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To most Christians, Mohammedanism is only a vague religious movement that somehow gave rise to the Crusades and that presently affects the culture and political aspirations of certain people in North Africa, the Near East and Pakistan. Actually Mohammedanism is the most powerful force among the living religions outside of Christianity, and to many observers its greatest competitor for the spiritual domination of the world.
Pentecostalism: Evaluating a Phenomenon
For several years I have been counseling persons dedicated to Pentecostalism, mainly priests, religious, and seminarians. And on Palm Sunday of this year I preached at the First Solemn Mass of a priest who is deeply involved in the movement. My plan for today’s talk is to cover three areas of the subject, at uneven length, namely: 1) The Historical Background of the Pentecostal Movement, up to the present; 2) What are the principal elements of Pentecostalism, as viewed by Roman Catholics dedicated to the movement?; 3) An Evaluation in the form of a Critical Analysis of Pentecostalism as a Phenomenon which has developed an Ideology.
Believer's Baptism and the Sacrament of Confirmation
My plan is first to say something about the Free Church tradition of Protestantism exemplified by the Baptists; then analyze the concept of believers’ baptism as understood by those who practice it; followed by a resume of Catholic teaching on confirmation; and finally draw some lines of comparison between the baptism of adults who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and the confirmation of young people who receive a special outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
A Catholic in the White House: The Protestant Fears of Bishop Pike
The year 1960 promises to begin a new era in national thought on the subject of Church and State relations in America. Stimulated by their hopes or fears, writers in every religious tradition have undertaken to show why it would be good, or bad, for a Catholic to be in the White House. About a dozen major religious bodies have expressed their judgment in formal resolutions that range over the whole scale of public opinion, from the highly critical Southern Baptists to the mild and almost approving Augustana Lutherans.
American Council of Christian Churches
A federation of conservative Protestant denominations, the American Council of Christian Churches was founded in 1941 by Carl McIntire, a former Presbyterian minister. Its avowed aim is to preserve the basic tenets of what the member bodies consider the essentials of Reformation Protestantism. McIntire and his followers organized the American Council as a rival body to the National Council of Churches, which they believed to be infected with Modernism and communism.
American Lutheran Church
A recent addition to the family of Lutheran denominations, the American Lutheran Church was born in 1960 as a result of the merger of three separate churches: the American Lutheran, whose name was perpetuated in the new church, Evangelical Lutheran, and United Evangelical Lutheran, each with a history of previous mergers.
American Protestantism Today
We hope to better understand not just the individual Protestant denominations but Protestantism as it has developed in the last five centuries. We wish to see what Protestantism and Catholicism have in common; this will of course differ, depending on the respective Protestant denominations. We want to see how we can cooperate with Protestants in a variety of social and humanitarian programs without compromising on our own principles of faith, morals and sacramental liturgy. We should learn what Protestants need in order to grow in their own faith and love of Jesus Christ, since we have so much to offer them from our own Catholic heritage. And finally we need the grace to know how authentic ecumenism can be fostered by building on the rock foundation of the Church which Christ brought into being by His death on Calvary.
A religious system developed by Rudolf Steiner (l86l-1925) from Theosophy as a means of arriving at true knowledge and of final liberation from enslavement to the material world. Anthroposophy, as a theory of knowledge, claims that man originally shared in the spiritual consciousness of the cosmos and that his present mode of knowledge is only a dreamlike vestige of a primordial cognitive state.
Augustana Lutherans
In 1962 the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church (Swedish background) merged with the United Lutheran Church (German background), the American Evangelical Lutheran Church (Danish background) and the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church to form the Lutheran Church in America.
Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)
The Disciples of Christ, together with the Churches of Christ that derive from them, form the largest religious body of purely American origin (1964, about 1,780,000 members; Churches of Christ, 2,250,000). They are also the recognized leaders in promoting a noncreedal form of Christianity. Although the term Christians, as members of the Churches of Christ are called, is sometimes applied also to the Disciples, the latter are really a distinct denomination and their official name is Christian Churches, International Convention.
