Christian Church

From New World Encyclopedia
This article is about the collective body of Christian believers. For the buildings used in Christian worship, see Church (building).
Part of a series of articles on

Jesus Christ
Church · Theology
New Covenant · Supersessionism
Apostles · Kingdom · Gospel
History of Christianity · Timeline

Old Testament · New Testament
Books · Canon · Apocrypha
Septuagint · Decalogue
Birth · Resurrection
Sermon on the Mount
Great Commission
Translations · English
Inspiration · Hermeneutics

Christian theology
Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
History of · Theology · Apologetics
Creation · Fall of Man · Covenant · Law
Grace · Faith · Justification · Salvation
Sanctification · Theosis · Worship
Church · Sacraments · Eschatology

History and traditions
Early · Councils
Creeds · Missions
Great Schism · Crusades · Reformation
Great Awakenings · Great Apostasy
Restorationism · Nontrinitarianism
Thomism · Arminianism

Topics in Christianity
Movements · Denominations
Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer
Music · Liturgy · Calendar
Symbols · Art · Criticism

Important figures
Apostle Paul · Church Fathers
Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine
Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe
Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley
Arius · Marcion of Sinope
Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople

Christianity Portal

The Christian Church refers to the Christian religious community, or a body or organization of Christian believers. In Christianity, "church" also refers to the buildings used in worship. The word "Church" is applied to a number of separate Christian communities (ecclesia) and other organizations into which Christians have divided (the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Eastern Church, Church of England, Baptist Church, and so forth), which all belong to the general body of those call themselves Christians. Throughout its 2,000-year history the Christian church has contributed much to society, bringing spiritual life as well as physical support to the poor and the sick.

All Christians have the common belief in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the one sent by God to save humankind, liberating us from sin. Each Christian Church affirms the Four Marks of the Church first expressed in the Nicene Creed are that the Church is one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic (originating from the apostles). Today, however, countless denominations regard themselves as the "one true church," leading to confusion and even loss of faith among believers. Despite ecumenical efforts, encouraging people to focus primarily on Christ, not on separate church organizations, there is still much to be done to fulfill Jesus' prayer for all believers, in John 17:22-23 "that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity."


The English language word "church" is from the Old English word cirice, derived from West Germanic *kirika, which in turn comes from the Greek κυριακή kuriakē, meaning "of the Lord" (possessive form of κύριος kurios "ruler" or "lord"). Kuriakē in the sense of "church" is most likely a shortening of κυριακὴ οἰκία kuriakē oikia ("house of the Lord") or ἐκκλησία κυριακή ekklēsia kuriakē ("congregation of the Lord"). Christian churches were sometimes called κυριακόν kuriakon ("of the Lord") in Greek starting in the fourth century, but ekklēsia and βασιλική basilikē were more common.[1] Some grammarians and scholars say that the word "church" may derive from the Anglo-Saxon "kirke" from the Latin "circus" and the Greek "kuklos" for "circle," since the people gathered in circles for religious meetings.[2]

Medieval illustration of the ecclesia from the Hortus deliciarum of Herrad of Landsberg (twelfth century)

In the Septuagint, the Greek word ἐκκλησία (ecclesia) is used to translate the Hebrew "קהל" (qahal). Most Romance and Celtic languages use derivations of this word, either inherited or borrowed from the Latin form ecclesia. Most English translations of the New Testament generally use the word "church" as a translation of ἐκκλησία (from ἔκκλητος called out or forth, and this from ἐκκαλέω); properly, a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place; an assembly.[3]


In ecclesiology, the Christian Church is what different Christian denominations conceive of as being the true body of Christians or the original institution established by Jesus Christ.[4] "Christian Church" has also been used in academia as a synonym for Christianity, despite the fact that it is composed of multiple churches or denominations.

Body of Christ

The term "Body of Christ," in addition to Jesus Christ's words over the bread at the celebration of the Jewish feast of Passover that "This is my body" in Luke 22:19–20, may also be used to refer to all individuals who are "in Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12–14), in other words the community of Christian believers that make up the Christian Church. As used by Paul in the Pauline epistles, "Body of Christ" refers to all individuals who "heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 1:13), "are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:22), are "joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love" (Ephesians 4:16).

