Protestantism

Protestantism

[prot-uh-stuhn-tiz-uhm]
Protestantism, form of Christian faith and practice that originated with the principles of the Reformation. The term is derived from the Protestatio delivered by a minority of delegates against the (1529) Diet of Speyer, which passed legislation against the Lutherans. Since that time the term has been used in many different senses, but not as the official title of any church until it was assumed (1783) by the Protestant Episcopal Church (since 1967 simply the Episcopal Church) in the United States, the American branch of the Anglican Communion. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian faiths, Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Branches and Sects

Two distinct branches of Protestantism grew out of the Reformation. The evangelical churches in Germany and Scandinavia were followers of Martin Luther, and the reformed churches in other countries were followers of John Calvin and Huldreich Zwingli. A third major branch, episcopacy, developed in England. Particularly since the Oxford movement of the 19th cent., many Anglicans have rejected the word Protestant because they tend to agree with Roman Catholicism on most doctrinal points, rejecting, however, the primacy of the pope (see England, Church of; Episcopal Church; Ireland, Church of). In addition, there have been several groups commonly called Protestant but historically preceding the rise of Protestantism (see Hussites; Lollardry; Waldenses). Protestantism has largely been adopted by the peoples of NW Europe and their descendants, excepting the southern Germans, Irish, French, and Belgians; there have been important Protestant minorities in France, Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland.

The doctrine that the individual conscience is the valid interpreter of Scripture led to a wide variety of Protestant sects; this fragmentation was further extended by doctrinal disputes within the sects notably over grace, predestination, and the sacraments. Certain movements have claimed new revelations (see Agapemone; Latter-Day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ of; New Jerusalem, Church of the). Of a fundamentally distinct nature is Christian Science, which as an article of faith repudiates any medical treatment.

Since the 1960s a main thrust in Protestantism has been toward reunification (see ecumenical movement); this was particularly strong in North America. Most Protestant and many Eastern Orthodox churches are allied in federated councils on the local, national, and international levels (see World Council of Churches and National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America).

For some of the major tendencies in Protestantism, see Adventists; Anabaptists; Baptists; Calvinism; Congregationalism; Lutheranism; Methodism; Pentecostalism; Presbyterianism; Puritanism; spiritism; Unitarianism.

For individual churches in addition to those already mentioned, see Brethren; Christian Catholic Church; Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Christian Reformed Church; Christians; Churches of Christ; Churches of God, General Conference; Protestantism; Evangelical and Reformed Church; Evangelical United Brethren Church; Friends, Religious Society of; Huguenots; Mennonites; Moravian Church; Ranters; Reformed Church in America; Salvation Army; Scotland, Church of; Scotland, Free Church of; Seventh-Day Baptists; Shakers; United Church of Canada; Universalist Church of America.

Distinguishing Characteristics and Development

Central Beliefs

The chief characteristics of original Protestantism were the acceptance of the Bible as the only source of infallible revealed truth, the belief in the universal priesthood of all believers, and the doctrine that a Christian is justified in his relationship to God by faith alone, not by good works or dispensations of the church. There was a tendency to minimize liturgy and to stress preaching by the ministry and the reading of the Bible. Although Protestants rejected asceticism, an elevated standard of personal morality was advanced; in some sects, notably Puritanism, a high degree of austerity was reached. Their ecclesiastical polity, principally in such forms as episcopacy (government by bishops), Congregationalism, or Presbyterianism, was looked upon by Protestants as a return to the early Christianity described in the New Testament.

Theological Development

Protestantism saw many theological developments, particularly after the 18th cent. Under the influence of romanticism, which stressed the subjective element in religion rather than the revelation of the Bible, the formal systems of early Protestant theology began to dissolve; this doctrine was best expressed by Friedrich Schleiermacher, who placed religious feeling at the center of Christian life. Along with this came the assertion that the fatherhood of God and the unity of humanity were the basic themes of Christianity. Later there was a neoorthodox movement, which, under the leadership of Karl Barth and Reinhold Niebuhr, sought a return to a theology of revelation; a new school of Bible interpretation as expressed in the work of Rudolf Bultmann; and a theology, derived in part from existentialism, developed by Paul Tillich.

In the United States, four broad theological positions cut across denominational lines: fundamentalism, which stems from the antitheological periods of revivalism in the 18th and 19th cent. (see Great Awakening) and adheres to a literal interpretation of the Bible and a pietistic morality; liberalism, the heir to the Social Gospel movement, which encourages freer interpretation of theological doctrines and emphasizes church responsibility for social justice; Pentecostalism, which emphasizes ecstatic religious experience especially as communicated through the gifts of the Spirit; and the neoorthodoxy of Reinhold Niebuhr and Karl Barth.

