We present the following lexicon and links for enquiring minds who want to better understand the things they hear and read on our website. Do you have any suggestions or questions? Send an S.O.S.

Pirate Christian Lingo

“Dead Men Tell No Tales” – A common pirate phrase (heard on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride) meaning: after someone is dead they can no longer spin stories, hence killing them is the best way to keep them quiet. This was a standard pirate excuse for leaving no survivors. It is used as our motto because it holds a double meaning for both our Pirate AND Christian vocations. As “dead men” who have been buried in Baptism and raised through faith (Romans 6 and Colossians 2), we have been made alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2) to “tell the tale” about how Jesus lived, died, and rose again as a gift FOR YOU—for the forgiveness of all your sins. See also: What We Believe.

“Chi-Rho” – This symbol on our Pirate Christian Flag was used by the first Christians in the catacombs as a Christogram (monogram for Christ) and was later popularized by Constantine, the Roman Emperor who assembled the Council of Nicea where the Nicene Creed was adopted. The Chi (Χ) and Rho (Ρ) are the first two letters of the Greek word “ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ” = Christos (Christ). Although pirates typically fly a skull and crossbones, we fly the Chi-Rho because the H.M.S. Aletheia declares Christ FOR YOU.

“H.M.S. Aletheia” – The affectionate name of our sailing vessel is “His Majesty’s Ship” because Christ is our Sovereign King, and our Captain and Deckhands humbly bow the knee in His service. “Aletheia” is the Greek word for “truth” which reminds us that our King has promised, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

“Fighting for the Faith” – Not only the name of our Captain’s daily radio show, it is the very definition of our vocation to “proclaim and defend the Good News,” and it is rooted in our ministry verse:

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
— Jude 1:3


Captain Rosebrough uses a number of humorous terms on Fighting for the Faith that are unique to his commentary. We provide the following list to help listeners understand what these terms mean.

“Allegoridoxy” – Mixing an allegorical reading of a Biblical text (hidden meaning or metaphor) with  historic, Christian orthodoxy (generally accepted doctrine as defined by the Creeds).

“Context–Context–Context” – The three rules for sound, biblical exegesis—to correctly understand the meaning of a Bible verse by reading all of the verses before and after the verse in question.

“Dream Destiny Thingy” – An underlying assumption in many sermons, books, and teachings in American Christianity with no basis in Scripture. Phrases like, “God will plant a dream in your heart,” “God has a great destiny planned for you,” “If you have a big enough dream you can do anything” are all examples of the Dream Destiny Thingy. It turns Christianity into a motivational tool and Jesus into a Life Coach who did not die on the cross to pay the penalty for all your sins but rather wants to see you “reach your full potential for excellence.” This is a man-centered, false belief system which requires a combination of narcigesis and a strip-mining of the Bible to appear legitimate.

“Evangelical Industrial Complex” – A loosely-knit web of pastors, speakers, evangelists, authors, ministries, TV hosts, and publishing companies who subjectively determine what is “true, biblical” Christianity in order to promote themselves, concentrate their power and propagate the ongoing illusion of “orthodox” doctrine in the midst of false teachings. To maintain their power and manipulate the public, they may occasionally preach the Gospel (usually in a reduced form).

“Fornocabootilating” – A silly euphemism for a type of difficult to mention sin and/or sinful activity; basically fornication (unwed relations) with a side of canoodling (amorous cuddling). Some “Christian” groups think drinking alcohol and dancing can lead to said fornocabootilating.

"Herephrase" -A paraphrase of the Bible that's heretical. "The Message" is a very popular example of a herephrase.

“Narcigesis” – This term combines the word “narcissist” with the word “eisegesis” to form this me-centered way to interpret Scripture. A “narcissist” is someone who is in love with (and consumed by) themselves and “eisegesis” puts a person’s own interpretation into the biblical text while completely ignoring the objective meaning within the context of the surrounding verses. So “narcigesis” is the process of reading yourself into the text and turning every Bible verse into a story about me.

“Pastrix” or “Ministrix” – A female pastor or minister, similar to an abstract mathematician or an unregistered nurse. In both 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6 the Bible clearly defines one qualification for pastoral ministry as: “the husband of one wife” (literally “the man of one woman”). This means any woman who claims to hold the office of pastor is immediately disqualified.

