In 1475, the word “Denier” meant those who did not accept the church doctrine.
Five hundred years later, not much has changed.
“According to the Oxford English Dictionary, OED, the term “denier” — starting with its coinage in 1475, during the language’s transition period — has traditionally been used in a theological context, as in “Deniers of Christ Jesus.”
The use of “Denier” in a theological sense continued for hundreds of years. Here it is in 1835:
“A denier of our Lord’s divinity will argue that it was an exclamation of surprise and ignorance; he makes it, in fact, a sort of modern profaneness.
The Literary and Theological Review, Leonard Woods Junior, 1835. p449
In 2015, anyone who thinks that leeks and lightbulbs won’t stop floods in Peru is a “denier”. If you don’t accept that your air-conditioner causes war in Syria, or that sharks can protect us from heatwaves, get used to being referred to as a mindless denying apostate.
I’ve put in excerpts from an 1840 book below. Breathe deeply:
“FOURTH. Point out the difficulties of Atheism
I. Difficulty. One of the fundamental and fatal difficulties of Atheism is that it is founded upon the denial of a first truth.
2. It cannot be denied without admitting it. The denial implies a denier; the denial is the effect of which the denier is the cause.
4. The denier knows that he states a falsehood in the denial: for if he did not believe in causality he would not and could not attempt the denial.
Skeletons, a course of theological lectures. Rev. Finney, vol 1, 1840