Bibliography

See P. Tillich, The Protestant Era (1948, repr. 1957); R. M. Brown, Spirit of Protestantism (1961); E. G. Léonard, A History of Protestantism (2 vol., tr. 1965-67); W. Pauck, The Heritage of the Reformation (rev. ed. 1968); R. Mehl, The Sociology of Protestantism (tr. 1970); M. E. Marty, Protestantism (1972); R. T. Handy, A Christian America: Protestant Hopes and Historical Realities (2d ed. 1983); J. Dillenberger and C. Welch, Protestant Christianity (2d ed. 1988).

Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Protestant doctrine, also known in continental European traditions as Evangelical doctrine, in opposition to that of Roman Catholicism. It typically holds that Scripture (rather than tradition or ecclesiastic interpretation of Scripture) is the only source of revealed truth, and also that salvation is the result of Sola gratia God's grace alone

Meaning and origin of the term

The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestari meaning publicly declare which refers to the letter of protestation by Lutheran princes against the decision of the Diet of Speyer in 1529, which reaffirmed the edict, at the Diet of Worms banning Luther's documents. Since that time, the term Protestantism has been used in many different senses, often as a general term merely to signify that they are not Roman Catholics.

While churches which historically emerged directly or indirectly from the Protestant Reformation generally constitute traditional Protestantism, in common usage the term is often used to refer to any Christian church which is in opposition to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. This usage is imprecise, however, as there are non-Roman Catholic and non-Eastern Orthodox churches which predate the Reformation (notably Oriental Orthodoxy). The Anglican tradition, although historically influenced by the Protestant Reformation in what is called the English Reformation, differs from many Reformation principles and understands itself to be a middle path—a via media—between Roman Catholic and Protestant doctrines. Other groups, such as the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, reject traditional Protestantism as another deviation from Christianity, while perceiving themselves to be restorationists.

Three Fundamental Principles of Protestantism

  • The Supremacy of the Bible

The belief in the Bible as the sole source of faith.

  • Justification by Faith Alone

The subjective principle of the Reformation is justification by faith alone, or, rather, by free grace through faith operative in good works. It has reference to the personal appropriation of the Christian salvation, and aims to give all glory to Christ, by declaring that the sinner is justified before God (i.e. is acquitted of guilt, and declared righteous) solely on the ground of the all-sufficient merits of Christ as apprehended by a living faith, in opposition to the theory — then prevalent, and substantially sanctioned by the Council of Trent — which makes faith and good works co-ordinate sources of justification, laying the chief stress upon works. Protestantism does not depreciate good works; but it denies their value as sources or conditions of justification, and insists on them as the necessary fruits of faith, and evidence of justification.

  • The Universal Priesthood of Believers

The universal priesthood of believers implies the right and duty of the Christian laity not only to read the Bible in the vernacular, but also to take part in the government and all the public affairs of the Church. It is opposed to the hierarchical system, which puts the essence and authority of the Church in an exclusive priesthood, and makes ordained priests the necessary mediators between God and the people.

Major groupings

The churches most commonly associated with Protestantism can be divided along four fairly definitive lines:

  1. Mainline Protestants—a North American phrase—are Christians who trace their tradition's lineage to Lutheranism, Calvinism or Anglicanism. These groups are often considered to be part of the Magisterial Reformation and believe, to varying degress, the doctrines and principles of the Reformation. They include such denominations as Lutherans, Presbyterians, Calvinists and Methodists. The three major sources of mainline Protestantism are derived from the traditions of Lutheranism (also known as "Evangelical"), Calvinism (also known as "Reformed" and including Presbyterianism), and Anglicanism (including Methodism). Pentecostals and Adventists also developed from this movement, though they developed aspects of Anabaptist beliefs as well. In a cultural sense, references to "Mainline" Protestants in the United States often refers primarily to Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Lutherans; all large denominations with significant liberal and conservative wings.
  2. Anabaptists were called this due to the fact that they re-baptised converts and according to the Edinburg Cyclopedia were being called this as far back as Tertullian.Who was born just fifty years after the apostle John. Then around 1600 they were just called Baptists. Many Baptists do not claim to be Protestant as this claims a heritage from the Protestant Reformation which came through the Roman Catholic Church of which the Anabaptists were never part of. Today, denominations such as the Brethren, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish eschew infant baptism and have historically been Peace churches. Some would also include the Quakers and the Shakers in this category as they have their origins in the Separatist movement in the English Reformation.
  3. Restorationists are a more recent movement beginning with the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. Restorationists may not consider themselves Protestants. Nevertheless, they do not recognize papal authority and so they are most commonly deemed Protestants by those who include them among Christian denominations.
  4. New Religious Movements, including Nontrinitarian movements reject the doctrine of the Trinity. Many Christians do not consider these groups to be Christian, let alone Protestant. Today, they include such groups as the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Unitarians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians and some Quakers.