Church (Churches) of God
At least 10 denominations in America are called Churches of God and, though juridically distinct, they reflect a common reaction against denominationalism in all its forms. The very name implies a profession of faith in God as the only founder of the Church and a protest against other "man-made" institutions.
Churches of Christ
A body of churches that separated from the Disciples of Christ in 1906 and ever since have distinguished themselves as rigid constructionists in "restoring primitive Christianity." See CHRISTIAN CHURCHES (DISCIPLES OF CHRIST). The name Churches of Christ is loosely applied also to many of the older New England churches and to local units of the Disciples of Christ.
Community Churches
A religious center which welcomes Protestants of all denominations in a specific community is known as a community church. Mainly a United States development, the community church offers religious services designed to satisfy the felt religious needs of all without contradicting the beliefs of any. Individual community churches may belong to one or more denominations (such as Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian) or have no denominational affiliation, operating entirely on their own. For this reason it is said that the true community church can be recognized by the spirit in which it conducts its life and work, rather than by its relationship to any Protestant denomination.
Community Churches
Common name for independent local congregations with no formal denominational affiliation. Their growing number and influence are a typical phenomenon of American democracy in the field of religion. While the term community church goes back to the 19th century, systematic grouping of such bodies is a recent development. The guiding principles of the Council of Community Churches (1950) faithfully reflect the spirit of its member churches and may be taken as representative of the individual congregations.
Baptist-Catholic Dialogue
After discussing the Baptist terminology for Eucharist, Crabtree outlines Baptist Eucharistic tradition…Hardon summarizes traditional Roman Catholic Eucharistic teaching on real presence, the sacrifice of the Mass, and communion.
Fr. Hardon Responds to Msgr. Bray - Methodist Beginnings in America: A Reply
Monsignor Bray’s observations (in the May issue of your REVIEW) on the Methodists in The Protestant Churches of America were gratefully appreciated as showing a scholarly familiarity with the early religious history of our country. With due respect to the sources he quotes, I believe that documentary evidence confirms the three statements in my book which he felt were not fully supported by the historical context.
Catholic Awareness of Protestantism
As Catholics who possess the fullness of revelation, we cannot be indifferent to the spiritual needs of millions of our fellow-Americans who have lost what, through the mercy of God, we have received. Perhaps the Protestant world is too close to be seen in perspective as the fruit of tragedy, the worst in the history of Christianity. We are rightly interested in converting pagans in India and Africa, and no sacrifice should be spared in the effort. But the needs at home are equally pressing and, in some ways, more urgent, because of the impact that a vital Protestantism in the States is making outside the country, as in the invasion of Latin America.
Holiness Churches
The holiness spirit in Protestantism stems from the teaching of John Wesley, who believed there were two stages in the process of justification: freedom from sin and sanctification or the second blessing. With the decline of strictly Wesleyan principles among American Methodists, groups of perfectionists were organized to preserve and foster the idea of holiness as an essential part of the Methodist tradition. About 30 denominations in the U.S. qualify as Holiness bodies, even though the term does not appear in their official names.
Religions of the World - Contents / Preface
Books on comparative religion are mainly of three kinds: the informative kind, whose purpose is to review in more or less detail the beliefs and practices of various religious systems; the analytic, which presume on the information and go on to evaluate a number of living (or archaic) faiths according to certain normative principles; and the projective, where an author combines factual data and personal theory to anticipate what the future of man’s religion may (or should) be like.
Religions of the World - Chapter 1. Comparative Religion in Perspective
Never before were there more urgent reasons to learn about the religious faith and practices of other people, beyond the universal instinct to know all we can about our fellowman in order better to know ourselves.
Religions of the World - Chapter 2. Primitive Religions
It is only a concession to common usage that we may speak of primitive peoples or of a primitive religion. Strictly speaking there are no genuine primitives anywhere on earth today. Evidently we have no direct knowledge of the earliest beginnings of religion and therefore of the true chronological primitive. Our observation of present-day backward tribes does not obviate this difficulty, for such people are after all our contemporaries, with as long a history behind them as our own and the possibility of degeneration cannot be excluded. Simply to equate the backward with the actual primitive is uncritical and unwarranted.
