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Encyclopedia > Christian theological controversy
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Christian theology. (Discuss)
Part of the series on
Christian theology

Foundations
Christianity · Holy Bible
Jesus Christ · Holy Trinity
History of Christianity · Timeline
Ecumenical Councils · Creeds
Great Schism · Reformation Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Christian theology practices theology from a Christian viewpoint or studies Christianity theologically. ... Christian theology practices theology from a Christian viewpoint or studies Christianity theologically. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1993x1300, 432 KB) A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. ... The neutrality and factual accuracy of this section are disputed. ... The Bible (Hebrew: תנ״ך tanakh, Greek: η Βίβλος hÄ“ biblos) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Word of God, The Word Scripture, Scripture), from Greek (τα) βίβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the name used by Jews and Christians for their (differing but overlapping) canons of sacred texts. ... Jesus (8-2 BC/BCE– 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ... For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son ... For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation). ... This article outlines the history of Christianity and provides links to relevant topics. ... Timeline of Christianity (1 AD/CE-Present) The purpose of this chronology is to give a detailed account of Christianity from 1 AD/CE to the present. ... In Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, an ecumenical council or general council is a meeting of the bishops of the whole church convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice. ... A creed is a statement of belief—usually religious belief—or faith. ... Great Schism redirects here. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. ...

Major Traditions


Eastern Christianity
Eastern Orthodoxy · Oriental Orthodoxy
Syriac Christianity
Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions which developed in Greece, the Balkans, the rest of Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, northeastern Africa and southern India over several centuries of religious antiquity. ... ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus — and rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. ... Syriac Christianity is a culturally and linguistically distinctive community within Eastern Christianity. ...


Western Christianity
Roman Catholicism · Protestantism
Thomism · Anabaptism · Lutheranism
Anglicanism · Calvinism · Arminianism
Baptist · Evangelicalism · Restorationism
Liberalism · Fundamentalism
Pentecostalism · Ecumenism
Western Christianity refers to Catholicism, Protestantism, and Anglicanism (which is also usually included in the Protestant category). ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing the splitting away from the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe—a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of St. ... Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... Luthers seal Lutheranism is a Christian tradition based upon the main theological insights of Martin Luther. ... The term Anglican (from Anglia, the Latin name for England) describes the people and churches that follow the religious traditions developed by the established Church of England. ... Calvinism is a system of Christian theology and an approach to Christian life and thought, articulated by John Calvin, a Protestant Reformer in the 16th century, and subsequently by successors, associates, followers and admirers of Calvin and his interpretation of Scripture. ... // For the Armenian nationality, see Armenia or the Armenian language. ... A Baptist is a member of a Baptist church. ... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of Protestantism, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ... This article deals with the restoration of Christian authenticity in worship and living; see Supersessionism for a discussion regarding Restorationism in Dispensational Christian views towards Jewish people in the End times. ... For Christian theological modernism in the Roman Catholic Church, see Modernism (Roman Catholicism). ... This article concerns the self-labeled Fundamentalist Movement in Protestant Christianity. ... The Pentecostal movement within Protestant Christianity places special emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as shown in the Biblical account of the Day of Pentecost. ... The word ecumenism (also oecumenism, Å“cumenism) (IPA: ) is derived from the Greek oikoumene, which means the inhabited world. In its broadest meaning ecumenism is the religious initiative towards world-wide unity. ...


Important Figures
Twelve Apostles · Apostle Paul
Church Fathers · Athanasius · Augustine
Palamas · Aquinas
Luther · Calvin · Wesley
The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... Saul, also known as Paul, Paulus, and Saint Paul the Apostle, (AD 3–67) is widely considered to be central to the early development and spread of Christianity, particularly westward from Judea. ... The (Early) Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) (298–May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop, the Patriarch of Alexandria, in the fourth century. ... St. ... Gregory Palamas (1296 - 1359) was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece, and later became Archbishop of Thessalonica. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas [Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino] (c. ... Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483–February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was an important French Christian theologian during the Protestant Reformation and is the namesake of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism. ... John Wesley (June 17, 1703–March 2, 1791) was an 18th-century Anglican clergyman and Christian theologian who was an early leader in the Methodist movement. ...

