Christian Cyclopedia

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1. Female servants in the ch., formerly unmarried or widowed (some contemporary diaconates permit married women to serve as deaconesses); a special ministry in the ch.; “Phoebe, a deaconess.” (Ro 16:1 RSV)

2. Custom and usage of the ancient world forbade intimate assoc. of the sexes in pub. assemblies. Functions of deaconesses in the early ch. were to instruct female catechumens, assist at the baptism of women, care for sick or impoverished women, minister to women martyrs and confessors in prison, and act as ushers for women in chs.

3. The 4th c. was the Golden Age of the female diaconate. Forty deaconesses served in the cong. of J. Chrysostom* in Constantinople. Among the deaconesses of that time was Olympias.

4. When the diaconate came to be regarded as a meritorious work, its deterioration began. Escape sought from a corrupt world resulted in monastic life. By the 12th c. deaconesses had nearly disappeared.

5. The modern career woman in ch. work looks back to 1833 for the beginnings of her work. T. Fliedner,* planning ways to meet the needs of people in distress, opened a door for women who wanted to use their talents for the ch. He est. the first motherhouse 1836 at Kaiserswerth, Ger., where he trained ca. 425 deaconesses. J. K. W. Löhe* est. a motherhouse at Neuendettelsau 1854. Among others in Eur. were those at Bielefeld, Basel, Paris, and St. Petersburg. The diaconate was introd. also in Eng. and Scand.

6. Among chs. that have deaconesses are the Ch. of Eng., the Ch. of Scot., the Episc., Presb., Ref., Meth., Mennonite, and Bap. chs. Many deaconesses are active throughout the world.

7. W. A. Passavant* introd. the diaconate in Am. He est. a Luth. hosp. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1849, and on his request Fliedner brought 4 deaconesses from Ger. to be nurses in this “Pittsburgh Infirmary,” later called Passavant Hosp. One of the 4 deaconesses was Maria Elizabeth Hess, later wife of Philipp Wambsganss, Sr. (December 19, 1823–October 1, 1901).

8. Motherhouses were est. at Philadelphia 1884 and Baltimore 1895. In Omaha, E. A. Fogelström organized the Ev. Immanuel Assoc. for Works of Mercy 1889; a hospital opened 1890; home for deaconesses built 1891; Immanuel Deaconess Assoc. formed 1892. The Milwaukee motherhouse, later connected with the ALC, was est. ca. 1893. Other deaconess homes include those est. in Chicago, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, Brush (Colorado), and Axtell Nebraska). See also Wenner, George Unangst.

9. F. W. Herzberger* helped est. the deaconess movement in the Syn. Conf. He was ably supported by P. Wambsganss, Jr., pres. of the Ev.-Luth. Wohltütigkeitskonferenz.

10. The Luth. ;Deaconess Assoc. of the Ev. Luth. Syn. Conf. of N. Am. (LDA) was organized in August 1919 at Fort Wayne, Indiana Deaconess training was given in connection with the Luth. Hosp., Fort Wayne. First grad.: Ina Kempff 1922. First deaconess sent to a for. field: Louise Rathke, to India 1926.

11. LDA Pres.: P. Wambsganss, Jr., 1919–33; Walter Klausing 1933–55; Edgar H. Albers 1955– Supts. (called Ex. Dir. beginning in 1957): Bruno Poch 1923–32; Herman B. Kohlmeier 1932–41; Arnold F. Krentz 1941–61; Walter C. Gerken 1961–67; Arne P. Kristo 1968–71;. Lucille Wassman 1971–. Dir. of Training: Arne P. Kristo 1961–71. Dir. of Deaconess Educ.: Lucille Wassman 1971–. Over 300 deaconesses have been trained since 1920.

12. Deaconess schools: Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1920 to 1943; Beaver Dam Hosp., Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, 1922 to 1935; Luth. Hosp., Hot Springs, S. D., 1924–27; Bethesda Luth. Home, Watertown, Wisconsin, 1925–35. In 1935 the Fort Wayne school separated its program from the Luth. Hospital and the 3 schools were combined into one at Fort Wayne. The courses at that time emphasized intensive 1-yr. religious educ. for those who had specialized in nursing, educ., or social work.

13. In 1941 training was lengthened to 2 yrs.; courses in sociology and psychol. at Indiana U. Extension, Fort Wayne, and 6 mo. practical work were required.

14. In 1943 the LDA sold its Fort Wayne home, on hosp. grounds, to the Luth. Hosp Assoc. Deaconess educ. was transferred to Valparaiso (Indiana) U. In 1946 training was extended to a 4-yr. coll. course leading to a BA degree with a major in theol. Since 1961 deaconess students have been required to spend 1 yr. internship bet. the jr. and sr. yrs. Since 1959 LCMS jr. colleges have been opened to students interested in deaconess training; the first 2 yrs. training are available there, as at Valparaiso U.; the last 2 yrs. are available only at Valparaiso U.

15. A petition to the LCMS Board for Higher Education by concerned deaconesses in 1976 led to the ratification of several memorials at the 1977 and 1979 LCMS conventions and to the subsequent formation of a new deaconess program at Concordia* University, River Forest, IL that opened in 1980. The first director was Deaconess Nancy Nicol; the program is currently directed by Deaconess Kristin Wassilak. The program remains somewhat similar to the older Valparaiso U. program, including four years of study plus one year of internship. The degree major is theology with a minor in either psychology, sociology, social service or church music.

With the new program, the only one sponsored by the LCMS and the normal path to deaconess service in the LCMS, arose the Concordia Deacones Conference in 1980. Membership is contingent on being a member in good standing of an LCMS congregation or of a congregation adhering to a Lutheran church in church fellowship (see Altar Fellowship) with the LCMS, on unconditional subscription to the Book of Concord (see Lutheran Confessions) and on not being a member of any other deaconess conference or association.Certification and rostering of deaconesses in the LCMS is typically mediated through the CDC.

During the 1980's, several actions of the LCMS in convention led to the establishment and definition of the current LCMS deaconess nomenclature, culminating in the ratification of a constitutional change that made deaconesses eligible for professional membership in the LCMS for the first time in 1990.

E. Beyreuther, Geschichte der Diakonie und inneren Mission in der Neuzeit, 2d ed. (Berlin, 1962); K. Bliss, The Service and Status of Women in the Churches (London, 1952); Constitution of the CDC and other documents related thereto; C. Dentzer, Deaconess Work (Milwaukee, n. d.); F. U. Gift, The Ministry of Love (Philadelphia, 1928); C. Herzel, On Call (New York, 1961); H. B. Kohlmeier, History of the Lutheran Deaconess Association (mimeographed; Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1944); P. E. Kretzmann, A Handbook of Outlines for the Training of Lutheran Deaconesses (St. Louis, n. d.); J. Mergner, The Deaconness and Her Work, tr. Mrs. A. Spaeth (Philadelphia, 1911); F. Meyer, Von den Diakonissen und ihrem Beruf (Munich, 1892); J. F. Ohl, The Inner Mission (Philadelphia, 1911); W. A. Passavant, Jr., “The Beginnings and Some Principles of the Deaconess Motherhouse,” The First General Conference of Lutherans in America, ed. H. E. Jacobs (Philadelphia, 1899), pp. 216–227; N. N. Rönning and W. H. Lien, The Lutheran Deaconess Home and Hospital, Fiftieth Anniversary (Minneapolis, 1939); F. S. Weiser, Love's Response (Philadelphia, 1962); A. R. Wentz, Fliedner the Faithful (Philadelphia, 1936).



Officers of the ch., particularly of the local cong., who, according to apostolic example and precept (1 Ti 3:8–13), have charge of certain administrative work, notably that of assisting the servants of the Word in governing the ch., taking care of its charitable endeavors, and otherwise occupying a leading position of service in the cong. See also Diaconus; Elders, 3.

Dead, Prayers for.

Prayers for the dead can be traced back to early Christian times (Apostolic* Constitutions, VIII, 41–42; Cyril* of Jerusalem, Catechesis XXIII, Mystagogica V, 9–10; Tertullian,* De corona militis, 3, and De oratione, 29). Augustine held that prayers for the dead could help only those who had led pious lives (De verbis apostoli, sermo CLXXII XXXII, 2). Prayers for the dead were assoc. with the celebration of the Lord's Supper (Apostolic Constitutions, VI, 30). RC doctrine “regarding prayers for the dead is bound up inseparably with the doctrine of purgatory and the more general doctrine of the communion of saints” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908 ed., p. 653; cf. Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Session XXV, “Decree Concerning Purgatory”). The RC locus classicus is 2 Mac 12:40–45 (cf. 1 Co 15:29).

Luther's position is best summarized: “Nothing has been commanded or enjoined upon us concerning the dead. Therefore all this may he safely omitted, even if it were no error and idolatry” (SA-II II 12). He inclines to a cautious toleration of the practice, points out that we have no command to pray for the dead, inasmuch as those who are in heaven do not need prayers, and those who are in hell cannot be helped thereby, and suggests that Christians make their prayers conditional (WA 10-III, 194–195, 409 to 410; 11, 130; 12, 596; 26, 508; 44, 203). The Ap states: “We know that the ancients speak of prayer for the dead, which we do not prohibit” (XXIV, 94). Luther and the confessions vigorously oppose purgatory and attempts to gain forgiveness of sins for the dead, esp. through such works as masses and almsgiving (see Opus operatum). M. Chemnitz* regarded ancient prayers for the dead as exhortations and consolations for the living (Examen Concilii Tridentini, III, Locus III: De purgatorio, Section II, vii, 12). Most Luth. theologians regarded prayers for the dead as useless or unpermitted; others emphasized the mystical union of believers and regarded prayers for the dead (though not for their salvation) permissible.

See also Agnus Dei; Departed, Commemoration of.

L. Dahle, Das Leben nach dem Tode, tr. O. Gliess (Leipzig, 1895); [C. H.] Stirm, “Darf man für die Verstorbenen beten?” Jahrbücher für Deutsche Theologie, VI (1861), 278–308. EL

Dead Sea Scrolls.

