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A Second Look At The History Of Christianity - Annotated Bibliography Example

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The primary focus of this paper is to take a second look at the origins of Christianity specifically in the teachings of Jesus Christ and study this in the light of the historical flaws in the life of the church…
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Download file to see previous pages The primary focus of this paper is to take a second look at the origins of Christianity specifically in the teachings of Jesus Christ and study this in the light of the historical flaws in the life of the church. What was the original message of Jesus Christ and did he really plan to build a big institutionalized church named after him? Did Jesus Christ really want to have more than 41,000 feuding denominations all claiming to be Christian churches and almost all claiming to be the only way towards salvation? Is Jesus Christ now smiling at how the Catholic Church, the Mainline Protestant Churches, the New Religious Movements, the Pentecostals, the Evangelicals, the Fundamentalists, the liberation theologians not to mention fanatical sects and cults are now behaving? What really happened to the history of the church and is there a possibility that all these churches be One? Although there are now different versions and translations of the Bible, it cannot be contested that Christ wants all to be one, just as he and the Father are one. In the Gospel of John chapter 17:21, Jesus prays, “that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (International Council of Religious Education, 1977). The fact remains that christian churches are divided. This is not to mention the 30 years war betweeen the Protestants and the Catholics, the Wars during the Reformation, and the countless martyrdoms on every side all in the name of Christianity. The fact remains is that these shisms are not simple differences as they have already led to bloodshed and religious discrimination and even major wars. Simply look at the illustration below (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, December 19, 2011): The Protestants, claiming that they have found the original message of Christ, were not exempted from division. See the figure below (Protestant Branches, 1997). To date there are about 41,000 registered Christian sects and denominations all claiming to be unique, different, and having the right path to salvation (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, December 19, 2011). In fact most of these organizations would affirm the call for unity. There is also a recent encyclical by Pope John Paul II entitled Ut Unum Sint meaning, “That All may be One” calling for oneness and ecumenism. This encyclical recognizes that Christian prejudices have become too heavy a burden and outlines the processes towards mutual respect and unity among the different Christian denominations. (Paul, 1995). Despite Jesus’ prayer for unity, Christian churches became divided. Here is a detailed study of the various divisions that occurred within the Christian churches. In a sense, it is going to be a second look at church history and in the end, this paper will ask the question if it is possible to overlook the differences for the sake of a higher principle which is the message of the Gospel and Christian unity. The Debate between Saint Peter and Saint Paul James Dunn gives an enlightening discussion on the early church specifically on the debate of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Both of these saints believe that the second coming of Christ will come within their lifetimes but both advocated different pathways. In his book, Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways, Dunn relates how Saint Peter wishes the Gospel to be preached to the Jews first and how Saint Paul advocates the preaching of the Gospel to the gentiles. It must be noted however that Saint Peter was not exclusivist. He only wanted to preach to the Jews first as a matter of priority but he is open to convert other people besides Jews. Besides the issue of who to prioritize the preaching of the Gospel to, considering the imminence of Christ’s Second Coming, there are also major cultural differences among the two ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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