Denominations

Protestants often refer to specific Protestant churches and groups as denominations to imply that they are differently named parts of the whole church. This "invisible unity" is assumed to be imperfectly displayed, visibly: some denominations are less accepting of others, and the basic orthodoxy of some is questioned by most of the others. Individual denominations also have formed over very subtle theological differences. Other denominations are simply regional or ethnic expressions of the same beliefs. The actual number of distinct denominations is hard to calculate, but has been estimated to be over thirty thousand. Various ecumenical movements have attempted cooperation or reorganization of Protestant churches, according to various models of union, but divisions continue to outpace unions, as there is no overarching authority to which any of the sects 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. There are "over 33,000 denominations in 238 countries" and every year there is a net increase of around 270 to 300 denominations. According to David Barrett's study (1970), there are 8,196 denominations within Protestantism.

There are about 500 million Protestants worldwide, among approximately 1.5 billion Christians. These include 170 million in North America, 160 million in Africa, 120 million in Europe, 70 million in Latin America, 60 million in Asia, and 10 million in Oceania.

Protestants can be differentiated according to how they have been influenced by important movements since the magisterial Reformation and the Puritan Reformation in England. Some of these movements have a common lineage, sometimes directly spawning later movements in the same groups. Only general families are listed here (due to the above-stated multitude of denominations); some of these groups do not consider themselves as part of the Protestant movement, but are generally viewed as such by the public at large:

Theological tenets of the reformation

The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in opposition to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone," "only," or "single" in English. The five solas were what the Reformers believed to be the only things needed in their respective opinions for Christian salvation. The Bible was taught as the only norm. Listing them as such was also done with a view to excluding other things that in the Reformers' respective views hindered or were unnecessary for salvation. This formulation was intended to distinguish between what were viewed as deviations in the Christian church and the essentials of Christian life and practice. In these opinions they differed from the universal consensus of Christians in historical Christianity.

The Protestants characterize the dogma concerning the Pope as Christ's representative head of the Church on earth, the concept of meritorious works, and the Catholic idea of a treasury of the merits of saints, as a denial that Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Catholics, on the other hand, maintained the traditions of Judaism on these questions, and appealed to the universal consensus of Christian tradition, that Peter and his successors were mandated by Jesus Christ as his vicars on earth after his ascension, to keep his followers united.(Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5–6, Rev. 21:14).

Protestants believe that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church obscure the teachings of the Bible by conflating it with church tradition and Popish doctrine. Protestants therefore see Scripture as the sole authority in matters of faith and practice. Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit (according to Scripture) guides the Church into the fullness of truth and therefore led the Catholic Church into a more sophisticated understanding of revelation in history, (Matthew 10:19; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11, 21:14). This however, places the Roman Catholic magisterium over Scripture.

Protestants believe that faith in Christ alone is enough for eternal salvation as described in , whereas Catholics believe that the phrases "faith without works is dead," (as stated in ) and "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (); points to the justified person needing to persevere in charity. Protestants, pointing to the same scripture, believe that practicing good works merely attest to one's faith in Christ and his teachings.

Protestants perceived Roman Catholic salvation to be dependent upon the grace of God and the merits of one's own works. The Reformers posited that salvation is a gift of God (i.e., God's act of free grace), dispensed by the Holy Spirit owing to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ alone. Consequently, they argued that a sinner is not accepted by God on account of the change wrought in the believer by God's grace, and that the believer is accepted without regard for the merit of his works — for no one deserves salvation. Catholics believed that faith was not just a belief, but a way of life, and in both lay salvation, not faith alone. (Matt.7:21)

All glory is due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through his will and action—not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit. The reformers believed that human beings—even saints canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, the popes, and the ecclesiastical hierarchy—are not worthy of the glory that was accorded them. On these bases they considered themselves justified in forming new denominations at war with the Catholic Church, rather than sharing its mission.

Christ's presence in the Lord's Supper

The Protestant movement began to coalesce into several distinct branches in the mid-to-late sixteenth century. One of the central points of divergence was controversy over the Lord's Supper.

Early Protestants generally rejected the Roman Catholic dogma of transubstantiation, which teaches that the bread and wine used in the sacrificial rite of the Mass lose their natural substance by being transformed into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ. They disagreed with one another concerning the manner in which Christ is present in Holy Communion.

