Relationships of various Christian groups

Page 1 of 6 (109 items) 1 2 3 4 5 Next > ... Last »
This post has 108 Replies | 1 Follower

Posts 34361
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Dec 26 2009 11:48 PM

In another thread, I learned something I should have known because it is perfectly logical - Lutherans do not consider themselves to be Protestants. Which got me to thinking about what the relationships are from the point of view of the adherents not the historians.

This is my first, imperfect attempt. Please let me know if you think I have misrepresented the group to which you belong.

  1. Abrahamic religions is chosen as the root so that Messianic Jews can logically be included.
  2. Judaism is a branch in its own right which also gives rise to Messianic Judaism and Christianity
  3. Islam is an independent branch that I follow no further
  4. Judaism includes the Karaites, the Rabbinical Jews and the Messianic Jews; it is the root of Christianity.
  5. Messianic Jews are contrasted to the "Gentile" Church - simply a term to cover the Christians who separated from Judaism.
  6. The early church (Gentile Church) divides into three major categories - Eastern Church, Western Church and heresies. The latter is my way of handling groups that have been tagged as "not really Christian" by the bulk of Christianity.
  7. The Eastern Church (a historical, cultural division) includes most Orthodox, uniate Catholics and a miscellaneous category
  8. The Western Church divides into the Catholics and the Restorationists who believe they have restored the "original church" i.e. the Restorations do not define themselves against other groups.
  9. The Catholic Church is where it gets interesting - I have added a superfluous "post-counter-reformation" box to clarify the other relationships.
  10. The Lutherans are not Protestants but rather are post-reformation Christians.
  11. The Anglicans view themselves as neither Catholic nor Protestant but rather the middle way. Note that they include both Anglo-Catholics and Episcopalian Protestant church so they truly straddle the Catholic/Protestant division
  12. The Protestants are post-reformation Christians defining their reformation as a protest against the Catholic Church

I'm currently considering how this framework requires revisions of some of my assumptions about certain theologians. It also allows me a more concrete way to describe groupings based on approach to Scripture.  And, I am actually using Logos to build a hierarchy of collections which reflects this division ... although I cheat and put Catholic - east and west into a single collection. This allows me a quick way of verifying if a group as a whole reflects the generalized statements made about them.

 

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

Posts 2765
DominicM | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 12:42 AM

The only thing I see on first glance is the ommission of the "coptic" church which would fit in same row as eastern/western

 

Never Deprive Anyone of Hope.. It Might Be ALL They Have

Posts 1145
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 12:42 AM

MJ. Smith:

In another thread, I learned something I should have known because it is perfectly logical - Lutherans do not consider themselves to be Protestants.

I would like to ask a question or two...

What is the restorationists church under the western church catholic?  How would they be completely seperated from the Lutheran, or other post 1517 church bodies?

I fall into this Lutheran catagory.  I do stand apart from Anglican (Church of England) and Protestant (Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian)  and the "Catholics."  The only reason that I do is the "teachings."  I do not feel that "they" have maintained the teachings of God and Jesus Christ his son.  I want to be clear that I am referring "they" to the people outside the invisible church.  I would say that there are many christians in each of the churches above just as there are non-christians in the churches.  Only God really knows his people. 

As a result, I do focus on conservative church teaching, I do stay with M. Luther and the "Lutheran" writers but I do try to understand everyone and all teachings so that I might be able to give an answer for what I believe.  There is one truth and that truth is found in the Holy Scriptures. 

I pray I have not stepped on anyones toes out there.  I stand humble in the sight of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I did want to state again...I believe all "churches" have members in God's invisible church.  Just as I would say there are some "Lutherans" that have jumped out of church and into the pit. 

William

 

Posts 34361
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 12:50 AM

DominicM:
the ommission of the "coptic" church

You're right ... I was lumping them into the Eastern Church but they do deserve their own category.

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

Posts 2765
DominicM | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 12:57 AM

tbh I hate pigeon holes, like this,

I find them too constraining, the history/heritage stuff is fine, but I have none, being plucked from the fires of hell and from a non believing family, I have no heritage pigeon hole.to put myself into so always feel on the outside..not quite excluded. but sometimes forgotton

Never Deprive Anyone of Hope.. It Might Be ALL They Have

Posts 34361
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 12:58 AM

William Bingham:
What is the restorationists church under the western church catholic?  How would they be completely seperated from the Lutheran, or other post 1517 church bodies?