Religions of the World - Chapter 3. Hinduism
Hinduism can better be described than defined. It is less a religion than a religious culture, and less creedal than ethical or racial, which historically identified the people living in a particular region, namely, beyond the Indus River, which runs in a southwestern direction from the present State of Kashmir to the Pakistan city of Karachi. The correlative words Hindustan, Hindi, and the modernized India have the same origin.
Religions of the World - Chapter 4. Buddhism
Apologists of Buddhism describe it as the richest, broadest and most lasting of Aryan religions. Yet the name itself is of recent origin and refers to the vast system of teachings that trace their ancestry to the Indian sage, Gautama or the Buddha, who lived and died about the fifth century before the Christian era. There is even question of whether Buddhism should be called a religion and not rather a religious culture, which has permeated Asia to the point where it is impossible correctly to estimate the number of professed Buddhists in the world. Figures range from less than two hundred million, to more than five hundred million, with the lower number closer to reality.
Religions of the World - Chapter 5. Jainism
Jainism is a sectarian offshoot of Hinduism, whose origins are traditionally dated with the lifetime of Vardhamana Mahavira (599-527 B.C.), a contemporary of Buddha. The name itself is derived Jina (conqueror), which his followers applied to Mahavira in much the same sense that Gautama’s disciples called him the Buddha or "enlightened one."
Religions of the World - Chapter 6. Confucianism
Confucianism is the whole body of religious, ethical and political doctrine which Confucius gathered together from antiquity, personally taught by word, writing and example, and passed on to his successors. It is this same body of doctrine which Mencius in the pre-Christian era consolidated into a compact system and to which Chu His in the early Middle Ages gave the naturalistic interpretation that, at least in learned circles, has prevailed into the present century. Some historians prefer to consider Confucianism neither a religion properly so-called nor a system of philosophy, but a way of life that for our two thousand years has inspired the religious sentiments of the Chinese people and given them ethnic solidarity. Having no creed, priesthood, or ecclesiastical organization, it is yet a religion in the broad sense of an expression of belief in spiritual reality and of man’s ultimate attitude towards the universe. Confucianism makes no claim to an original divine revelation, and its sacred books are highly respected but, unlike the Koran of Islam or the Vedas of Hinduism, are not considered supernatural communications to chosen prophets or seers.
Religions of the World - Chapter 7. Taoism
Taoism, which literally means the religion of the "Way" (Tao), has had the most chequered career of the three main religious cultures of China. According to its own historians, it once commanded respect from the nation’s leaders, until Confucianism replaced it as the guardian of the State. For a time, too, it appealed to the simple and uncultured people, but then Buddhism came along to win the alliance of the masses. Its final and present stage is an elaborate complex of polytheism, whose priests are regarded as the most expert magicians and exorcists, yet whose philosophy has won the admiration of Western scholars. Historians of China regard Taoism as perhaps the most characteristic of the Chinese people. In its fundamental concept, Taoism has always been a worship of nature inside and outside of man, and an attempted harmony between the two. The perfect man, in Taoist language, is not the person who obstructs nature, but who gives himself completely over to nature, thereby producing what some have called the highest ethical standards of the Chinese character, and others a repudiation of all objective law.
Religions of the World - Chapter 8. Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest living faiths, and yet it has the smallest number of adherents. Although its ancestry is traceable to the sixth century before Christ, there are less than two hundred thousand professed Zoroastrians, only the Parsis in India and a small community in Persia (modern Iran). But their religion merits careful study because of the attention it has received in the history of Western thought, and because of the influence which many scholars believe it exercised on other religious cultures. "Christianity," according to a modern writer, "claims to be the heir of the prophets of Israel. If there is any truth in this claim, it is no less heir to the Prophet of ancient Iran, little though most Christians are aware of the fact." (R.C. Zaehner, Living Faiths (Zoroastrianism), 1959, p. 209).
