.
Law of Biogenesis: a scientific law that states that living things reproduce after their own kind.
Leftism: a political system devoid of Judeo-Christian morality.
Legal Positivism: the humanistic legal school of thought that claims laws are rules made by human beings and that there is no inherent or necessary connection between law and morality.
Lesbian: of or relating to females who experience a sexual attraction toward and responsiveness to other females; a homosexual female.
Liberalism: a political system based on high taxes, strong government control, and relaxed moral concerns.
Liberation Theology: a theological movement which gained much popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, which was primarily a phenomenon among minorities and the oppressed. In Third World nations especially, liberation theology was highly popular because of the oppressive regimes which held sway. Liberation theology holds that Christ not only came to free people from sin, but also from social oppression and oftentimes, liberation theologies were used by oppressed peoples to justify forms of rebellion.
Logic: from the Greek word logos, the study of reasoning.
Macro-evolution: the origin of fundamentally new organisms and plants from other forms of life.
Compare with: Micro-evolution
Maoism: the ideology of Mao Tse-Tung and his communistic teachings.
See Also: Communism
Marxism: the ideology of Karl Marx based upon Atheism, Dialectical Materialism, Punctuated Evolution, Proliferate Ethics, and Socialism.
Materialism: the desire for, or love of, material possessions.
Metanarrative: a single overarching interpretation or narrative of reality; a worldview.
See Also: Worldview
Metaphysical Anti-realism: the metaphysical belief that reality (or what one encounters in the world) is a social and/or mental construction.
Compare with: Metaphysical Realism
Metaphysical Monism: the belief that reality is composed of only one ultimate substance (e.g. naturalism or non-naturalism).
Compare with: Metaphysical Pluralism
Metaphysical Pluralism: the belief that reality is composed of at least two or more ultimate substances.
Compare with: Metaphysical Monism
Metaphysical Realism: the metaphysical belief that what one encounters in the world exists independently of human thought and social construction.
Compare with: Metaphysical Realism
Metaphysics: the study of ultimate reality.
Micro-evolution: small changes within the species of a gene pool.
Compare with: Macro-evolution
Mind/Body Problem: the study of the relationship of the mind (e.g. mental events, mental functions, mental properties, and consciousness) to the physical body.
Modalism: a third century heresy promoted by Sabellius; the mono-theistic belief in one God who appears as three persons: the Father in the Old Testament, the Son in the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit today.
Modernism: a broad and somewhat ambiguous term used to embrace a diverse range of arts, attitudes, philosophies, and cultural moods which emerged following the 18th century Enlightenment. Epistemologically it is characterized by a strong belief in rationalism and science as a well as a strong skepticism in both the supernatural and the authority of religion.
Moral Absolutism: the belief that right and wrong are unchanging, not determined by the individual or the culture; revealed by God through both general and special revelation.
Moral Law: the part of Natural Law that defines the consequences for the moral choices made by men and women. According to Christianity original sin accounts for mankind’s inability to abide strictly by the moral law.
Moral Relativism: the belief that ethics (i.e. right and wrong) are arbitrary and transitory, determined by, or relative to, the individual or the culture.
Compare with: Moral Absolutism
Morality: the study of what is good/evil, right/wrong.
Nanotechnology: engineering and manufacturing at the molecular level.
Natural Law: physical and moral laws revealed in general revelation and built into the structure of the universe (as opposed to the laws imposed by human beings).
Natural Selection: the concept developed by Charles Darwin that genes which produce characteristics that are more favorable in a particular environment will be more abundant in the next generation.
Naturalism: the philosophical belief that reality is composed solely of matter and that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes (e.g., law of gravity).
Nazism: a political system based on national Socialism (National Socialist German Workers Party), and Darwinian Evolution, and dictatorship.
Negative Apologetics: answers to objections to the Christian faith (defensive).
Neo-Darwinian Evolution: the theory that new species arise from Natural Selection acting over vast periods of time on chance Genetic Mutations in reproductively isolated populations.
Neo-Orthodoxy: founded as a response to the liberalization within Christian theology, this movement stressed 1) the primacy of revelation while downplaying natural theology and human reason and 2) the near total transcendence and incomprehensibility of God.