In spring 1947 an Arab found ancient parchment MSS in a cave near the NW shore of the Dead Sea. One of the scrolls, a Heb. copy of Is., measures 24 ft. by 10 in. It was probably written ca. 100 BC; it is perhaps the oldest copy of any book of the Bible. Most of the other scrolls were sacred writings of an ascetic Jewish community of ca. 200 people (gen. regarded as Essenes*) who lived there at Khirbet Qumran ca. 100 BC to AD 68.

At least 10 more caves, containing MSS, pottery fragments, and coins, have been found in that area. The discoveries are significant for OT textual studies and NT faith and life.

The scrolls have shown that the Bible was transmitted with a high degree of accuracy. The Qumran Is seems to be ca. 1,000 yrs. older than the next oldest known copy of this book. But there are very few differences bet. the two. This lends added assurance that our common OT Heb. text is indeed essentially the same as that which Christ used.

The scrolls have shown a similarity bet. the faith and life of the Qumran community and that of the early NT ch. It was pointed out that the “Teacher of Righteousness” resembled Christ. The Fr. scholar A. Dupont-Sommer claimed that this Teacher was portrayed as a divine being who had become man, who was put to death by his enemies, and whose resurrection from the dead was anticipated. Some Am. writers created a stir by publicizing the unwarranted conclusion that the doctrines of the incarnation, the vicarious suffering, and the resurrection of Jesus were not new and unique, but were borrowed from the teachings of the Qumran community.

Organization in the Qumran community has been compared to that in the early Christian Ch. An inner Qumran group including 12 laymen calls to mind the 12 disciples. Both communities pooled their property for the benefit of all mems. Writings of both groups refer to anger with a brother without a cause, personal admonition in case of a grievance, and refraining from pub. charges unless they could be proved by witnesses. Both groups observed ritual washings and a sacred meal involving bread and wine; but the Qumran rites seem more closely connected with the OT cultus than with the NT sacraments.

Some early views on the scrolls and their origin were subjective. The contention that the scrolls made a new evaluation of the Christian religion necessary is now considered both premature and greatly exaggerated. The literature of the Qumran community will no doubt have a prominent place among the apocryphal writings that were produced bet. the OT and NT Its theol. seems to be more closely related to Moses and the prophets than to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The value of the scrolls both for OT textual studies and for NT faith and life will undoubtedly increase as the unpub. contents of the caves are made available. AvRS

F. F. Bruce, Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1956); M. Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls (New York, 1955); F. M. Cross, Jr., The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies (Garden City, New York, 1958); H. E. Del Medico, The Riddle of the Scrolls, tr. H. Garner (New York, 1959); The Dead Sea Scriptures, tr. T. H. Gaster, rev. and enl. ed. (Garden City, New York, 1964); Y. Yadin, The Message of the Scrolls (New York, 1957).


1. In OT, deaf were protected by law (Lv 19:14). In NT, Jesus healed deaf (Mk 7:32–37). Word “ephphatha” (“be opened”), often used in work among deaf, was spoken by Jesus (Mk 7:34). Deafness is also ascribed to those who hear but do not understand (Is 42:18; 43:8; Mt 13:14). Healing deaf a sign of messianic kingdom. (Mt 11:5; Lk 7:22)

2. The condition of the deaf in the Greco-Roman world was deplorable. They were often regarded as defective and their rights were curtailed. Augustine* of Hippo held on the basis of Ro 10:17 that deafness hinders faith (Contra Julianum, III iv 10). For cents. the ch. made no organized effort to reach the deaf.

3. J. R. Pereire* originated a method of signing the alphabet with one hand. C. M. de l'Épée* perfected this method. T. H. Gallaudet* and L. Clerc brought this sign language to the US

4. In the 19th c. institutions for the deaf were est. in many parts of the world. Govts. and such educators as H. Mann* became interested in educ. of deaf. The RC Ch. est. the St. Joseph Inst. for the Deaf, St. Louis, Missouri, 1837.

5. In the 19th c. ministers of the Gospel led in bringing educ. to the deaf. Many clergymen served as administrators and teachers in residential schools. As educ. of deaf became more specialized, the clergy withdrew from school staffs and concentrated on Gospel ministry.

6. Thomas Gallaudet (1822–1902), son of T. H. Gallaudet, while serving on the faculty of the Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, NYC, organized a Bible class and began conducting religious services for deaf; it soon became St. Ann's Ch. for Deaf-Mutes, inc. 1854. Edward Miner Gallaudet (1837–1917), another son of T. H. Gallaudet, was a noted teacher of deaf-mutes in the Am. Asylum, Hartford, Connecticut, and head of a school for deafmutes, Washington, D. C.; part of the latter school became Gallaudet Coll. 1894. Henry Winter Syle, a deaf man, was ordained to the Episc. priesthood 1883.

7. The Southern Bap. Conv. does extensive work among deaf in the South. The Meth. Ch., Ch. of Christ, Assemblies of God, and other Prot. chs. are active in deaf work.

8. The Christian Deaf Fellowship is an interdenom. organization that began work in Akron, Ohio, in the early 1940s and is spreading to other parts of the US and Can. The United Ch. of Can. has missions in Ont. and a large ch. in Toronto.

9. The Desoms (Deaf Sons of Masons) were organized in the 1940s.

10. In 1873 an assoc. of Mo. Syn. congs. founded an institute for deaf-mutes in connection with an orphanage in Royal Oak, Michigan; its 1st dir. and teacher was G. P. Speckhard.* New property for the Royal Oak inst. was acquired 1874 at Norris, Michigan, near Detroit. At the instigation of Edward J. Pahl (d. November 4, 1945), a grad. of the Detroit school, adult work among deaf was begun. Among Mo. Syn. pioneers in work among deaf were Hermann Daniel Uhlig (November 8, 1847–August 15, 1913; dir. of the Detroit inst. 1879–1900) and E. A. Duemling.* A. Reinke* conducted the 1st Mo. Syn. service for deaf March 4, 1894; within a few months he conducted services for deaf in Fort Wayne and Elkhart, Indiana; he requested the Mo. Syn. at its 1896 conv. to undertake miss. work among deaf and a syn. commission for deaf was est.; he also urged students at the St. Louis sem. to study sign language under tutelage of a Mrs. Jacobi. Two students, Hermann Adam Bentrup (November 24, 1872–October 29, 1948) and Traugott Martin Wangerin (October 21, 1873–September 9, 1951), were sent out in the 1st yr. By 1897 three missionaries were conducting services in 14 cities; total average attendance: 300.

11. In 1965 the LCMS had nearly 60 workers among deaf. Deaf were served in over 200 cities and numbered over 5,000 communicant mems. Pastors also minister to deaf in state hospitals and other govt. institutions. Training programs are conducted at Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; Conc. Sem., Fort Wayne, Indiana; and several prep. schools. The work is supervised by the Bd. for Miss.

12. For. work among deaf by the LCMS was begun 1964 in the Far East under the direction of William Reinking as resident counselor in Hong Kong. Contacts for work among deaf have been made in Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, New Guinea, and elsewhere.

13. The Luth. Friends of the Deaf est. the Luth. School for the Deaf, Mill Neck, New York, 1951; it publishes educ. materials (e.g., the John of Beverley Series of religious workbooks).

14. The Ephphatha mission of The ALC centers its work in the midwestern states among Scand. people. This miss. began 1898 when the United Norw. Luth. Ch. in Am. first considered expanding its home miss. work to include deaf and blind. Gilbert H. Bakken became its 1st part-time and H. O. Bjorlie the 1st full-time pastor to deaf.

15. Beginnings of work among deaf by the LCA date back to the early part of the 20th c. in E Pennsylvania and centered in Philadelphia, where students from the sem. conducted classes and services for children in the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Mount Airy, Pennsylvania


K. W. Hodgson, The Deaf and Their Problems (New York, 1954); H. Best, Deafness and the Deal in the United States (New York, 1943).


Temporal death is cessation of natural life: universal (Heb 9:27); results from sin (Gn 2:17; Ro 5:12–14); for believers prelude to eternal bliss (2 Co 5:1; Ph 1:23; 2 Ti 4:6–8; Ja 1:12); described as separation of spirit from body (Ec 12:7; 2 Co 5:1–5; 2 Ptr 1:14), departure (2 Ti 4:6); introduced into the world by Satan (Heb 2:14; Jn 8:44); occurs once (Heb 9:27); certain (Jb 14:1–2).

Fear of death and of what lies beyond is a source of anxiety and alarm to a guilty conscience. But Jesus has taken away the sting of death, 1 Co 15:55–57, and has given to His own the assurance that death leads to a state of endless bliss, Ps 16:11. That man was not destined for a life ending in death is clear from the penalty for sin, Gn 2:17. It was possible for man not to sin (posse non peccare) and hence not to die. According to theol. statements based on the analogy of the angels confirmed in holiness, he might have attained the inability to sin (non posse peccare), hence the absolute state of deathlessness. The dominion of death over man is ascribed to sin, Ro 5:12.

Spiritual death is the alienation of sinful man from the holy God. Temporal death is so called because it takes place in time and for the duration of time. Eternal death, or the “second death” (Rv 20:14), is the fate of those who meet temporal death unjust, impenitent, unbelieving; they are forever separated from God and will rise only to hear their doom and experience it in body and soul (Mt 10:28; 25:41–46). But death has no eternal claim on those who meet temporal death in spiritual life; they will rise to eternal life (Mt 25:31–40, 46; Jn 5:29).

See also Hereafter.

“Death of God” Movement.

