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In view of the above, it must be stated that the dogmatic formulas of the Church's Magisterium were from the beginning suitable for communicating revealed truth, and that as they are they remain forever suitable for communicating this truth to those who interpret them correctly. For this reason theologians seek to define exactly the intention of teaching proper to the various formulas, and in carrying out this work they are of considerable assistance to the living Magisterium of the Church, to which they remain subordinated.

For this reason also it often happens that ancient dogmatic formulas and others closely connected with them remain living and fruitful in the habitual usage of the Church, but with suitable expository and explanatory additions that maintain and clarify their original meaning. In addition, it has sometimes happened that in this habitual usage of the Church certain of these formulas gave way to new expressions which, proposed and approved by the Sacred Magisterium, presented more clearly or more completely the same meaning.

As for the meaning of dogmatic formulas, this remains ever true and constant in the Church, even when it is expressed with greater clarity or more developed. The faithful therefore must shun the opinion, first, that dogmatic formulas or some category of them cannot signify truth in a determinate way, but can only offer changeable approximations to it, which to a certain extent distort of alter it; secondly, that these formulas signify the truth only in an indeterminate way, this truth being like a goal that is constantly being sought by means of such approximations.

Those who hold such an opinion do not avoid dogmatic relativism and they corrupt the concept of the Church's infallibility relative to the truth to be taught or held in a determinate way. Such an opinion clearly is in disagreement with the declarations of the First Vatican Council, which, while fully aware of the progress of the Church in her knowledge of revealed truth, 38 nevertheless taught as follows: "That meaning of sacred dogmas Such an opinion is likewise in contrast with Pope John's assertion regarding Christian doctrine at the opening of the Second Vatican Council: "This certain and unchangeable doctrine, to which faithful obedience is due, has to be explored and presented in a way that is demanded by our times.

One thing is the deposit of faith, which consists of the truths contained in sacred doctrine, another thing is the manner of presentation, always however with the same meaning and signification. What is new and what he recommends in view of the needs of the times pertains only to the modes of studying, expounding and presenting that doctrine while keeping its permanent meaning. In a similar way the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI exhorted the pastors of the Church in the following words: "Nowadays a serious effort is required of us to ensure that the teaching of the faith should keep the fullness of its meaning and force, while expressing itself in a form which allows it to reach the spirit and heart of the people to whom it is addressed.

Christ the Lord, the High Priest of the new and everlasting covenant, wished to associate with His perfect priesthood and to form in its likeness the people He had bought with His own blood cf. He therefore granted His Church a share in His priesthood, which consists of the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical priesthood.

These differ from each other not only in degree but also in essence; yet they are mutually complementary within the communion of the Church. The common priesthood of the laity, which is also rightly called a royal priesthood cf. By this sacrament "the faithful are incorporated into the Church and are empowered to take part in the worship of the Christian religion" in virtue of a permanent sign known as a character; "reborn as children of God they are obliged to profess before men the faith which they have received from God through the Church.

They likewise exercise that priesthood by receiving the sacraments, by prayer and thanksgiving, by the witness of a holy life, and by self-denial and active charity. Moreover, Christ, the Head of the Church, which is His Mystical Body, appointed as ministers of His priesthood His Apostles and through them their successors the bishops, that they might act in His person within the Church, 46 and also in turn legitimately hand over to priests in a subordinate degree the sacred ministry which they had received.

By means of this priesthood bishops and priests are "indeed set apart in a certain sense in the midst of God's people. But this is so, not that they may be separated from this people or from any man, but that they may be totally dedicated to the work for which the Lord has raised them up" 48 namely, the work of sanctifying, teaching and ruling, the actual execution of which is more precisely specified by the hierarchical communion.

The Church has ever more closely examined the nature of the ministerial priesthood, which can be shown to have been invariably conferred from apostolic times by a sacred rite cf. By the assistance of the Holy Spirit, she recognized more clearly as time went on that God wished her to understand that this rite conferred upon priests not only an increase of grace for carrying out ecclesiastical duties in a holy way, but also a permanent designation by Christ, or character, by virtue of which they are equipped for their work and endowed with the necessary power that is derived from the supreme power of Christ.

The permanent existence of this character, the nature of which is explained in different ways by theologians, is taught by the Council of Florence 53 and reaffirmed by two decrees of the Council of Trent. Faithful to Sacred Tradition and to many documents of the Magisterium, the Second Vatican Council taught the following concerning the power belonging to the ministerial priesthood: "Though everyone can baptize the faithful, the priest alone can complete the building up of the Body in the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Such an abuse, wherever it may occur, must clearly be eliminated by the pastors of the Church.

It was not the intention of this Declaration, nor was it within its scope, to prove by way of a study of the foundations of our faith that divine revelation was entrusted to the Church so that she might thereafter preserve it unaltered in the world. But this dogma, from which the Catholic Faith takes its beginning, has been recalled, together with other truths related to the mystery of the Church, so that in the uncertainty of the present day the faith and doctrine the faithful must hold might clearly emerge.

The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rejoices that theologians are by intense study exploring more and more the mystery of the Church. It recognizes also that in their work they touch on many questions which can only be clarified by complementary studies and by various efforts and conjectures. However, the due freedom of theologians must always be limited by the Word of God as it is faithfully preserved and expounded in the Church and taught and explained by the living Magisterium of the pastors and especially of the Pastor of the entire People of God.

The Sacred Congregation entrusts this Declaration to the diligent attention of the bishops and of all those who in any way share the task of guarding the patrimony of truth which Christ and His Apostles committed to the Church. It also confidently addresses the Declaration to the faithful and particularly, in view of the important office which they hold in the Church, to priests and theologians, so that all may be of one mind in the faith and may be in sincere harmony with the Church.

