A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity.Some groups included do not consider themselves a denomination (e.g., the Catholic Church considers itself the one true church and the Apostolic See, and as pre-denominational). Some groups viewed by non-adherents as denominational actively resist being called a denomination and do not have any formal denominational structure, authority, or record-keeping beyond the local congregation; several groups within Restoration Movement fall into this category.
Note: This is not a complete list, but aims to provide a comprehensible overview of the diversity among denominations of Christianity. As there are reported to be approximately 41,000 Christian denominations, many of which cannot be verified to be significant, only those denominations with Wikipedia articles will be listed in order to ensure that all entries on this list are notable and verifiable.
Between denominations, theologians, and comparative religionists there are considerable disagreements about which groups can be properly called Christian, disagreements arising primarily from doctrinal differences between groups. For the purpose of simplicity, this list is intended to reflect the self-understanding of each denomination. Explanations of different opinions concerning their status as Christian denominations can be found at their respective articles.
There is no official recognition in most parts of the world for religious bodies, and there is no official clearinghouse which could determine the status or respectability of religious bodies. Often there is considerable disagreement between various churches about whether other churches should be labeled with pejorative terms such as "cult", or about whether this or that group enjoys some measure of respectability. Such considerations often vary from place to place, where one religious group may enjoy majority status in one region, but be widely regarded as a "dangerous cult" in another part of the world. Inclusion on this list does not indicate any judgment about the size, importance, or character of a group or its members.
Noah's flood (sloths can't swim; Australian koalas); Bible - why make a
claim - like inerrancy - which the Bible doesn't make of itself.
IVF: inerrancy in doctrinal basis (don'tworry about it - General Secretary).
Wizard Melbourne University open air meeting. 60s, hippies, anti-Vietnam,
CBC: lots of questions, but a small number og conservatives got nervous, and
phoned around to ensure members from decades before who hadn't been attending
while I was there stacked a meeting called by the leadership to invite me to be
permanent pastor, and I just missed the 3/4 majority needed - which led to my
accepting an invitation to be bne senior pastor of a large Baptist Church 'up
the road' from Monash University. Those students loved the questions, and
brought their friends, and that church grew... When I was meeting with the call
committee, 'keep the morning services fairly predictable, but I'd insist on a
'free go' Sunday nights'. That was OK by them as their pm services dropped to a
handful of people - 'as low as eight' sometimes.
Like Narwee, we had very few 'you can't do that' type people. (Church
strategist Lyle Schaller calls them 'permission-withholders'). My days in those
two churches - heady days...
Fowler's Stages of Faith
Pope Francis Broadens the Christian Agenda to Include—Shock—the Gospel
by Martin E. Marty
Monday | Sept 23 2013
Flickr Creative Commons
On Pope Francis, Stephen Pope (no relation) of Boston College spoke wisely. According to many analysts, the Pope seemed, in his interview published September 19, 2013, to chide U.S. Catholic bishops for having focused too much on cultural or “social" issues, abortion, birth control, and gay issues. Careful, said theology professor Pope. Quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Professor Pope didn’t find the Pope scolding the bishops for their focus on cultural issues: “I don’t think Pope Francis would do anything that the bishops would perceive as undermining their efforts. They’ll probably interpret this as broadening their agenda rather than cutting out their agenda.”
Though some bishops read Francis’ words as a critique of them, the Pope was aiming his remarks more at Catholics who speak through “pro” and “con” interest groups on these issues, and at a public obsessed with what Francis called the “obsessions.”
Today’s Sightings adds to the discussion of the cultural-issues agenda, which disturbs the Pope. An internet word-search reminds me that more than four years ago, I was quoted in aUSA Today column whose headline proclaimed: “Sex Sex Sex! Is that all church leaders talk about?” In this column, religion editor, Cathy Lynn Grossman, caught me lapsing into nostalgia, “lament[ing] years past when denominations’ annual meetings talked about, shock, God.” In years past, “Catholic agencies and the press” also talked mostly about God, not just the three themes targeted by the Pope. (In the future, I expect a fourth contested Catholic theme—the ordination of women.)
Christian agendas have tended to focus on different triads in different epochs. Christians in the early centuries did talk about God, as the Trinity. In the Enlightenment and Revolutionary era, triadic talk centered around three human dreams: “Liberté, égalité, and fraternité.” Now check the world wide web to find the predominant references by Roman Catholics and most other Christians in our time; they talk most about “Sex Sex Sex!”
Though the Pope gave a 12,000 word-long interview (to fellow Jesuit, Antonio Sparado, see Reference below), the Catholic Right-Left-and-Center, plus other Christians, plus media analysts are responding to the Pope’s brief mention of abortion, birth control, and gay interests. We notice understandably giddy responses from one set of Catholics, understandably cautious responses from another, and understandably complex responses from the majority. All with good reasons.
Back to Professor Pope. He asks us to pay attention to the “broadened” agenda about which Francis has been, and remains, clear, unambiguous, and forceful. In all his public speeches, in his long and revelatory interview, and through most of his acts, gestures, and spontaneous remarks, Francis wants his papacy, his bishops, and his Church to be focused on the Gospel, the “good news” of God’s action in Jesus Christ. He reasons that Roman Catholics and other Christians are losing ground in their “evangelical” missions not because God has withdrawn the Gospel of “mercy and compassion” but because of the Church’s “obsessive” pursuit of other important issues in the wrong way.