Radical Christian (mostly Prot.) theol. school that arose in the US in the 1960s; holds that belief in God is meaningless or impossible in the modern world and that man's fulfillment is in the secular life of this world. Exponents include Thomas Jonathan Jackson Altizer ([1927– ]; b. Cambridge, Massachusetts; raised in Charleston, West Virginia; educ. St. John's Coll., Annapolis, Maryland, and the U. of Chicago [Illinois]. Taught at Wabash Coll., Crawfordsville, Indiana; Emory U., Atlanta, Georgia; State U. of New York, Stonybrook. Coauthor [with William Hamilton Jr.], Radical Theology and the Death of God. Other works include Oriental Mysticism and Biblical Eschatology; Mircea Eliade and the Dialectic of the Sacred; The New Apocalypse; The Gospel of Christian Atheism; The Descent Into Hell) and William Hamilton Jr. ([1924– ]; b. Evanston, Illinois; educ. Oberlin [Ohio] Coll. and Union Theol. Sem., NYC; ordained Bap. 1948. Taught at Hamilton Coll., Clinton, New York; Colgate Divinity School, Rochester, New York; New Coll., Sarasota, Florida; Portland [Oregon] State U. Coauthor [with T. J. J. Altizer], Radical Theology and the Death of God. Other works include The Christian Man; The New Essence of Christianity; The Modern Reader's Guide to the Gospels; Taking God out of the Dictionary).

De Bakker, Jan

(Jan van Woerden; Pistorius; 1499 to 1525). B. Woerden, Neth.; educ. Utrecht and Louvain; entered priesthood at Utrecht; pastor Woerden 1523; arrested for departing from traditional doctrine; imprisoned; released; went to Wittenberg to contact Luther; returned; summoned to Utrecht, he fled to Holland, married, and as layman taught the Gospel; imprisoned at the Hague; burned at stake.


City in E Hungary*; prominent in Prot. ch. hist.; noted for confessions of faith formulated there 1560–62 and 1567. See also Reformed Confessions, E 6.

Debrunner, Johann Albert

(1884–1958). B. Basel; educ. Göttingen and Basel; taught at Zurich 1917–18, Greifswald 1918–20, Bern 1920–25, Jena 1925–35, Bern 1935–54. Mem. of the Ev. Ref. Ch. Revised F. W. Blass,* Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch; ed. Indogermanisches Jahrbuch 1927–39 and Indogermanische Forschangen 1948–58.


The fundamental moral law in the form of 10 sentences (LXX: deka logoi Ex 34:28). When God created man, He wrote the Law into his heart. According to Ro 2:14–15, Gentiles who have not the decalog carry out its precepts by nature and thereby show that the works of the Law are written in their hearts. (Cf. Gn 1:27; Eph 4:24)

In order to lead Israel to worship only Him, God gave His holy will in Ten Commandments from Sinai (Ex 19:1–20:17; Dt 5) and later wrote them on 2 tables (Ex 24:12; 31:18) which were to be placed into the “ark of the testimony” (Ex 25:21–22), also called “ark of the covenant” (Nm 10:33) and “ark of God” (1 Sm 3:3). Moses broke the 1st set of tables when he came down from the mountain (Ex 32:19). New tables were prepared (Ex 34) and put into the ark (Dt 10:1–5; 1 K 8:9; Heb 9:4). The tables may have been lost when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple. (2 K 25)

That the 10 Commandments do not concern Gentiles and Christians, but only Jews, as Luther said (WA 16, 424), is true of the form in which they were given (Ex 20:1–17; Dt 5:6–21). Luther, following NT precedent (cf. Mt 19:18–19: Mk 10:19; Eph 6:2–3; Cl 2:16–17), omitted ceremonial elements (the word “Sabbath” and ceremonial commands of the 3d Commandment), the mention of iconolatry (1st Commandment), and the threat attached to the 2d Commandment, and made other changes (e.g., in the 10th Commandment, Ex 20:17; Dt 5:21; and in placing the part that he used as the Close of the Commandments, Ex 20:5b–6; Dt 5:9b–10).

The 10 Commandments tell us what we are to do and not to do and how we are to be and not to be. Man cannot be saved by the Law (Gl 2:16); but the Law serves as a curb, a mirror, and a rule. It serves as a curb “to maintain external discipline against unruly and disobedient men”; (FC Ep VI 1; cf. 1 Ti 1:9–10; Ps 32:9). It serves as a mirror by showing man what he is (Is 64:6; Ro 3:20; 7:7; Gl 3:24). It serves as a rule in showing what God expects of man.

No mere man has perfectly fulfilled the Law as God demands (Gl 3:10; 1 Jn 1:8); all are sinners (Eph 2:3; Ro 3:22–23), subject to temporal and eternal punishment (Lv 26:14–43; Dt 27:14–26; 28:15–68: Ro 6:23). But Christ fulfilled the Jewish ceremonial and pol. laws as well as the moral law (Mt 22:21; Luke 2:22–39; 1 Ptr 2:21–22). He also bore the punishment for our sins (1 Co 15:3; Gl 3:13; 1 Ptr 2:24). The Christian, then, is no longer under the Law. (Ro 6:14; Gl 5:18)

The Bible neither numbers the Commandments nor determines their respective position (cf. Ex 20:17 and Dt 5:21; Mt 19:18–19 and Mk 10:19). The Jews make Ex 20:2 the 1st Commandment, Ex 20:3–6 the 2d, and Ex 20:17 the 10th. The E Orthodox and the Ref. Chs. make Ex 20:2–3 the 1st, Ex 20:4–6 the 2d, and Ex 20:17 the 10th. The Luths. and RCs draw the 2d from Ex 20:7, the 3d from Ex 20:8–11, and make Ex 20:17a the 9th and Ex 20:17b the 10th. Jews divide the 10 Commandments into 2 groups of 5 each. Luths. and RCs assign 3 Commandments to the 1st table and 7 to the 2d. E Orthodox and Ref. Chs. assign 4 to the 1st and 6 to the 2d. RH, LP

R. Herrmann, “The Decalog and the Close of the Commandments,” The Abiding Word, I (St. Louis, 1946), 124–145; F. W. C. Jesse, Catechetical Preparations, Part I: The Decalog (St. Louis, 1919); E. G. W. Keyl, Katechismusauslegung aus Dr. Luthers Schriften und den symbolischen Büchern, I (Nördlingen, 1853); M. Reu, “The Significance of the Law and the Example of Jesus for the Formation of the New Life,” Christian Ethics (Columbus, Ohio, 1935), pp. 114–122.

Decisio Saxonica.

Decision rendered 1624 by theologians including Höe* von Höenegg in a dispute bet. the theologians of Tuübingen and Giessen. The former held that in Christ's State of Humiliation the God-Man retained both the possession and the use of all His divine attributes, though He applied them only in secret; the latter held that the Lord had the possession and the functions of His divine attributes, but did not use them according to His human nature. The decision declared that in working miracles the God-Man temporarily stepped out of His kenosis.*

Decius, Gaius Messius Quintus Trojanus

(Caius; 201–251). B. Budalia, near Sermium, Pannonia; Roman emp. 249–251. See also Persecution of Christians, 3–4; Philip the Arabian.

Decius, Nikolaus

(Deeg; ca. 1485–after 1546). Pastor, poet, and musician. Seems to have been a native of Hof, Upper Franconia; educ. Leipzig; monk; spiritual leader of Benedictine nunnery (Steterburg); became Luth. ca. 1522; rector at Hanover 1522; then teacher in Brunswick 1522; wrote perhaps the first hymns of Lutheranism for the Reformation of Brunswick; entered U. of Wittenberg 1523; 2d pastor at Stettin ca. 1524, later 1st pastor of Nikolaikirche there; asst. pastor Liebstadt, E Prussia, 1530; at Mühlhausen 1534; sympathetic to Calvinists; cantor and teacher of Lat. school, Bartenstein; asst. cantor and preacher at court in Königsberg 1540; returned to Möhlhausen 1543; regarded as restless and unstable. Author and composer of “Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr” and “O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig.” Other works include Summula (on passages from Mt).

Declaratory Acts.

Two acts, 1879 and 1892, of the Presb. Ch. of Scot. allowing ministers some freedom in some items in Ref. confessions. See also Free Church of Scotland; Presbyterian Churches, 1; Presbyterian Confessions, 4.

Declaratory Statement.

Adopted 1903 by Gen. Assem. of the Presb. Ch. in the USA; purpose was to bring God's decree of election into harmony with universal grace. See also Presbyterian Churches, 4 a.

De Cock, Hendrik

(1801–42). Dutch Ref. pastor; leader in organization of Christian Ref. Ch.; minister at Eppenhuisen and Noordlaren 1824; Ulrum 1829; influenced by Willem Bilderdijk (1756–1831), poet, scholar, and critic, to oppose rationalism and formalism of Ref. Ch. in the Neth.; suspended, he announced his separation from the est. Ref. Ch. 1834; with Hendrik Pieter Scholte (1805–68) and others organized the Christian Ref. Ch. (Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk) 1836. See also Netherlands, 2.

Decrees and Decretals.

Decretals are collections of decrees or laws, esp. of papal laws and rules. The term is derived from the Lat. decretalis, “containing a decree”; cf. the Lat. decretum, “decree.” The singular, “decretal,” denotes any authoritative decree or a letter embodying such a decree. Decretals include the Decretum of Gratian* and decretals of Gregory IX (see Popes, 11), Boniface VIII (see Popes, 12), and Clement* V Such decretals are part of canon* law (Corpus* Iuris Canonici). See also Decretals, False; Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.

Decrees of God.

The essential internal acts of God: decree of creation, redemption, and predestination. God decreed to create the world. Foreseeing that man would fall into sin, He decreed to send Christ as the universal Savior from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil. He also decreed to save and to preserve unto eternal life certain persons through Christ. The decrees of God cannot be frustrated. See also Creation; Predestination; Redemption.

Decretals, False.

Compilations of alleged laws and resolutions within the RC Ch. to support false claims. See also Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals.


of Gratian. See Canon Law, 3; Decrees and Decretals; Gratian (canonist).

Decretum Gelasianum.

Early Lat. document; author unknown; erroneously ascribed to Gelasius I (pope 492–496); contains 5 sections: Christ and the Holy Ghost, canonical Scripture, the Roman Ch., orthodox councils and fathers, and approved patristic and apocryphal writings. See also Apocrypha, C 2.

Dedekennus, Georg

(Dedekendus; Dedeken; 1564 to 1628). Luth. theol.; b. Lübeck; d. Hamburg; pastor Neustadt; preacher in Hamburg; works include Thesaurus consiliorum et decisionum; De peccatorum causis.


