Every now and then I am going to post on a glossary of theological terms. The list I will be posting is taken directly from T. F. Torrance’s book Incarnation. Eventually I will collate all of these posts into an index, and have it handy for reference purposes; since often times I use these words in some of my own posts. Also I want to use this as an opportunity to expose folks, who haven’t before been exposed to such language. Here we go:

Accommodation — associated with Calvin, the term refers to God’s ‘coming down’ to meet us at our level and make himself known in human language and in ways the human mind can understand.

Active and Passive Obedience — active obedience refers to Jesus’ active fulfilment of the will and law of God and his life of positive human righteousness, while passive obedience refers to his suffering the consequences and judgment of sin.

Adoptionism — the theory that Jesus was born human but adopted to be the Son of God.

Anabaptist (literally ‘re-baptising’) — a term generally referring to movements of the 16 th century which rejected infant baptism and adovacted the baptism (rebaptism) of believers able to decide for themselves.

Anhypostasis and enhypostasis — anhypostasis refers to the fact that the humanity of Jesus had no independent reality of its own apart from the incarnation of the Son, while enhypostasis refers to the fact that the humanity of Jesus did have real personal being in the person of the Son as a result of the incarnation (Gk, an-hypostasis, literally ‘not-person’, ie. with no personal being except in the Son; en-hypostasis, literally ‘in-person’ or ‘person-in’ [the person of the Son]’, ie. having real personal existence in the person of the Son).

Apollinarianism (Apollinarius c. 310-c. 390) — the doctrine that in the incarnation the eternal Word took the place of the human spirit or mind (nous). This was condemned at Constantinople in 381 on the ground that it impaired the perfect humanity of Christ because it meant Jesus did not have a normal human mind.

A posteriori — from experience, by empirical investigation (Lat, ‘from after’, hence following events or experience).

A priori — from first principles, by reason alone, independent of experience (Lat, ‘from the first’).

Feel free to interact, ask questions, that is the point of my doing this. I want to internalize and understand each of these terms better, and hopefully we can do this together.

[all terms taken from: T. F. Torrance, Robert T. Walker, ed., “Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ,” this particular list from p. 345]

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