“Profitess” – A female “prophet” who fleeces the sheep using false prophecy primarily for personal profit. A profitess uses “prophecy” to tell people the Holy Spirit told them to rebuke people for not supporting their ministry. We are warned about these false prophets in Jude 1:8-11.

“Psychogesis” or Imagigesis” – Kissing cousins to the practice of “narcigesis” with a primary focus on adding either “psychoanalysis” or “imagination” into Bible interpretation. This is the process of reading psychotherapeutic theories and/or imaginative fairy tales into the Biblical text.

“P.H.O.N.I.E.S.” – Stands for: Prophetic Holy Orders Network Information Exchange Syndicate. This unofficial designation is for numerous nut job, wacko, dingbat, screwball, lunatics who claim to be “prophets” of God, yet prove to be otherwise by their constant money-grubbing, failed predictions, inability to rightly handle God’s Word and generally bad fashion, hair and make-up decisions.

“Strip Mining the Bible” – While teaching the Dream Destiny Thingy and other falsehoods, a “pastor” will take Bible verses out of context in order to narcigete their way through a “sermon” so they can tickle itching ears and enrich themselves. This utterly strips and destroys God’s Holy Word.

“Theological Diarrhea” – A type of verbal “bovine scatology” which flows out of a “pastor” who is on a roll, saying spiritual-sounding yet meaningless words in the midst of non-lucid sentences while the praise band slowly builds up steam behind him (or her), preferably to generate so much enthusiasm that biblical discernment is effectively canceled out (or flushed down the commode).

Special Request for Our Listeners

If you hear Captain Rosebrough use a word on Fighting for the Faith which has not been defined here, please Send an S.O.S. describing the word and we will add the word and its definition post-haste.

Theological Terms

The following terms may be heard regularly on both our broadcasts and podcasts.

Absolution: In general terms, this means the act of absolving, or freeing, from blame or guilt. Specifically in the Lutheran Divine Service (and other liturgical bodies), this is the justifying declaration (or assurance) of the forgiveness of sins for believers, promised after a confession of sins.

Antinomianism: The belief that Christians are free from many or all of the constraints in God’s Law found in the Ten Commandments. “Antinomian” literally means “against the Law.” This theological error exists at the other end of the spectrum from the error of legalism.

Apostasy: Falling away or departing from faith in Jesus Christ by being devoted to deceitful teachings. The Bible warns of a time before Christ’s reappearing when many will fall away (Timothy 4:1).

Atonement: Reconciliation. Literally meaning: “at-one-ment.” This term reflects a mutual exchange, or drawing together of parties previously separated. God’s action in Christ to forgive sin in order to restore the relationship between Himself and His fallen creatures. See also: Propitiation.

Catholic: From the Greek word “katholikos” which means “universal” and was originally used to define the one true Christian church throughout all of time. Not to be confused with what is now known as Roman Catholic (a group who redefined the term and modified its historic meaning). This term is featured in all three ecumenical creeds and is often substituted with the word “Christian.”

Catechism: From the Greek word meaning “oral instruction,” used by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:6. All catechisms are usually in question-and-answer, call and response format, containing fundamental instruction. To be “catechized” simply means to be taught the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Luther’s Small Catechism was written so the head of the family could teach it to his household.

Christology: The study of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity. An incorrect Christology is extremely dangerous because it could lead to placing your faith in a false Christ or Antichrist.

Contrition: To feel sorry for your sins as a result of hearing God’s Law. Contrition is the first part of repentance. The second part of repentance is faith, which is the result of hearing the Gospel.

Creeds: From the Latin word credo, meaning “I believe.” Creeds are summary confessions of faith used by the majority of Christians. When they originally developed in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th Centuries, many people could not read and needed a memorable rule of faith. See also: What We Believe.

Divine Service:  A Lutheran (or Eastern Orthodox) worship service, emphasizing both Word (Bible) and Sacrament (Baptism/Communion). God (the Divine) not only meets us but He also serves us (Service), giving us the very forgiveness of sins which Christ won for us on the Cross.