Pope Paul VI, by divine providence Supreme Pontiff, in the audience granted to the undersigned Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on May 11, , has ratified and confirmed this Declaration in defense of Catholic doctrine on the Church against certain errors of the present day and has ordered its publication. John the Baptist. Istituto per la Scienze Religiose di Bologna, Herder, , p.

DS Vatican Council II: ibid. Council of Trent.

Also Council of Trent, Sess. Council of Trent: Decree on the Sacraments , can. Documents of the Synod of Bishops: I. Synod of Bishops , Relatio Commissionis Synodalis constitutae ad examen ulterius peragendum circa opiniones periculosas et atheismum , II, 4: De theologorum opera et responsabilitate , Vatican Polygot Press, , p. The Infallibility of the Universal Church "In His gracious goodness, God has seen to it that what He had revealed for the salvation of all nations would abide perpetually in its full integrity.

The Infallibility of the Church's Magisterium Jesus Christ, from whom derives the task proper to the pastors of teaching the Gospel to His people and to the entire human family, wished to endow the pastors' Magisterium with a fitting charism of infallibility in matters regarding faith and morals. The Church's Gift of Infallibility Not To Be Diminished From what has been said about the extent of and conditions governing the infallibility of the People of God and of the Church's Magisterium, it follows that the faithful are in no way permitted to see in the Church merely a fundamental permanence in truth which, as some assert, could be reconciled with errors contained here and there in the propositions that the Church's Magisterium teaches to be held irrevocably, as also in the unhesitating assent of the People of God concerning matters of faith and morals.

The desire was for the Church of England to resemble more closely the Protestant churches of Europe, especially Geneva. The later Puritan movement, often referred to as dissenters and nonconformists , eventually led to the formation of various Reformed denominations. The Scottish Reformation of decisively shaped the Church of Scotland. John Knox is regarded as the leader of the Scottish Reformation. The Scottish Reformation Parliament of repudiated the pope's authority by the Papal Jurisdiction Act , forbade the celebration of the Mass and approved a Protestant Confession of Faith.

It was made possible by a revolution against French hegemony under the regime of the regent Mary of Guise , who had governed Scotland in the name of her absent daughter. In the course of this religious upheaval, the German Peasants' War of —25 swept through the Bavarian , Thuringian and Swabian principalities. The Great Awakenings were periods of rapid and dramatic religious revival in Anglo-American religious history. The First Great Awakening was an evangelical and revitalization movement that swept through Protestant Europe and British America , especially the American colonies in the s and s, leaving a permanent impact on American Protestantism.

It resulted from powerful preaching that gave listeners a sense of deep personal revelation of their need of salvation by Jesus Christ. Pulling away from ritual, ceremony, sacramentalism and hierarchy, it made Christianity intensely personal to the average person by fostering a deep sense of spiritual conviction and redemption, and by encouraging introspection and a commitment to a new standard of personal morality.

The Second Great Awakening began around It gained momentum by After , membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations, whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late s. It has been described as a reaction against skepticism, deism , and rationalism , although why those forces became pressing enough at the time to spark revivals is not fully understood. The Third Great Awakening refers to a hypothetical historical period that was marked by religious activism in American history and spans the late s to the early 20th century.

It was affiliated with the Social Gospel Movement, which applied Christianity to social issues and gained its force from the Awakening, as did the worldwide missionary movement. New groupings emerged, such as the Holiness , Nazarene , and Christian Science movements. The Fourth Great Awakening was a Christian religious awakening that some scholars—most notably, Robert Fogel —say took place in the United States in the late s and early s, while others look at the era following World War II. The terminology is controversial. Thus, the idea of a Fourth Great Awakening itself has not been generally accepted.

In , a Protestant revival in Wales had tremendous impact on the local population. A part of British modernization, it drew many people to churches, especially Methodist and Baptist ones. A noteworthy development in 20th-century Protestant Christianity was the rise of the modern Pentecostal movement. Sprung from Methodist and Wesleyan roots, it arose out of meetings at an urban mission on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. From there it spread around the world, carried by those who experienced what they believed to be miraculous moves of God there.

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These Pentecost-like manifestations have steadily been in evidence throughout the history, such as seen in the two Great Awakenings. Pentecostalism, which in turn birthed the Charismatic movement within already established denominations, continues to be an important force in Western Christianity. In the United States and elsewhere in the world, there has been a marked rise in the evangelical wing of Protestant denominations, especially those that are more exclusively evangelical, and a corresponding decline in the mainstream liberal churches.

In the post— World War I era, Liberal Christianity was on the rise, and a considerable number of seminaries held and taught from a liberal perspective as well. In the post— World War II era, the trend began to swing back towards the conservative camp in America's seminaries and church structures.

In Europe, there has been a general move away from religious observance and belief in Christian teachings and a move towards secularism. The Enlightenment is largely responsible for the spread of secularism. Several scholars have argued for a link between the rise of secularism and Protestantism, attributing it to the wide-ranging freedom in the Protestant-majority countries.

United States remains particularly religious in comparison to other developed countries. South America, historically Roman Catholic, has experienced a large Evangelical and Pentecostal infusion in the 20th and 21st centuries. Unlike mainstream Lutheran , Calvinist and Zwinglian movements, the Radical Reformation , which had no state sponsorship, generally abandoned the idea of the "Church visible" as distinct from the "Church invisible".