Religious ceremony whereby anything is dedicated or consecrated to the service of God. In OT the tabernacle (Ex 40; Nm 7), Solomon's temple (1 K 8; rededication 2 Ch 29), Zerubbabel's temple (Ez 6:16–17) were dedicated. This custom was followed by Maccabaeus (1 Mac 4:52–59) and Herod (Josephus, Antiquities, XV, xi, 6). Cities, walls, gates, houses were also consecrated (Dt 20:5; Ps 30, title; Neh 12:27).

Eusebius describes the dedication of the cathedral at Tyre ca. 315 (HE, X, iv). By the 13th c., dedication consisted of 6 parts: blessing outside, blessing in middle of ch., preparation for altar consecration, altar consecration, procession of relics, blessing of altar vessels and furnishings.

In the RC Ch. solemn consecration (permanent chs.) is only by bp., blessing (temporary chs. and those of metal or wood) by priest. The ceremony consists of prayers, sprinkling with holy water, followed by mass.

Luther rejected concepts of magic and superstition in dedicatory act (WA 50, 644–645). Preaching and prayer sanctify and dedicate chs. (WA 49, 588–615). Scripture readings, hymns, and prayers occupy a prominent place in Luth. ceremonies of groundbreaking, cornerstone laying, dedication, and consecration.

The Minister's Handbook of Dedications, ed. W. H. Leach (New York, 1961); English Orders for Consecrating Churches in the Seventeenth Century, Together with Forms for the Consecration of Churchyards, the First Stone of a Church, the Reconciliation of a Church, and the Consecration of Altar Plate, ed. J. W. Legg (London, 1911); R. W. L. Muncey, A History of the Consecration of Churches and Churchyards (Cambridge, Eng., 1930).

Defender of the Faith

(Fidei Defensor). Title used by rulers of Eng.; first conferred 1521 by Leo X on Henry VIII for his treatise against Luther defending the doctrine of 7 sacraments.

Definite Synodical Platform

(Definite Platform, Doctrinal and Disciplinarian, for Evangelical Lutheran District Synods; Constructed in Accordance with the Principles of the General Synod). Document born of “American Lutheranism”; pub. anonymously September 1855; S. S. Schmucker* was instrumental in drawing it up. It included an “American Recension of the Augsburg Confession.” Its chief object was to obviate the influence of confessional Lutheranism. The Definite Platform charges the AC with error in approval of the ceremonies of the mass, private confession and absolution, denial of the divine obligation of the Christian Sabbath, baptismal regeneration, the real presence of the body and blood of the Savior in the Eucharist. The descent into hell is omitted from the Creed. The Athanasian Creed is not included. The other Luth. symbols are rejected because of their length and alleged errors.

Though drafted by leaders of the General* Synod, the Definite Platform was adopted by only 3 district syns.: the Wittenberg Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. of Ohio, the Olive Branch Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. of the State of Indiana, and the Eng. Luth. Syn. of Ohio (later known as the E Ohio Syn.). The other constituent syns. either refused to adopt the document or rejected it altogether. The Gen. Syn. as such, therefore, cannot be held responsible for the Definite Platform. The authors and supporters of the document had mistaken a half-developed tendency for a final result.

Definite Platform, Doctrinal and Disciplinarian, for Evangelical Lutheran District Synods; Constructed in Accordance with the Principles of the General Synod, 2d ed. (Philadelphia, 1856); E. L. Lueker, “Walther and the Free Lutheran Conferences of 1856–1859,” CTM, XV (1944), 529–563; V. Ferm, The Crisis in American Lutheran Theology (New York, 1927); C. Mauelshagen, American Lutheranism Surrenders to Forces of Conservatism (Athens, Georgia, 1936).

Defoe, Daniel

(ca. 1660–1731). Eng. pioneering novelist, pamphleteer, journalist. Works include The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, which shows the absurdity of religious intolerance; Robinson Crusoe.


Literally a slayer of a god; term sometimes used to designate esp. those who took part in the crucifixion of Christ.

Dei gratia.

Lat. “by the grace of God”; abbreviated D. g. Found 1 Co 15:10. First used at the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus*; later secular rulers used the expression in connection with their titles to indicate that they held their office by divine grace and will.

Deindörfer, Johannes A.

(1828–1907). B. Rosstal, near Nürnberg; educ. Nürnberg and Neuendettelsau; to Frankenhilf (now Richville), Michigan, as an emissary of J. K. W. Löhe* 1851; joined Missouri* Syn. 1852; with G. M. Grossmann* to Iowa 1853 because of differences with the Mo. Syn.; helped found Iowa* Syn. 1854; pastor Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio 1853–93; pres. Iowa Syn. 1893–1904; prominent in the opposition of his syn. to the Mo. Syn. Works include Geschichte der Evangel.-Luth. Synode von Iowa und anderen Staaten; Denkschriften commemorating the 10th, 25th, and 50th anniversaries of the founding of the Iowa Syn.

Deinzer, Johannes

(September 2, 1842–January 25, 1897). B. Ger.; taught at the institute of the Neuendettelsau* miss. soc.; asst. of J. K. W. Löhe; to Am. 1879, at the 25th anniversary of the Iowa* Syn., representing its friends in Ger.; sent out ca. 100 missionaries, many to the Iowa Syn.; ed. Wilhelm Löhe's Leben and J. K. W. Löhe, Agende, 3d ed., 1884.


(from Lat. Deus, God). Basic and original meaning of the term: belief in one Supreme Being, in distinction from atheism* and polytheism*; now gen. assoc. with what some call natural religion, based on reason and the natural* knowledge on God, rather than revelation, and may thus be mistinguished from theism.*

Deism holds either that the universe is a self-sustained mechanism from which God withdrew immediately after creation or that God is still active in the universe, but only through the laws of nature.

I. Antecedents. The sources on which deism drew were many. 1. Some arguments of deists were taken from early opponents of Christianity (Celsus,* Porphyry,* Philostratus*), from statements made in the course of early controversies (Gnostic [see Gnosticism], Trinitarian and Christological,* Pelagian,* Arminian [see Arminianism]), and from pre-Christian philosophers (Socrates,* Plato,* Democritus,* Leucippus,* Epicurus,* M. T. Cicero,* Plutarch*). 2. Discoveries and explorations of the 15th and 16th cents. brought information to Eur. regarding various religions; this stimulated comparative religion. 3. Scientific discoveries undermined many views held in the medieval ch. I. Newton's* scientific works led deists to conclude that observation of laws est. by God is a sufficient basis for religious conviction. 4. Many arguments of deists were taken from contemporary controversies, with RCs quoted against Prots. and vice versa. 5. Deists criticized abuses in the ch., “lifeless dogmatism,” ritualism, and the lack of true spiritual life. 6. Deists criticized the narrow scholasticism of RCs, but developed scholastic statements concerning God into a conception of a master mechanic who created the world and then let it operate on its own. 7. Deists drew heavily on results of textual* criticism and higher* criticism. 8. Dissatisfaction with fanaticism and atrocities ascribed to religious communions prepared the way for many deistic arguments. See also Rationalism.

II. Method. Much writing of the deists is negative. Inspiration, text of Scripture, miracles, prophecies, deity of Christ, Bible characters, ordinances, institutions, rites and doctrines of the ch., character of the clergy, and other religious matters were subjected to their attacks. The smaller part of their writings was devoted to developing a religion of nature.

III. History.

1. Deism is gen. considered as beginning with E. Herbert* (ca. 1583–1648) and ending with Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826; Am. statesman; works include The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, often called “The Jefferson Bible”). Herbert granted the possibility of revealed religion, but held that perception occurs through the correspondence of objects with ideas innate in the mind; held 5 principles to be common to all religions: (1) rationally derived belief in the existence of deity; (2) obligation to worship deity; (3) close connection bet. worship and practical morality; (4) obligation to repent of sin and abandon it; (5) divine recompense in this world and the next. T. Hobbes* (1588–1679) held that religion arises out of fear and superstition and is to be controlled by the state. Deists disliked Hobbes's intolerance but were influenced by his rationalism.

2. T. Browne* (1605–82) regarded faith and reason as hostile forces, and tried to keep them apart; opposed dependence on authority and adherence to antiquity. J. R. Tillotson* (1630–94) opposed intolerance; regarded ethics and reason as chief elements in religion.

3. J. Locke* (1632–1704), though not a deist, was extensively quoted by deists and gave new directions to deistic thought. His empiricism replaced Herbert's doctrine of innate ideas. His statement that it was difficult to prove the soul immaterial was seized on by deists, as well as his remark that time weakened evidence for traditional revelation.

4. C. Blount* (1654–93) marks the transition bet. Herbert's doctrine of innate ideas and Locke's empiricism; opposed revelation by trying to parallel Bible narratives with heathen legends; held that what is necessary for salvation must be known to all since there is no special revelation. TOLAND>J. Toland* (1670 to 1722) est. deism on the empiricism of Locke. A. A. Cooper (1671–1713), 3d Earl of Shaftesbury,* emphasized natural ethics and introd. wit and mockery as weapons.

5. M. Tindal* (ca. 1656–1733) reduced Christianity to naturalism*; regarded it unreasonable to hold that truth is withheld from most of mankind. Other Eng. deists: Thomas Woolston (ca. 1670–ca. 1733); A. Collins* (1676–1729); H. St. J. Bolingbroke* (1678–1751); Thomas Chubb (1679–ca. 1747; works include The Supremacy of the Father Asserted; A Discourse Concerning Reason; The True Gospel of Jesus Christ Asserted); Thomas Morgan (1680–1743; works include The Moral Philosopher); P. Annet* (1693–ca. 1769).

6. H. Dodwell, Jr. (see Dodwell, 2), paved the way for transition from deism to skepticism; denied reason a place in religion. This trend was accelerated by D. Hume's* denial of causality* as a force (see also Cause, 5).