Thus, a distinction may be drawn between all Christians who are saved, the "Body of Christ" or the "general invisible church," and all those who belong to a Christian denomination, the "general visible church":

There are distinctions between the general invisible church and the general visible church, which it is not necessary to carry out to the last analysis. In a sense, they are both visible. All who are members of the general invisible church are members of the general visible church. But all who are members of the general visible church are not members of the general invisible church. A clear and distinct difference between the visible and invisible church may be stated thus: (1) The general invisible church includes all out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation who are truly saved. No one denomination has in its communion all who belong to the invisible church. (2) The visible church includes all who are recognized as members of a Christian church. No one denomination can justly claim to be the general visible church.[5]


"Denomination" is a generic term for a distinct Christian body identified by traits such as a common name, structure, leadership, or doctrine. Individual bodies, however, may use alternative terms to describe themselves, such as "church" or "fellowship." Divisions between one group and another are defined by doctrine and church authority; issues such as the nature of Jesus, the authority of apostolic succession, eschatology, and papal primacy often separate one denomination from another. Groups of denominations often sharing broadly similar beliefs, practices, and historical ties are known as branches of Christianity.

One true church

The expression "one true church" refers to an ecclesiological position asserting that Jesus gave his authority in the Great Commission solely to a particular visible Christian institutional church—what is commonly called a denomination. Several denominations hold a doctrinal claim of being the "one true church" to the exclusion of the others.[6]

Each of them maintains that their own specific institutional church (denomination) exclusively represents the one and only original church. The claim to the title of the "one true church" relates to the first of the Four Marks of the Church mentioned in the Nicene Creed: "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church." As such, it also relates to claims of both catholicity and apostolic succession: asserting inheritance of the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority and responsibility that Jesus Christ gave to the apostles.[7]

Thus, some denominations refer to themselves as the "original Christian Church":

We are the original Christian Church, which began when Jesus himself when he said to the Apostle Peter, "You are the rock on which I will build my church. The gates of hell will not prevail against it." Every pope since then has been part of an unbroken line of succession since Peter, the first pope.[8]

Church congregation

The word "church" is also used in the sense of a distinct congregation, a religious organization that meets in a particular location. John Locke defined a church as

[A] voluntary society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord in order to the public worshiping of God in such manner as they judge acceptable to Him, and effectual to the salvation of their souls.[9]

Slightly under half of the uses of "church" in the New Testament designate a local church.[10] Thus, a church "in the New Testament sense, is a gathering of people who have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."[11]

Congregants worship in a Dutch Restored Reformed church, Doornspijk
A village church in South Sudan

Many local churches are formally organized, with constitutions and by-laws, maintain offices, are served by clergy or lay leaders, and, in nations where this is permissible, often seek non-profit corporate status.

Local churches often relate with, affiliate with, or consider themselves to be constitutive parts of denominations, which are also called churches in many traditions. Depending on the tradition, these organizations may connect local churches to larger church traditions, ordain and defrock clergy, define terms of membership and exercise church discipline, and have organizations for cooperative ministry such as educational institutions and missionary societies. Non-denominational churches are not part of denominations, but may consider themselves part of larger church movements without institutional expression.

Local churches united with others under the oversight of a bishop are normally called "parishes," by Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran communions. The parish church has always been fundamental to the life of every parish community, especially in rural areas. For example, in the Church of England, parish churches are the oldest churches to be found in England. Most parishes have churches that date back to the Middle Ages.

Local parishes of the Roman Catholic Church, like episcopal parishes, favor formal worship styles, and traditional structure in services. The importance of formal office is also a distinctive trait; thus a solemn mass may include the presence of officers of the Knights of Columbus as an escort for the regional bishop when he is present. Likewise, vestments are valued to inculcate the solemnity of the Holy Eucharist and are typically more elaborate than in other churches.