It was a rational extension of the state-approved Protestant dissent, which took the value of independence from constituted authority a step further, arguing the same for the civic realm. The Radical Reformation was non-mainstream, though in parts of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, a majority would sympathize with the Radical Reformation despite the intense persecution it faced from both Roman Catholics and Magisterial Protestants. The early Anabaptists believed that their reformation must purify not only theology but also the actual lives of Christians, especially their political and social relationships.

This was not a doctrine new to the reformers, but was taught by earlier groups, such as the Albigenses in Though most of the Radical Reformers were Anabaptist, some did not identify themselves with the mainstream Anabaptist tradition. Andreas Karlstadt disagreed theologically with Huldrych Zwingli and Martin Luther, teaching nonviolence and refusing to baptize infants while not rebaptizing adult believers.

In the view of many associated with the Radical Reformation, the Magisterial Reformation had not gone far enough. Radical Reformer, Andreas von Bodenstein Karlstadt , for example, referred to the Lutheran theologians at Wittenberg as the "new papists". This is made evident in the prominence of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli as leaders of the reform movements in their respective areas of ministry.

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Because of their authority, they were often criticized by Radical Reformers as being too much like the Roman Popes. A more political side of the Radical Reformation can be seen in the thought and practice of Hans Hut , although typically Anabaptism has been associated with pacifism. Anabaptism in shape of its various diversification such as the Amish , Mennonites and Hutterites came out of the Radical Reformation. Protestants refer to specific groupings of congregations or churches that share in common foundational doctrines and the name of their groups as denominations.

An example this is no universal way to classify Protestant churches, as these may sometimes vary broadly in their structures to show the difference:. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic Church's doctrine that it is the one true church , believing in the invisible church , which consists of all who profess faith in Jesus Christ.

Other denominations are simply regional or ethnic expressions of the same beliefs. Because the five solas are the main tenets of the Protestant faith, non-denominational groups and organizations are also considered Protestant. Various ecumenical movements have attempted cooperation or reorganization of the various divided Protestant denominations, according to various models of union, but divisions continue to outpace unions, as there is no overarching authority to which any of the churches owe allegiance, which can authoritatively define the faith. Most denominations share common beliefs in the major aspects of the Christian faith while differing in many secondary doctrines, although what is major and what is secondary is a matter of idiosyncratic belief.

Several countries have established their national churches , linking the ecclesiastical structure with the state. Jurisdictions where a Protestant denomination has been established as a state religion include several Nordic countries ; Denmark including Greenland , [58] the Faroe Islands its church being independent since , [59] Iceland [60] and Norway [61] [62] [63] have established Evangelical Lutheran churches. Tuvalu has the only established church in Reformed tradition in the world, while Tonga — in the Methodist tradition.

In , Finland was the first Nordic country to disestablish its Evangelical Lutheran church by introducing the Church Act. United and uniting churches are churches formed from the merger or other form of union of two or more different Protestant denominations. Historically, unions of Protestant churches were enforced by the state, usually in order to have a stricter control over the religious sphere of its people, but also other organizational reasons.

As modern Christian ecumenism progresses, unions between various Protestant traditions are becoming more and more common, resulting in a growing number of united and uniting churches. As mainline Protestantism shrinks in Europe and North America due to the rise of secularism , Reformed and Lutheran denominations merge, often creating large nationwide denominations. The phenomenon is much less common among evangelical , nondenominational and charismatic churches as new ones arise and plenty of them remain independent of each other.

Perhaps the oldest official united church is found in Germany , where the Evangelical Church in Germany is a federation of Lutheran , United Prussian Union and Reformed churches , a union dating back to The first of the series of unions was at a synod in Idstein to form the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau in August , commemorated in naming the church of Idstein Unionskirche one hundred years later. Around the world, each united or uniting church comprises a different mix of predecessor Protestant denominations. Trends are visible, however, as most united and uniting churches have one or more predecessors with heritage in the Reformed tradition and many are members of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

Protestants can be differentiated according to how they have been influenced by important movements since the Reformation, today regarded as branches. Some of these movements have a common lineage, sometimes directly spawning individual denominations. Due to the earlier stated multitude of denominations , this section discusses only the largest denominational families, or branches, widely considered to be a part of Protestantism. A small but historically significant Anabaptist branch is also discussed.

The chart below shows the mutual relations and historical origins of the main Protestant denominational families, or their parts. Due to factors such as Counter-Reformation and the legal principle of Cuius regio, eius religio , many people lived as Nicodemites , where their professed religious affiliations were more or less at odds with the movement they sympathized with. As a result, the boundaries between the denominations do not separate as cleanly as this chart indicates. When a population was suppressed or persecuted into feigning an adherence to the dominant faith, over the generations they continued to influence the church they outwardly adhered to.

Due to Counter-Reformation related suppressions in Catholic lands during the 16th through 19th centuries, many Protestants lived as Crypto-Protestants. Meanwhile, in Protestant areas, Catholics sometimes lived as crypto-papists , although in continental Europe emigration was more feasible so this was less common. Adventism began in the 19th century in the context of the Second Great Awakening revival in the United States. William Miller started the Adventist movement in the s. His followers became known as Millerites. Although the Adventist churches hold much in common, their theologies differ on whether the intermediate state is unconscious sleep or consciousness, whether the ultimate punishment of the wicked is annihilation or eternal torment, the nature of immortality, whether or not the wicked are resurrected after the millennium, and whether the sanctuary of Daniel 8 refers to the one in heaven or one on earth.

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has compiled that church's core beliefs in the 28 Fundamental Beliefs and , which use Biblical references as justification. In , Adventism claimed some 22 million believers scattered in various independent churches. James Springer White and his wife, Ellen G.