IV. Factors in the decline of deism: Christian apologies (G. Berkeley,* J. Butler,* W. Law,* J. Leland,* G. Lyttelton,* W. Paley,* G. West*); differences among deists; exhaustion of the subject of deism; Meth. revival (see Methodist Churches, 1).

V. Eng. deism influenced men in Fr. (J. J. Rousseau,* Voltaire*), Ger. (J. K. Dippel,* I. Kant,* G. E. Lessing,* M. Mendelssohn,* H. S. Reimarus,* C. Wolff*), and Am. (B. Franklin, T. Jefferson [see also par. III 1 above], T. Paine*). It influenced philos., Modernism,* and Freemasonry* in the 19th and 20th cents. and is studied by antichristian movements. EL

See also Freethinker.

J. Orr, English Deism: Its Roots and Its Fruits (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1934); S. G. Hefelbower, The Relation of John Locke to English Deism (Chicago, 1918); H. M. Morals, Deism in Eighteenth Century America (New York, 1960); L. Stephen, History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century, 3d ed., 2 vols. (New York, 1902; repr. 1927); G. A. Koch, Republican Religion: The American Revolution and the Cult of Reason (New York, 1933; repr. Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1964).

Deissmann, Gustav Adolf

(1866–1937). Prof. NT Heidelberg and Berlin; showed that NT Gk. was that of the papyri; pointed out the value of papyri for study of NT Gk. Works include Bibelstudien; Licht vom Osten. See also Lutheran Theology After 1580, 13.

Delehaye, Hippolyte

(1859–1941). Belgian Jesuit; pres. Bollandists* 1912.


1. Franz (1813–90). B. and d. Leipzig; prominent theol. of the Erlangen school (see Lutheran Theology After 1580, 11); prof. Rostock, Erlangen, and Leipzig; special field was exegesis; acquainted with founders of the Mo. Syn.; enthusiastic Lutheran; later, influenced by modern scientific theol., opposed literalistic use of FC Works include commentaries on OT books in a series to which J. F. K. Keil also contributed; tr. NT into Heb.

2. Friedrich Conrad Gerhard (1850–1922). Assyriologist; b. Erlangen; d. Langenschwalbach; son of Franz; prof. Berlin 1899; lectures Babel und Bibel, in which he maintained that OT ideas originated in Babylonia, caused noted controversy; opponents showed that Biblical OT religion had unique divine origin. Works include Assyrische Grammatik; Assyrisches Handwörterbuch.

Delk, Edwin Heyl

(August 15, 1859–February 8, 1940). Luth. clergyman; b. Norfolk, Virginia: ordained 1882; pastor Schoharie, New York, 1882–85, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1885 to 1902, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1902–29: pres. Philadelphia Fed. of Chs. 1910–14; trustee Luth. Theol. Sem. and Luth. Deaconess Motherhouse. Works include Three Vital Problems; The Need of a Restatement of Theology; ed. The Life and Works of Rev. Charles S. Albert, DD

Demantius, Johannes Christoph

(1567–1643). B. Reichenberg (Liberec), Boh.; Luth. composer of sacred and secular music; works include Passion According to St. John. See also Passion, The.


(d. ca. AD 231). Bp. Alexandria 189; first a friend, then opponent, of Origen* (Eusebius, HE, VI. iii, viii, xix, xxvi).

Demetrius of Thessalonica

(Demetrius Mysos [or the Mysian; from an Asiatic people who lived also in E Eur.]; Rascianus [from Rascia, Rassia, or Rashka, original home of the Serbians, or Serbians, bet. Bosnia, Dalmatia, and Albania]; Thrax [i. e., of Thrace]; fl. 16th c.). Highly literate Serbian deacon; in service of patriarch of Constantinople; for several months P. Melanchthon's* houseguest in Wittenberg 1559; entrusted by Melanchthon with delivery of Gk. version of AC and a personal letter to Patriarch Joasaph but on the way became engrossed in Prot. work in Wal(l)achia (now part of Romania) and apparently did not reach Constantinople. See also Eastern Orthodox Churches, 5.

Demme, Karl Rudolph

(April 10, 1795–September 1, 1863). B. Ger.; educ. Altenburg, Göttingen, and Halle; to Am. 1818; licensed 1819 by Pennsylvania Ministerium to serve at Hummelstown, Pennsylvania; assoc. pastor St. Michael and Zion Ch., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; ed. Ger. tr. of the works of F. Josephus*; active in liturgical and hymnological work. See also Schaeffer, Charles Frederick.

Demmel, Joseph

(1846–1913). Old Cath. pastor Bonn; bp. Old Cath. Ch. 1906. See also Old Catholics.

Democratic Declarations of Faith.

Under this head are included the creeds evolved by Prot. denominations after the period of conf. writing based on involved theol. thought had come to an end; they are considered exhibitions of unity rather than binding symbols. In gen., these creeds are less theol., more popular, and more permissive of private judgment. Many are of the nature of a covenant and emphasize voluntary agreement for the achievement of a common purpose.

1. Creeds of this type may be traced to such Anabaptist statements as the Schleitheim Confession, entitled Brüderlich Vereinigung etzlicher Kinder Gottes sieben Artikel betreffend (adopted 1527 by Swiss Anabaptists); Rechenschafft unserer Religion, Leer und Glaubens (drafted 1540 by Peter Riedemann*); the Waterland Confession entitled Korte Belydenisse des Geloofs (1577); and the Dordrecht* Confession. (See also Mennonite Churches, 2)

2. Congregationalists weaken gen. creeds and emphasize particular creeds. Each cong. has the right to formulate its own creed. Prominent among their gen. declarations: Savoy Declaration (1658; first 2 parts: preface, and revision of the Westminster Confession [see Presbyterian Confessions, 3, 4]; the pref. emphasizes “a forbearance and mutual indulgence unto Saints of all persuasions, that keep unto, and hold fast the necessary foundations of faith and holiness, in all other matters extra fundamental, whether of Faith or Order”; the 3d part is a Platform of Discipline); Declaration of the Faith, Church Order, and Discipline of the Congregational or Independent Dissenters (also called Declaration of Faith and Order; summary of leading Cong. doctrines of faith and order; adopted 1833 by the Congregational Union of Eng. and Wales). In Am. the following are noteworthy: Cambridge Platform (1648; approved in substance the doctrinal parts of the Westminster Confession but not its articles on discipline); Declaration of Synod of Boston (also called Confession of 1680; modified Savoy Declaration; approved Cambridge Platform in substance); statements of the Synod of Saybrook (1708; approved the Confession of 1680; adopted Heads* of Agreement; drew up the Saybrook Platform of discipline) and of the National Council of Boston (1865; adopted the “Burial Hill Declaration,” which expressed adherence to faith and order substantially as embodied in the Cambridge Platform and in the Confession of 1680, and a brief statement of polity). (See also United Church of Christ, I A 1, 2)

3. Two large bodies emerged in early 17th c. Bap. hist. in Eng.: Arminian (also called Gen. because they believed in gen. or universal atonement) and Calvinist (also called Particular, because they believed in particular redemption). (See also Baptist Churches, 2). Baptists do not consider creeds as tests of orthodoxy, but as portrayals of unanimity. Creeds of Particular Baptists include: London Confession (“The Confession of Faith of those Churches Which are Commonly [though falsely] called Anabaptists”; adopted by 7 Bap. chs. 1644); Somerset Confession (“A Confession of the Faith of Several Churches of Christ in the County of Somerset, and of Some Churches in the Counties Neer Adjacent”; 1656); Second London Confession (“Confession of Faith Put Forth by the Elders and Brethren of Many Congregations of Christians [Baptized Upon Profession of Their Faith] in London and the Country”; 1677; reprinted 1688; reaffirmed 1689; sometimes called Confession of 1688; based on Westminster Confession [see Presbyterian Confessions, 3]); Philadelphia Confession (Second London Confession with the addition of Art. XXIII and XXXI; pub. authorized 1742 by the Philadelphia Bap. Assoc., organized 1707; printed 1743). Some early important declarations of Arminian (Gen.) Baps.: Short Confession of Faith in XX Articles by John Smyth, ca. 1609; A Declaration of Faith of English People Remaining at Amsterdam in Holland (1611; election conditioned by foreknown faith; reprobation by foreknown unbelief; perseverance denied); The Faith and Practise of Thirty Congregations, Gathered According to the Primitive Pattern, adopted 1651 by congs. of Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and adjoining counties; Midland Association Confession (“Sixteen Articles of Faith and Order Unanimously Assented to by the Messengers Met at Warwick, the 3rd Day of the 3rd Month, 1655”); The Standard Confession (also called London Confession; “A Brief Confession or Declaration of Faith,” adopted 1660 at London); An Orthodox Creed (“An Orthodox Creed, or A Protestant Confession of Faith, Being an Essay to Unite and Confirm All True Protestants in the Fundamental Articles of the Christian Religion, Against the Errors and Heresies of Rome”; endorsed 1678; approaches Calvinism). More recent statements by Baps.: Declaration of Faith (drawn up by J. N. Brown* and others ca. 1833; pub. by New Hampshire Bap. Conv.; widely accepted in Am.); Abstract* of Principles; and Statement of Committee on Baptist Faith and Message (adopted by S Bap. Conv. 1925).

4. Quakers acknowledge no platform or creed of binding authority. Some follow R. Barclay's* Catechism and Confession of Faith and Apology. See also Friends, Society of.

5. Moravians have no confession of faith as such but endorsed the AC An expression of their theol. is found in A. G. Spangenberg,* Idea fidei fratrum. See also Moravian Church.

6. Meth. creeds allow for development. In addition to the Bible, Methodists recognize 3 classes of confessional guides or standards: a. Twenty-five Articles of Religion (adopted 1784 at Baltimore; prepared by J. Wesley from Thirty-nine Articles [see Anglican Confessions, 6]); b. Wesley's Sermons and Notes on the New Testament; c. Book of Discipline and several catechisms (1852, 1868). See also Methodist Churches.

7. Practically all groups that reject creeds have statements of principles (e.g., Articles of War of the Salvation* Army and T. Campbell's* Declaration and Address [see Disciples of Christ, 2 a, 3]).