A local church may also be a mission, that is a smaller church under the sponsorship of a larger congregation, a bishop, or a greater church hierarchy. Often congregational churches prefer to call such local mission churches "church plants."

While the primary purpose of the local church is the spiritual life of its congregants, which includes religious education for the children in Sunday school, many local churches provide social services, such as tending to the poor and sick.


An Eastern icon depicting the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The date of Pentecost is considered the "Birthday of the Church".

The Christian Church originated in Roman Judea in the first century C.E., founded on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. His disciples later became known as "Christians"; according to Scripture, Jesus gave them the Great Commission to spread his teachings to all the world. For most Christians, the holiday of Pentecost (an event that occurred after Jesus' ascension to Heaven) represents the birthday of the Church,[12] signified by the descent of the Holy Spirit on gathered disciples (Acts 2).

The Church gradually spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond, gaining major establishments in cities such as Jerusalem, Antioch, and Edessa. The Church was legalized in the Roman empire, and then promoted by Emperors Constantine I and Theodosius I in the fourth century as the State Church of the Roman Empire.

Use by early Christians

Early Christians referred to themselves as brethren, disciples or saints, but it was in Antioch, according to Acts 11:26, that they were first called Christians (Greek: Christianoi).[13]

Social and professional networks played an important part in spreading the religion as members invited interested outsiders to secret Christian assemblies (Greek: ekklēsia) that met in private homes. Commerce and trade also played a role in Christianity's spread as Christian merchants traveled for business. Christianity appealed to marginalized groups (women, slaves) with its message that "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither male nor female, neither slave nor free" (Galatians 3:28). Christians also provided social services to the poor, sick, and widows.[13] Women actively contributed to the Christian faith as disciples, missionaries, and more due to the large acceptance early Christianity offered.

Separate Christian groups maintained contact with each other through letters, visits from itinerant preachers, and the sharing of common texts, some of which were later collected in the New Testament.[13]

The Dura-Europos house church, ca. 232, with chapel area on right.

For the first 300 years of Early Christianity, intermittent persecution (before the Edict of Milan in 313) did not allow the erection of public church buildings. Therefore, in the early church, Christian fellowship, prayer, and service took place mainly in private homes, domus ecclesiae, as described in the book of Acts of the Apostles.[14] and other New Testament passages.[15]

The Dura-Europos church, a private house in Dura-Europos in Syria, was excavated in the 1930s and was found to have been used as a Christian meeting place in 232 C.E., with one small room serving as a baptistry, creating the current style of church seen today.[16]

In using the word ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia), early Christians were employing a term that, while it designated the assembly of a Greek city-state, in which only citizens could participate, was traditionally used by Greek-speaking Jews to speak of Israel, the people of God, and that appeared in the Septuagint in the sense of an assembly gathered for religious reasons, often for a liturgy; in that translation ἐκκλησία stood for the Hebrew word קהל (qahal), which however it also rendered as συναγωγή (synagōgē, "synagogue"), the two Greek words being largely synonymous until Christians distinguished them more clearly.[17]

Christianity as Roman state religion

An icon depicting Constantine I, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

On February 27, 380, the Roman Empire officially adopted the Nicene version of Christianity as its state religion. The Nicene Creed expressed the Four Marks of the Church, namely that the Church is one, holy, catholic (universal), and apostolic (originating from the apostles).[18] On this date, Theodosius I decreed that only the followers of Trinitarian Christianity were entitled to be referred to as Catholic Christians, while all others were to be considered to be heretics, which was considered illegal.[19]

The Church within the Roman Empire was organized under metropolitan sees, with five rising to particular prominence, one in the West (Rome) and the rest in the East (Constantinople, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria), forming the basis for the Pentarchy, proposed by Justinian I. [20]

Founded in 363 C.E., Mar Mattai Monastery, a Nestorian Church, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.