White founded the Seventh-day Adventist Church. An Adventist pastor baptizes a young man in Mozambique. Anabaptism traces its origins to the Radical Reformation. Anabaptists believe in delaying baptism until the candidate confesses his or her faith. Although some consider this movement to be an offshoot of Protestantism, others see it as a distinct one.

Schwarzenau Brethren , Bruderhof , and the Apostolic Christian Church are considered later developments among the Anabaptists. The name Anabaptist , meaning "one who baptizes again", was given them by their persecutors in reference to the practice of re-baptizing converts who already had been baptized as infants. The early members of this movement did not accept the name Anabaptist , claiming that since infant baptism was unscriptural and null and void, the baptizing of believers was not a re-baptism but in fact their first real baptism.

As a result of their views on the nature of baptism and other issues, Anabaptists were heavily persecuted during the 16th century and into the 17th by both Magisterial Protestants and Roman Catholics. Anabaptist reformers of the Radical Reformation are divided into Radical and the so-called Second Front. Many Anabaptists today still use the Ausbund , which is the oldest hymnal still in continuous use.

Dirk Willems saves his pursuer. This act of mercy led to his recapture, after which he was burned at the stake. Anglicanism comprises the Church of England and churches which are historically tied to it or hold similar beliefs, worship practices and church structures. There is no single "Anglican Church" with universal juridical authority, since each national or regional church has full autonomy. As the name suggests, the communion is an association of churches in full communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The great majority of Anglicans are members of churches which are part of the international Anglican Communion , [77] which has 85 million adherents.

These reforms were understood by one of those most responsible for them, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer , as navigating a middle way between two of the emerging Protestant traditions, namely Lutheranism and Calvinism. Unique to Anglicanism is the Book of Common Prayer , the collection of services that worshippers in most Anglican churches used for centuries.

While it has since undergone many revisions and Anglican churches in different countries have developed other service books, the Book of Common Prayer is still acknowledged as one of the ties that bind the Anglican Communion together. Thomas Cranmer , one of the most influential figures in shaping Anglican theology and self-identity. The various editions of the Book of Common Prayer contain the words of structured services of worship in the Anglican Church.

British coronations are held in Westminster Abbey , a royal peculiar under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch. Baptists subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers believer's baptism , as opposed to infant baptism , and that it must be done by complete immersion as opposed to affusion or sprinkling. Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency liberty , salvation through faith alone , Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation.

Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity. Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ widely from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship. Historians trace the earliest church labeled Baptist back to in Amsterdam , with English Separatist John Smyth as its pastor.

Baptist missionaries have spread their church to every continent. Roger Williams was an early proponent of religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Baptists subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers. The First Baptist Church in America. Baptists are roughly one-third of U. Calvinism, also called the Reformed tradition, was advanced by several theologians such as Martin Bucer , Heinrich Bullinger , Peter Martyr Vermigli , and Huldrych Zwingli, but this branch of Christianity bears the name of the French reformer John Calvin because of his prominent influence on it and because of his role in the confessional and ecclesiastical debates throughout the 16th century.

Today, this term also refers to the doctrines and practices of the Reformed churches of which Calvin was an early leader. Less commonly, it can refer to the individual teaching of Calvin himself. The particulars of Calvinist theology may be stated in a number of ways. Perhaps the best known summary is contained in the five points of Calvinism , though these points identify the Calvinist view on soteriology rather than summarizing the system as a whole.

Broadly speaking, Calvinism stresses the sovereignty or rule of God in all things—in salvation but also in all of life. This concept is seen clearly in the doctrines of predestination and total depravity. The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 80 million members in member denominations around the world.

John Calvin 's theological thought influenced a variety of Congregational , Continental Reformed , United , Presbyterian , and other Reformed churches. Lutheranism identifies with the theology of Martin Luther—a German monk and priest, ecclesiastical reformer, and theologian. Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone ", the doctrine that scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith, rejecting the assertion made by Roman Catholic leaders at the Council of Trent that authority comes from both Scriptures and Tradition.

Unlike the Reformed tradition, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist , or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in Christology , the purpose of God's Law , divine grace , the concept of perseverance of the saints , and predestination.

Today, Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism. With approximately 80 million adherents, [93] it constitutes the third most common Protestant confession after historically Pentecostal denominations and Anglicanism. Moses and Elijah direct the sinner looking for salvation to the cross in this painting illustrating Luther's Theology of the Cross as opposed to a Theology of Glory.

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Methodism identifies principally with the theology of John Wesley —an Anglican priest and evangelist. This evangelical movement originated as a revival within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate Church following Wesley's death. Because of vigorous missionary activity, the movement spread throughout the British Empire , the United States, and beyond, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide. Soteriologically , most Methodists are Arminian , emphasizing that Christ accomplished salvation for every human being, and that humans must exercise an act of the will to receive it as opposed to the traditional Calvinist doctrine of monergism.

Methodism is traditionally low church in liturgy, although this varies greatly between individual congregations; the Wesleys themselves greatly valued the Anglican liturgy and tradition. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition; John Wesley's brother, Charles , was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church, [97] and many other eminent hymn writers come from the Methodist tradition. John Wesley , the primary founder of the Methodism. A United Methodist elder celebrating the Eucharist. Methodist Central Hall in Westminster , London. Pentecostalism is a movement that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ , as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. This branch of Protestantism is distinguished by belief in the baptism with the Holy Spirit as an experience separate from conversion that enables a Christian to live a Holy Spirit—filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing —two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism.

