Trichotomy

Trichotomy is the belief that man is made up of three parts – body, soul, and spirit.  While some believe the soul and spirit to be the same thing others maintain that it is different.  Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Likewise, Hebrews 4:12 speaks of the Word of God dividing the soul and spirit.

Others maintain that man is a dichotomy made up of body and soul.

Total Depravity

A belief held by Calvinism that man is totally unable to save himself.  Man is sinful through and through and the only way that he can be saved is by an act of God.  Man must be elected by God in order to be saved because his depraved nature does not allow him to choose God.

Some argue that the word total is unnecessary as depravity by definition implies totality.

Arminians also believe that man will not seek God on his own as is taught by scripture although it is not a basic tenet of their beliefs.  To address this fact, they believe that God must extend prevenient grace which allows humanity to choose God.

See also: unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace

Three Point Calvinism

Three point Calvinists are a cross between Calvinists and Arminians.  They hold to three points of Calvinism although not always the same three points.

Some contend that Calvinism is an all or nothing concept and that it is impossible and theologically incorrect to hold to only certain tenants of Calvinism.

Those who hold to some form of both Calvinism and Arminianism believe that they are being open minded and not dogmatic in their approach to theology.  They see this as balancing between the sovereignty of God and the free will of man and believe that the Bible clearly teaches both aspects.

The area of Calvinism that is often most in contention is the subject of limited atonement.  At the other end of spectrum the most Calvinistic viewpoint, so to say, is the idea of eternal security.  Some even consider this to be the only crucial part of Calvinism.

Pseudepigrapha

Pseudepigrapha literally means false writing.  It gets its name from the fact that the books that are classified as such have false author claims.  Such a book is the Gospel of Thomas which is not accepted to have been written by Thomas but instead written several centuries after that.  Another book is the Book of Enoch which claims to have been written by the Enoch of Genesis who “walked with God and then was no more.”

While numerous accepted books of the Bible have been attacked by liberal scholars as having been written much later – for example some claim the book of Daniel could not have been written until the 1st or 2nd century BC – books that are classified as pseudepigrapha have essentially no support for their authorship claims.  They are almost universal understood not to have been written by the claimed author and almost never was even written during their lifetime.

See also: apocrypha, canon of scripture

Protoevangelium

Protoevangelium is a compound word.  Proto means first.  A prototype is the first creation of some item.

Evangelium sounds a lot like the word evangelize, and it is.  When you evangelize, you share the gospel.  That’s what evangelium is.  The gospel.

So, protoevangelium is the first gospel.  It is the first good news.  It is found in Genesis 3:15 when God first tells us that he is going to send Jesus (even though he doesn’t mention Jesus by name!)

After the Fall of Man, God pronounces judgment on man for his sin.  But He also offers the good news that the seed of the woman, Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent, Satan.  Satan would strike Jesus on the heel, his death on the cross, but it would not be mortal as Jesus would rise from the dead.  Jesus would strike back with a mortal wound to Satan by crushing his head.  The protoevangelium is God’s first announcement that Jesus was coming and that Satan would be defeated.