Posts Tagged ‘Church history’

All across Christendom, there are a variety of thoughts and ideas of how the church, the body of believers, should be organized.

20120903-162104.jpgMainline Protestants, such as Lutherans and Anglicans, favor an episcopalian model; that is to say that they recognize, at least on some level, the necessity of an ecumenical body to safeguard faith. They maintain that the scripture alone are the sole authority, but they also acknowledge the importance of the uniformity of interpretation of these scriptures.

Maintaining Doctrinal Unity

In many respects, these churches maintain much of the identify of their Catholic origins. They’ve downplayed the role of tradition, but they still maintain it’s value as a teaching tool, if not an authority. For these churches, the question of church organization comes down to the degree of authority that a governing body has.

Even mainline fundamentalist churches, such as Southern Baptists, appreciate the efficacy of a convention to act as a source of doctrinal guidance. Though the Southern Baptist Convention encourages the self-governing model of church organization, it exists to help maintain a consistency of theology among those churches.
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The great Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman is often quoted as saying “To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.”

20120903-103549.jpgCardinal Newman should know. He began his religious career as a prominent priest in the Church of England. He set out with the purpose of reforming the Anglican Church and returning to it the doctrines, practices and beliefs of the early Christian church. As he studied history and the beliefs of Christians throughout history, he became compelled to enter into full communion with the church of Rome.

He is not alone. Countless bible-believing Christians year after year are faced with the same wonderful truth when they study history. Despite what many fundamentalist churches teach and what so many non-denominational Christians want to believe, the historical evidence is overwhelming that the Catholic church is in fact the very same church that has continued through the ages, from before Jesus’ death on the cross even until today.
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