Because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, and the miraculous, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church. For this reason, some Pentecostals also use the term Apostolic or Full Gospel to describe their movement. Pentecostalism eventually spawned hundreds of new denominations, including large groups such as the Assemblies of God and the Church of God in Christ, both in the United States and elsewhere.

There are over million Pentecostals worldwide, and the movement is growing in many parts of the world, especially the global South. Since the s, Pentecostalism has increasingly gained acceptance from other Christian traditions, and Pentecostal beliefs concerning Spirit baptism and spiritual gifts have been embraced by non-Pentecostal Christians in Protestant and Catholic churches through the Charismatic Movement.

Together, Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity numbers over million adherents. Charles Fox Parham , who associated glossolalia with the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

A Pentecostal church in Ravensburg, Germany. There are many other Protestant denominations that do not fit neatly into the mentioned branches, and are far smaller in membership. Some groups of individuals who hold basic Protestant tenets identify themselves simply as "Christians" or " born-again Christians". They typically distance themselves from the confessionalism or creedalism of other Christian communities [99] by calling themselves " non-denominational " or " evangelical ".

Often founded by individual pastors, they have little affiliation with historic denominations. Hussitism follows the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus, who became the best-known representative of the Bohemian Reformation and one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation. An early hymnal was the hand-written Jistebnice hymn book. This predominantly religious movement was propelled by social issues and strengthened Czech national awareness. Among present-day Christians, Hussite traditions are represented in the Moravian Church , Unity of the Brethren , and the refounded Czechoslovak Hussite churches.

The Plymouth Brethren are a conservative , low church, evangelical movement , whose history can be traced to Dublin , Ireland, in the late s, originating from Anglicanism. Brethren generally see themselves not as a denomination, but as a network, or even as a collection of overlapping networks, of like-minded independent churches. Although the group refused for many years to take any denominational name to itself—a stance that some of them still maintain—the title The Brethren , is one that many of their number are comfortable with in that the Bible designates all believers as brethren.

The Holiness movement refers to a set of beliefs and practices emerging from 19th-century Methodism, and a number of evangelical denominations, parachurch organizations, and movements which emphasized those beliefs as a central doctrine. There are an estimated 12 million adherents in Holiness movement churches. Quakers , or Friends, are members of a family of religious movements collectively known as the Religious Society of Friends.

The central unifying doctrine of these movements is the priesthood of all believers. They include those with evangelical , holiness , liberal , and traditional conservative Quaker understandings of Christianity. Unlike many other groups that emerged within Christianity, the Religious Society of Friends has actively tried to avoid creeds and hierarchical structures.

Unitarianism is sometimes considered Protestant due to its origins in the Reformation and strong cooperation with other Protestants since the 16th century. Unitarianism has been popular in the region of Transylvania within today's Romania , England, and the United States. It originated almost simultaneously in Transylvania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. There are also Christian movements which cross denominational lines and even branches, and cannot be classified on the same level previously mentioned forms.

Evangelicalism is a prominent example. Some of those movements are active exclusively within Protestantism, some are Christian-wide. Transdenominational movements are sometimes capable of affecting parts of the Roman Catholic Church , such as does it the Charismatic Movement , which aims to incorporate beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals into the various branches of Christianity. Neo-charismatic churches are sometimes regarded as a subgroup of the Charismatic Movement.

Both are put under a common label of Charismatic Christianity so-called Renewalists , along with Pentecostals. Nondenominational churches and various house churches often adopt, or are akin to one of these movements. Megachurches are usually influenced by interdenominational movements. Globally, these large congregations are a significant development in Protestant Christianity. In the United States, the phenomenon has more than quadrupled in the past two decades. The chart below shows the mutual relations and historical origins of the main interdenominational movements and other developments within Protestantism.

Evangelicalism, or evangelical Protestantism, [n] is a worldwide, transdenominational movement which maintains that the essence of the gospel consists in the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ 's atonement. Evangelicals are Christians who believe in the centrality of the conversion or "born again" experience in receiving salvation, believe in the authority of the Bible as God's revelation to humanity and have a strong commitment to evangelism or sharing the Christian message.

It gained great momentum in the 18th and 19th centuries with the emergence of Methodism and the Great Awakenings in Britain and North America. The Americas, Africa and Asia are home to the majority of Evangelicals. The United States has the largest concentration of Evangelicals. William Wilberforce , a British evangelical abolitionist. Billy Graham , a prominent evangelical revivalist, preaching in Duisburg, Germany in Calvary Church , a non-denominational evangelical church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Charismatic movement is the international trend of historically mainstream congregations adopting beliefs and practices similar to Pentecostals.

Fundamental to the movement is the use of spiritual gifts. Among Protestants, the movement began around In America, Episcopalian Dennis Bennett is sometimes cited as one of the charismatic movement's seminal influence. Ray Muller, who went on to invite Bennett to New Zealand in , and played a leading role in developing and promoting the Life in the Spirit seminars.

Larry Christenson, a Lutheran theologian based in San Pedro, California , did much in the s and s to interpret the charismatic movement for Lutherans. A very large annual conference regarding that matter was held in Minneapolis. Charismatic Lutheran congregations in Minnesota became especially large and influential; especially "Hosanna! The next generation of Lutheran charismatics cluster around the Alliance of Renewal Churches. There is considerable charismatic activity among young Lutheran leaders in California centered around an annual gathering at Robinwood Church in Huntington Beach. Richard A.

Jensen 's Touched by the Spirit published in , played a major role of the Lutheran understanding to the charismatic movement. In Congregational and Presbyterian churches which profess a traditionally Calvinist or Reformed theology there are differing views regarding present-day continuation or cessation of the gifts charismata of the Spirit.

