I am posting this in response to a post by a friend that you can find here. My response was a bit long to leave as a comment, so I thought I would post it here instead!
I tend to agree with what Sarah has said. Even if you don’t use these words in “normal conversation”, you should have an understanding of what they mean. It will help you to understand where people are coming from when they are talking to you about Biblical things.
All these terms were “made up” by man to help explain/describe different ways of looking at the Bible, the events in the Bible and people’s thoughts about “religion” and “doctrine”. So, although using those words are not necessary for studying God’s Word or telling others about it, it will help you personally to understand various ways of looking at scripture and various beliefs. It will also help you not to feel “lost” when people bring up those words.
I do hear people using these words in ways that aren’t correct—or that don’t explain well what they are saying. They put a different meaning or more meaning into the word than it actually has. To me, that is really annoying and tells me they don’t really understand what they are talking about!
Take for example—hermeneutics—which simply put means a method of interpreting the Bible. But if you look it up here. You will see that that there are many, many different ways of looking at scriptures “hermeneutically”. So you would have to ask a person what they mean by that! Once again, it is man’s way of trying to understand and study scripture in a way they can make sense of it.
You can look up further info on eschatology and orthopraxy .
I enjoy taking the time to look these things up to understand more about where people are coming from. I am not saying that all the ideas listed on these links are “correct” but it does help you to understand what people are talking about!
God desires for us to understand and evaluate His Word from beginning to end. He always “backs himself up”. Our only “interpreter” is supposed to be the Holy Spirit. He will teach and guide us to understand God’s Word. We are to be taught by the Spirit and not by man. John 14:26 & 1 John 2:27
We should always be evaluating what any “person” tells us regarding scripture with God’s Word. It will help you to learn to discern whether people are giving you their opinion or actually sharing what God’s Word says.
Thanks for the great discussion!