Norris: Conservative vs. Liberal Christianity

Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), October 5, 2015 | Go to article overview

Norris: Conservative vs. Liberal Christianity


CONSERVATIVE OVERVIEW Churches in Cheyenne and around the nation fall into one of two categories in their view of Christianity. Since the 1880s, a number of mainline denominations have gone away from the historic view of Christianity dominant in Protestant churches since the Reformation in the 1500s. These hold to a liberal view of Christianity.

The other main category of churches in Cheyenne would be the conservative churches. In visiting more than 30 local churches in the last three or four years, it is evident within minutes of the start of a sermon if the church holds the conservative or liberal view of Christianity.

Rodger McDaniel has become known for his support of the liberal view. I have had the opportunity at times to debate Rodger in person and in the pages of this newspaper, taking a more conservative view of Christianity. Over the next 12 months, on the first Saturday of each month, Rodger and I, in separate columns, will cover 12 key aspects of Christianity to show the polar differences in these two approaches. Items to be covered include: God, Jesus, the Bible, sin, salvation, interpretation of the Bible, Jesus' resurrection, Satan, Heaven and Hell, good works, and "Is Jesus the only way?" We will not be reading each other's column until it appears in the paper. The debate is not between two men, but between two totally different views of Christianity.

I will not be addressing Roman Catholic beliefs, nor those of the Orthodox branch of Christianity. I will be presenting the historic Protestant Christian views held by Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight L. Moody, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley and thousands of others over the last five centuries.

Not all of these leaders agree on every aspect of Christianity. Within the conservative view, there are differences on baptism, the Lord's Supper, prophecy and other doctrines. These are for debate within the believing church and will not be addressed in these columns.

Within the conservative view of Christianity are those who would label themselves with one or more of the following descriptions: Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Charismatic, Pentecostal and Confessional. …

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