For 40,000 denominations it only takes 16 issues ...

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 6:36 AM

Jon:

According to the World Christian Encyclopedia, the country the denomination is located in was one of the factors used in determining the 40,000 denominations statistic.  For example, there are over 200 Roman Catholic denominations listed in that statistic, as the Roman Catholic Church can be found in more than 200 countries (I.e. American Roman Catholicism, Canadian Roman Catholicism, etc).  So there are more than just theological distinctives at play.

Interesting. I guess it shows different definitions of the term “denomination“ are in play. I’ve personally assumed different denominations were not in full communion with each other. I guess it shows that any disputes over the number of denominations needs to begin with defining the term and all parties involved in the debate need to agree on the definition before throwing the number (I remember when it was only 30,000) around.

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scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 7:03 AM

xnman:

No matter what some people say I was not trying to "blame" anyone.... was just stating what I have read and learned. And the list I posted was not to be taken in any particular order... but just as my feeble mind thought about it.  I know some people call it "splintering" where I called it "branching".  But bottom line.... it still has happened. Martin Luther comes to mind as one that caused "branching" for example (right or wrong, I didn't and am not saying). Please note....  I was not blaming...  was just pointing out what has happened.

And I pointed out.... that most of this "branching" occurred after 96 AD... It appears (from all I have read) that before 96 AD... the church was unified in it's teachings and such.

I have come to believe (right or wrong) that most "branching" comes from either some political stance or social stance or someone wanting to make a power play of some kind... and usually comes from outside the "church". Since the church is the people.... and people get influenced by many different things.... then it seems inevitable.

One of the major things that I am noticing now.. is the discussion in many denominations ... over the acceptance/denial of "socially accepted theories" such as the gender issues and the LGBT and such. I know of it causing disruptions even "branching" in the "theological issues" of some denominations..... which, it seems, will cause further "branching". (NOTE: I did not say whether right or wrong, just that it is happening!)

I greatly respect + appreciate your efforts to communicate here.  To keep going is difficult as you re-re-reclarify your position.

My brother-in-law, a pastor, + I attempted to email on issues + authors in fields of Christian thought.  We found we could not discuss these issues, say anything of substance, + stay irenic.  So, we packed that idea in.  It seems its easier to blandly comment on the weather.

Posts 1635
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 7:08 AM

DAL:
we have creeds and it’s not the cliché “No creed but the Bible,”

I wonder if the cOC's  (not sure of the COCs) ever let that go; maybe it was a goal. But anytime you travel, you look up available cOC's on the web, and almost always, there's a 'What we believe' page ... aka a creed page.  But you have to watch the exact vocabulary to make sure it's safe. 

I attended a not-a-cOC for many years, that tried to stay strictly Biblical (meaning multiple interpretations, as long as basics, and no arguments), but the logic sort of collapsed when the pastor said the Holy Spirit guidance is fine, as long as it's according to the Bible.  

Thread-wise, theologies to account for groups is quite appropriate ... it's what Logicians are often complaining to FL about.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 8:01 AM

DMB:

DAL:
we have creeds and it’s not the cliché “No creed but the Bible,”

I wonder if the cOC's  (not sure of the COCs) ever let that go; maybe it was a goal. But anytime you travel, you look up available cOC's on the web, and almost always, there's a 'What we believe' page ... aka a creed page.  But you have to watch the exact vocabulary to make sure it's safe. 

I attended a not-a-cOC for many years, that tried to stay strictly Biblical (meaning multiple interpretations, as long as basics, and no arguments), but the logic sort of collapsed when the pastor said the Holy Spirit guidance is fine, as long as it's according to the Bible.  

Thread-wise, theologies to account for groups is quite appropriate ... it's what Logicians are often complaining to FL about.

Unfortunately, DMB, they have not let that go. Just like they have not let go bringing up the Catholics even when the Catholics are not being discussed.  Even when they say “no creed but the Bible” they just say it because that’s what they were taught.  In my research, I asked several COC preachers what a creed was and they always related it to the Catholic Church when that wasn’t even the question.  Basically, out of 10 preachers (there were more, but to simplify) only one defined the word creed correctly, but only because he was close to his computer and he literally read to me the dictionary‘s definition of a creed. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Most preachers I interviewed had 20 + years experience preaching the Word. The worst definition of a creed was given to me by a preacher who had 35 years of preaching experience and he also related it to the Catholic Church. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿป‍โ™‚๏ธ
Oh well, I’m going for my nap ๐Ÿ˜ด 