Religions of the World - Chapter 9. Shinto
The origins of Shinto are lost in the dim past of Japanese history, and over the centuries its role has been to integrate with other systems, notably Confucianism from China and Buddhism from India, to give the people of Japan the most complex religious amalgam in the Orient. At the same time Shinto has served to consolidate the nation and became the religious expression of patriotism, where the divine right of kings, familiar in the West, was an object of faith and the emperor a descendant of the gods.
Religions of the World - Chapter 10. Sikhism
Sikhism is one of the least known living religions of the world, and yet one of the most interesting from the viewpoint of comparative history. Although practically confined to a single province of the Indian Republic, the Punjab region in the north-western part of the country, the Sikhs have made more than a proportionate contribution to the religious culture of their times. They are sometimes lightly dismissed as a hybrid of two old religions, Islam and Hinduism, made into one, as though it were really possible to fuse two such completely different concepts of life. Or again they are described as Hindus who have simply grafted Moslem monotheism on to the trunk of the ancient Vedas; that most of their other doctrines are taken directly from Hinduism, with little if any change. Sikhism, therefore, is an example of conscious syncretism and one of the few that has ever been successful.
Religions of the World - Chapter 11. Judaism
Judaism is the oldest living religion of the Western world, and historically is the parent of Christianity and Islam, which together count one half the population of the human race. The pre-Christian phase of Judaism is not our concern, both because its vital elements have remained substantially unchanged and because, paradoxically, the Jewish people have greatly changed since the coming of Christ---and our interest is in the religious cultures of the present day.
Religions of the World - Chapter 12. Early Christianity
Christianity is unique in the history of world religions. Its ancestry derives from almost two millennia of Judaism, whose prophets for centuries had foretold the coming of a great religious leader who would establish a new spiritual kingdom on earth; its origins are rooted in extensive historical facts, from the birth of Christ to His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead; its message centers around a core of doctrines which Christ revealed to His followers not as a philosophy of speculation nor even primarily as an ethic for self-conquest, but as mysteries whose inner essence lies beyond human reason, yet on whose acceptance would depend human salvation; its character from the beginning was social in the most comprehensive sense of that term, with a communal structure, a body of truths, rites and obligations that had for their purpose not merely the personal sanctification of those who believed, but their corporate unification and internal consolidation by the invisible Spirit of God.
Religions of the World - Chapter 13. Roman Catholicism
Not the least difficulty in writing about Catholicism is the problem of isolating the subject. The history of the Catholic Church is so closely woven into Christian civilization that the one cannot be told fairly without the other, and to do justice by the Church would mean to retell the story of Christianity. Moreover not only Catholics claim the first millennium of Christian history as their own. The Orthodox and Protestants might therefore resent having all the centuries from Christ to Photius and Caerularius, or to Luther and Calvin, called Catholic instead of simply Christian. Practically speaking, however, there is no choice except to treat the first thousand years in the East and fifteen hundred in the West under Roman Catholicism. The characteristic features of the latter today are imbedded in the Church’s life before the Eastern Schism and the Reformation; Catholicism makes the claim of continuing these features and retaining them substantially unchanged through all the vicissitudes of time; and, most importantly, the institution of the papacy is a historical phenomenon that reaches back to the early centuries to give Christianity that cohesion which even the sharpest critics of Catholicism are willing to admit while they deplore, in Harnack’s phrase, the lot of those who “have subjected their souls to the despotic orders of the Roman papal King.” (Adolph Harnack, Das Wesen des Christentums, Leipzig , 1933, p. 164.).
Religions of the World - Chapter 14. Islam
To most Christians, Mohammedanism is only a vague religious movement that somehow gave rise to the Crusades and that presently affects the culture and political aspirations of certain people in North Africa, the Near East and Pakistan. Actually Mohammedanism is the most powerful force among the living religions outside of Christianity, and to many observers its greatest competitor for the spiritual domination of the world. The correct name of Mohammedanism is Islam, which Mohammed himself adopted as a description of the faith he proclaimed. Grammatically Islam is the infinitive of a verb that means to resign, submit, or surrender, by implication oneself or one’s person to God. Those who profess it are called Muslims, of which the Western form is Moslems, meaning "believers" who offered themselves to God, as distinct from Kafirs or Mushriks, "the rejectors" of the divine message of salvation. Moslems dislike the word Mohammedan because it suggests worship of Mohammed, even as the term Christian implies the worship of Jesus Christ.