W. Walker, The Creeds and Platforms of Congregationalism (New York, 1893); P. Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, 6th ed., 3 vols. (New York, 1931); T. B. Neely, Doctrinal Standards of Methodism, Including the Methodist Episcopal Churches (New York, 1918); J. C. Wenger, The Doctrines of the Mennonites (Scottdale, Pennsylvania, 1950); W. L. Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions of Faith (Chicago, 1959); Creeds of the Churches, ed. J. H. Leith (Chicago, 1963). EL


(ca. 460–ca. 371 BC). B. Abdera, Thrace; known as “Abderite” and “Laughing Philosopher.” Adopted the atomistic philos. of Leucippus* and developed it into the first important materialist philos. of nature; held that the soul is material and perishes with, and in the same sense as, the body. See also Philosophy.


The word originally meant “a deity.” In later Gk. usage it became a term for a spirit, either good or evil. In the NT, demons are evil spirits or devils. See also Devil.

Demoniac Possession.

Possession is the condition in which a person is controlled by an evil, foreign being, which maltreats and tortures the body in various ways, sometimes causing the features to become distorted into ferocious mocking and often causing the victim to express disrespect for religion in a bold, cynical way. The demoniac at Gadara (Lk 8:26–39) showed the following characteristics of possession: He recognized Jesus as his opponent and knew His divine nature; he had supernatural strength; the demons in him desired to escape into swine.

Some object that such an account as Lk 8:26–39 cannot be accepted at face value but that Jesus only humored a notion of the time in seeming to recognize the existence of demons, that demons do not really exist, and that He only seemed to cast them out.

Some commentators attribute these struggles bet. Christ and demons to limitations of knowledge on the part of Jesus. But it is apparent that Christ recognized Satan's power and that the evil spirits recognized Jesus as the Son of God, the Messiah.*

Instances of demoniac possession are occasionally reported in contemporary times. TG

See also Demonology; Devil.

T. Graebner, “Demoniacal Possession,” CTM, IV (August 1933), 589–603.


Study of demons or of beliefs in demons or evil spirits; doctrine concerning demons. Ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Gks., and others believed in demons. In the NT, demons are evil or unclean spirits opposed to God; they constituted the hierarchy of Satan and took possession of people (Mt 8:16; 12:22–29; Mk 1:32; 5:1–20; Lk 8:26–39). See also Apocalyptic Literature; Demoniac Possession; Devil.


(Ger. Entmythologisierung). Term used by R. Bultmann* for a way of interpreting Scripture in the categories of modern man. It tries to remove ancient “myths” (e.g., the “mythical Weltbild”) and state the message of Scripture in relevant contemporary language. He defined “myth” as a representation according to which the transcendent and divine appears as immanent and human, the invisible as visible.

The issue was discussed 1941 by Bultmann in a study entitled Offenbarung und Heilsgeschehen. He believes that hidden in the myth* is a kerygma,* which can be set free by demythologization and proclaimed in existential terms (see Existentialism). The hist. core of Christianity is in the crucifixion of Jesus, which is also in a mythological setting.

Fritz Buri (b. 1907; Swiss theol.; prof. Basel) endorses Bultmann's existentialism and demythologization, but faults him for halting with the kerygma. Consistency, he holds, requires also a “dekerygmatization” of the Christian message.

Kerygma and Myth: A Theological Debate, ed. H. W. Bartsch, tr. R. H. Fuller, 2 vols. (London, 1953–62); W. Arndt, “Entmythologisierung,” CTM, XXII, No. 3 (March 1951), 186–191; R. R. Caemmerer, “More on Entmythologisierung,” CTM, XXII, No. 10 (October 1951), 769–770; P. M. B[retscher], “Bultmann and Goldammer,” CTM, XXV, No. 9 (September 1954), 692–694; O. Cullmann, “Rudolf Bultmann's Concept of Myth and the New Testament,” CTM, XXVII, No. 1 (January 1956), 13–24; P. Althaus, Jr., Fact and Faith in the Kerygma of Today, tr. D. Cairns (Philadelphia, 1959); J. Macquarrie, The Scope of Demythologizing: Bultmann and His Critics (London, 1960); L. M. Petersen, A Historical Critical Analysis of Rudolf Bultmann's Form Criticism as Related to His Demythologization (ThD Thesis, Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1960); L. Malevez, Le message chrétien et le mythe (Brussels, 1954), tr. O. Wyon, The Christian Message and Myth (London, 1958); R. Marlé, Bultmann et l'interprétation de Nouveau Testament (Paris, 1956). EL

Denham, John

(1615–69). Eng. poet. Successfully extended the couplet to descriptive poetry. Works include The Sophy; Cooper's Hill; tr. of the Psalms.

Denicke, David

(1603–80). Hymnist; b. Zittau, Saxony; lectured at Jena and Königsberg; tutored the two oldest sons of Duke Georg of Brunswick-Löneburg; mem. Hanover consistory. Hymns include “Kommt, lasst euch den Herren lehren”; “Wenn ich die heil'gen zehn Gebot”; “Wir Menschen sind zu dem, o Gott.” With J. Gesenius* ed. Hanoverian hymnals 1646–59.

Denifle, Heinrich Seuse

(Josef Anton; 1844–1905). Austrian RC theol. Sought to reconcile mysticism* and scholasticism*; studied medieval univs.; founded with Franz Ehrle the Archiv für Literatur- und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters 1885.


(Denys; 3d-4th c.). Apostle to the Gauls; 1st bp. of Paris; patron saint of Fr.; beheaded at Paris; identified in popular belief with Dionysius* the Areopagite (Acts 17:34).

Denison, George Anthony

(1805–96). Tractarian* and Anglo*-Catholic; vicar Broadwindsor and East Brent; archdeacon Taunton.

Denk, Johannes

(Hans Denck; ca. 1495–1527). B. Heybach (Habach), Bavaria; befriended by J. Oecolampadius*; expelled from Nürnberg on charge of heresy 1525; joined Anabaps.; expelled from Augsburg and Strasbourg 1526, Worms 1527; with L. Hetzer* tr. OT prophets. See also Socinianism, 1.

Denmark, Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of.

Organized November 4, 1855, in Copenhagen, Den., by N. P. Grunnet* for confessional reasons; organized at a time when practically all religious restrictions had been removed in Den. and when rationalism,* Grundtvigianism (see Denmark, Lutheranism in, 8), and S. A. Kierkegaard's* attacks on “official Christianity” were making an impact on the ch. Many critics remained in the ch.; some joined sectarian movements; others became enemies of the ch.; a few joined the Luth. free ch. movement.

In 1882 the Ev., Luth. Free Ch. of Den. est. ch. fellowship with the Luth. Free Ch. of Saxony and thus came into contact with the Mo. Syn.

In 1888 N. P. Grunnet's son Waldemar, who had studied in Am., became his father's asst. When he came to be regarded as his father's successor, some withdrew 1895 and formed the United Ev. Luth. Free Congs. of Den. (De forenede evangelisklutherske frimenigheder i Danmark). In 1900 J. M. Michael, who had studied at Conc. Sem., St. Louis, and had been sent as miss. to Hamburg, Ger., was called to serve at Helsingör (Elsinore). In 1967 the Ev. Luth. Free Ch. in Den. numbered 7 congs., 212 mems. This body is supported by the LCMS

W. J. Michael, Den evangelisk-lutherske Frikirke i Danmark ved 100-ars jubiläet: 1855–1955 (pub. by W. J. Michael, n. d.).

Denmark. Kingdom of.

Area:16,633 sq. mi. Language Danish. Religion: mostly Luth. Christianity apparently first came to Den. in the 6th and 7th cents. through contacts incidental partly to commerce, partly to raids on Ireland. Willibrord* entered Den. ca. 700, but his work seems to have had little lasting success. Ebo* and Halitgar (bp. Cambrai ca. 817; d. ca. 830) entered Den. ca. 822. Ebo returned to Den. several times in the following yrs. for further miss. work with some success. Harald Klak, prince of Jutand, expelled from his country 826, took refuge with Emp. Louis I and was baptized, with his household and retinue. When he returned to Den., be was accompanied by Ansgar,* who est. missions in Schleswig and Ribe. The 1st Christian ch. in Den. was built at Haddeby (Hedeby), near Schleswig, ca. 847. Ansgar's death was followed by a period of transition that ended with the decisive adoption of Christianity, usually dated ca. 950 at the baptism of King Harold Bluetooth (d. ca. 986).

King Sweyn II (Sweyn Estrithson) organized the Dan. Ch. into 9 bishoprics ca. 1060. A metropolitan see for Scand. was est. at Lund ca. 1104. The king was the most powerful figure in the ch. till the 12th c., when the prelates of the ch., under leadership of the abp. of Lund, gained freedom and power for the higher clergy. Power struggles resulted bet. kings and prelates in the 13th and 14th cents.

The ch. of the later Middle Ages was characterized by moral decay, formalized piety, pessimism, and futile attempts at reform.

See also Thirty Years' War.

Denmark, Lutheranism in.

1. At the beginning of the 16th c. the ch. in Denmark was in great need of reform. Many of its leaders were worldly and corrupt, not interested in the spiritual life of the people. The humanist Poul Helgesen (Paulus Helie; Heliae; Eliae; ca. 1485–ca. 1535) unsuccessfully tried reform from within and opposed the Reformation. The ch. was more indep. of Rome than that of many other countries. Aage Jepsen (Sparre) was endorsed as abp. of Lund by royal councillors 1526 and given authority to appoint bps. without consulting Rome. The intention was, however, to remain RC See also Christian II; Reformation, Lutheran, 10.