DAL

Ps. Ironically, the section “What We Believe” in many COC‘s websites looks a lot (literally) like a copy word for word of the Apostles’s Creed which was written way after 96AD.  It’s either that or a combination of the Apostle’s Creed and the Athanasian Creed; plus the other beliefs (creeds) about Mechanical Instruments of Music (MIM) and other stuff. I wonder if it should be rejected because it’s a change that came after 96AD ๐Ÿ˜‰

Edited to keep the peace in the forums ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘Œ

Posts 1481
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 9:10 AM

scooter:

It seems its easier to blandly comment on the weather.

Ah, you sound like you have a fair weather bias!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 9:26 AM

Please someone close this thread. I can't believe an MVP started it. It's way out of line for the forum guidelines. Let's get back to Logos, Verbum, tools, how to use, requests for help.

Posts 1481
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 9:47 AM

Don Awalt:

Please someone close this thread. I can't believe an MVP started it. It's way out of line for the forum guidelines. Let's get back to Logos, Verbum, tools, how to use, requests for help.

MJ has been working on a project cataloging denominational claims (and I’m probably mangling it in my descriptio), which I understand involves Logos. I assume the OP is related to this project. As such it doesn’t bother me. 

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Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 10:20 AM

Yes but it was a question about theological positions. That's no different than saying "What are the reasons that people don't believe in Sola Scripture (for a paper I am doing)", and watch how that discussion collapses. While the OP may be requesting information for a very worthy project, it is clearly outside the guidelines of the forums, and you can see how the discussion quickly evolves.

Posts 1635
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 10:38 AM

Relative to MJ's project, just today I ran into this comment below ... deriving ancient 'communities' from document variation.  The quote is from the Antioch book recently on sale (excellent):

https://www.logos.com/product/43290/ignatius-of-antioch-and-the-parting-of-the-ways-early-jewish-christian-relations 

"Thus it is common to speak of “Christianities” (or something of that sort) rather than “Christianity.” This state of affairs has largely come about because in recent years scholars of early Christian literature have become accustomed to routinely locating each document in its own distinctive theological community, creating as many distinctive communities as there are documents. Indeed, scholars have created even more distinctive communities than there are documents by analyzing supposed redactional layers within each document. "

Posts 1187
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 10:48 AM

MJ. Smith:

I got to wondering how many theological positions on how many issues exist to create the > 40,000 estimated denominations. Yes, I know that mathematically that a mere 16 yes/no positions is sufficient to reach 40,000 but I also that model is lousy for this case.  Has anyone seen any articles/textbooks that try to estimate how many contentious issues there are in theology? Or the statistical possibility of being correct on all issues? Impetus for my musings is Theological Disagreement: What It Is, and How to Do It - ABC Religion & Ethics

I believe there's an unspoken assumption here that may be worth examining - namely, that all of the divisions behind the vast number of denominations we see are solely attributable to differences in theology. My observation has been that, at least in today's world, there are as many divisions over issues of power, prestige and control as there are over doctrine. Some denominations do split over fundamental disagreements over doctrine and the authority of Scripture. But you also see charismatic individuals start their own groups for reasons that seem to have as much to do with ambition as they do doctrine. (As one of my seminary professors once put it, "if you look back over church history, you see more schismatics than you do heretics.")

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David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 11:13 AM

Don Awalt:

Yes but it was a question about theological positions. That's no different than saying "What are the reasons that people don't believe in Sola Scripture (for a paper I am doing)", and watch how that discussion collapses. While the OP may be requesting information for a very worthy project, it is clearly outside the guidelines of the forums, and you can see how the discussion quickly evolves.

I don't really think it's the same as your example. Asking " how many theological positions on how many issues exist to create the > 40,000 estimated denominations" seems to be more about the correlation between division and different theologies than any particular debate topic. It's a question that could have been asked by any Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, member of Denominations that don't believe they fit in those categories, without having an ax to grind. Meanwhile, asking "What are the reasons that people don't believe in Sola Scripture" does seem to have theological assumptions. 

But I'll keep it vague to reduce the risk of letting my own biases creep in (assuming I haven't already failed).

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scooter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 11:15 AM

David Wanat:

scooter:

It seems its easier to blandly comment on the weather.

Ah, you sound like you have a fair weather bias!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Good one, Dave.