Religions of the World - Chapter 15. Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodox writers justly complain that for over a thousand years Christianity has been identified with Europe. In the eyes of Asiatic and African people, Christendom is a West religion and its culture equated with the civilization of Western Europe. Yet almost one-fourth of all contemporary Christians do not belong to the West but call themselves Eastern and their religious position Orthodoxy. Geographically the Eastern Oriental Churches form a vast triangle, whose base is twelve thousand miles long, reaching across the Russo-Siberian plain from Petzamo in the West on the Arctic Ocean, to Alaska in the East where the Indians were evangelized by Russian missionaries in the last century. The western side of the triangle cuts through Finland, Estonia and Latvia, goes south towards Galicia and the Carpathian mountains, divides Yugoslavia in half, touches Albania on the Adriatic Sea and reaches the southern apex of the triangle in Egypt. On its eastern side, it passes across Palestine and reaches all the way to Japan and Korea. The great majority of Eastern Christians now live within this area, with substantial numbers in other countries, including the United States, as descendants of immigrants from the original Orthodox triangle.
Religions of the World - Chapter 16. Protestantism
There is a legitimate sense in which Protestantism refers to all Christian movements, other than the Roman Catholic Church, that share the heritage of Western Christianity. Even the Churches of Eastern Orthodoxy have been called "Protestant," because they place the seat of ecclesiastical authority outside the papacy and within the believing community. But these are extensions of a term that has historical rootage. Protestantism as a type of the Christian religion stems from the Reformation, and especially from the work of Luther and Calvin. Four hundred years have changed many things in Protestantism, but they have not effaced the spirit and theological emphases first created by the Reformers in the sixteenth century. Indeed every effort at renewal within Protestant ranks has been based on the principles of the Reformation, whose importance in religious history can scarcely be exaggerated. It marked a turning point in Western civilization and developed a form of religion that is baffling in its complexity, and yet so influential there is no part of Christianity whose life has not been affected by the faith and polity of Protestantism.
Religions of the World - Chapter 17. Old Catholic Churches
The origin of the Old Catholic movement goes back to Reformation times, and its theological principles derive from a Calvinist theory of grace. As a historical phenomenon the movement is sometimes described almost exclusively in terms of national aspirations that came into conflict with Rome. This is correct enough as a partial explanation, but fundamentally the issue was not a tension between groups of zealous Catholics in Belgium or the Low Countries striving to rise above their environment and inhibited by papal authority; it was mainly a clash of two opposing theologies of man’s relations with God, the Catholic, which holds that human nature has been elevated to a higher than natural order, and the Jansenist, which claimed that such elevation never took place, so that when Adam fell he lost for himself and posterity not the gifts added to nature but something essential to nature itself.
A religion which can trace its roots to Hinduism, Jainism was founded by Vardhamana Mahavira (599-527 B.C.). Despite its small number of members, about 2 million, it has had a large influence on Indian society.
Lutheran Church in America
Organized in 1962, the Lutheran Church in America is a consolidation of four Lutheran denominations whose origins go back to the middle of the nineteenth century. It began to function as a new juridical institution on January 1, 1963, and represents one of the principal Protestant mergers in the present generation.
Lutherans in the United States
The first Lutherans to make a permanent settlement in America came from Holland in 1623 to the Dutch New Netherlands (Manhattan Island), now part of New York City. The first Lutheran congregation in the Colonies was formed about l5 years later at Ft. Christina, now Wilmington, on the Delaware River.