2. H. Tausen* began to preach Luth. doctrine 1525 at Viborg. Despite a pledge to be true to Rome, Frederick I protected Tausen. Others, including Claus Mortensen, began to preach and initiate reforms at various places, including Malmö. Tausen went to Copenhagen 1529. Dan. Luth. hymnals were pub. 1528, 1529, and 1533. Luths. under leadership of Tausen presented a statement of their faith at the 1530 Diet of Copenhagen in the 43 articles of the Confessio Hafnica (or Hafniensis; name taken from Hafnia, 11th c. Lat. name of Copenhagen). Tausen pub. a Gospel and Epistle postil 1535. After the 1534–36 civil war Christian III (1503–59; king of Den. and Norw. 1534–59) was in financial distress. The RC chs. were wealthy. The king saw that the Reformation was gaining ground. At the 1536 Diet of Copenhagen much RC wealth was confiscated and the country made Luth.

3. In 1537 J. Bugenhagen* crowned the king and queen and ordained 7 new supts., later called bps. This broke apostolic succession in Denmark. Calvinistic tendencies were not tolerated. P. Palladius* (1503–60) was a prominent bp. The Bible was tr. into Dan. 1550 by C. Pedersen* and others; called the Christian III Bible.

4. N. Hemming(sen),* a follower of P. Melanchthon,* exerted humanistic influence and sought compromise with Calvinism.*

5. After 1600 humanistic theol. was sharply attacked by Luth. orthodoxy, which dominated the ch. in the 17th c. Pastors were better trained and were required to pledge adherence to the AC, instead of committing themselves vaguely, as formerly, to ev. teaching. The family altar was emphasized. But there was a tendency to separate faith and life. Intolerance was prevalent, ignorance and superstition strong. Witches were burned at the stake. In the midst of this was a deep mystic religiosity that found expression in devotional literature and in emphasis on penitence and prayer. T. H. Kingo* was the great hymnist of the time.

6. Pietism* came to Den. from Ger. ca. 1703 and found expression through its pastors and hymnists (e.g., H. A. Brorson*) and in groups that met for prayer and Bible reading. The first Luth. for. miss. was launched 1705 by the Dan. king in cooperation with Halle pietists; B. Ziegenbalg* and H. Plütschau* were sent to India. Some orthodox pastors were worldly; throughout the 18th c. there was a struggle bet. dead orthodoxy and pietism. The Dan. common school was begun with erection of ca. 240 schools. Children were given a thorough instruction in religion. Confirmation was introd. 1736.

7. The subjective elements of the pietistic period melted into the optimistic views of the Enlightenment.* Faith in God was replaced by faith in man, and the voice of conscience by reason. Men were not directly opposed to Christianity, but under the influence of R. Descartes,* J. J. Rousseau,* and naturalism* in gen., the dogmas of the ch. were disregarded; emphasis was on faith in providence, a demand for a good life, gratitude to God for His gifts, and the hope of eternal life after death. To be a good citizen was enough to gain God's favor. The educ. classes drifted away from Christianity, ch. attendance declined, religious indifference was gen. Some (e.g., Nikolai Edinger Balle, 1744–1816; prof. theol. Copenhagen 1772; bp. Sjaelland 1782) stood firm on the Bible. Some Bible reading groups also continued.

8. Rationalism* held sway at the beginning of the 19th c. But N. F. S. Grundtvig* sought in the spoken Word and in the sacraments the clear and unchanging expression of true and pure Christianity as it had come down from Christ Himself through the cents. In reaction against small Bible reading groups he held that the Bible was a “dead word” over against the “living word” of the Apostles' Creed. He influenced the Dan. Ch. esp. by his view of life, hymns, emphasis on cong. life and singing, and the effect of his message esp. in rural areas. His great love for Den. and his vision of its hist. destiny gave his movement a national spirit. Christian, national, pol., and cultural subjects were discussed in great folk mass meetings. As a result, Grundtvigianism became the most liberal of the 3 main groups in the Dan. Ch. (the other 2: Centrum, or Church Center, and Indre Mission, or Inner Mission; see 9 and 10 below).

9. J. P. Mynster* led the educ. classes to a confessional form of Christianity. His view on the ch. gave direction to the Church Center group. H. L. Martensen,* Mynster's successor as bp. of Sjaelland, combined Luth. orthodoxy with Hegelianism and built a vast dogmatic and ethical system on a Christian idealistic philos.

10. When pious groups of the mid-19th c. found they could not in good conscience cooperate with Grundtvigians because their view of Scripture and their attitude toward the world were so different, a group of laymen organized Inner Mission, based on Luth. confessions, to stimulate spiritual life. The soc. grew slowly. J. V. Beck* attended the 1861 annual meeting and preached on Peter's Draught of Fishes (emphasizing fishing for men by both laity and clergy, Lk 5:1–11). The soc. was reorganized under the name Kirkelig Forening for Indre Mission (Church Society for Inner Mission). Beck became its leader. Both pastors and laymen were to preach. Miss. halls were built in nearly all parishes (ca. 400 halls by 1900); informal meetings were held. Beck remained leader of the movement till his death. He was orthodox, but had been stimulated by S. A. Kierkegaard's* attack on the official ch. and by his demands for deeper spiritual life. Beck was eloquent; great revivals swept the country as a result of his preaching and that of other men of the movement. They demanded Christian life separated from the world. Out of the Ch. Soc. for Inner Miss. grew such activities as dissemination of Christian literature, works of charity, and, indirectly, for. missions. The movement is faithful to Luth. doctrine. In its high esteem of the sacraments and frequent use of the Lord's Supper it has been influenced by Grundtvig. It is the 3d and strongest main group in the Dan. Ch.

11. The gen. secularization of culture in Eur. also engulfed Den. The theol. of Mynster and Martensen was not strong enough to counter the influence of positivism* and socialism* after the middle of the 19th c. A gap developed bet. Christianity and modern culture. Secularization became an open fact. People divided over the issues but remained nominal mems. of the ch.

12. Barthianism influenced the theol. of the 20th c. Most important names in theol. discussions: N. F. S. Grundtvig* and K. Barth (see Switzerland, Contemporary Theology in). Most of the clergy are influenced by one or both of these. A High Ch. movement has gained some ground. Theol. is confessional and ch. centered. Luther study has been revived. The ch. was in strong opposition to Nazism during the Ger. occupation 1940–45; its most famous champions: Kaj Munk (1898–1944), pastor and poet, and his fellow pastor and martyr, Tage Schack (d. 1945).

13. Kierkegaard's influence was felt only a short time in mid-19th c., but reappeared in the 20th c., largely through Barth, and has left its mark on existential theol. and philos.

14. The Dan. Ch. is governed by parliament and is supported by income from investments and by taxation. There are 10 dioceses and ca. 2,000 pastors. 96 percent of the pop. is Luth. The king appoints pastors nominated by the minister for ecclesiastical affairs from a list of 3 selected by the congs. Dan. Luth. pastors subscribe to the 3 ecumenical* creeds, the AC, and Luther's SC (see Catechisms, Luther's; Lutheran Confessions). JMJ

See also Anglican Scandinavian Conferences; Danish Lutherans in America; Denmark, Evangelical Lutheran Free Church of.

L. N. Helveg, Den Danske Kirkes Historie til Reformationen, 2 parts (Copenhagen, 1857–70); L. P. Fabricius, Danmarks Kirkehistorie, 3 parts in 2 vols. (Copenhagen, 1934–35); Den Danske Kirkes Historie, eds. H. Koch and B. S. Kornerup, 8 vols. projected (Copenhagen, 1950– ); E. H. Dunkley, The Reformation in Denmark (London, 1948); F. Münter, Kirchengeschichte von Dänemark und Norwegen, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1823–33).

Denny, James

(1856–1917). Prof. theol. Glasgow Free Ch. Coll. 1897; moved from a liberal to an ev. position; works include The Death of Christ; Jesus and the Gospel. See also Presbyterian Churches, 1.

Dens, Peter

(1690–1775). Belgian RC theol.; works include Theologia moralis et dogmatica.

Deo gratias

(Lat. “thanks to God”). Liturgical formula used in W Ch.


Ethics of duty rather than right or goodness. The term was the title of book by J. Bentham.*

Departed, Commemoration of.

In the early ch., feasts of apostles and evangelists were soon celebrated, esp. those of Peter and Paul, though those of John and James were also favorites. Later, martyrs and all other saints were commemorated November 1 (All Saints' Day) and the departed in purgatory November 2 (All Souls' Day; November 3, if November 2 fell on Sunday). In the E Orthodox Ch., this festival is observed the Saturday before Pent. or the last Sunday of the ch. yr. In the Moravian Ch., Easter morning is dedicated to the memory of those who died during the yr. In the Ev. Ch. of Prussia, the last Sunday of the ch. yr. was set aside for commemorating the dead, and this day or December 31 has been adopted by many Luths. See also Church Year, 14, 17. Dead, Prayers for; Totenfest.

Deposition from Ministerial Office.

In RCm, clergy can be deposed by their superiors. In the Luth. Ch., the act of deposition is declarative, as an exercise of the office of the keys.* In Am. Lutheranism, syns. usually pronounce sentences of deposition against pastors and teachers. In the LCMS, “1. Members who act contrary to the confession laid down in Article II and to the conditions of membership laid down in Article VI or persist in an offensive conduct, shall, after previous futile admonition, be expelled from Synod. 2. Expulsion shall be executed only after following such procedure as shall be set forth in the Bylaws of the Synod. 3. If the member expelled is a pastor or teacher in a congregation of Synod, such congregation, unless it has already done so, is held to depose him from office and to deal with him in accordance with the Word of God, notwithstanding an appeal. If it persistently refuses to do so, the respective District is to deal with it. If all negotiations and admonitions fail of their purpose, such congregation forfeits its membership in Synod. 4. Because of their expulsion those so expelled forfeit their membership and all share in the property of Synod. The latter holds good also with respect to those who for any reason themselves sever their connection with Synod.” (Constitution, Art. XIII, in Handbook of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, 1973 ed., p. 24).

Derschau, Bernhard

(Derschow; 1591–1630). Prof. theol. and pres. consistory, Königsberg; hymnist; hymns include “Herr Jesu, dir sei Preis und Dank.”


(Persian, “beggar”; synonymous with Arab. “fakir”). Mem. of an Islamic order whose practices include dances and self-castigation. There are many orders; some live in monasteries, others go about ordinary occupations and carry on the practices of their order only on special occasions. The dancing (whirling) and the howling dervishes are most widely known. See also Islam.