Even after the split of the Roman Empire the Church remained a relatively united institution (apart from Oriental Orthodoxy and some other groups which separated from the rest of the state-sanctioned Church earlier). The Church came to be a central and defining institution of the Empire, especially in the East or Byzantine Empire, where Constantinople came to be seen as the center of the Christian world, owing in great part to its economic and political power.[21]

Great Schism of 1054

Although there had long been frictions between the Bishop of Rome (the patriarch of the Catholic Church proper) and the eastern patriarchs within the Byzantine Empire, Rome's changing allegiance from Constantinople to the Frankish king Charlemagne set the Church on a course towards separation. The political and theological divisions would grow until the East–West Schism in the eleventh century, when Rome and the East excommunicated each other, ultimately leading to the division of the Church into the Western (Catholic) and Eastern (Orthodox) churches.[21]

Protestant Reformation

The changes brought on by the Renaissance eventually led to the Protestant Reformation during which the Protestant Lutheran and the Reformed followers of Calvin, Hus, Zwingli, Melancthon, Knox, and others split from the Catholic Church. At this time, a series of non-theological disputes also led to the English Reformation which led to the independence of the Church of England. Then, during the Age of Exploration and the Age of Imperialism, Western Europe spread the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches around the world.

Divisions and controversies

Today there is a wide diversity of Christian groups, with a variety of different doctrines and traditions. These controversies between the various branches of Christianity naturally include significant differences in their respective ecclesiologies.

Individual Christian denominations vary widely in the degree to which they recognize one another. Several claim to be the direct and sole authentic successor the church founded by Jesus Christ in the first century C.E. Others, however, believe in denominationalism, where some or all Christian denominations are legitimate churches of the same religion regardless of their distinguishing labels, beliefs, and practices.

St. Andrew's Church, Darjeeling. Built- 1843, Rebuilt- 1873

In the New Testament, the word "church" or "assembly"—(translations for ekklesia)—normally refers to believers on earth, and they conclude that the Creed's description "one" must be applicable to the Church on earth and must not be reserved for some eschatological reality. The only exception to the normal New Testament use of the word "ἐκκλησία" is the mention of the "ἐκκλησία of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven."[22] Even there the Christians to whom the letter is addressed are associated with that heavenly Church ("you have come to…"). In line with this passage, the ancient Churches mentioned see the saints too—that is, the holy dead—as part of the one Church and not as ex-members, so that Christians both in the present life and the afterlife form a single Church.

Catholic and Orthodox Churches

The Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church believe that the term one in the Nicene Creed describes and prescribes a visible institutional and doctrinal unity, not only geographically throughout the world, but also historically throughout history. They see unity as one of the four marks that the Creed attributes to the genuine Church, and the essence of a mark is to be visible. A church whose identity and belief varied from country to country and from age to age would not be "one" in their estimation. As such they see themselves not as a denomination, but as pre-denominational; not as one of many faith communities, but the original and sole true Church.

Anglican Church

Anglicans generally understand their tradition as a branch of the historical "Catholic Church" and as a via media ("middle way") between traditions, often Lutheranism and Reformed Christianity, or Roman Catholicism and Reformed Christianity. Others have agreed that the Church of England was a middle way, but different authors have disagreed on which traditions it is between:

Patrick McGrath commenting that the Church of England was not a middle way between Roman Catholic and Protestant, but "between different forms of Protestantism," and William Monter describing the Church of England as "a unique style of Protestantism, a via media between the Reformed and Lutheran traditions." MacCulloch has described Cranmer as seeking a middle way between Zurich and Wittenberg but elsewhere remarks that the Church of England was "nearer Zurich and Geneva than Wittenberg.[23]

The branch theory, which is maintained by some Anglicans, holds that those Churches that have preserved apostolic succession are part of the true Church:

The one most talked about is the "Branch Theory," which assumes that the basis of unity is a valid priesthood. Given the priesthood, it is held that valid Sacraments unite in spite of schisms. Those who hold it assume that the Church is composed of Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, eastern heretics possessing undisputed Orders, and Old Catholics, Anglicans, Swedish Lutherans, Moravians, and any others who might be able to demonstrate that they had perpetuated a valid hierarchy. This is chiefly identified with High Church Anglicans and represents the survival of a seventeenth century contention against Puritans, that Anglicans were not to be classed with Continental Protestants.[24]

Branch theory is contrasted with the view of the one true church applied to a specific concrete Christian institution, a Christian ecclesiological position maintained by the Catholic Church,[8] as well as the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, Assyrian Church of the East, and the Ancient Church of the East.