Doctrine: Derives from the Latin word for teachings or precepts. “Sound doctrine” simply means sound (or good/solid) teaching. The Apostle Paul mentions this in 1 Timothy2 Timothy, and Titus.

Ecclesiology: The study of the institution of the Church; it’s structure, offices, duties, etc.

Efficacy: Capacity for producing a desired result; this refers to the Bible’s ability to do what it says. 

Eisegesis: Literally, “to put in.” This means to put one’s interpretation into the text while ignoring the objective meaning that exists within the text. When someone has an idea, “dream” or concept for a sermon and then digs up Bible verses to validate their idea, they are using eisegesis.

Enthusiasm: Not to be confused with the modern usage of the word, this term was developed during the Reformation to describe the false belief that Christians should expect the Holy Spirit to speak directly to them apart from God’s Word. The Reformers called this “enthusiasm” (literally, “God-within-ism”) because “Enthusiasts” placed the external Word of Scripture below the inner word supposedly spoken by the Holy Spirit. Most modern day Evangelicals embrace some level of enthusiasm. 

Eschatology: The study of “Last Things” or “End Times” and how to interpret biblical prophecy.

Exegesis: Literally, “to draw out.” This means to draw the objective meaning out of the text. Finding the meaning of the Biblical text from within the context of the verses. To “exegete” a passage of Scripture means to correctly draw out the meaning without adding any external or subjective ideas.

Gnosticism: From the Greek word gnosis, meaning “knowledge.” This is an early heresy which replaced the Gospel with a demand for secret knowledge. Gnostics claimed the only way to be saved was for the spirit to be liberated from the material order, which they considered evil. Elements of Gnosticism remain in modern churches (i.e. personal revelation, secret knowledge and mystical experiences).

Heresy: Stubborn error regarding an article of faith which is in direct opposition to Scripture.

Heretic: Person who upholds heresy. A professing believer who maintains a position or opinion which contradicts the universally accepted and historically orthodox teachings of the early Church.

Hermeneutics: The science of interpretation, especially the branch of theology dealing with Biblical interpretation. Proper hermeneutics means to know the right way to interpret the Bible.

Holy Baptism: Luther’s Small Catechism says, “Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command [Matthew 28:19and combined with God’s word [Ephesians 5:26]… It works forgiveness of sins [Mark 16:16]… and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare [Acts 2:38-39].” See also: The Sacrament of Holy Baptism and review Captain Rosebrough’s PDF, What the Bible Teaches About Baptism & How the Earliest Christians Understood These Biblical Texts.

Holy Communion: Luther’s Small Catechism says, “It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink. Where is this written? The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul write: Our Lord Jesus Christ… said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you… Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” See also: The Sacrament of the Altar.

Justification: God declares sinners to be justified (or righteous) for Christ’s sake; that is, God has imputed (or charged) our sins to Christ and He imputes (or credits) Christ’s righteousness to us. The Augsburg Confession calls justification “the chief article of the Gospel” and Martin Luther wrote, “if this article stands, the church stands; if this article collapses, the church collapses.”

Law & Gospel: The Law is God’s will found in the Ten Commandments. The Law shows people how to live, and it exposes their sins. The Gospel (Good News) is the message of Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins (see also: What We Believe). The preaching of both Law & Gospel is essential, and we recommend reading C.F.W. Walther’s classic, The Proper Distinction of Law & Gospel.

Lectionary: A collection of texts for public reading (“lectio” is the Latin word for reading). A lectionary is a way to keep church services focused on Christ and His Word, as opposed to a pastor and his words.

Liturgy: In a narrow sense, liturgy means the order of service for the celebration of Holy Communion. In a wider sense, the term means the whole system of formal worship. A liturgical church service uses a lectionary and has a written order of service with an emphasis on Word & Sacrament. 

Lutheran: A group of churches which, after seeking to return to the truth of the Bible and “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3), were excommunicated from what is now known as the Roman Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation. Led by Martin Luther and his theological ideas, they were originally called “Evangelical” which is derived from the Greek word “euangelion” meaning “Gospel” or “Good News.” The name “Lutheran” was initially intended to be derogatory, but it later became synonymous with evangelical (aka Gospel-centered) doctrine.