Key Points
Fall of Man · Divine Law · Divine Grace
Salvation · Justification · Sanctification
Theosis · The Church · The Future
The fall refers to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, as recorded in the biblical book of Genesis, and the consequences of that expulsion. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh, but not Old Testament, because it does not recognize the concept of a New Testament. ... Divine grace is believed by Christians to be the sovereign favor of God exercised in the bestowment of blessings upon those who have no merit in them. ... For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation). ... This article is in need of attention. ... Sanctification or in its verb form, sanctify, literally means to set apart for special use or purpose, that is to make holy or sacred (compare Latin sanctus holy). Therefore sanctification refers to the state or process of being set apart, i. ... In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic theology, theosis, meaning divinization (or deification or, to become god), is the call to man to become holy and seek union with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in the resurrection. ... This article is in need of attention. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Christians have had theological disagreements since not long after the time of Jesus. The history of Christianity contains numerous episodes in which people of God came into conflict over proper interpretation of the meaning of scripture. Theological disputes have given rise to many schisms and different Christian denominations. Jesus (8-2 BC/BCE– 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ... Michelangelos depiction of God in the painting Creation of the Sun and Moon in the Sistine Chapel Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, one of the manifestations of the ultimate reality or God in Hinduism This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... The word schism (IPA: or ), from the Greek σχισμα, schisma (from σχιζω, schizo, to split), means a division or a split, usually in an organization. ... A denomination, in the Christian sense of the word, is an identifiable religious body, organization under a common name, structure, and/or doctrine. ...

Contents


Background

One difficulty is to find the meaning of the original languages in which the scriptures were written. In order to obtain a full understanding of the original writing, it is necessary either to learn these original languages, or to rely on translations. However, translational difficulties occasionally arise, in part due to the non-literal meanings of some words in the original text and the difficulty in transliterating them into a different cultural setting. Translation is an activity comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language — the source text — and the production, in another language, of a new, equivalent text — the target text, or translation. ...


Another difficulty is determining the context in which the original words were spoken. The context of a passage of Scripture can be more fully understood by reading through the entire chapter or book. However, it is also important to gain an understanding of the historical context of the time that the passage or book was written. For example, the New Testament authors incorporated references to cultural and religious practices of the era into their writings. These practices in some cases need to be taken into account when making an interpretation because of differences in the modern era.


A number of differences arise over parts of Scripture that use imagery or concepts that are difficult to express in human ways. For example, the Book of Revelation contains a great deal of imagery and the varying views of this book have led to several major theological disputes. The concept of the Trinity, or Godhead, and that of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, are just a few of the important but extremely challenging concepts that have also brought division. Many religions and spiritual movements hold certain written texts (or series of spoken legends not traditionally written down) to be sacred. ... Visions of John the Evangelist, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation). ... In Christianity, the Godhead is a unit consisting of God the Father, Jesus Christ (the Son), and the Holy Spirit. ... Jesus (8-2 BC/BCE– 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ...


The following sections list some of the areas of theological distinction or difference that have occurred in the history of the Christian church. It will immediately be seen that heresies, schisms or minor points of dissent are by no means uncommon. Heresy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a theological or religious opinion or doctrine maintained in opposition, or held to be contrary, to the Catholic or Orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, to that of any church, creed, or religious system, considered as orthodox. ...


In modern times, a number of organisations known as "Discernment Ministries" (Discernmentalists) have sprung up to counter perceived heresies, mainly in Protestant teaching. They generally appeal to "traditional" scriptural interpretations.


Pre-Reformational distinctions

This section lists (in roughly chronological order) key areas of distinction or differences that arose in Christian theology of the era. In the early years of the Christian church, these chiefly took the form of small sects or movements; as time went on, key doctrines were established, most of which are still taught in the Anglican Church, Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and the Eastern Orthodox Church (EOC). Most of the RCC and EOC doctrines listed here are considered heretical in Protestant theology. Some Episcopalian doctrines persist in certain Protestant churches but not in others. Some doctrines initially considered heretical persist in certain Protestant churches but not in others. The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... The Vladimir Icon, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... The word Episcopal is derived from the Greek επισκοπος epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word however is used in religious terms to mean bishop. ...