Admittedly, there is something ironic about everybody’s, including Sightings’, increasing talk about “cultural issues” in the interest of, eventually, making room for the Pope’s talk about his Gospel-centered agenda. But many Protestant, Orthodox, and Evangelical believers will be with him to “talk about, shock, God,” and to respond to Francis’ gestures and symbolic actions toward the poor and others in need.
Author, Martin E. Marty, is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of the History of Modern Christianity at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His biography, publications, and contact information can be found at www.memarty.com.
Galatians 3:10, GNB; James 2:17, GNB; Romans 12:4-5, GNB; 1 Corinthians
12:12-13, 18-20, GNB; 1 Corinthians 13:12-13, GNB; Romans 14:13 and 19, GNB;
John 13:34-35, GNB; Romans 15:7, GNB; 1 Peter 4:8-10, NEB.
Snoopy was typing a
manuscript, up on his kennel. Charlie Brown: ‘What are you doing Snoopy?’
Snoopy: ‘Writing a book about theology.’ Charlie Brown: ‘Good grief. What’s its
title?’ Snoopy (thoughtfully): ‘Have You Ever Considered You Might Be Wrong?’
This points up a
central Christian dictum: God’s truth is very much bigger than our little
Our Lord often made
the point that God’s fathering extended to all people everywhere. He bluntly
targeted the narrow nationalism of his own people, particularly in stories like
the Good Samaritan. Here the ‘baddie’ is a hero. It’s a wonderful parable
underlining the necessity to love God through loving your neighbour – and one’s
neighbour is the person who needs help, whoever he or she may be. But note that
love of neighbour is more than seeking their conversion, then adding a few acts
of mercy to others in ‘our group’. Jesus’ other summary statements about the
meaning of religion and life in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 involve justice
too: attempting to right the wrongs my neighbour suffers.
‘Ethnocentrism’ is the
glorification of my group. What often happens in practice is a kind of
spiritual apartheid: I’ll do my thing and you do yours – over there.
Territoriality (‘my place – keep out!’) replaces hospitality (‘my place –
you’re welcome!’). I like Paul’s commendation in Philippians 2:19-21 of Timothy
‘who really cares’ when everyone else was concerned with their own affairs.
non-acceptance of others’ uniqueness has jealousy or feelings of inferiority at
its root. You have probably heard the little doggerel, ‘I hate the guys/ that
criticise/ and minimise/ the other guys/ whose enterprise/ has made them rise/
above the guys/ that criticise/ and minimise…’
In our global village
we cannot avoid relating to ‘different others’. Indeed, marriage is all about
two different people forming a unity in spite of their differences. Those
differences can of course be irritating – for example when a ‘lark’ marries an
‘owl’ (but the Creator made both to adorn his creation).
Even within yourself
there are diverse personalities. If you are a ‘right brain’ person, why not
develop an interest in ‘left brain’ thinking?
The Lord reveals
different aspects of divine truth to different branches of the church. What a
pity, then, to make our part of the truth the whole truth. Martin Buber had the
right idea when he said that the truth is not so much in human beings as
between them. An author dedicated his book to ‘Stephen… who agrees with me in
nothing, but is my friend in everything.’ Just as an orchestra needs every
instrument, or a fruit salad is tastier with a great variety of fruits, so we
are enriched through genuine fellowship with each other.
A Christian group
matures when it recognises it may have something to learn from other groups.
The essence of immaturity is not knowing that one doesn’t know, and therefore
being unteachable. No one denomination or church has a monopoly on the truth.
How was God able to get along for 1500, 1600 or 1900 years without this or that
church? Differences between denominations or congregations – or even within
them – reflect the rich diversity and variety of the social, cultural and
temperamental backgrounds from which those people come. But they also reflect
the character of God whose grace is ‘multi-coloured’.
If you belong to
Christ and I belong to Christ, we belong to each other and we need each other.
Nothing should divide us.
A Prayer: Lord God our
Creator, when you made all creatures great and small in their rich diversity
you were so delighted. And when you made human beings (in your image) to be so
diverse, they must represent somehow the rich diversity of the Godhead itself.
Lord, our Redeemer, when Jesus Christ died to draw all unto him, it was in
prospect of heaven being populated by people from every tribe, language, nation
Lord, help me to
appreciate all this richness; may my theology not be too eccentric, peripheral
to the central concern of the gospel which is to increase love for God and
others. So teach me how to stay close to you, close to humankind, and make it
the goal of my life to bring God and humankind together. Help me to move from
law (with its tendency to reduce everything to a common denominator) to grace
(where individual differences are celebrated). May my view of myself be
conditioned more by my being bound up in life with others, rather than my
separateness from them. Help me to be big enough to be all things to all
people, to help in their saving to keep the bridges between me and others in
May God be merciful to
us, and bless us; look on us with kindness, so that the whole world may know
your will; so that nations may know your salvation. May the peoples praise you,
O God; may all the peoples praise you! (Psalm 67: 1,2).
Young? Ok. YWAM dts, AFES IFES, CSL - start conservative - thinking - more liberal. NIV TO NRSV.