Means of Grace: This term identifies the divinely instituted (Christ commissioned) means by which God offers, bestows, and seals the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Properly understood, there is one means of grace, the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17) and in the Sacraments (Baptism/Communion) the Gospel appears as the visible Word, an inseparable companion with the audible Word.

Monergism: The doctrine that God alone brings salvation to man (this is in contrast to Pelagianism).

Orthodox: From the Greek word “orthodoxia” with means “right praise” or “right belief” and has come to be understood as “correct teaching” of the historic Christian faith. This is not to be confused with what is now known as the Eastern Orthodox Church which split from the Western Church in 1054 AD.

Pagan: A hedonistic person opposed to Christianity. Originally used to describe religiously polytheistic people in ancient Rome or Greece. There is a renewed interest in calling oneself a Pagan, and the term is generally used in an attempt to adopt and utilize ancient, non-Christian religious beliefs.   

Pelagianism: This belief is named after its founder, Pelagius (360-420), who wanted to instill greater morality into the early Roman church, but he (and his followers) ended up creating a new heresy instead. God is not sovereign in this heresy but is dependent on human decision and action to accomplish His will. Semi-Pelagianism is a similar idea with the same end result: “Do More, Try Harder Christianity.” Even though this belief was declared heresy by the Council of Carthage in 411, it was never stamped out and is alive today in many modern churches who emphasize the need to “make a decision” for Jesus.

Pneumatology: The study of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. See also: What We Believe.

Pietism: This started as a movement within the 17th century Lutheran church and stressed personal piety over religious formality and orthodoxy. Today it usually refers to intense or exaggerated religious devotion with an over-emphasis on good works rather than Christ’s finished work on the cross.

Proof–Texting: The practice of using isolated, out-of-context quotations from the Bible to establish a proposition with eisegesis. This will never accurately reflect the correct meaning of the text.

Propitiation: Atonement or satisfaction. To make appeasement. In the Old Testament, the High Priest would sprinkle blood on the lid of the Ark of the Covenant to propitiate, or make atonement for, the sins of the people. This is a type of the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

Repentance: Biblical repentance consists of two parts. The first part is contrition (or terror) which strikes the conscience from the knowledge of sin. The second part is faith, which is born from the Gospel or the Absolution and believes sins are forgiven. It comforts the conscience and delivers it from terror.

Sanctification: The spiritual cleansing that follows justification by grace through faith in Christ, it is the divine act of God making us holy (Philippians 1:6). From the Latin word “sanctus” which means “holy” and is directly connected to the name and activity of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Sanctification is God’s active work in you through His “Means of Grace” (aka Word & Sacrament).

Simul Justus et Peccator: This is a Latin phrase made famous by Martin Luther (it is often shortened to “the Simul”) meaning “simultaneously justified and sinner.” The Simul is the Christian’s condition.

Soteriology: The study of salvation, or how we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Type & Shadow: The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). This describes how God has spoken to us through Jesus Christ in both the Old and New Testaments. The words “at many times and in many ways” allude to how the prophetic writers of the Old Testament pointed to Christ using people and events as types and shadows of the person and work of Christ.

Word & Sacrament: “Word” is the very Word of God which was inspired by the Holy Spirit, written by men, and recorded in the Holy Bible; this Word is spoken (read) by pastors, teachers, and evangelists. And “Sacrament” is a sacred act instituted by God in which God Himself has joined His Word of promise to a visible element and by which He offers, gives, and seals the forgiveness of sins earned by Christ in His death and resurrection. By this definition, there are two Sacraments (Baptism/Communion).

Some of these definitions were based on quotes found in either Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions or The Lutheran Difference: Reformation Anniversary Edition; copyright ©  Concordia Publishing House. The resources listed below were also consulted when defining our list of theological terms.

Theological Resources

The following websites will help you grow in your understanding of theological terminology.

Understand Christianity
This website offers simple, biblical explanations of Christian teachings as a reference for anyone who wants to study what the Bible says about certain doctrines.

Christian Cyclopedia
This encyclopedia is a compendium of historical and theological data, ranging from ancient figures to contemporary events, throughout church history and “secular” history.

Apostasis Lexicon
Are you confused by what your pastor is saying from the pulpit? This is a humorous lexicon to help you define and recognize things happening in the visible apostate church.


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