  • Lutherans hold to the Real Presence as Consubstantiation (although some Lutherans disapprove of the term "Consubstantiation". It was Philipp Melancthon's term used with Martin Luther's approval), which affirms the physical presence of Christ's true Body & Blood supernaturally "in, with, and under" the Consecrated Bread and Wine. Lutherans point to Jesus' statement, "...This IS my body...". According to the Lutheran Confessions of Faith the Sacramental Union takes place at the time of Consecration, when Christ's Words of Institution are spoken by the celebrant. Lutheran teaching insists that the Consecrated Bread & Wine ARE the truly abiding and adorable Body & Blood of Christ in a Sacramental Union, while also affirming the Lord's Supper ranges along the continuum from Calvin to Zwingli.
  • The Reformed closest to Calvin emphasize the real presence, or sacramental presence, of Christ, saying that the sacrament is a means of saving grace through which only the elect believer actually partakes of Christ, but merely WITH the Bread & Wine rather than in the Elements. Calvinists deny the Lutheran assertion that Christ makes himself present to the believer in the elements of the sacrament, but affirm that Christ is united to the believer through faith—toward which the supper is an outward and visible aid, this is often referred to as dynamic presence. Why this aid is necessary in addition to faith differs according to the believer. Some Protestants (such as the Salvation Army) do not believe it is necessary at all.
  • A Protestant holding a popular simplification of the Zwinglian view, without concern for theological intricacies as hinted at above, may see the Lord's Supper merely as a symbol of the shared faith of the participants, a commemoration of the facts of the crucifixion, and a reminder of their standing together as the Body of Christ (a view referred to somewhat derisively as memorialism).
  • The churches of the Anglican Communion do not have a single understanding of the Eucharist, and there is no official doctrine common to Anglicans on the question. Some hold to understandings like those of Lutherans, Calvinists, or Zwinglians, while others hold doctrines very similar (or even identical) to the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. Historically, the Church of England was opposed to the doctrine of transubstantiation, as described in the twenty-eighth of the 39 Articles; although the 39 Articles in contemporary Anglicanism are almost universally ignored, at least in part.

In Protestant theology, as the bread shares identity with Christ (which he calls "my body"), in an analogous way, the Church shares identity with Christ (and also is called "the Body of Christ"). Thus, controversies over the Lord's Supper may seem to be only about the nature of the bread and wine, but are ultimately about the nature of salvation and the Church; and indirectly about the nature of Christ. There are as many different views on the question as there are Protestant denominations.

Catholicism

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. To the contrary, the visible unity of the Catholic Church was an important and essential doctrine of the Reformation. The Magisterial Reformers, such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli, believed that they were reforming a corrupt and heretical Catholic Church. Each of them took very seriously the charges of schism and innovation, denying these charges and maintaining that it was the medieval Roman Catholic Church that had left them; notwithstanding that they were individuals in the 16th century who espoused radically different opinions from what was the common and constant teaching of the Christian Church hitherto.

The visible church, in the idea of the Scottish theologians, is "catholic", rather than "Catholic". You have not an indefinite number of Parochial, or 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, notwithstanding that they each have very different opinions. The visible church is not a genus, so to speak, with so many species under it. It is thus you may think of the State, but the visible church is a totum integrale, it is an empire, with an ethereal emperor, rather than a visible one. The churches of the various nationalities constitute the provinces of this empire; and though they are so far independent of each other, yet they are so one, that membership in one is membership in all, and separation from one is separation from all... This conception of the church, of which, in at least some aspects, we have practically so much lost sight, had a firm hold of the Scottish theologians of the seventeenth century.

Wherever the Magisterial Reformation, which received support from the ruling authorities, took place, the result was a reformed national church envisioned to be a part of the whole visible Holy catholic Church described in the creeds, 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, namely the See of Rome. The Reformed Churches thus believed in a form of Catholicity, founded on their doctrines of the five solas and a visible ecclesiastical organization based on the 14th and 15th century Conciliar movement, rejecting the Papacy and Papal Infallibility in favor of Ecumenical councils, but rejecting the Council of Trent. Catholic 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, belief, and collaborative action.

Today there is a growing movement of Protestants, especially of the Reformed tradition, that reject the designation "Protestant" because of its negative "anti-catholic" connotations, 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.

