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Glory

(688 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič
1. The Hebrew term for “glory” ( kābôd, also “weight”) has its basis in secular usage. Human glory consists of the “weight” carried in a community; that is, regard. Yahweh’s glory expresses power, loftiness, and beauty. It accompanies his revelation (Exod. 24:16; Isaiah 6; Ezekiel 1), indicating both proximity and inaccessibility (God; Revelation). It seals the faithfulness manifested in the covenant between God and humankind. Thus the concluding of the covenant at Sinai is crowned by the revelation of God’s glory (Exod. 24:15–17). Eschatologically this glory is manifested …

Atheism

(820 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič
1. Definition and Typology In antiquity, Gk. atheos described those who questioned the ruling religion and its gods. Thus not only the materialist Epicurus (341–270 b.c.) but also the philosophical believer Socrates (d. 399 b.c.) could be accused of atheism. Similarly Jews and Christians often appeared to be atheists to religious contemporaries. In the modern sense of godlessness or a general denial of God, the term “atheism” first occurs in European thought in the 16th and 17th centuries. We must distinguish various kinds of atheism, for the t…

Apocatastasis

(609 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič
The term “apocatastasis” (Greek for “restitution, recovery”; = Lat. restitutio, the restoration of all things, universal reconciliation) was coined in ancient philosophy. It occurs in the NT only in Acts 3:21, and there not in a technical sense. Church tradition quickly adopted it to sum up the thrust of such NT passages as Col. 1:20; 1 Cor. 15:21–28; Rom. 5:18; 11:32, namely, that the saving will of God, eschatologically realized in Jesus Christ, will finally reach even the last of sinners. All will be reconciled; all will be saved. When developed …

Evil

(1,098 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič
1. The Problem Encounters with manifestations of evil are among the most elementary of human experiences. Both in individual and in social life, the problem of evil arises in many forms, including evil deeds, life-threatening structures, and evil as naked power. Philosophy and religion in particular deal with evil, and also with action aimed at overcoming its manifestations. The definition of evil varies considerably. It depends upon the anthropological premise, but especially upon the understandin…

Assurance of Salvation

(1,201 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič | Marquardt, Manfred
1. Biblical Framework “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). This classic NT definition covers the whole field of the Christian striving for assurance of salvation. Faith as the response to salvation, as its appropriation, is not something that we see or have. It is a pilgrimage (Phil. 3:12). It is unthinkable without the element of the “not yet” (see 1 Cor. 13:12). It is not skeptical vacillation, however, or a nomadic course of life with no goal. As hopeful confidence and well-founded conviction, faith str…

Hope

(3,497 words)

Author(s): Bietenhard, Hans | Stock, Konrad | Lochman, Jan Milič
1. The Bible 1.1. Usage The biblical vocabulary of hope includes also important terms that are rendered “expect,” “wait,” “trust,” and “rely.” 1.2. OT Eccl. 9:4 states a general truth in saying that “whoever is joined with all the living has hope.” What is hoped for is something positive (e.g., marriage and children, Ruth 1:9, 12). Hope can be disappointed, such as that of the owner of the vineyard in Isa. 5:2, 4, 7. Those who suffer can be without hope or have only a distant object of hope (Job 6:19–20); they can complain to God, who has “uprooted” their hope (Job 19:10). Hope reaches only up …

Apostles’ Creed

(898 words)

Author(s): Lochman, Jan Milič | Meijering, Eginhard P.
1. History and Setting The Apostles’ Creed, an early confession (Confession of Faith), was first referred to as the Symbolum apostolorum in a letter from the Council of Milan (390) to Pope Syricius (384–99). According to an ancient tradition, its text arose from an attempt by the apostles to formulate a common rule of faith, with each apostle contributing a statement. This story, told by T. Rufinus (ca. 345–411), is merely a legend, but it does illustrate the high esteem in which the text was held. The setting of the Apostles’ Creed was early Christian baptism. Statements of fai…

Eschatology

(8,330 words)

Author(s): Fahlbusch, Erwin | Preuss, Horst Dietrich | Karrer, Martin | Lochman, Jan Milič | Ciobotea, Dan-Ilie | Et al.
Overview Eschatology is traditionally the doctrine of the last things (from Gk. eschatos, denoting what is last in time). It is of particular interest in modern theology, which speaks of a new phase and of the “eschatologizing” of all theology. At the same time, the haziness of the term (it is also used outside theology) and its varied use seem to make it an example of linguistic confusion in theology. The word was used first by the strict Lutheran theologian Abraham Calovius (1612–86), who, at the end of his 12-volume dogmatics, dealt with death, resurrection, t…