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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…

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…

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 …