Protestant Churches

For many Protestant Christians, the Christian Church has two components: the church visible, institutions in which "the Word of God purely preached and listened to, and the sacraments administered according to Christ's institution," as well as the church invisible—all "who are truly saved" (with these beings members of the visible church).[25][5] In this understanding of the invisible church, "Christian Church" does not refer to a particular Christian denomination, but includes all individuals who have been saved.[5]

Baptist tradition

Many Baptists, who uphold the doctrine of Baptist successionism (also known as Landmarkism), "argue that their history can be traced across the centuries to New Testament times" and "claim that Baptists have represented the true church" that "has been, present in every period of history."[26]

One was its belief that the Baptist Church was the only true church. Because only the Baptist Church was an authentically biblical church, all other so-called churches were merely human societies. This mean that only ordinances performed by this true church were valid. All other rites were simply rituals performed by leaders of religious societies. The Lord's Supper could correctly be administered only to members of the local congregation (closed communion). Pastors of other denominations could not be true pastors because their churches were not true churches.[27]

Walter B. Shurden, the founding executive director of the Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University, writes that the theology of Landmarkism upholds the ideas that "Only Baptist churches can trace their lineage in uninterrupted fashion back to the New Testament, and only Baptist churches therefore are true churches."[28] Thus, there is no such entity as the "invisible church" or the "Church Universal." There are only "local churches." In addition, Shurden writes that Baptists who uphold successionism believe that "only a true church-that is, a Baptist church-can legitimately celebrate the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Any celebration of these ordinances by non-Baptists is invalid."[28]

Other Baptists do not adhere to Landmarkism and thus hold a broader understanding of what constitutes the true Christian Church, such as the American Baptist Churches (which maintain ecumenical relations with other Churches).[29]

Lutheran tradition

The Lutheran churches traditionally hold that their tradition represents the true visible Church. The Augsburg Confession found within the Book of Concord, a compendium of belief of the Lutheran Churches, teaches that "the faith as confessed by Luther and his followers is nothing new, but the true catholic faith, and that their churches represent the true catholic or universal church."[30]

Nevertheless, the Lutheran churches teach that there are indeed true Christians in other churches. Lutheran theology accepts the appellation "Church" for other Christian denominations.

Reformed tradition

Reformed theology defines the Church as being invisible and visible—the former includes the entire communion of saints and the latter is the "institution that God provides as an agency for God's saving, justifying, and sustaining activity," which John Calvin referred to as "our mother."[31] The Reformed confessions of faith emphasize "the pure teaching of the gospel (pura doctrina evangelii) and the right administration of the sacraments (recta administratio sacramentorum)" as "the two most necessary signs of the true visible church."[32]

Methodist tradition
Methodist preachers are known for promulgating the doctrines of the new birth and entire sanctification to the public at events such as tent revivals, brush arbor revivals, and camp meetings.

Methodists affirm belief in "the one true Church, Apostolic and Universal" as stated in the Nicene Creed, but claim that "apostolicity is based on the faithfulness of the Church through the ages rather than on historical succession."[33]

With regard to the position of Methodism within Christendom, the founder of the movement "John Wesley once noted that what God had achieved in the development of Methodism was no mere human endeavor but the work of God. As such it would be preserved by God so long as history remained."[34] Calling it "the grand depositum" of the Methodist faith, Wesley specifically taught that the propagation of the doctrine of entire sanctification, also known as Christian perfection, was the reason that God raised up the Methodists in the world.[35]

Convinced that the church is a means of pointing to the inclusive love of God, many Methodists have been involved in ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue, seeking to unite the fractured denominations of Christianity.