Lambeth Conferences
The term Lambeth Conference refers to the congregation of Anglican bishops which meets, usually every 10 years, to discuss matters of faith and doctrine. The conference does not issue decrees but only expresses the general opinion of the hierarchy of the Anglican church. Sponsored by the archbishop of Canterbury, the conference convenes at his London residence, Lambeth Palace. The bishops who attend belong to the world confederation of Anglican Churches known as the Anglican Communion.
Lay Reader
In a broad sense, the expression "lay reader" refers to laymen within certain Protestant churches who lead the people in services where the regular minister needs help or is not available. It is an office that is most commonly associated, however, with the Anglican Communion.
Jimmy Swaggart - Why Does He Say Those Things About Catholics?
Swaggart raises basic questions about the Catholic faith that many Catholics find difficult to answer, primarily because the questions are usually unfamiliar to them and too often are considered, by both Swaggart and his critics, with an emotion charged superficiality that obscures rather than reveals the truth. With the noise and confusion of the election behind us, Catholic Twin Circle has gone to Rev. Jimmy Swaggart and Father John A. Hardon, S.J., author of "The Catholic Catechism," in an effort to clear things up as much as possible. Rev. Swaggart’s remarks appear at right. Our discussion with Father Hardon, addressing the specific criticisms of Catholic doctrine, follows it.
Those churches which follow the system of religious faith and practice originally promoted by John Wesley (1703-1791) and his brother Charles (1707-1788) are called Methodist. The name was probably derived from the methodical way Wesley’s disciples applied themselves to Bible study and prayer.
Originally, nonconformity meant refusal to conform to the doctrines, policy, or discipline of the Established Church of England. Thus both Catholics and Protestants were nonconformists. They were variously called recusants, separatists, and dissenters, to emphasize their failure to agree with the teachings and practice of the Anglican Communion. At the present time, however, the term is applied only to Protestants in England and Wales.
National Council of Churches
A federation of Protestant, Orthodox, and National Catholic churches in the United States, the National Council of Churches was organized in 1950. The Federal Council of Churches and a number of specialized agencies had resulted from almost a century of effort toward the unification of the Christian churches in America. All these were combined into one federation, which is known as the National Council of Churches.
The New Spirit of Protestantism
A new spirit has entered the body of American and world Protestantism. For the first time since the Reformation, leaders in every denomination are deeply concerned about their cleavage in doctrine, worship, and practice and are seriously trying to heal what they brand as the sin of disunity. Their success in the past fifty years has been remarkable. The only risk for Catholics is to be unaware of this "working of the Holy Spirit," as Pius XII called it, and therefore not respond to its implications for those who possess the fullness of revelation.
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
A federation of Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, and National Catholic Churches affiliated with the World Council of Churches. Its membership (reported as 40,605,228 communicants in 1964) represents about two-thirds of the total Christian church population in the U.S. that is not Roman Catholic.
National Council Considers Religion and Public Education
The main area of religious education which the conference analyzed was the basic question of whether and what kind of theological commitment is permitted for the public school. Most of the delegates were opposed to having the schools openly declare themselves committed to a theistic position which recognizes a personal God and the derivative moral law. They felt that generally speaking such commitment already exists as an expression of the private conviction of the teachers and school administrators. A vocal minority at the conference argued (unsuccessfully) against any theistic commitment, in theory or practice, on the principle that public education belongs to the state which by definition should have nothing to do with religion.
Plan For Christian Community
Is it realistic to talk about Christian unity except in the broad, far-off sense of praying that someday the divided Christian world might come together again? After all, there have been divisions among Christians since the time of the Apostles; the great Eastern Schism which drew the Oriental churches away from Rome occurred 900 years ago and the Protestant Reformation took place in 1517. Humanly speaking, then, we should be pessimistic about the future and resign ourselves to disunity, that in spite of the will of Christ Who prayed “that they all may be one,” Christianity will remain dismembered and there is no prospect of changing the unchangeable. But something revolutionary has happened.