Absolution in a liturgical church refers to the pronouncement of Gods forgiveness of sins. ... Antinomianism (Koine Greek αντι, against, νομος, law), or lawlessness, in theology is the idea that members of a particular religious group are under no obligation to obey the laws of ethics or morality as presented by religious authorities. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor of the Church of the Apostles. ... For people and places called Saint James, see the disambiguation page. ... This article is about theological views like those of Arius. ... The Donatists (founded by the Berber Christian Donatus Magnus) were followers of a belief considered a heresy by the broader Catholic community. ... The Ebionites (from Hebrew; Ebionim, the poor ones) were a sect of Judean followers of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth who existed in the Iudaea Province of the Roman Empire during the early centuries of the Common Era. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The Savior (1410s, by Andrei Rublev) For other senses of this word, see icon (disambiguation). ... (Latin veneratio, Greek δουλια dulia) In traditional Christian churches (for example, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy), veneration, or veneration of saints, is a special act of honoring a dead person who has been identified as singular in the traditions of the religion, and through them honoring God who made them and... Look up Incarnation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Incarnation, which literally means enfleshment, refers to the conception, and live birth of a sentient creature (generally human) who is the material manifestation of an entity or force whose original nature is immaterial. ... In the theology of Roman Catholicism, an indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to God for a Christians sins. ... Judaizers is a term used by orthodox Christianity, particularly after the third century, to describe Jewish Christian groups like the Ebionites and Nazarenes who believed that followers of Jesus needed to keep the Law of Moses. ... Legalism has several meanings. ... Manichean priests, writing at their desk, with panel inscription in Sogdian. ... Marcionism is the dualist belief system that originates in the teachings of Marcion of Sinope at Rome around the year 144 CE (115 years and 6 months from the Crucifixion, according to Tertullians reckoning in Adversus Marcionem, xv). ... Monarchianism, or Monarchism as it is sometimes called, is a set of beliefs that emphasize God as being one, that God is the single and only ruler. ... Divinity has a number of related uses in the field of religious belief and study. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos—a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Holy Orders in the modern Roman Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic Churches, includes three degrees: bishop, priest, and deacon. ... Asceticism denotes a life which is characterized by refraining from worldly pleasures (austerity). ... Monophysitism (from the Greek monos meaning one, alone and physis meaning nature) is the christological position that Christ has only one nature, as opposed to the Chalcedonian position which holds that Christ has two natures, one divine and one human. ... Montanism was an early Christian sectarian movement of the mid-2nd century AD, named after its founder Montanus. ... -1... Nontrinitarianism or (the Roman Catholic term) Antitrinitarianism, is the doctrine that rejects the Trinitarian doctrine that God subsists as three distinct persons in the single substance of the Holy Trinity. ... The Novatianists following Novatius, or Novatian, held a strict view that refused readmission to communion of those baptized Christians who had denied their faith or performed the formalities of a ritual sacrifice to the pagan gods, under the pressures of the persecution sanctioned by Emperor Decius, in 250 A.D... The Pope (from Greek: pappas, father; from Latin: papa, Papa, father) is the head of the Catholic Church. ... According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside-down, as shown in this painting by Caravaggio. ... Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature (which, being created from God, was divine), and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without Divine aid. ... The term purgatory is generally defined as the means by which the elect reach perfection before entering into the Kingdom of Heaven. The term purgatory in accordance with Catholic teaching, is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in Gods grace are not... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... Quartodecimanism (literally fourteenism) was the practice of fixing the celebration of Passover for Christians on the 14th day of Nisan in the Bibles Hebrew Calendar which, according to the Gospels, was the date Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem. ... This article concerns the Sabbath in Christianity. ... In Christianity, Sabellianism (also known as modalism) is the belief that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God, rather than three distinct persons. ... In Christianity, Sabellianism (also known as modalism) is the second-century belief that the three persons of the Trinity are merely different modes or aspects of God, rather than three distinct persons. ... Sacerdotalism (from Latin sacerdos, priest, literally one who presents sacred offerings, sacer, sacred, and dare, to give) is a term applied (usually in a hostile sense) to the system, method, and spirit of a priestly order or class, under which the functions, dignity, and influence of the members of the... A sacrament is a Christian rite that mediates divine grace—a holy mystery. ... General definition of saint In general, the term Saint refers to someone who is exceptionally virtuous and holy. ... Canonization is the process of declaring someone a saint and involves proving that a candidate has lived in such a way that he or she qualifies for this. ... The death of Simon Magus. ... Theotokos of Kazan Theotokos (Greek Θεοτόκος) is a title of Mary, the mother of Jesus. ... Saint Mary and Saint Mary the Virgin both redirect here. ... In Roman times, Vestal Virgins were strictly celibate or they were punished by death. ... A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. ... Transubstantiation (from Latin transsubstantiatio) is the change of the substance of bread and wine into that of the body and blood of Christ, the change that according to the belief of the Roman Catholic Church occurs in the Eucharist. ...