World Church

A number of historians have noted a "global shift" in Christianity, from a religion largely found in Europe and the Americas to one with a global nature, described by the term "World Christianity" or "Global Christianity."[36] However, the term "Global Christianity" often focuses on "non-Western Christianity" which "comprises (usually the exotic) instances of Christian faith in 'the global South', in Asia, Africa and Latin America."[37]

However, a different vision of a "world church" focuses not on increasing varieties of Christianity spread around the world, but more on bringing together all Christians with a common purpose. This is the vision of the World Christian Leadership Conference (WCLC):

The World Christian Leadership Conference seeks to build an alliance of Christian clergy under the guidance of our Heavenly Parent, upholding the ideal of the family, bringing nations together and establishing one family under God.[38]

In other words, rather than each denomination claiming to be the "one true church," all Christian churches can work together to bring about God's Kingdom. Such a vision of reuniting the divided "body of Christ" has been expressed by the United Methodist Council of Bishops:

As United Methodists, we share in the pain of the brokenness of Christ's Body and prayerfully long for unity around the Table of the Lord.[33]


  1. Douglas Harper, church Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  2. William Smith, Smith's Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1884), 132. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  3. Strong's #1577 - ἐκκλησία: Thayer's Expanded Definition StudyLight Bible Lexicons. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  4. The Original Christian Church The Orthodox Church in America. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Jonathan Weaver, Christian Theology: A Concise and Practical View of the Cardinal Doctrines and Institutions of Christianity (Forgotten Books, 2018 (original 1900), ISBN 978-0331718041).
  6. Lynn Martin, What Is the Church? Is There One True Church? Anabaptist Faith. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  7. Pope: Only One "True" Church CBS News (July 10, 2007). Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  8. 8.0 8.1 What do Catholics believe? Diocese of Lansing. Retrieved June 8, 2024.
  9. John Locke, William Popple (trans.), A Letter Concerning Toleration (Gale Ecco, 2018 (original 1689), ISBN 978-1379602347).
  10. Joe T. Odle Church Member's Handbook (Baptist Sunday School Board, 1986, ISBN 978-0805494013).
  11. Richard Laux and Ben Lunis, Get Out of the Box: A Study Guide to True Spiritual Renewal (Xulon Press, 2003, ISBN 1594670900).
  12. Pentecost BBC. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Alister E. McGrath, Christian History: An Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013, ISBN 978-1118337806).
  14. Philip Carrington, The Early Christian Church: Volume 1, The First Christian Century (Cambridge University Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0521166416).
  15. Theresa Doyle-Nelson, House Churches in the New Testament St. Anthony Messenger, March 2023. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  16. L. Michael White, The Social Origins of Christian Architecture (Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press, 1996, ISBN 978-1563381805).
  17. Xavier Léon-Dufour (ed.), Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Word Among Us Press, 1995, ISBN 978-0932085092).
  18. Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Banner of Truth, 2021 (original 1932), ISBN 978-1848719941).
  19. Paul Halsall, Theodosian Code XVI.i.2 Medieval Sourcebook: Banning of Other Religions, Fordham University. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  20. Milton V. Anastos, Aspects of the Mind of Byzantium (Routledge, 2001, ISBN 978-0860788409).
  21. 21.0 21.1 Paul Johnson, History of Christianity (Simon & Schuster, 1979, ISBN 978-0689705915).
  22. Hebrews 12:23
  23. Dewey D. Wallace, Jr., Via Media? A Paradigm Shift Anglican and Episcopal History 72(1) (2003): 2-21. Retrieved June 13, 2024.
  24. Frederick Joseph Kinsman, Americanism and Catholicism (Longmans, Green and Co, 1924), 220. Retrieved June 13, 2024.
  25. Alister E. McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, ISBN 978-1118869574).
  26. James Edward McGoldrick, Baptist Successionism: A Crucial Question in Baptist History (Scarecrow Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0810827264).
  27. Robert E. Johnson, A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches (Cambridge University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0521701709).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Walter B. Shurden, The Struggle for the Soul of the SBC: Moderate Responses to the Fundamentalist Movement (Mercer University Press, 1993, ISBN 978-0865544253).