Posts 125
Greg Dement | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 11:30 AM

Didn’t see anything wrong with MJ’s initial post. It is disappointing where some chose to take it by dog piling on a particular “denomination” (albeit one that is made of all independent congregations). Some of those dog piling are same people who in the past have vented about others giving opinions, ranting, etc.

Perhaps the example given of a pastor saying “the Holy Spirit guidance is fine, as long as it’s according to the Bible” is paraphrased or sensationalized a bit to create ammo for a position or at least trying capitalize on someone speaking without the best wording? You would have to criticize quite a few denominations that speak to checking scripture to help discern being led by the Holy Spirit vs following feelings, believing the Holy Spirit will not contradict scripture.

Posts 297
Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 12:02 PM

Don Awalt:

Please someone close this thread. I can't believe an MVP started it. It's way out of line for the forum guidelines. Let's get back to Logos, Verbum, tools, how to use, requests for help.

I completely agree. This thread should’ve never been allowed to get off the ground, because no matter how one asks these questions they are clearly against forum rules. And they are always going to devolve into theological spats, to one degree or another. There’s no getting around that, so the thread should be closed immediately.

Posts 1177
Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 12:14 PM

It looks like this author has done a lot of the footwork you are looking for. It is very interesting: 

https://www.ncregister.com/blog/we-need-to-stop-saying-that-there-are-33-000-protestant-denominations 

Posts 1635
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 12:26 PM

Justin Gatlin:

It looks like this author has done a lot of the footwork you are looking for. It is very interesting: 

https://www.ncregister.com/blog/we-need-to-stop-saying-that-there-are-33-000-protestant-denominations 

No offense, but the author was trying to nail the Catholics.  I don't think that was your intent.

Posts 9168
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 12:30 PM

Gary Osborne:

Don Awalt:

Please someone close this thread. I can't believe an MVP started it. It's way out of line for the forum guidelines. Let's get back to Logos, Verbum, tools, how to use, requests for help.

I completely agree. This thread should’ve never been allowed to get off the ground, because no matter how one asks these questions they are clearly against forum rules. And they are always going to devolve into theological spats, to one degree or another. There’s no getting around that, so the thread should be closed immediately.

No offence to either of you guys, but the thread is fine.  We all just need to stay focused to help the OP gather the information she needs; that’s all! It is actually to everyone’s benefit that she gets the information she needs ๐Ÿ‘

DAL

Posts 1635
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 12:31 PM

Greg Dement:
Perhaps the example given of a pastor saying “the Holy Spirit guidance is fine, as long as it’s according to the Bible” is paraphrased or sensationalized a bit to create ammo for a position or at least trying capitalize on someone speaking without the best wording?

And perhaps not, if you're familiar with the NT instructions concerning the Holy Spirit; the pastor (a good one) was trying to accommodate the Bible text, with the later doctrine about the Bible text, smilingly.  I still think it's an excellent point.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 1:40 PM

Pater Noster:
Please keep your discussions focused on Logos Bible Software: our software, products, websites, company, tools, etc.

The thread started with a request for resource references ... a common and appropriate topic. If you wish, I will not respond to the "living room conversation" posts.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Mar 21 2022 2:11 PM

Don Awalt:
Yes but it was a question about theological positions.

Most of the requests for resources in the forums are for specific theological positions. Mine was unusual only that it was concerned with any and all theological positions. From the responses, I would assume no one knows of a resource such as I am looking for. That surprises me in that I would expect there to be a handbook of theological positions for apologists. I have found popular articles such as 8 major differences -- but the content was not useful as it was more cultural arguments rather than theological ones. But it encourages me to believe that references do exist.

Do you consider these initial posts to be inappropriate?

Need some help with understanding "theosis" - Faithlife Forums (logos.com)

Orthodox Ordo Salutis - Faithlife Forums (logos.com)

When did Mary the mother of Jesus begin to be worshipped - Faithlife Forums (logos.com)

If not, did you call them out or report them? If not, why not?

Don Awalt:
you can see how the discussion quickly evolves.

Fortunately, with the exception of two posts, this discussion has been evolving not devolving which is what most of us fear. Yes, there was a side discussion regarding creeds in the COC which inappropriately discussed specific theological positions but that was not inspired by my question.

I'm sorry but I honestly don't see how 

Don Awalt:
it is clearly outside the guidelines of the forums
when requests for resources are common in the forums and nothing pro/con any position (or even topic) was implied.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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