New World Order: the New Age dream of a future utopian society brought about through the attainment of collective human attainment of Higher Consciousness, in which humanity will develop the capacity for worldwide Self-government.
Nihilism: the philosophical view that the world, and especially human existence, is without meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value.
Non-Naturalism: the belief that everything is a part of God and in essence, spiritual. The things that we can see and feel are only a manifestation of spirit, and all matter will melt away when universal consciousness is achieved.
Non-Traditional Church: an organization that provides the functions and services of a traditional religious organization while holding non-traditional beliefs.
Non-Traditional Family: a number of alternatives to traditional marriage including modified open marriage, triads, cooperatives, collectives, urban communes, extended intimates, swinging, group marriage, same-sex marriage, part-time marriage, etc.
Non-Traditional State: the political view that advocates non-traditional legislation for promoting social change.
Occult: the body of knowledge that is hidden or secret in the areas of the paranormal, preternatural or supernatural.
Ontology: a subcategory of metaphysics; the philosophical study of existence and being.
See Also: Metaphysics
Panentheism: the theological belief that God is immanent, yet still transcendent, within the universe.
Pantheism: the theological belief that god is everything and everything is god.
Passive Euthanasia: assisted suicide occurring when a medical professional withdraws extraordinary medical treatment consequently allowing a patient’s demise.
Compare with: Active Euthanasia
Personhood: the philosophical and psychological debate over what constitutes “being a person.”
Philosophy: literally “the love of wisdom;” a study of the processes governing thought and conduct and ultimate reality.
Polyandry: the practice of having more than one husband.
Compare with: Polygamy
Polygamy: the practice of having more than one wife.
Compare with: Polyandry
Polygamy, Mosque, Islamic State: the Islamic sociological belief that society is divided into three God-ordained institution: family (which can be polygamous), mosque, and state.
Polymorphous Sexualities: the belief that individuals can exist in more than one gender form — based upon one’s sexual identity and preference; (including gay, bi-sexual, lesbian, transgendered, transsexual, etc.).
Pop Culture: consists of widespread cultural elements in any given society.
Positive Apologetics: supplying reasons for believing the Christian faith (offensive).
Positive Law: the humanistic legal school of thought that claims laws are rules made by human beings and that there is no inherent or necessary connection between law and morality.
Postmodernism: a broad and somewhat ambiguous term used to describe a philosophical and cultural reaction to the convictions of Modernism (which is sometimes equated with Humanism). Postmodernism is the philosophical proposal that reality is ultimately inaccessible by human investigation, that knowledge is a social construction, that truth-claims are political power plays, and that the meaning of words is to be determined by readers not authors. In brief, reality is what individuals or social groups make it to be.
Principle of Excluded Middle: “A” is not “non-A” (e.g. white is not non-white).
Principle of Identity: “A” is “A” (e.g. white is white).
Principle of Non-contradiction: a thing cannot be both A and non-A at the same time and in the same sense (e.g. a color cannot be both white and blue).
Private Property: a possession to which its owner has legal title and/or a natural right.
See Also: Stewardship
Proletariat: the blue-collar working class generally property-less.
See Also: Bourgeoisie
Proletariat Law: a legal system established by state authority that favors the interest of the working people.
Proletariat Morality: the Marxist ethical belief that whatever advances the Proletariat and the cause of Communism is morally good and whatever hinders the proletariat or communism is morally evil.
Protein: Of the 20 amino acids, proteins are unique chains made up of the 20 amino acids and can include 1000s of amino acids that function as miniature machines, doing the day-to-day work of the cell, such as maintenance, growth, and repair.
Pseudo-Christian Religion: a group of people gathered around an individual (a group of individuals or an organization), who, while claiming to be the true Christian Church and teach true Christianity, actually distorts and denies the foundational and distinctive doctrines of the Christian faith.
Psychological Dualism: the psychological belief that the human mind and the body exist as separate entities — material bodies and spiritual souls.
Psychological Monism: the psychological belief that the human brain and mind are both are not two separate entities but the same substance (usually either matter or spirit but not both).
Punctuated Equilibrium: the theory of evolution that proposes that evolutionary changes occur over a relatively quick period of time, followed by periods of little to no evolutionary change.