Melody or counterpoint added to a melody and usually lying above it.

Descartes, René

(Renatus Cartesius; 1596–1650). B. La Haye, Touraine; d. Stockholm. Fr. RC philos.; educ. Jesuit coll., La Flèche. In Holland 1629–49, Swed. 1649–50. System (Cartesianism*) differs in many respects from Thomism (see Scholasticism). He is called father of modern philos. because he broke the sway of Scholasticism with his initial doubt, mathematical deduction generalized, and opposition to Aristotelianism. Held that all knowledge is open to initial doubt, except reality of self. Was convinced of his own existence by force of the sequitur: If there is a thought, there must be one who thinks it. This he expressed in the maxim: “Cogito, ergo sum” i. e., “I think, therefore I exist.” Generalizing mathematical deductions, he envisaged a mechanistic world from which he exempted the human soul and God, who is the infinite substance; space and motion were basic realities. Cartesian dualism* maintains the absolute duality of res cogitans (mind) and res extensa (matter). Works include Discours de la méthode; Meditationes de prima philosophia; Principia philosophiae; Les Passions de l'ame.

Descent into Hell.

The doctrine of the descent of Christ into hell is based primarily on 1 Ptr 3:18–20, a difficult passage. Various interpretations hold that Christ went to the realm of the dead, or to the prison of wicked men and angels. Some Calvinists say His descent included the sufferings on the cross, others that it took place after death; the prominent Luth. view is that it took place after vivification. It is regarded as having taken place according to the soul; according to body and soul. It is held that Christ preached to souls who had had no chance in life, or to the damned and the evil angels. Some say His preaching was Gospel, others say it was Law, judgment, and a proclamation of victory. Augustine of Hippo,* Thomas* Aquinas, T. Beza,* et al. held that 1 Ptr speaks of a sermon of Christ before His incarnation.

The descent into hell did not take place immediately after death, because the soul of Jesus went to paradise (Lk 23:43). It is gen. regarded as taking place before Christ left the tomb. In 1 Ptr 3:19 “prison” (Gk. phylake; on this word see also Rv 18:2; 20:7; cf. 2 Ptr 2:4; Jude 6; it is used many times in the NT for an earthly prison) designates the abode of lost souls and evil angels to whom Christ proclaimed His victory (Cl 2:15).

See also Presbyterian Confessions, 3; Protestant Episcopal Church, 5.

G. Stoeckhardt, Kommentar über den Ersten Brief Petri (St. Louis, 1912), pp. 134–181; F. W. Farrar, Mercy and Judgment (New York, 1881), pp. 75–81; J. Pearson, An Exposition of the Creed, new ed. (London, 1880), pp. 346–386; FC Ep and SD IX; J. T. Mueller, “Notes on Christ's Descent into Hell,” CTM, XVIII (August 1947), 610–617; M. H. Scharlemann, “He Descended into Hell,” CTM, XXVII (February 1956), 81–94.

Desertion, Malicious

(malicious abandonment).

See Marriage, II; III.


Last king of Lombards (ca. 757–774); attacked papacy; overthrown by Charlemagne.*

Dessau, League of.

Organized in July 1525 by Joachim* I Nestor of Brandenburg, Albert of Mainz (see Albert of Brandenburg), George* the Bearded of Saxony, and Erich I and Henry II (the Younger) of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel to oppose the spread of Protestantism. Prots. countered with the League of Torgau.*

Dessler, Wolfgang Christoph

(1660–1722). Hymnist; educ. Altdorf; proofreader; amanuensis; conrector of School of the Holy Ghost, Nürnberg. Hymns include “Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen”; “Ich lass dich nicht, du musst mein Jesus bleiben.”;


Theory that all is absolutely determined by causes that lie outside of itself; opposed to indeterminism,* which declares man's will to be free. Forms of determinism include theological (as in Calvinism*), mechanical (as in materialism*), fatalistic (see Fatalism), economic (see Marx, Karl Heinrich), and others.

Detzer, John Adam

(1817–November 24, 1903). Ger. baker; to Am. with F. A. Crämer,* F. Lochner,* P. J. Trautmann,* 1845; advisory pastor 1847 in Missouri* Syn., which he helped found; worked in NW Ohio; founded ca. 18 congs.

Deus absconditus; Deus revelatus

(Lat. “God hidden; God revealed rd;). God* rules in every event but is different (“wholly other”) from every perceptible reality and is in that sense hidden (absconditus); He is revealed (revelatus) as fatherly love in Jesus Christ and as He enters into the realities of our life. God in His bare majesty is unapproachable and is perceptible only in creative acts as signs and symbols (Is 55:8; Ro 1:19–20; 11:33–36).

M. Luther* agrees with W. of Ockham* that God's essence is incomprehensible to reason and makes absconditus and revelatus significant in his doctrine of sin and grace. God, who is active in all events, does not relieve His creatures of responsibility. Sin separates man from God.

In Christ, God is revealed as a God of love. The Gospel invites to faith in Christ. In Christ, His power and glory are hidden under the lowliness and shame of the cross, His love under wrath; He is revealed only to faith and remains hidden to reason and unbelief. EL

See also Revelation.

J. Dillenberger, God Hidden and Revealed (Philadelphia, 1953); H. Bandt, “Luthers Lehre vom verborgenen Gott: Eine Untersuchung zu dem oftenbarungsgeschichtlichen Ansatz seiner Theologie,” Theologische Arbeiten, ed. H. Urner, VIII (Berlin, 1958).

Deus ex machina

(Lat. “god from a machine”). In ancient drama, the introd. of a representation of a god or goddess (usually suspended by a machine) to provide a supernatural solution for dramatic difficulty; hence, a person or thing suddenly introd. in a story or play to provide an artificial solution to an otherwise insoluble problem.

Deus loquens

(Lat. “God speaking”). Term used by M. Luther* and others to emphasize the living, active contemporaneity of the Word of God, thus continuing the manifestation of God in creation, mercy, judgment, and salvation as the Word of God. It is often used in contrast with, but not exclusive of, the perfect tense, Deus dixit (“God spoke”).

Deutsche Evangelische Kirche

(Ger. Ev. Ch.). Organized 1933 in Ger.; predecessor of Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (see Germany, C 5; Union Movements, 8–9). See also Barmen Theses; Marahrens, August.

Deutschmann, Johann(es)

(ca. 1625–1706). B. Jüterbog; son-in-law of A. Calov*; prof. Wittenberg; opposed syncretism* of F. U. Calixtus* and pietism* of P. J. Spener* and espoused strict Luth. orthodoxy.

Dévay, Mátyás Biró

(Dévai; ca. 1500–45). Hung. reformer; originally RC; Luth. 1529; educ. Wittenberg; called “Hungarian Luther”; later went to Switz. and worked for Calvinism.*


Term meaning literally “accuser,” 1 Ptr 5:8; in Scripture usually a descriptive name of Satan; also used in the plural for the fallen angels (demons [see Demon], evil spirits, unclean spirits), the chief of whom is called Satan by way of eminence (Mt 12:24–26). Satan himself, for whose subjugation Christ came, is the originator of all wickedness (Eph 2:2), an opponent of the kingdom of God. He is the tempter of the faithful (1 Ptr 5:8–9); he led Eve into sin and so became the originator and king of death (Heb 2:14). Originally created good, the evil spirits fell through their own fault (2 Ptr 2:4). That the devil is a personal being is clear from the Gospels and Epistles. Jesus calls him “evil one” and “enemy” (Mt 13:19, 28; 1 Ti 5:14). Other terms: “Adversary” (1 Ptr 5:8), “Satan” (Lk 22:31), “Beelzebub” or “Beelzebul” (Mt 10:25; 12:24; Mk 3:22; Lk 11:15, 18, 19), “prince” of devils and demons (Mt 12:24), “ruler of this world” (Jn 12:31; cf. Eph 6:12). Everlasting punishment was prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt 25:41). See also Demonology; Demoniac Possession.

Devotio moderna.

Spiritual revival that began in Holland in the 14th c.; led esp. by G. Groote*; spread to Ger., Fr., It., and elsewhere. See also Counter Reformation, 2; Czechoslovakia, 4; Hussites.

De Wette, Wilhelm Martin Leberecht

(1780–1849). Ger. theol.; influenced by H. E. G. Paulus,* J. F. Fries,* and F. D. E. Schleiermacher*; prof. Basel; championed Fragment Theory of Pentateuch; ed. Luther's works; other works include OT introd. and commentaries. See also Bible Versions, M; Higher Criticism, 13.

Dewey, John (1859–1952).

Am. philos. and educ.; prof. Minnesota 1888, Michigan 1889, Chicago 1894, Columbia 1904–30; adherent of pragmatism* of C. S. Peirce* and W. James,* but modified it in the direction of naturalism* and positivism.* His conception of man was drawn from biology, psychology, and sociology; organs of the body are instruments for dealing with environment; mind and its ideas provide tools for dealing with human situations (instrumentalism). The hypothesis that works is the true one. Truth is an abstract noun applied to the collection of cases that are confirmed by their consequences; hence experimentation enters into the determination of every warranted proposition; propositions in themselves are “if-then” predictions that have reality in their operations (operationalism). Works include Studies in Logical Theory; Essays in Experimental Logic; Democracy and Education; Reconstruction in Philosophy; Experience and Nature; The Quest for Certainty; A Common Faith; Logic; The Theory of Inquiry. See also Humanist Manifesto, A; Psychology, J.


(David; b. probably ca. 520; died perhaps ca. 589, some say ca. 601). Patron saint of Wales; gen. reckoned among its early missionaries.

Dexter, Henry Martyn

(1821–90). Educ. Yale and Andover theol. sem.; Cong. pastor Manchester (New Hampshire) and Boston; authority on hist. of Congregationalism; tr. hymn “Shepherd of Tender Youth” from Gk.

Deyling, Salomon

(1677–1755). Luth. prof. Leipzig. Works include Institutiones Prudentiae Pastoralis.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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