A minority of Seventh-day Adventists today are charismatic. They are strongly associated with those holding more "progressive" Adventist beliefs. In the early decades of the church charismatic or ecstatic phenomena were commonplace. Neo-charismatic churches are a category of churches in the Christian Renewal movement.

Neo-charismatics include the Third Wave , but are broader. Now more numerous than Pentecostals first wave and charismatics second wave combined, owing to the remarkable growth of postdenominational and independent charismatic groups. Neo-charismatics believe in and stress the post-Biblical availability of gifts of the Holy Spirit , including glossolalia , healing, and prophecy. They practice laying on of hands and seek the "infilling" of the Holy Spirit.

However, a specific experience of baptism with the Holy Spirit may not be requisite for experiencing such gifts. No single form, governmental structure, or style of church service characterizes all neo-charismatic services and churches. Some nineteen thousand denominations, with approximately million individual adherents, are identified as neo-charismatic. A plenty of other movements and thoughts to be distinguished from the widespread transdenominational ones and branches appeared within Protestant Christianity.

Some of them are also in evidence today. Others appeared during the centuries following the Reformation and disappeared gradually with the time, such as much of Pietism. Some inspired the current transdenominational ones, such as Evangelicalism which has its foundation in the Christian fundamentalism. Arminianism is based on theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius — and his historic supporters known as Remonstrants.

His teachings held to the five solae of the Reformation, but they were distinct from particular teachings of Martin Luther , Huldrych Zwingli , John Calvin , and other Protestant Reformers. Arminianism is known to some as a soteriological diversification of Calvinism. Many Christian denominations have been influenced by Arminian views on the will of man being freed by grace prior to regeneration, notably the Baptists in the 16th century, [] the Methodists in the 18th century and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 19th century.

The original beliefs of Jacobus Arminius himself are commonly defined as Arminianism, but more broadly, the term may embrace the teachings of Hugo Grotius , John Wesley , and others as well. Classical Arminianism and Wesleyan Arminianism are the two main schools of thought. Wesleyan Arminianism is often identical with Methodism. The two systems of Calvinism and Arminianism share both history and many doctrines, and the history of Christian theology. However, because of their differences over the doctrines of divine predestination and election, many people view these schools of thought as opposed to each other.

In short, the difference can be seen ultimately by whether God allows His desire to save all to be resisted by an individual's will in the Arminian doctrine or if God's grace is irresistible and limited to only some in Calvinism. Some Calvinists assert that the Arminian perspective presents a synergistic system of Salvation and therefore is not only by grace, while Arminians firmly reject this conclusion. Many consider the theological differences to be crucial differences in doctrine, while others find them to be relatively minor.

Pietism was an influential movement within Lutheranism that combined the 17th-century Lutheran principles with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christian life.


It began in the late 17th century, reached its zenith in the midth century, and declined through the 19th century, and had almost vanished in America by the end of the 20th century. While declining as an identifiable Lutheran group, some of its theological tenets influenced Protestantism generally, inspiring the Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement and Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement among Anabaptists.

Though Pietism shares an emphasis on personal behavior with the Puritan movement, and the two are often confused, there are important differences, particularly in the concept of the role of religion in government. Philipp Jakob Spener , German pioneer and founder of Pietism. The Puritans were a group of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries , which sought to purify the Church of England of what they considered to be Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the church was only partially reformed.

Puritanism in this sense was founded by some of the returning clergy exiled under Mary I shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in , as an activist movement within the Church of England. Puritans were blocked from changing the established church from within, and were severely restricted in England by laws controlling the practice of religion. Their beliefs, however, were transported by the emigration of congregations to the Netherlands and later to New England , and by evangelical clergy to Ireland and later into Wales , and were spread into lay society and parts of the educational system, particularly certain colleges of the University of Cambridge.

They took on distinctive beliefs about clerical dress and in opposition to the episcopal system, particularly after the conclusions of the Synod of Dort they were resisted by the English bishops. They largely adopted Sabbatarianism in the 17th century, and were influenced by millennialism. They formed, and identified with various religious groups advocating greater purity of worship and doctrine , as well as personal and group piety.

Puritans adopted a Reformed theology , but they also took note of radical criticisms of Zwingli in Zurich and Calvin in Geneva. In church polity, some advocated for separation from all other Christians, in favor of autonomous gathered churches. These separatist and independent strands of Puritanism became prominent in the s, when the supporters of a Presbyterian polity in the Westminster Assembly were unable to forge a new English national church. Nonconforming Protestants along with the Protestant refugees from continental Europe were the primary founders of the United States of America.

John Cotton , who sparked the Antinomian Controversy with his free grace theology. Pilgrim Fathers landing at Plymouth Rock in Built in , the Old Ship Church in Hingham, Massachusetts is the oldest church in America in continuous ecclesiastical use. Neo-orthodoxy sought to counter-act the tendency of liberal theology to make theological accommodations to modern scientific perspectives. Sometimes called "crisis theology," in the existentialist sense of the word crisis, also sometimes called neo-evangelicalism , which uses the sense of "evangelical" pertaining to continental European Protestants rather than American evangelicalism.

Paleo-orthodoxy is a movement similar in some respects to neo-evangelicalism but emphasizing the ancient Christian consensus of the undivided church of the first millennium AD, including in particular the early creeds and church councils as a means of properly understanding the scriptures. This movement is cross-denominational. A prominent theologian in this group is Thomas Oden , a Methodist. In reaction to liberal Bible critique, fundamentalism arose in the 20th century, primarily in the United States, among those denominations most affected by Evangelicalism.