The Stone-Campbell movement takes the position that they are a restoration of the New Testament Church not a division off existing denominations. While that is not how most church historians would place them, I am trying to capture their self-identification. I'm quite sure that not all of them hold this position, e.g. Disciples of Christ (UCC).

I grew up in a small community in which many were Finnish Lutheran, which I believe is at the conservative end of the Lutheran spectrum

 

 

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

Posts 34361
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 1:09 AM

DominicM:
tbh I hate pigeon holes, like this,

I can understand that - however, my brain works top down in truth tables. So I naturally organize data - in this case how people posting in the forums classified themselves. I also am fascinated by tracing the history of scripture interpretation which requires that I can provide some probable context.

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

Posts 33
Don D. Thompson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 6:49 AM

Thanks for sharing this.  I find it interesting and helpful.  I acknowledge that labeling people has many problems, but understanding history and relationships has benefits too. 

If you are willing to share, I would be interested in seeing how you grouped your resources/theologians.

Obviously the chart is a "big picture".  It would get overly complex if you tried to indicate the many divisions within each box.  In terms of theology, I am not sure how things like the full communion between the Anglican Church and (some branches of) the Lutheran Church fit.  In Canada, this is being worked out in practical ways, such as clergy ordained in one denomination being fully accepted in the other.  (This means that an Anglican priest could be in charge of a Lutheran congregation for example).  There are still the two traditions, but I wonder how the relationship will change both.  

 

Windows 7 Home Premium Version 6.1.7600 Build 7600 (x64)

Acer Aspire 5738G laptop

4G RAM

Intel Core 2 Duo T6600

ATI Mobility Raedeon HD 4570

 

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 7:53 AM

I'm thinking that the Holiness-Protestant churches (Methodist, Wesleyan, Missionary, Nazarene, etc...), would come as a 7th column, as an outgrow from the Angelica church.

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 8:56 AM

MJ. Smith:
I'm currently considering how this framework requires revisions of some of my assumptions about certain theologians.

Pretty good job in such a small chart.

 Since you include "various heresies" the next level down. Kabbalah might belong under Judaism (next to Messianic & Gentile) It is the singular heresy of Judaism not being strictly a philosophy or ethical system any more than Scientology is.

Then there is that strange doctrine of Baptist Succession that traces it's roots all the way back to John the Baptist instead of Jesus Christ, Pentecost or the Apostles. I actually had the book and it DOES make that claim. Many IFB churches deny the present existence of a universal invisible church. They teach the rapture "call out" is when the one bride of Christ comes into existence. They proudly proclaim an independence from all mainstream churches.

Alexander & Thomas Campbell came out of the Presbyterian Church abandoning infant baptism for believer baptism thus aligning themselves with the Baptists for a while. The Jehovah's Witnesses & Joseph Smith view their respective "churches" as  Restorationist. And from what I've read of the Penecostals, they too believe the last days outpouring of the Holy Spirit is God restoring His church.

There are three ways of defining this chart.
1) The Historical relationships of each group - like you seem to be attempting
2) The Theological relationships - or what they say they believe.
3) The de Facto standards -  what they really believe and practice.

So MJ,  I guess I'm saying if you want to present a chart on how people view themselves you would have to have two parallel lines. One for the "true church" and the other for "heresies." Hmm

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 8967
RIP
Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 9:03 AM

DominicM:
I have no heritage pigeon hole.to put myself into so always feel on the outside..not quite excluded. but sometimes forgotton

As long as The Lamb has written your name in The Book of Life you belong in the only way that really matters!  Cool And you won't be forgotten either.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 10:11 AM

Based on the teaching in Romans 4, I am not sure I would agree with the chart.  It almost makes me think that Christianity has it's roots directly in Abraham like Judaism and Islam does.

In Christ,

Jim 

Posts 26
Joseph Colombo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 10:30 AM

Now I--a Roman Catholic--am very confused.  The term "Protestant" originates with the Second Diet of Speyer (1529) when the six Lutheran princes "protested" the majority decision of the princes to reinstate the Edict of Worms (1521), reversing its suspension at the First Diet of Speyer (1526).  The "protest" was a specific juridical form: essentially a direct appeal to Charles V.  If the term "Protestant" applies to anyone--I myself prefer to avoid it whenever possible--it would seem to apply to the Lutherans.

