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Mere Christianity | Glossary


begotten: (v) Begotten is a form of the verb "to beget." To beget is to create something of the same kind; humans beget more humans, but Christ is begotten by God. The Christian path involves our transformation from being God's creations, separate from him, to becoming begotten "little Christs."

cardinal virtues: (n) There are four cardinal virtues that are part of Christian morality and also universally recognized as virtues. They are prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude.

justification: (n) Justification is the process of an individual's reconciliation with God, when God restores the individual to righteousness by cleansing him of his sins. While the debate over whether justification is achieved through faith or actions (works) has divided Christianity for centuries, Lewis asserts justification is achieved through a combination of faith and actions.

Law of Human Nature: (n) Lewis argues there is an inborn, universal Law of Human Nature (also called a Moral Law) that people experience as an awareness that they ought to do what is right and ought not do what is wrong. For Lewis, this Law is proof of God's existence.

prayer: (n) Prayer is one of Christianity's central practices, which, along with reading scripture and attending church, nourishes the Christian's beliefs. Christians are instructed in how to pray by Jesus when he teaches the Lord's Prayer.

repentance: (n) Repentance is when people surrender their own will to the will of God, putting their trust in Christ's promise that they will be made into children of God. Repentance is a voluntary act, and we cannot repent until we reach the point where we truly realize we cannot achieve the happiness we seek on our own.

spiritual life: (n) Also called Zoe, spiritual life is a force distinct from the ordinary biological life of humans and other creatures. It is the type of life that God has and He has made available for humanity through Christ's atonement.

theological virtues: (n) In addition to the four cardinal virtues, Christianity recognizes three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.

theology: (n) In common usage, theology is the study of religion. For Lewis, theology is "the science of God"—the Christian god.

Three-Person God: (n) Commonly called the Trinity, this term refers to the three aspects of the Christian God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The three-person God is always three and it is always one, in the same way a cube is six squares while also being one cube.

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