Pilgrim Holiness Church
A body in the Methodist tradition with a strong emphasis on the Wesleyan principles of sanctification of believers and evangelistic missionary work. In 1897 Martin Wells Knapp, a Methodist minister in Cincinnati, Ohio, organized the International Apostolic Holiness Union to restore the primitive spirit of John *Wesley on "apostolic practices, methods, power and success." Twenty-five years later the International Holiness Church (derived from the Union) joined with the like-minded Pilgrim Church of California to become the Pilgrim Holiness Church.
The Polish National Catholic Church
Defections from the Catholic Church are as old and familiar as the Church itself, going back to the first century of the Christian era. In the United States the problem of leakage is recognized as an established fact and appropriate measures are being taken to control it. While the number of defections is not so great as the Protestant Press would have us believe, it is large enough to merit serious consideration.
Contrary to the negative implication of the word itself, Protestantism is a positive affirmation of religious belief based on the principles of the Reformation. As a system of teaching, worship, and practice, it is frequently described as any form of Christianity, which is not Catholic.
Protestant Examination of the Christian Conscience
By engaging in dialogue with Catholics, Protestants would awaken to the obsolescence of their imagery and be forced to examine (and confess) the essential discontinuity of their historical background. They might discover, with Paul Tillich, that the strength of Protestantism lies not in its history but in the freedom to pass judgment on "every man and every moment, every document and every impulse, to reveal the partiality of every apprehension of divine reality"; and therefore to condemn any human agency or institution which pretends to speak as the vicegerent of God.
Protestant Vocabulary
After the Protestant Reformation those who broke with the Church still retained many terms from their Catholic tradition. However, their theology and forms of church government gave the terms a different meaning for them. In addition, developments within their churches gave rise to new terms. Thus the Protestant vocabulary includes a blending of words familiar to the Catholic tradition, but used in unfamiliar ways and of terms exclusive to Protestantism.
Protestantism in the United States
In its nature and in its development, Protestantism in the United States differs widely from its counterpart in other countries. The growth of a great many separate and independent churches has produced a distinctively American variety of denominations. This, in turn, has stimulated mergers and federations that have become a pattern for the world movement toward union among the various churches.
Disciples of Christ
Seeking to achieve unity among believers through what he called a restoration of primitive Christianity, Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander founded the Christian Association of Washington, Pa., in 1810. In 1830, the Campbells’ followers came to be known as Disciples of Christ.
Reformed Churches
Religious bodies that adhere to Calvinism are called Reformed Churches according to the proper present-day use of the term. By this usage they are distinguished from the Lutheran or Evangelical Churches that believe in justification by faith alone but that reject the Calvinist view of predestination.
The term “ritualism” means the conducting of religious worship according to a code of ceremonies. It may also mean the observance of external forms in the church liturgy or excessive devotion to such forms and to ritualistic detail. Ritualism as here used means the recent development of a liturgical emphasis in every major religious body derived from the Reformation. One of the dominant features of the ecumenical movement among Protestant Christians is their reexamination of the role of the liturgy in the full concept of the church, and their desire to restore something of the ritual heritage that had been the common possession of Christianity before the sixteenth century.
From time to time in the history of American Protestantism there have been mass re-awakenings of religious faith and devotion throughout the country. These movements are part of revivalism, a name that applies also to the method of intensive preaching and prayer meetings that inspire such mass religious fervor.
Reinhold Niebuhr and Catholicism
Few men since the turn of the century and no American in the past generation have made a greater impact on the Protestant mind than Reinhold Niebuhr….Our interest here is to examine Niebuhr’s thought against the background of Catholic principles, not critically but rather descriptively, and in the light of his own frequent analysis of Roman Catholicism. It is symptomatic of a grave need that, for all our apparent nearness to one another, Catholics should be largely unaware of how incisively the leading spokesman for American Protestantism has written about their own religious culture.
Religion in the Encyclopedia Britannica
The anti-Catholic bias of the Encyclopaedia Britannica has been noticeably decreasing in the last twenty years….It is unfortunate, therefore, that these editors did not go far enough in clearing their publication of all prejudice against the Church, especially when so many Catholic institutions use the Britannica as a standard reference work but always have to warn their people against the articles on religion, which are frequently tainted with heresy and sometimes are openly hostile to Catholic thought. A real contribution to the cause of Christ in England and America would be a critical analysis, from the Catholic viewpoint, of all the articles on religion and Church History which appear in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Only a sample of what should be done, can be given here.