Radical Reformation

Unlike mainstream Evangelical (Lutheran), Reformed (Zwinglian and Calvinist) Protestant 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. For them, the Church only consisted of the tiny community of believers, who accepted Jesus Christ by adult baptism, called "believer's baptism". Others believed that the Church could not be defined as anything more than a single congregation meeting together for worship at one time in a single place (congregationalism). The Radical Reformation thus did not believe that the Magisterial Reformation had gone far enough. For example, radical reformer Andreas von Bodenstein Karlstadt referred to the Lutheran theologians at Wittenberg as the "new papists". It was exactly because the Reformation still strongly defended the visible unity of the Catholic Church that they were criticized by the Radical Reformers and vice versa.

Movements within Protestantism

Pietism and Methodism

The German Pietist movement, together with the influence of the Puritan Reformation in England in the seventeenth century, were important influences upon John Wesley and Methodism, as well as through smaller, new groups such as the Religious Society of Friends ("Quakers") and the Moravian Brethren from Herrnhut, Saxony, Germany.

The practice of a spiritual life, typically combined with social engagement, predominates in classical Pietism, which was a protest against the doctrine-centeredness Protestant Orthodoxy of the times, in favor of depth of religious experience. Many of the more conservative Methodists went on to form the Holiness movement, which emphasized a rigorous experience of holiness in practical, daily life.

Evangelicalism

Beginning at the end of eighteenth century, several international revivals of Pietism (such as the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening) took place across denominational lines, largely in the English-speaking world. Their teachings and successor groupings are referred to generally as the Evangelical movement. The chief emphases of this movement were individual conversion, personal piety and Bible study, public morality often including Temperance and Abolitionism, de-emphasis of formalism in worship and in doctrine, a broadened role for laity (including women) in worship, evangelism and teaching, and cooperation in evangelism across denominational lines.

Adventism

Adventism, as a movement, began in the United States in middle nineteenth century. The Adventist family of churches are regarded today as conservative Protestants.

Modernism, Sunderianism and Liberalism

Modernism, Liberalism and Sunderianism 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.

Pentecostalism

Pentecostalism, as a movement, began in the United States early in the twentieth century, starting especially within the Holiness movement. Seeking a return to the operation of New Testament gifts of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues as evidence of the "baptism of the Holy Ghost" or to make the unbeliever believe became the leading feature. Divine healing and miracles were also emphasized. Pentecostalism swept through much of the Holiness movement, and eventually spawned hundreds of new denominations in the United States. A later "charismatic" movement also stressed the gifts of the Spirit, but often operated within existing denominations, rather than by coming out of them.

Fundamentalism

In reaction to liberal Bible critique, fundamentalism arose in the twentieth century, primarily in the United States and Canada, among those denominations most affected by Evangelicalism. Fundamentalism placed primary emphasis on the authority and sufficiency of the Bible, and typically advised separation from error and cultural conservatism as an important aspect of the Christian life.

Neo-orthodoxy

A non-fundamentalist rejection of liberal Christianity, associated primarily with Karl Barth, neo-orthodoxy sought to counter-act the tendency of liberal theology to make theological accommodations to modern scientific perspectives. Sometimes called "Crisis theology", according to the influence of philosophical existentialism on some important segments of the movement; also, somewhat confusingly, sometimes called neo-evangelicalism.

New Evangelicalism

Evangelicalism is a movement from the middle of the twentieth century, that reacted to perceived excesses of Fundamentalism, adding to concern for biblical authority, an emphasis on liberal arts, cooperation among churches, Christian Apologetics, and non-denominational evangelization.

Paleo-Orthodoxy

Paleo-orthodoxy is a movement similar in some respects to Neo-evangelicalism but emphasising the ancient Christian consensus of the undivided Church of the first millennium AD, including in particular the early Creeds and councils of the church as a means of properly understanding the Scriptures. This movement is cross-denominational and the theological giant of the movement is United Methodist theologian Thomas Oden.

Ecumenism

The ecumenical movement has had an influence on mainline churches, beginning at least in 1910 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 1948, 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. One, but not the only expression of the ecumenical movement, has been the move to form united churches, such as the Church of South India, the Church of North India, The US-based United Church of Christ, The United Church of Canada and the Uniting Church in Australia, which have rapidly declining memberships. 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.

In 1999, the representatives of Lutheran World Federation and Roman 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 some conservative Lutherans did not agree to this resolution. This is understandable, since there is no compelling authority within them. On July 18, 2006 Delegates to the World Methodist Conference voted unanimously to adopt the Joint Declaration.

Founders: the first Protestant major reformers and theologians

(in alphabetical order by century.)

Fourteenth century

  • John Wycliffe, English reformer, the "Morning Star of the Reformation".

Fifteenth century

Sixteenth century

See also

References

External links

Churches

Supporting

Critical

Miscellaneous

Search another word or see protestantismon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;