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Wrath of God

(4,386 words)

Author(s): Smend, Rudolf | Hübner, Hans | Slenczka, Notger
1. OT 1.1. Using anthropomorphic or anthropopathic language, many religions described their gods in human terms; they could thus see them as wrathful. Fear of divine wrath was undoubtedly one of the main motivations behind the development of religion and also of the cult. Israel was close to its neighbors in this regard, as may be seen from an inscription of King Mesha of Moab (mid-9th cent. b.c.), who, speaking of the long-standing oppression of Moab by King Omri of Israel (§1.5), attributes it to the wrath of Chemosh, the Moabite god (KAI 181.5; TUAT 1.647; cf. 2 Kgs. 3:27). 1.2. Mention of …

Sign

(3,172 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Enno | Brown, Robert F. | Slenczka, Notger
1. Term A sign in the most general sense is something understood to stand for something else, for something other than the sign itself. To serve as a sign, it must be recognized as signifying what it stands for. People and computer programs recognize and employ signs. To determine whether other animals do too depends on what counts as a sign, and on the assessment of their cognitive and instinctual functions. There is no unanimity as to what counts as a sign or how to classify different sorts of signs. Some signs have a direct or natural connection between their characteristics or oc…

Reformation Principles

(524 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
1. By the term “Reformation principles” the Formula of Concord and Protestant orthodoxy (§1) understand negatively slanted formulations of the doctrine of justification, above all sola fide, “by faith alone,” on the basis of Martin Luther’s (1483–1546) rendering of Romans 3:28 (see LW  ¶ 35.187ff.; Faith 3.5.3). This exclusion of works as a ground of justification does not mean the isolating of faith but singles out justifying faith because it receives the righteousness of Christ that is given by grace alone. The formula thus has the implication of solus Christus (Christ alone) and sol…

Sacramentality

(1,630 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
1. Term The term “sacramentality” and the related adjective “sacramental” have no single meaning but are used in different ways in different connections. Formally, “sacramentality” is an abstract term based on “sacrament” and denoting what is essential to a sacrament as such. It serves, then, to show with what right the church describes various actions as sacraments. In this sense M. J. Scheeben (1835–88) raised the question of the sacramentality of marriage (pp. 593–610). By its very nature the term “sacramentality” looks beyond the question of the number of sacramen…

International Council of Community Churches

(493 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
The International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) is a national organization of independent churches in the United States. It works particularly to foster a sense of Christian loyalty to a church’s own community, instead of primary loyalty going to a denomination or other organization outside that community. Its fourfold stated vision is to “affirm individual freedom of conscience; protect and promote church self-determination; proclaim that the love of God, which unites, can overcome any d…

Ubiquity

(692 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
1. In the context of Christian theology, ubiquity, or the teaching that God is everywhere (Lat. ubique), is related to the distinction between God and the world (i.e., God’s transcendence). The omnipresence of God shows clearly that the divine transcendence (Immanence and Transcendence) does not mean that the Creator is alongside the creature but involves the direct permeation of every creature by the Creator, who has given it its being and maintains it in being ( conservatio; Creation). Pantheism, which stresses the unity of God with the world, does at least resist the…

Hypostatic Union

(410 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] This term refers to the clarification of the mode of the unity of God and human in Christ gained in the course of the Early Church's christological disputes (Christology) by differentiating between the Greek ϕύσις/ phýsis (Lat. natura) and ὑπόστασις/ hypóstasis (Lat. suppositum/ persona): it describes a unity of deity and humanity on the level of the ὑπόστασις (Hypostasis) despite the difference in the natures (Doctrine of two natures). The formula thus attained is extremely capable of and in need of interpretation; the various understa…

Salvation, Means of

(747 words)

Author(s): Oberdorfer, Bernd | Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] I. Dogmatics 1. General. Means of salvation ( media salutis) are creaturely, tangible (“outward”) media “in, with, and under” which the salvation (III) realized through Christ is communicated to human individuals in their own present. They are signposts that point to Christ as the medi-¶ ator of salvation and in that act of pointing make Christ himself present. The dependence of participation in salvation on outward mediation reflects incarnational theology (God himself was “realized” in Christ), soteriology (justification takes place pro nobis but extra nobis), …

Habit (Custom)

(855 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger | Stock, Konrad
[German Version] I. Dogmatics – II. Ethics I. Dogmatics Aristotle used the term ἕξις/ héxis (Lat. habitus) to describe the basic condition for people (and not merely their actions) to be ethically qualified, if humans are inherently able to regularly and willingly limit their affects in life's basic situations to the right, situation-appropriate degree (cf. Eth. Nic. II, 3 and 4 [1105a 17–1106a 13]). The regularity of right conduct, for instance, which permits a person to be described as “righteous” refers to a habit or disposition acquired through…

Harleß, Adolf Gottlieb Christoph von

(312 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Nov 21, 1806, Nürnberg – Oct 5, 1879, Munich), studied with F.W.J. Schelling and others in Erlangen (1823–1826) and with F.A.G. Tholuck in Halle (1826–1828). Under Tholuck's revivalist influence, he came to a “conversion experience.” He became professor in Erlangen in 1836, was transferred to Bayreuth as consistorial councillor (because of his vote in the “genuflexion controversy”), became professor in Leipzig (1845), preacher at the upper court and vice-president of the regional…