Reformed Churches in North America
Reformed Churches are lineal descendants of the church of John Calvin, and therefore collateral relations of the Presbyterian bodies in Europe and America. But whereas Presbyterianism is mainly an Anglo-Saxon development through the Scot John Knox, the Reformed groups derive from Calvin directly. Their immediate ancestors are the Calvinists in France, Switzerland, and the Low Countries.
Protestantism in the United States: I. Disunity in American Protestantism
The multiplicity of separate and independent Protestant churches in the United States is something unique in the modern world, which Protestants themselves are the first to deplore….On the one hand, the problems facing ecumenism are magnified many times in America - so deep have been the ravages of religious liberalism outside the Catholic Church. On the other hand, in spite of these obstacles, if any measure of success is achieved in the United States, then the world ecumenical movement may take heart and not despair that unity is impossible.
Protestantism in the United States: II. American Protestants Investigate Their Disunity
In the present study we shall examine this "unhappy division" through Protestant eyes, allowing their own church leaders to make the evaluation. In this way we can better appreciate the gigantic problem which faces the ecumenical movement, not only in the United States, but wherever Christianity has broken away from the unity of Roman Catholicism.
Protestantism in the United States: III. The Protestant Ecumenical Movement in the United States
A brief description of the ecumenical movement in the United States would be to call it the effort to join a divided Protestantism into some semblance of religious unity. Protestant sectarianism has been given many epithets by the critics from its own ranks, but none more critical than the expressive term - sin. Without the suspicion of love for Roman Catholicism, the multiplication of churches instead of allegiance to one Church is judged to be a crime against Christ Himself.
A class or society of individuals called by the same name; in the U.S. the term is used to describe the variety of religious bodies, mainly in the Protestant tradition.
Sunday Schools, Non-Catholic
The early American phase of the Sunday school movement filled a special need because of the high degree of illiteracy and (some claim) of low morals in the colonies.…At first the churches did not want the Sunday school, particularly on account of its lay leadership, but there was dire need of an organization to do the work that the public school was relinquishing. In time, Protestant churches adopted the Sunday school and quickly changed its scope and curriculum. Catechisms appeared, and in general the school policy became that of its supporting denomination.
The Unfinished Reformation
…all that we know of Protestantism as a historical movement confirms the judgment that its nature is less positive than sectarian. Protestant churches cannot grow without dividing in protest against their opponents, and their culture cannot flourish without schism. This is one of the best ways of understanding a form of Christianity that for most Catholics is nothing more than a strange and alien creed.
Unitarian Universalist Association
The beginnings of the Unitarian movement go back to the early years of Christianity, when the Gnostics, Arians, and Nestorians disagreed with the traditional teaching of the Church regarding the divinity of Christ. However, the name "Unitarian" was not used until the sixteenth century to identify certain Protestant dissenters from the dogma of the Trinity.…The teachings of Unitarianism can be described negatively as an extreme deism. It denies any value to the supernatural, whether as revelation, divine grace, or an order of reality beyond the natural, that is, beyond what is due to man as a human being. Thus, with respect to revelation, the Scriptures are equated with the Moslem Koran and the Hindu Vedas and summarily described as mythical.
Youth Movements, Protestant
The origins of Protestant youth movements in America are traced to the singing classes or schools of the early 18th century.…The most direct ancestor of the modern youth fellowship, however, was the Young Menís Christian Association (YMCA), begun in London (1844) and introduced to the U.S. shortly after.
Steiner, Rudolf
Steiner claimed to have discovered the secret of manís search for the divine by his theory of spirit cognition, innate in everyone. According to him, most people are blinded by attention to material phenomena and are liberated from this materialism through contact with the reality of a spiritual world. His system differs from the more familiar Eastern philosophies in that he admits the existence of things less than spirit.

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