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Michael Kinch | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Apr 28 2019 5:30 AM

I am looking for a good book that will give an unbiased comparison and description of different denominations and theologies. What is reform Theology? What is orthodox theolog? What is Pentecostal theology? Etc. How are they the same? How do they differ? Who are the hey players in each - preachers , teachers and authors? Does anyone have any recommendations?  Thanks! 

Posts 1743
David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 29 2019 8:02 AM

Michael Kinch:
Does anyone have any recommendations? will give you several options

My "go to" is Handbook of Denominations in the United States by Roger Olsen. My favorite is not available in Logos, but here are some other titles by the same author, some of which address your query. or 


Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim,, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

Posts 515
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 20 2019 9:37 AM

Hi Michael:

Have you taken a look at:

I thought it tried to give a neutral account of some important points in different traditions / denominations.

You can also try to research roughly about certain groups that at one point were considered to be at odds:

Pietists as a reaction to Puritans.  Charismatics as a reaction to rationalists (scholastics, etc).  People of the Spirit (pentecostals) as reaction to high Church view groups (structuralists).  Then you have the outward directed (evangelism, missions, outreach, etc) vs the inward directed. Etc.

To understand better the root cause of the seemingly irreconciliable differences in many groups take a look at:

In his book above, Christian A. Schwarz (Paradigm Shift in the Church: How Natural Church Development Can Transform Theological Thinking) seems to imply that structuralism is the next thing to be revised: without it, it is hard to allow the denomination survival over time, but too much of it, can get in the way of the great commission.

You may also want to reflect about your particular experience so that you can identify if you could have biases, which could make you interpret the available information in certain way:

You can generally categorize the groups to see if they are promoting Church membership, or outreach discipleship, and from there see how their practices, doctrines, etc. support their chosen status.

As far as cessationism, it seems that Augustine was the first to propose such. Supposedly he had to take it back because of the so many miracles happening in the place where he gathered for worship.

It seems that Calvin did not get that critical piece of information, and kept pushing cessationism.

Some pro mission group took Bibles to Camboya, and did not tell them anything about cessationism, lo and behold, many miracles started happening just like the ones described in Acts. Strange that an ethnic group without preconceptions, got the Bible in their language, and supernatural things started to happen.

For more particular info:

Out of the collection:

Info provided to foster further research, reflection and if needed comment, not to start polemics nor to debase any one group. Hope this helps.


Posts 18594
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 20 2019 9:54 AM

David Thomas:

Michael Kinch:
Does anyone have any recommendations? will give you several options

Don't forget to search Faithlife Ebooks too. They don't have the searches linked across websites (hopefully someday they will...)

This one is pretty basic:

The Complete Guide to Christian Denominations: Understanding the History, Beliefs, and Differences

There's also this, but it's from 1871 so it won't have any of the newer denominations.

A Dictionary of Religious Denominations, Sects, Parties, and Associations

And then there's this little guide, but it only compares 12 main denominations.

Denominations Comparison

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