Main Glossary

Words matter! Know the meanings of the words you speak, write, preach and teach to perfectly accomplish the things the LORD God wills.

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Lapsed or Lapsi

Those who "fall" away from the church in times of persecution.

Entry link: Lapsed or Lapsi

Lateran Councils

Five ecumenical councils of the Roman Catholic church which were held in the Lateran Palace in Rome.

First Lateran Council (1123) - (Pope Calixtus II) reiterated the condemnation of simony and forbidding clergymen to marry that were decreed in earlier ecumenical councils.

Second Lateran Council (1139) - (Pope Innocent II) ended the schism created by the election of a rival pope.

Third Lateran Council (1179) - (Pope Alexander III) established a two-thirds majority of the College of Cardinals for papal election; also condemned the heresies of the Cathari.

Fourth Lateran Council (1215) - (Pope Innocent III) Compelled Catholics to make yearly confession, prepared for a new Crusade, sanctioned the doctrine of transubstantiation, addressed the corruption within the church and enforced clerical celibacy and dignity.

Fifth Lateran Council (1512-17) - (Pope Julius II) affirmed the immortality of the soul and brought peace between Christian rulers.

Entry link: Lateran Councils


The governmental language of the world in the time of Jesus Christ
Entry link: Latin


Those holding the ideal that the church is an instrument of salvation as a kind of hospital for sick souls. Conversely, Rigorists hold the belief that the Church is a congregation of saved people seperated from sin.1

1Ferguson, Everett. Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005, 145.

Entry link: Laxists

Liberation Theology

1971 term coined for the politicization of  the insignificant, marginalized, unimportant, needy, despised, and defenseless believers by some Roman Catholic priests in conflict with their Church. Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutierrez wrote one of the movement's defining books, A Theology of Liberation, which stressed the utilization of Christian based communities to take up the sword of Christ to fight social injustice, and basically ignoring the love of Christ motif. The movement was branded as Marxism by the United States government, as well as the Orthodox Church hierarchy, including Pope Francis long before he assumed the role as shepherd of the Church.  While the idea of God holding a preferential option toward the poor is a noble idea represented in Scripture, the politicization of the impoverished led them away from the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Entry link: Liberation Theology


Energy, power of intellect, affection and will emanating from the LORD God
Entry link: Life

Lined-Out Singing

An ancient method of singing religious music which involves a leader chanting each line of text and then the congregation singing in unison without hymnals or psalters. The American colonists brought this form of
music from the British churches around the 1700's. The Old Regular Baptist Churches is one denomination that expresses songs only in this manner.

Entry link: Lined-Out Singing

Literary Criticism

Hermeneutical interpretation that is interested in the text as a unit.  The approaches are varied and include examining the narrative through plots, themes, characters, and nuances of text, rhetorical approaches with an examination of arguments within the text, or other specialty criticism based upon specific interests like feminism, third-world, non-American, or structure variances. (See Hermeneutics)

Entry link: Literary Criticism


Originally meaning 'work for the people,' during the Jewish Diaspora, it took on the meaning of 'work done for God'; specifically, it means praise and worship to God, usually during communal service.
Entry link: Liturgy


There is one and only one living and true LORD God whose name YAHWEH is most holy. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.

God the Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through the Spirit of Adoption by their faith in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son.

The LORD God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and their Holy Spirit are in triune relationship that is best understood as One and equal in nature, Two subordinate and submissive and duties, and Three distinct and separate in person.
Entry link: LORD God