Communicatio idiomatum

(498 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] denotes the “mutual interchange of attributes” of the second person of the Deity with the human person Jesus of Nazareth or attributes of humanity with the second person of the Deity in the person of Jesus Christ (Christology). It manifests first in the language of worship (prayer addressed to Jesus; predication of Mary as Theotokos) as well as in the biblical documents and ecclesiastical tradition (1 Cor 2:8b; Mark 2:10). The Chalcedonian Defin…

Obedience

(2,323 words)

Author(s): Gantke, Wolfgang | Beutler, Johannes | Slenczka, Notger | Schweitzer, Friedrich | Sieckmann, Jan-R.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Dogmatics – IV. Education and Ethics – V. Law I. Religious Studies Emphasis on the phenomenon known as obedience varies among religions, but wherever human beings are understood as hearers of a divine or sacred word obedience plays an important role as the claim of a higher, transhuman power on human beings. The religious will to obey presupposes prevailing over one’s own self-will for the sake of God or what is holy. The Enlighten-¶ ment, which calls human beings to autonomy, led to a crisis of the religious concept of o…

Rudelbach, Andreas Gottlob

(268 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Sep 29, 1792, Copenhagen – Mar 3, 1862, Slagelse, Zealand). After his university studies, degree, and habilitation, he was appointed to a pastorate in Copenhagen; there he translated the Augsburg Confession and its Apologia as well as patristic texts into Danish. In 1829 he succeeded E.W. Hengstenberg as superintendent in Glauchau (Saxony); during his tenure, a revival movement (Revival/Revival movements) took root. Rudelbach was a confessional Lutheran (Neo-Lutheranism), who also supported the Evangelische Kirchenzeitung and its antirationalist posit…

Orthodoxy

(11,720 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger | Hünermann, Peter | Wallmannb, Johannes | Kaufmann, Thomas | Morgenstern, Matthias | Et al.
[German Version] I. Terminology – II. Christianity – III. Judaism – IV. Islam I. Terminology The term orthodoxy derives from Greek ὀρϑός/ orthós, “right, true, straight,” and δόξα/ dóxa, “opinion, teaching.” The word and its derivatives appear in pre-Christian literature (Liddell & Scott, s.v.) but acquired their specifically religious sense only in the context of Christianity, where confession of Jesus as Lord or Christ plays a constitutive role in religious practice (Rom 10:10; Matt 10:32f.) and the need appeared early on to identify a…

Stier, Ewald Rudolf

(204 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Mar 17, 1800, Fraustadt, Lower Silesia [now Wschowa, Poland] – Dec 16, 1862, Eisleben) was a figure in the post-1817 revival movement. His writing was influenced by Romanticism, and he drew on the patriotic liberalism of the Burschenschaften. In 1818 he came in contact with F.A.G. Tholuck and the revivalist group associated with H.E. Baron v. Kottwitz; he dated his conversion from that year. He was active as an academic teacher (e.g. in Barmen-Wichlinghausen). His primary interest was exegesis; he focused initially …

Traditionalism

(1,399 words)

Author(s): Holzem, Andreas | Hilberath, Bernd Jochen | Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] I. Catholicism 1. History. Traditionalism in the broader sense does not correlate clearly with Christianity or any denomination. A tendency to invest long-standing tradition as a whole or particular authorities within a body of religious tradition with special dignity and binding force appears primarily in the context of attempts to deal with acute crises of belief and practice by maintaining a firm hold on the past. Catholic traditionalism in the narrower sense was therefore a 19th-…

Ihmels, Ludwig

(194 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (Jun 29, 1858, Middels, East Frisia – Oct 7, 1933, Leipzig). After studies at various universities from 1878 to 1881, Ihmels became a pastor in 1883. In 1884 he was appointed director of studies at the seminary in Loccum. In 1898 he became professor of systematic theology in Erlangen (Erlangen School); in 1902 he was called to Leipzig. Appointed as the first bishop of the regional church in Saxony, he became active in the ecumenical movement. Ihmels was an enormously effective pre…

Thomas Aquinas, Saint

(3,398 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] (1224/1225, Roccasecca, duchy of Aquino – Mar 7, 1274, Fossanova) I. Life and Work Thomas Aquinas was born the son of Landolfo de Aquino, a member of the lower nobility, and his wife Theodora, in Roccasecca in the duchy of Aquino, his family’s seat. Aquino lay at the frontier of the church ¶ states, in the far north of the kingdom of Sicily. As oblate (I) Thomas received his early education at the nearby Benedictine abbey of Monte Cassino. In 1239 he went to study at the Imperial University of Naples. There, c. 1244, he entered the …

Real Presence

(638 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] In the first instance, the expression real presence means a position that takes the words of institution (“This is my body/blood”) literally, arguing that “in, with, and under” the elements of the Eucharist, the body and blood of Jesus Christ are actually received, in contrast, say, to the position of Berengar of Tours and Zwingli, which interprets the words of institution metaphorically and considers the elements signs representing the humanity of Christ, seated at the right hand of God…

Humiliation

(633 words)

Author(s): Slenczka, Notger
[German Version] κένωσις/ kénōsis; exinanitio). The Christ-hymn in Phil. 2:6–11 describes the life of Jesus in two “stages” as a path from incarnation to the cross and as post-resurrection exaltation. The doctrine of the “state” of humiliation, which was not really articulated terminologically until the intra-Protestant dispute concerning Christology, adopts the central term associated with the first stage: heautón ekénōsen (v. 7). This doctrine expounds the relationship between the doctrines of the person and work of Christ. Beginning with the initial …
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