Protestantism

Protestantism

Protestantism

Protestantism

Excerpt

Protestantism is one of the three main divisions of the universal Christian Church, which together with the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches make up one world-wide religion. Protestantism is the most recent of the developments within Christianity, having a relatively short history of slightly more than four centuries; the other two branches of the faith have histories going back to the earliest days of the Christian era. Moreover, compared to the unity which characterizes those other branches, Protestantism is divided within itself among hundreds of separate organizations, some of which deny all relationship to others. The many denominations and sects have differing beliefs and carry on a variety of practices, which give them the appearance of being distinct from one another. There are those who insist, because of the structure which Protestantism has, that it is incorrect to deal with it as a whole.

However, Protestantism rests firmly upon the belief that God deals directly with man as a person, so that salvation is gained "by faith alone." This puts the emphasis upon man's own life as it is lived in relationship to his society and his world. In one sense man becomes the center of his religion. Since men differ from one another, and since circumstances differ from generation to generation and place to place, Protestantism is bound to exist in varied groups. Man, as he is and in his situation, bears a living relationship to God. Therefore, man must express his religious faith in ever-changing forms of thought and action. The dividedness of Protestantism comes about . . .

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