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Visitation

(847 words)

Author(s): Bromiley, Geoffrey W. | Winter, Jörg | Venables, Mary Noll
1. Biblical The words “visit” and “visitation” often indicate divine involvement with humans, sometimes by way of theophany. God not only observes human life, he also acts in our world. God’s visitation may bring blessing to God’s own people or to the whole earth (Ps. 65:9). More often, divine visitation punishes offenses, as in Job 35:15 and Ps. 59:5 (KJV). The Decalogue contains the familiar reference to God “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children” (Exod. 20:5 RSV). Isaiah 26:14 (RSV) tells us that God will visit with destruction. ¶ The idea of visitation for punishme…

Rule of Faith

(713 words)

Author(s): Wyrwa, Dietmar | Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
1. Early Church The phrase “rule of faith” (regula fidei), equivalent to “rule of truth,” is a term and concept that we first find in Irenaeus (ca. 130–ca. 200). It then occurs in almost all second- and third-century church fathers but is less common in Constantinian usage. As the defining genitive shows, what is meant is the substance of Christian faith, or truth as a standard and normative authority. In the rule of faith the church has preserved the quintessence of Christian belief, and it has shown its fidelity to the apostolic tradition by maintaining the r…

Sinai

(470 words)

Author(s): Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
In the story of the exodus Moses leads the people to Sinai and receives the law there (Exodus 20–Numbers 10). In the earliest Hebrew poetry it represents God’s dwelling place (Deut. 33:2); God comes forth from Sinai to help his people (Judg. 5:5; Ps. 68:8), and he returns there (Hos. 5:15). “Horeb” is an alternative name in the Pentateuch (also in 1 Kgs. 8:9; 19:8; 2 Chr. 5:10; Ps. 106:19; Mal. 4:4). It is not clear whether “Sinai” refers to a single mountain or to a range, nor is the meaning of the name or the location clear. Various sites in the Sinai Peninsula an…

Cranmer, Thomas

(1,009 words)

Author(s): Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
Born in 1489 at Aslockton, Nottinghamshire, second son of a minor squire, Thomas Cranmer completed a doctorate in divinity at Cambridge. There he acquired a knowledge of Scripture, respect for its authority, and interest in its plain exposition. Luther’s revolt had an impact in the 1520s, and papal resistance to reform convinced Cranmer that correction of abuses demanded elimination of the power of Rome. In 1529, while discussing the crisis in Henry VIII’s suit for marriage annulment, Cranmer suggested to two of the king’s advisers that European faculties of…

Religion, Legal Protection of

(693 words)

Author(s): Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
In the Middle Ages and Reformation and post-Reformation eras, most European states had strict laws against blasphemy and attacks on religion, whether verbal or physical, though enforcement might vary, as, for example, when the Reformers staged their assaults on the papal church. Even modern states that are religiously neutral (Church and State) may prohibit some attacks on religion, confessions, and worldviews when these actions might come under the rubric of disturbing the peace. A constitution…

Preaching

(6,588 words)

Author(s): Otto, Gert | Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
1. Basis We humans would not be what we are without language (Anthropology). Our experience of ourselves and the world takes linguistic shape (H.-G. Gadamer). Here then is a necessary starting point for the discussion of preaching. We must relate theological reflection on preaching and its problems to this starting point. From the days of antiquity rhetoric has been the discipline that treats of our human faculty of language in relation to experience, and especially to public speaking (P. L. Oesterreich). We thus must relate preaching and the hi…

Promise and Fulfillment

(1,455 words)

Author(s): Oeming, Manfred | Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
In their varied uses and functions, the words “promise” and “fulfillment” indicate a historical and theological category in which the Word of God, a word of salvation or judgment (Last Judgment), will assuredly achieve realization either in history or at the end of history. 1. OT The OT uses these two terms hermeneutically in its structuring and theological interpreting of the history of Israel. This history is neither contingent nor natural but under the direction of divine intervention and guidance (e.g., Gen. 50:20). In the Hexateuch (Genesis 12–Joshua 24, where the ¶ distribution o…

Psychology

(2,696 words)

Author(s): Rebell, Walter | Bromiley, Geoffrey W.
1. Definition Psychology lies at the meeting point of the humane, social, and natural sciences, though with an increasing orientation to natural science. Phenomenological approaches to the world of the psyche (Phenomenology), which stem from the humanities branch of psychology, still call for notice and have indeed gained some new prominence in the form of humanistic psychology. In spite of its preeminent orientation, then, psychology is not a pure natural science, and it never will be. For this r…