Punctuated Evolution: the theory of evolution that proposes that evolutionary changes occur over a relatively quick period of time, followed by periods of little to no evolutionary change.
Quest for the Historical Jesus: a movement within secular Christian scholarship that is seeking to discover the “true” Jesus of history. Those that are part of this quest assume that parts of the Gospels were embellished by their authors, specifically any accounts of miracles or the fulfillment of prophecy and sometimes accounts in which Jesus claims to be the Son the God.
Radical Environmentalism: an extreme form of environmentalism that views humanity as a mere animal and a plague upon nature and the environment. Radical environmentalists often resort to non-traditional forms of activism (e.g. eco-terrorism).
Compare with: Environmentalism
Radical Feminism: an extreme form of feminism that rejects any inherent differences between the sexes. Radical feminism seeks to challenge all traditional gender standards and looks down on other women who have chosen the occupation of wife and/or mother. Radical feminists also generally promote promiscuity, lesbianism, abortion, and state-run child care.
Compare with: Feminism
Redaction Criticism: a method of Biblical Criticism used to discern how a text has been redacted or “edited” over time. The goal is to discover what the ancient author actually wrote as opposed to what has been changed and handed down to us. The assumption is that the biblical text has been altered over time.
Religion: any specific system of belief, worship, or conduct that prescribes certain responses to the existence (or non-existence) of God.
See Also: Cult
Religious Pluralism: the belief that one should be tolerant of all religious beliefs because no one religion can be true.
Resurrection: a rising from the dead; returning to life following death (1 Corinthians 15).
Ribosome: a two-part molecular factory which translates and assembles specific amino acids sequences from information stored in DNA and transmitted via RNA.
RNA (Ribonucleic Acid): a single-strand nucleic acid located in the nucleolus of a cell, RNA primarily functions as the vehicle for transmitting the genetic information found in DNA into proteins.
Sabellianism: a third century heresy promoted by Sabellius; the mono-theistic belief in one God who appears as three persons: the Father in the Old Testament, the Son in the New Testament, and the Holy Spirit today.
Salvific Exclusivism: the religious historical Christian belief that the Bible is God’s word and that the person and work of Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation.
Salvific Inclusivism: the religious belief that in some sense Jesus Christ is somehow superior to other religious figures and that salvation is somehow based upon his person and work.
Salvific Particularism: the religious historical Christian belief that the Bible is God’s word and that the person and work of Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation.
Salvific Pluralism: the religious belief that Christianity and Christ are not unique or superior to other religions or religious figures. Salvation can be found through means other than Jesus Christ.
Salvific Restrictivism: the religious belief that only those who hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be saved [all salvific restrictivists are salvific particularists, but not necessarily vice-versa].
Salvific Universalism: the religious belief that everyone (or virtually everyone) will find salvation after death.
Scientism: the philosophical view that knowledge of the world is restricted to our five senses — we can only know what we can touch, taste, feel, smell, and/or hear.
Second Law of Thermodynamics: a natural scientific law that states that although the total energy in the cosmos remains constant, the amount of energy available to do useful work is always decreasing.
Secular Humanism: a religious worldview in which “man is the measure;” mankind is the ultimate norm by which truth and values are to be determined; all reality and life center upon human beings; we act as God.
Secular World Government: a non-religious political body that would make, interpret, and enforce a set of laws internationally.
Self Actualization: the highest level of a person’s potential and the ultimate goal of Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” (a theory contending that as humans meet their basic needs, they seek to satisfy successively higher needs).
Self-government: the New Age political perspective that maintains that each divine individual is evolving the ability govern him or herself.
Self-law: the New Age legal perspective that maintains that actions are lawful only if honorable to the god within and unlawful if imposed by an outside authority.
Sexual Egalitarianism: the Postmodern sociological belief that all sexual practices — which are based on preference and sexual identity (or polymorphous sexualities) and not physical characteristics — are equal.
Shari'ah Law: Islamic law derived from the Qur’an and the Hadith and applied to the public and private lives of Muslims within Islamic states. Shari’ah law governs many aspects of day-to-day life — politics, economics, banking, business, contracts, social issues, etc.