P.S. I find it interesting that the direct object of the protest is not Rome, but the secular princes.

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 10:45 AM

JimVanSchoonhoven:
Based on the teaching in Romans 4, I am not sure I would agree with the chart.  It almost makes me think that Christianity has it's roots directly in Abraham like Judaism and Islam does.

But does not Romans 9 show that it does?

It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring.
Romans 9:6-8

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 3917
Forum MVP
Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 10:48 AM

MJ. Smith:

William Bingham:
What is the restorationists church under the western church catholic?  How would they be completely seperated from the Lutheran, or other post 1517 church bodies?

The Stone-Campbell movement takes the position that they are a restoration of the New Testament Church not a division off existing denominations. While that is not how most church historians would place them, I am trying to capture their self-identification. I'm quite sure that not all of them hold this position, e.g. Disciples of Christ (UCC).

I grew up in a small community in which many were Finnish Lutheran, which I believe is at the conservative end of the Lutheran spectrum

 

I am a member of a "Christian Church" that stems from the Stone-Campbell movement, and I am one of several who would not place us in a box by ourselves.  :)  I definitley appreciate the long heritage before our little 'movement' got going in the early 1800's as a call to unity under the name of Christ, and a focus on global mission and a high emphasis on God's written word for knowledge of faith and practice.

That movement has gotten a little cranky at times, has found themselves in the midst of divisions when they were supposed to be about unity, and have discovered that "Restoring NT Christianity" is not as simple as it sounds. 

I have the benefit of growing up as a missionary kid in Germany, and benefitting from the influnce of many traditions (Methodist, E. Free, Catholic, etc) and having great profs in seminary who did not take such an exclusivist view. 

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 10:51 AM

Joseph Colombo:
Now I--a Roman Catholic--am very confused.  The term "Protestant" originates with the Second Diet of Speyer (1529) when the six Lutheran princes "protested" the majority decision of the princes to reinstate the Edict of Worms (1521), reversing its suspension at the First Diet of Speyer (1526).  The "protest" was a specific juridical form: essentially a direct appeal to Charles V.  If the term "Protestant" applies to anyone--I myself prefer to avoid it whenever possible--it would seem to apply to the Lutherans.

When describing different areas of Christianity Protestantism is one of the four major divisions, together with the Eastern Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church, and the Anglican Church traditions. The term 'Protestant' is most closely tied to those groups that separated from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century's Protestant Reformation when in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences to the door of the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 26
Joseph Colombo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 10:58 AM

Thanks, Paul.  I think I understand the sort of general taxonomy- and the limits of all these taxonomic conventions.  I was just surprised at the first sentence of the original post, i.e., a Lutheran did not consider him or herself to be a "Protestant."  Historically, the term only included Lutherans and not, e.g., the Church of England or many of the Swiss reform movements. 

Posts 320
John Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 11:08 AM

An argument can be made that Islam is actually a Christian heresy. It certainly doesn't deserve to be side by side with Judaism stemming back to Abraham (and if it does then it seems that Christianity does too).

perspectivelyspeaking.wordpress.com

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 11:31 AM

Joseph Colombo:

Thanks, Paul.  I think I understand the sort of general taxonomy- and the limits of all these taxonomic conventions.  I was just surprised at the first sentence of the original post, i.e., a Lutheran did not consider him or herself to be a "Protestant."  Historically, the term only included Lutherans and not, e.g., the Church of England or many of the Swiss reform movements. 

Actually there is a Wisconsin Lutheran church around the comer from me, and they vehemently dislike being associated with the other Protestant churches based on doctrinal disagreements.

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 2765
DominicM | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 27 2009 12:21 PM

John Bowling:

An argument can be made that Islam is actually a Christian heresy. It certainly doesn't deserve to be side by side with Judaism stemming back to Abraham (and if it does then it seems that Christianity does too).

The argument is unsustainable.

Jewish Maybe, but impossible to be a Christian Heresy, as its pre Christian era, at least in the bible I read.

Never Deprive Anyone of Hope.. It Might Be ALL They Have

Page 1 of 6 (109 items) 1 2 3 4 5 Next > ... Last » | RSS