Fundamentalist theology tends to stress Biblical inerrancy and Biblical literalism. Toward the end of the 20th century, some have tended to confuse evangelicalism and fundamentalism; however, the labels represent very distinct differences of approach that both groups are diligent to maintain, although because of fundamentalism's dramatically smaller size it often gets classified simply as an ultra-conservative branch of evangelicalism. Modernism and liberalism do not constitute rigorous and well-defined schools of theology, but are rather an inclination by some writers and teachers to integrate Christian thought into the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment.

New understandings of history and the natural sciences of the day led directly to new approaches to theology. Its opposition to the fundamentalist teaching resulted in religious debates, such as the Fundamentalist—Modernist Controversy within the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in the s. Although the Reformation was a religious movement, it also had a strong impact on all other aspects of life: marriage and family, education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy, and the arts.

As the Reformers wanted all members of the church to be able to read the Bible, education on all levels got a strong boost. By the middle of the eighteenth century, the literacy rate in England was about 60 per cent, in Scotland 65 per cent, and in Sweden eight of ten men and women were able to read and to write. For example, the Puritans who established Massachusetts Bay Colony in founded Harvard College only eight years later.

About a dozen other colleges followed in the 18th century, including Yale Pennsylvania also became a centre of learning. Members of mainline Protestant denominations have played leadership roles in many aspects of American life , including politics, business, science, the arts, and education. They founded most of the country's leading institutes of higher education.

The Protestant concept of God and man allows believers to use all their God-given faculties, including the power of reason. That means that they are allowed to explore God's creation and, according to Genesis , make use of it in a responsible and sustainable way. Thus a cultural climate was created that greatly enhanced the development of the humanities and the sciences. Industry, frugality, calling, discipline, and a strong sense of responsibility are at the heart of their moral code.

Therefore, craftsmen, industrialists, and other businessmen were able to reinvest the greater part of their profits in the most efficient machinery and the most modern production methods that were based on progress in the sciences and technology. As a result, productivity grew, which led to increased profits and enabled employers to pay higher wages. In this way, the economy, the sciences, and technology reinforced each other. The chance to participate in the economic success of technological inventions was a strong incentive to both inventors and investors. This idea is also known as the "Protestant ethic thesis.

However, eminent historian Fernand Braudel d. Yet it is clearly false. The northern countries took over the place that earlier had been so long and brilliantly been occupied by the old capitalist centers of the Mediterranean. They invented nothing, either in technology or business management. In a factor analysis of the latest wave of World Values Survey data, Arno Tausch Corvinus University of Budapest found that Protestantism emerges to be very close to combining religion and the traditions of liberalism.

The Global Value Development Index, calculated by Tausch, relies on the World Values Survey dimensions such as trust in the state of law, no support for shadow economy, postmaterial activism, support for democracy, a non-acceptance of violence, xenophobia and racism, trust in transnational capital and Universities, confidence in the market economy, supporting gender justice, and engaging in environmental activism, etc.

Episcopalians and Presbyterians , as well as other WASPs , tend to be considerably wealthier [] and better educated having graduate and post-graduate degrees per capita than most other religious groups in United States , [] and are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business , [] law and politics , especially the Republican Party. Protestantism has had an important influence on science. According to the Merton Thesis , there was a positive correlation between the rise of English Puritanism and German Pietism on the one hand and early experimental science on the other.

He explained that the connection between religious affiliation and interest in science was the result of a significant synergy between the ascetic Protestant values and those of modern science. In the Middle Ages, the Church and the worldly authorities were closely related.

Martin Luther separated the religious and the worldly realms in principle doctrine of the two kingdoms. Luther's doctrine of the priesthood of all believers upgraded the role of laymen in the church considerably. The members of a congregation had the right to elect a minister and, if necessary, to vote for his dismissal Treatise On the right and authority of a Christian assembly or congregation to judge all doctrines and to call, install and dismiss teachers, as testified in Scripture ; Politically, Calvin favoured a mixture of aristocracy and democracy.

He appreciated the advantages of democracy : "It is an invaluable gift, if God allows a people to freely elect its own authorities and overlords. To further protect the rights of ordinary people, Calvin suggested separating political powers in a system of checks and balances separation of powers. Thus he and his followers resisted political absolutism and paved the way for the rise of modern democracy. It granted asylum to philosophers like Baruch Spinoza and Pierre Bayle.

Hugo Grotius was able to teach his natural-law theory and a relatively liberal interpretation of the Bible. Consistent with Calvin's political ideas, Protestants created both the English and the American democracies. Australia, New Zealand, and India. Protestants also took the initiative in advocating for religious freedom. Freedom of conscience had high priority on the theological, philosophical, and political agendas since Luther refused to recant his beliefs before the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire at Worms In his view, faith was a free work of the Holy Spirit and could, therefore, not be forced on a person.

These colonies became safe havens for persecuted religious minorities, including Jews. The strongest link between the American and French Revolutions was Marquis de Lafayette , an ardent supporter of the American constitutional principles. The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was mainly based on Lafayette's draft of this document. Democracy, social-contract theory, separation of powers, religious freedom, separation of church and state—these achievements of the Reformation and early Protestantism were elaborated on and popularized by Enlightenment thinkers.

As all persons were created equally free, all governments needed "the consent of the governed. Also, other human rights were advocated for by some Protestants. He also founded the Red Cross. Protestants have founded hospitals, homes for disabled or elderly people, educational institutions, organizations that give aid to developing countries, and other social welfare agencies. To Bismarck this was "practical Christianity". Luther Monument in Worms , which features some of the Reformation's crucial figures.