Situational Ethics: a particular view of ethics, in which absolute standards are considered less important than the requirements of a particular situation. The standards used may, therefore, vary from one situation to another, and may even contradict one another.
Compare with: Moral Relativism
Social Justice: the political belief that governments have a moral duty to a) pass laws to protect certain people groups and b) utilize money collected from taxes to fund government programs that seek to benefit certain people groups.
Socialism: an economic system in which the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution (land, factories, railroads, etc) are controlled by the government. According to Marxism, socialism (i.e. abolition of private property) is the transitional phase between capitalism and communism.
See Also: Communism
Socially-Constructed Selves: the belief that one’s identity is constantly changing as a result of ever-changing social factors.
Source Criticism: a method of Biblical Criticism that seeks to discover the original source(s) used in compiling a text. The assumption is that some biblical authors used other sources when composing their manuscripts (e.g. Matthew and Luke borrowed from Mark’s Gospel).
Special Revelation: God’s revelation of Himself and His will to particular persons at definite times and places. This revelation is found in miraculous events (e.g. the Exodus), is recorded in the Scriptures (Psalm 19:7–11); 2 Timothy 3:14–17), and is located supremely in Jesus Christ (John 1:1–18). It is the means by which human beings come to know of salvation.
Compare with: General Revelation
Spontaneous Generation: the biological belief that non-living matter became living matter through purely natural processes.
State: the body of government as organized for supreme civil rule.
Statism: a political system in which the concentration of economic controls and planning is held by a highly centralized government.
Stem Cells: cells in the body that have not been diversified into heart cells, brain cells, etc.
Stewardship: the science, art, and skill of responsible and accountable management of resources; the religious belief that God is the ultimate owner of everything and that human beings have been given the responsibility to manage and care for His creation.
Supernaturalism: the belief that reality is more than nature; that an above nature agency intervenes in the course of Natural Law.
Teleological Argument: an argument for God’s existence which, in its most basic form, purports that if something exists that is designed then it has a designer.
Teleology: the study of design and purpose in nature.
Textual Criticism: a method of Biblical Criticism that compares various versions of a biblical text in an effort to discover its the author’s “original wording” (e.g. comparing the collection known as the Majority Text to the collection known as the Minority Text).
Theism: the theological belief in the existence of a supernatural deity or multiple supernatural deities.
Theistic Evolution: the belief that God works through, or guides, the natural process of evolution.
Theocracy: a government system in which the ruling power claims Divine sanction.
Theology: the study of God and the relations between God, mankind, and the universe.
Totalitarianism: a political system in which the concentration of economic controls and planning is held by a highly centralized government.
Transcendental Argument: a rational comparison of atheism and theism that focuses on the practical outcomes of both worldviews.
Transgender: of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender, but combines or moves between these.
Transgenics: insertion of DNA of one species into the genetic code of another species.
Tri-theism: the polytheistic belief in three separate and distinct gods: Father, Son, and Spirit.
Trinitarianism: the monotheistic belief in one God recognized as three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Spirit.
Truth: conformity to knowledge, fact, actuality, or logic.
Unitarianism: the monotheistic belief that the Father is God, the Son is merely a creature, and the Holy Spirit is an impersonal force (i.e. something similar to electricity).
Universal Enlightened Production: the New Age economic belief that positive thought creates wealth.
Universalism: the religious belief that everyone (or virtually everyone) will find salvation after death.
Utilitarianism: an ethical framework that posits that all actions should be directed toward achieving the greatest utility for the greatest number of people (that the end justifies the means).
Utopianism: visionary scheme for a man-made perfect society on earth.
Values Clarification: a movement in public education that promotes the ethical belief that values change over time in response to changing life experiences; a technique for discovering one’s own personal values.
Viability: the ability to survive on one’s own and grow to adulthood.
Voluntary Euthanasia: assisted suicide occurring when an un-coerced patient chooses to end his or her life.
Compare with: Involuntary Euthanasia
Worldview: any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man’s relation to God and the world.
Xenotransplantation: the use of animal tissues, organs, or cells transplanted to or used for contact with human subjects.
Zen: an approach to religion, arising from Buddhism, that seeks religious enlightenment by meditation in which there is no consciousness of self.