Post-Reformation distinctions

Since the Reformation emphasized the rights of Christians to expound their own views of theology, most theological distinctions have occurred between the various Protestant denominations. Some elaboration of RCC doctrines however have been promulgated since that time. The differences between many of the denominations are relatively minor and have helped ecumenical efforts in recent times. The word ecumenical comes from a Greek word that means pertaining to the whole world. ...

The term Adventist can refer to One who believes in the Second Advent (usually known as the Second coming) of Jesus. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the truth or falsity of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God or gods—is unknown, unknowable, or incoherent. ... Anabaptists (re-baptizers, from Greek ana and baptizo; in German: Wiedertäufer) are Christians of the so-called radical wing of the Protestant Reformation. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The terms Anglo-Catholic and Anglo-Catholicism describe people, groups, ideas, customs and practices within Anglicanism that emphasise continuity with Catholic tradition. ... High Church is a term that may now be used in speaking of viewpoints within a number of denominations of Protestant Christianity in general, but it is one which has traditionally been employed in Churches associated with the Anglican tradition in particular. ... The term Anglican describes those people and churches following the religious traditions of the Church of England, especially following the Reformation. ... // For the Armenian nationality, see Armenia or the Armenian language. ... The Methodist movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity. ... A Baptist is a member of a Baptist church. ... Congregational churches are Protestant Christian churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation indepedently and autonomously runs its own affairs. ... The Assumption has been a subject of Christian art for centuries. ... Believer Baptism (also called credobaptism) is the Christian ritual of baptism as given only to adults and children who first proclaim to believe in Jesus as their personal savior, resurrected by the power of God the Father. ... John Bunyan. ... Calvinism is a system of Christian theology and an approach to Christian life and thought, articulated by John Calvin, a Protestant Reformer in the 16th century, and subsequently by successors, associates, followers and admirers of Calvin and his interpretation of Scripture. ... The Charismatic Movement is a movement that began with the adoption of certain Pentecostal beliefs—specifically what are known as the bibilical charisms of Christianity: speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc. ... Glossolalia (from the Greek, γλώσσα (glossa), tongue and λαλώ (lalô), to speak) comprises the utterance of what appears (to the casual listener) either as an unknown foreign language (xenoglossia), meaningless syllables, or utterance of an unknown mystical language; the utterances sometimes occur as part of religious worship (religious glossolalia). ... Catholic Church redirects here. ... Christian vegetarianism is the dietary practice of vegetarianism or veganism based on the belief that Jesus Christ, the twelve apostles and the early Messianic Jewish followers of Jesus (the Ebionites) were vegetarians. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Keith Akers is the author of two books: The Lost Religion of Jesus and A Vegetarian Sourcebook. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Bible (Hebrew: תנ״ך tanakh, Greek: η Βίβλος hÄ“ biblos) (sometimes The Holy Bible, The Book, Word of God, The Word Scripture, Scripture), from Greek (τα) βίβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the name used by Jews and Christians for their (differing but overlapping) canons of sacred texts. ... The Counter-Reformation or the Catholic Reformation was a strong reaffirmation of the doctrine and structure of the Catholic Church, climaxing at the Council of Trent, partly in reaction to the growth of Protestantism. ... Creation Spirituality is a set of beliefs about God and humanity promoted by the theologian and Episcopal priest Matthew Fox. ... Panentheism (Greek words: pan=all and Theos=God) is the view that God is immanent within all creation and that the universe is part of God or that God is the animating force behind the universe. ... Historical and modern deism is defined by the view that reason, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God. ... The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. ... Rationalism, also known as the rationalist movement, is a philosophical doctrine that asserts that the truth can best be discovered by reason and factual analysis, rather than faith, dogma or religious teaching. ... The word ecumenism (also oecumenism, Å“cumenism) (IPA: ) is derived from the Greek oikoumene, which means the inhabited world. In its broadest meaning ecumenism is the religious initiative towards world-wide unity. ... The Pope is the Catholic Bishop and patriarch of Rome, and head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches. ... The word Episcopal is derived from the Greek επισκοπος epískopos, which literally means overseer; the word however is used in religious terms to mean bishop. ... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of Protestantism, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ... Mary Immaculate This article refers to the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary, Mother of Jesus. ... Latitudinarian was initially a pejorative term applied to a group of 17th century British theologians who believed in conforming to official Church of England practices but who felt that matters of doctrine, liturgical practice, and ecclesiastical organization were of relatively little importance. ... This article discusses liberalism as a major political ideology as it developed and stands currently. ... Low church is a term of distinction in the Church of England, initially designed to be pejorative. ... The Puritans were members of a group of English Protestants seeking further reforms or even separation from the established church during the Reformation. ... The word evangelicalism usually refers to a tendency in diverse branches of Protestantism, typified by an emphasis on evangelism, a personal experience of conversion, biblically-oriented faith, and a belief in the relevance of Christian faith to cultural issues. ... Modernism is a cultural movement that generally includes the progressive art and architecture, music, literature and design which emerged in the decades before 1914. ... see also The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mormonism is a religion, movement, ideology, and subculture that originated in the early 1800s as a product of the Latter Day Saint movement led principally by Joseph Smith, Jr. ... The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ (softcover missionary edition) The Book of Mormon is one of four sacred texts of Mormonism, which also include the Bible, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants. ... New Thought describes a set of religious ideas that developed in the United States during the late 19th century, originating with Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. ... The states of New England are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. ... The Unity Church (also known as the Unity School of Christianity and not to be confused with Unitarianism) is the largest of the New Thought denominations of Christianity. ... Religious Science, also known as Science of Mind, was founded in 1926 by Ernest Holmes (1887-1960) and is a religious movement within the New Thought Movement. ... It has been suggested that Scientific_Statement_of_Being be merged into this article or section. ... Non conformism is the term of KKK ... In Roman Catholic theology, Papal infallibility is the dogma that the Pope is preserved from error when he solemnly promulgates, or declares, to the Church a decision on faith or morals. ... The term Great Schism refers to either of two splits in the history of Christianity: Most commonly, it refers to the great East-West Schism, the event that separated Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Roman Catholicism in the eleventh century (1054). ... The Pentecostal movement within Protestant Christianity places special emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as shown in the Biblical account of the Day of Pentecost. ... Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late-17th century to the mid-18th century. ... The Lutheran movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity by the original definition. ... Presbyterianism is a form of Protestant Christianity, in the reformed branch of Christendom, as well as a particular form of church government. ... The Puritans were members of a group of radical Protestants which developed in England after the Reformation. ... For information related to Dispensational Christian views regarding Jewish people in the End times see Restorationism The Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement (or simply, Restoration Movement) is a religious reform movement born in the early 1800s in the United States. ... See New Covenant for the concept translated as New Testament in the KJV. The New Testament (Καινή Διαθήκη), sometimes called the Greek Testament or Greek Scriptures, and sometimes also New Covenant, is the name given to the part of the Christian Bible that was written by various authors c. ... This article deals with the restoration of Christian authenticity in worship and living; see Supersessionism for a discussion regarding Restorationism in Dispensational Christian views towards Jewish people in the End times. ... The Millerite tradition is a diverse family of denominations and Bible study movements that have arisen since the middle of the 19th century, traceable to the Adventist movement sparked by the teachings of William Miller. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... The Salvation Army is a Protestant evangelical Christian denomination and, more famously, a charity and social services organization, with international headquarters at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London. ... For the 20th century Oxford Movement or Group see Moral Rearmament The Oxford Movement was a loose affiliation of High Church Anglicans who sought to demonstrate that the Church of England was a direct descendant of the Christian church established by the Apostles. ... For the 20th century Oxford Movement or Group see Moral Rearmament The Oxford Movement was a loose affiliation of High Church Anglicans who sought to demonstrate that the Church of England was a direct descendant of the Christian church established by the Apostles. ... Ultramontanism literally alludes to a policy supporting those dwelling beyond the mountains (ultra montes), that is, beyond the Alps—generally referring to the Pope in Rome. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Unitarian Christianity Historic Unitarianism believed in the oneness of God as opposed to traditional Christian belief in the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). ...