  29. Thomas E. FitzGerald, The Ecumenical Movement: An Introductory History (Praeger, 2004, ISBN 0313306060).
  30. Alan Ludwig, Luther's Catholic Reformation The Lutheran Witness (September 12, 2016). Retrieved June 13, 2024.
  31. Donald K. McKim, The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology (Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0664224301).
  32. Yuzo Adhinarta, The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Major Reformed Confessions and Catechisms of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Langham Academic, 2012, ISBN 978-1907713286).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Linda Bloom, Vatican stance "nothing new" say church leader United Methodist News (July 20, 2007). Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  34. William J. Abraham, The Birth Pangs of United Methodism as a Unique, Global, Orthodox Denomination People Need Jesus, (August 25, 2016). Retrieved June 14, 2024.
  35. Rupert E. Davies, A. Raymond George, and Gordon Rupp (eds.), A History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, Volume Three (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2017, ISBN 978-1532630514).
  36. Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (Oxford University Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0199767465).
  37. Sebastian Kim and Kirsteen Kim, Christianity as a World Religion (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, ISBN 978-1472569349).
  38. Our Vision World Christian Leadership Conference (WCLC). Retrieved June 14, 2024.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Adhinarta, Yuzo. The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Major Reformed Confessions and Catechisms of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Langham Academic, 2012. ISBN 978-1907713286
  • Anastos, Milton V. Aspects of the Mind of Byzantium. Routledge, 2001. ISBN 978-0860788409
  • Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology. Banner of Truth, 2021 (original 1932). ISBN 978-1848719941
  • Carrington, Philip. The Early Christian Church: Volume 1, The First Christian Century. Cambridge University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0521166416
  • Davies, Rupert E., A. Raymond George, and Gordon Rupp (eds.). A History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, Volume Three. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2017. ISBN 978-1532630514
  • FitzGerald, Thomas E. The Ecumenical Movement: An Introductory History. Praeger, 2004. ISBN 0313306060
  • Jenkins, Philip. The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity. Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0199767465
  • Johnson, Paul. History of Christianity. Simon & Schuster, 1979. ISBN 978-0689705915
  • Johnson, Robert E. A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches. Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0521701709
  • Kim, Sebastian, and Kirsteen Kim. Christianity as a World Religion. Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. ISBN 978-1472569349
  • Kinsman, Frederick Joseph. Americanism and Catholicism. Longmans, Green and Co, 1924. Retrieved June 13, 2024.
  • Laux, Richard, and Ben Lunis. Get Out of the Box: A Study Guide to True Spiritual Renewal. Xulon Press, 2003. ISBN 1594670900
  • Léon-Dufour, Xavier (ed.). Dictionary of Biblical Theology. Word Among Us Press, 1995. ISBN 978-0932085092
  • Locke, John, William Popple (trans.). A Letter Concerning Toleration. Gale Ecco, 2018 (original 1689). ISBN 978-1379602347
  • McGoldrick, James Edward. Baptist Successionism: A Crucial Question in Baptist History. Scarecrow Press, 1994. ISBN 978-0810827264
  • McGrath, Alister E. Christian History: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. ISBN 978-1118869574
  • McKim, Donald K. The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology. Westminster John Knox Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0664224301
  • Odle, Joe T. Church Member's Handbook. Baptist Sunday School Board, 1986. ISBN 978-0805494013
  • Shurden, Walter B. The Struggle for the Soul of the SBC: Moderate Responses to the Fundamentalist Movement. Mercer University Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0865544253
  • Weaver, Jonathan. Christian Theology: A Concise and Practical View of the Cardinal Doctrines and Institutions of Christianity. Forgotten Books, 2018 (original 1900). ISBN 978-0331718041
  • White, L. Michael. The Social Origins of Christian Architecture. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press, 1996. ISBN 978-1563381805

External links

All links retrieved June 5, 2024.


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list of acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions by wikipedians is accessible to researchers here:

The history of this article since it was imported to New World Encyclopedia:

Note: Some restrictions may apply to use of individual images which are separately licensed.