A Huguenot, on St. The Return of the Prodigal Son , detail, c. The Church at Auvers , By Vincent van Gogh. The view of the Roman Catholic Church is that Protestant denominations cannot be considered churches but rather that they are ecclesial communities or specific faith-believing communities because their ordinances and doctrines are not historically the same as the Catholic sacraments and dogmas, and the Protestant communities have no sacramental ministerial priesthood [o] and therefore lack true apostolic succession.

Contrary to how the Protestant Reformers were often characterized, the concept of a catholic or universal Church was not brushed aside during the Protestant Reformation.

Chief government

On the contrary, the visible unity of the catholic or universal church was seen by the Protestant reformers as an important and essential doctrine of the Reformation. The Magisterial reformers, such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Huldrych Zwingli, believed that they were reforming the Roman Catholic Church, which they viewed as having become corrupted.

The Protestant Reformers formed a new and radically different theological opinion on ecclesiology, that the visible Church is "catholic" lower-case "c" rather than "Catholic" upper-case "C". Accordingly, there is not an indefinite number of parochial, congregational or national churches, constituting, as it were, so many ecclesiastical individualities, but one great spiritual republic of which these various organizations form a part, [q] although they each have very different opinions.

This was markedly far-removed from the traditional and historic Roman Catholic understanding that the Roman Catholic Church was the one true Church of Christ. Yet in the Protestant understanding, the visible church is not a genus, so to speak, with so many species under it. Wherever the Magisterial Reformation, which received support from the ruling authorities, took place, the result was a reformed national Protestant church envisioned to be a part of the whole invisible church , but disagreeing, in certain important points of doctrine and doctrine-linked practice, with what had until then been considered the normative reference point on such matters, [v] [w] Religious unity therefore became not one of doctrine and identity but one of invisible character, wherein the unity was one of faith in Jesus Christ, not common identity, doctrine, belief, and collaborative action.

There are Protestants, [x] especially of the Reformed tradition , that either reject or down-play the designation Protestant because of the negative idea that the word invokes in addition to its primary meaning, preferring the designation Reformed , Evangelical or even Reformed Catholic expressive of what they call a Reformed Catholicity and defending their arguments from the traditional Protestant confessions. The ecumenical movement has had an influence on mainline churches, beginning at least in with the Edinburgh Missionary Conference.

Its origins lay in the recognition of the need for cooperation on the mission field in Africa, Asia and Oceania. Since , the World Council of Churches has been influential, but ineffective in creating a united church. There are also ecumenical bodies at regional, national and local levels across the globe; but schisms still far outnumber unifications.

There has been a strong engagement of Orthodox churches in the ecumenical movement, though the reaction of individual Orthodox theologians has ranged from tentative approval of the aim of Christian unity to outright condemnation of the perceived effect of watering down Orthodox doctrine. A Protestant baptism is held to be valid by the Catholic Church if given with the trinitarian formula and with the intent to baptize. However, as the ordination of Protestant ministers is not recognized due to the lack of apostolic succession and the disunity from Catholic Church, all other sacraments except marriage performed by Protestant denominations and ministers are not recognized as valid.

Therefore, Protestants desiring full communion with the Catholic Church are not re-baptized although they are confirmed and Protestant ministers who become Catholics may be ordained to the priesthood after a period of study. In , the representatives of Lutheran World Federation and Catholic Church signed the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification , apparently resolving the conflict over the nature of justification which was at the root of the Protestant Reformation, although Confessional Lutherans reject this statement.

There are more than million Protestants worldwide, [1] [2] [14] [] [] [] [] [y] among approximately 2. In European countries which were most profoundly influenced by the Reformation, Protestantism still remains the most practiced religion. Changes in worldwide Protestantism over the last century have been significant. Protestantism is growing in Africa, [22] [] [] Asia, [22] [] [] Latin America, [] [] and Oceania, [22] [] while declining in Anglo America [] [] and Europe, [] [] with some exceptions such as France, [] where it was eradicated after the abolition of the Edict of Nantes by the Edict of Fontainebleau and the following persecution of Huguenots , but now is claimed to be stable in number or even growing slightly.

By , Protestantism is projected to rise to slightly more than half of the world's total Christian population. Hillerbrand, Protestants will be as numerous as Catholics. For more movements related one way or the other, but not considered Protestant, see List of Christian denominations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Division within Christianity, originating with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church.

For the album, see Protestant album. Major branches. Minor branches. Broad-based movements. Charismatic movement Evangelicalism Neo-charismatic movement. Other developments. Related movements. House churches Nondenominational Christianity. Memorial Church finished and consecrated in Speyer commemorates the Protestation. These reformers emphasised preaching and made it a centerpiece of worship. The Bible translated into vernacular by Martin Luther. The supreme authority of scripture is a fundamental principle of Protestantism. Main article: Sola Scriptura. Main article: Sola Fide. See also: Trinity and Nontrinitarianism.

Main article: Five solae. Main article: Eucharistic theology. Main article: History of Protestantism. See also: Proto-Protestantism and Girolamo Savonarola. Main article: Protestant Reformation. John Knox, who led the Reformation in Scotland , founding Presbyterianism. Ninety-five Theses. Contributing factors. Theologies of seminal figures.

Protestant Reformers. By location. Major political leaders. Catholic Church Council of Trent. Politics of the Counter-Reformation. Anti-Protestantism Criticism. Charles V Ferdinand II. Political and religious conflicts. Art and literature. Painting and sculpture Northern Mannerism Lutheran art.

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