Present-day distinctions

The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.

Most present day controversy revolves around the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements, largely a product of the 20th century. Conservative Evangelical/Reformed theology typically teaches that the charismata, or "sign gifts" of the Holy Spirit, were only given to the early church, and died out permanently after that. These views are in opposition to many Pentecostal denominations and churches that are a growing feature of modern Christianity, as well as to charismatic movements in mainline Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church. Roman Catholic and Orthodox theology generally denies that the "sign gifts" died out permanently, and many stories of the saints and others include various miraculous signs. Image File history File links Stop_hand. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Other key areas of difficulty focus around:

  • The ordination or place of women in ministry.
  • Eschatology and the book of Revelation (Preterism, Historicism, Futurism, Idealism).
  • Worship styles and especially the modern style of lyrics.
  • Parachurch organisations.
  • Sexual morality, especially sexual orientation and, increasingly, polygamy. (Some, like Senator Rick Santorum, argue that legalizing gay marriage also encourages polygamy.)

Discernmentalists typically focus on perceived heresies in Pentecostalism, Charismatism and Ecumenism, among others. They defend their actions by citing Scriptural injunctions regarding the testing of scripture and cautioning against false teachers. Some Pentecostal/charismatic theologians claim that their interpretations of certain passages have been divinely inspired, a claim other Discernmentalists reject. Many outside the movement regard Discernmentalists as judgemental legalists who have absented themselves from teaching the grace that is a key Christian doctrine. Preterism is a variant of Christian eschatology which holds that some or all of the biblical prophecies concerning the Last Days (or End Times) refer to events which actually happened in the first century after Christs birth. ... Historicism is a term which applies to a number of theories of culture or historical development which place the greatest weight on two factors: that there is an organic succession of developments, that local conditions and peculiarities influence the results in a decisive way It can be contrasted with reductionist... Futurism may refer to: Future studies, the philosophical or academic study of the medium to long-term future also known as futurology. ... -1... The term polygamy (literally many marriages in late Greek) is used in related ways in social anthropology and sociobiology. ... Richard John Santorum (born May 10, 1958), commonly known as Rick Santorum, is an American politician from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. ... Same-sex marriage is marriage between individuals who are of the same legal or biological sex. ... The term polygamy (literally many marriages in late Greek) is used in related ways in social anthropology and sociobiology. ...


Discernmentalists should not be confused with anti-cult ministries, which work primarily in alerting Christians to the alleged dangers posed by churches that they consider to be cults. In religion and sociology, a cult is a cohesive group of people (often a relatively small and recently founded religious movement) devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be far outside the mainstream. ...


Some areas attacked by discernmentalists include:

  • Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" film. Over 13,000 words of rebuttal on one website, on account of Gibson's Catholicism and other Catholic involvement in production.
  • Widely regarded parachurch organisations such as "Promise Keepers", "Alpha", "Focus on the Family", Christian Vegetarian Association, etc.
  • The Toronto blessing and similar "hyper-charismatic" movements.
  • Many streams of Pentecostal thought.
  • Denunciation of many noted Christians based on supercritical evaluation of their activities, including those long dead. In addition, reliance upon sole sources of information does not meet normal standards of historical research. Without having in some way been able to record every single thought, act or word of every noted Christian it is impossible to know whether they should be condemned for something they may have later turned away from.

Most discernment ministry organisations are small but have achieved greater influence through the Internet. In summary, the purveyors of these ministries seem to proclaim themselves as ultimate authorities on all of the subjects which they publish an opinion on. Promise Keepers is an international Christian organization based in Denver, Colorado USA that describes itself as dedicated to introducing men to Jesus as their Savior and Lord, then helping them to grow in their personal Christian faith. ... Focus on the Family (FOTF or FotF), founded in 1977, is an evangelical Christian 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in the United States. ... The Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA) is an international, non-denominational Christian ministry that promotes responsible stewardship of Gods creation through plant-based eating. ... Also referred to as The Fathers Blessing, The Anointing, The Awakening, The River, The Fire. The Toronto Blessing is a term coined by the British press to describe the revival and resulting phenomena that began in January of 1994 at Toronto Airport Vineyard Christian Fellowship, now known as Toronto...


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