Talk:Protestantism

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January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Not kept

Clean up[edit]

Article is in need of citations. -- 74.0.139.105 (talk) 20:47, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Comment[edit]

I would strongly recommend to change that picture of (supposedly) Jesus Christ appearing on all topics of Christianity. You would do Christianity a great favor...(76.115.179.116 (talk) 06:21, 10 March 2012 (UTC))

Elaborate?Farsight001 (talk) 17:14, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

WP: Christianity Rating[edit]

Why isn't this rated at B? ReformedArsenal: ὁ δὲ θεὸς 12:43, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Flawed definition[edit]

"Any Western Christian who is not an adherent of a Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Church." - IMO this is flawed as it possibly includes Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, neither of which are considered protestant, but both of which are arguably Christian movements (granted, this is debateable, but that's precisely the point: if it's up for debate, we shouldn't leave the text as ambiguous). Magog the Ogre (talk) 19:47, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

I have never heard Anglicans (called Episcopalians in US) not referred to as Protestants, they are generally referred to as mainline Protestants. Also "Eastern Church" seems a weak catch-all phrase for a surprisingly large number of denominations that were not answerable to the papacy long before Martin Luther shows up. I also agree that some mention should be made that Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often excluded from this term by those using it. Wowaconia (talk) 22:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

You're both welcome to dig up a different and better definition. I simply quoted the dictionary.ReformedArsenal: ὁ δὲ θεὸς 22:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

On the main page, one of the definition for protestantism is "denying the universal authority of the Pope" By that definition, all except catholics are protestant?


To be a Protestant/Reformed one needs to also affirm the fundamental principles. Simply denying the universal authority of the Pope is not enough. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.30.250.8 (talk) 04:36, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

More Definitional Considerations[edit]

I almost entirely agree with the above and add my tuppenny's worth. The 'Any Western Christian...' definition is better than a strictly theological definition, such as 'sola fide' though I do agree that 'Eastern' could be more precisely defined yet somehow keep the definition concise - hard to do - I can understand why the writer didn't attempt it.

I also agree that the umbrella definition should be broad enough to include Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons as these sprang from 'Protestant' roots historically (as also did the New England Unitarians, for example) - yet another reason to avoid a strictly theological definition. To further support my point, while many if not most people identifying as Protestant do not agree with these groups on theology or church polity, few if any would say that this is because a Jehovah's Witness 'is not Protestant' but rather because 'they don't believe in the Trinity,' for example.

I contend that 'Protestant' is in the final analysis an historical term more than theological because many actual Protestants - groups, churches and individuals - in the past and present have disagreed and continue to disagree theologically on virtually everything except on one point - not accepting the authority of the Bishop of Rome (i.e., the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.) The various 'Eastern Christian traditions,' - e.g., Greek Orthodox also don't accept the authority of Rome but they have a different history - they did not arise out of or descend from the Protestant Reformation in the Europe of the 15th and 16th centuries (they pre-dated it.)

On the perennial definitional problem of Anglicanism (Episcopalianism), while I agree that numerically speaking, most Anglicans around the world would probably answer 'yes' to a survey question asking 'Do you consider yourself to be a Protestant?' none-the-less in today's world, few if any Anglo-Catholics (a section of the High Church party within Anglicanism)are comfortable with or ever use the term 'Protestant' of themselves, seeking to distance themselves from Anglicanism's connection with the Reformation.

All the same, I think it is misleading to someone new to the subject of Protestantism to categorise Anglicanism as historically separate from the category of 'Protestant' as different as Roman Catholicism on the one hand and the various Orthodoxies (Greek, Russian, Syrian, Ethiopian etc) on the other.

While Anglicanism has always allowed a wide range of theological views, liturgical practices and church culture nevertheless Henry VIII took the English church away from Rome (if for mainly political reasons, personally preferring 'the old faith') at the time of the Protestant Reformation, repudiating Rome's spiritual (not to mention temporal) authority. In the following century limits were set of which many still apply. Theologically, liturgically and in polity (church government) Anglicanism nevertheless retained episcopacy (bishops)and gave its bishops more authority sacramentally and administratively than many (other) Protestant denominations (and more than Rome does.)However, most Lutheran churches (indisputably Protestant)have bishops as do some Methodist churches (also Protestant.)

Apart from rejecting the authority of Rome, Reformation agenda items that Anglicanism adopted include a rejection of transubstantiation (a certain theological view about Holy Communion held by Rome) (Articles of Religion, 1662 Book of Common Prayer), distribution of both kinds in Holy Communion (both the bread and wine rather than only the bread/wafer as in (usual)Roman Catholicism, use of the vernacular language - English - as the prime language of worship in church ritual and scripture, and that scripture (the bible)'containeth all things necessary for salvation' (1662 Prayer Book) along with much other Reformation theology such as the denial of Purgatory (according to Rome, a place between Heaven and Hell where souls not guilty of mortal sin are purified before being allowed to enter Heaven.)

Anglicanism also included another item on the Reformation agenda - allowing married clergy including bishops and archbishops. And moving from theology to church culture this meant that clergy were no longer a set-apart (a)sexual caste as in Roman Catholicism and to some extent, in Eastern Orthodoxies, too. Anglican clergy mostly had and have wives and children - families. Family worship - both at home and at church became part of Anglican culture. Not to mention the clerical family always had to have a family house, a home. Until relatively recent times, a priest's wife was expected to play a leading part in parish life, especially among women - I would argue a Protestant cultural characteric of which Anglicanism fully participated.

Furthermore, much else of Anglican church culture has been broadly 'Protestant.' At the time of the Reformation, Church of England churches were stripped of 'Popish' statues and elaborate decoration such as gilding. Monasteries and convents were dissolved. No Anglican monastic religious orders appeared till the 19th century and also no use of 'graven images' (3D images of Christ, Mary or saints) such as crucifixes (Christ on the cross) till then.

From at least the 17th till the mid-19th centuries (well beyond, for many)being Protestant was seen as an essential part of English or Scottish identity. In England, for most, this included being Anglican - and for a minority who were 'non-conformist' or 'dissenter' Protestants such as Presbyterians and Independents (Congregational) who felt they couldn't 'conform' to Anglican Protestantism.(at first, this was also true in British North America (despite the Pilgrim Fathers being Puritan (Congregational.)

In the 19th and 20th centuries, at a cultural level, like (other) Protestants, Anglican parish church culture, particularly in towns and cities, often included and encouraged congregational hymn-singing, bible study, group leisure and education activities involving parish members such as Sunday schools, sports clubs, youth groups and so forth mainly organised by the laity whereas Roman Catholics in the English-speaking world at least, did not do these things or only to a limited extent and then more usually organised by the priest, until relatively recently.Neilaus (talk) 06:09, 27 November 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Neilaus (talkcontribs) 05:24, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

One definition must be cleared up throughout this entire page and this is the fact that Orthodoxy is one. Whether Russian, Greek, Serbian, Syrian, American, Japanese, etc. there is one Orthodox Church under the same belief and same doctrine. Certainly there are "Orthodox" who disagree with the teachings of the Church but the Church is still one and not many "Eastern Orthodoxies." Of course there are the Oriental Orthodox and other schismatic groups but for 1000 years the Church was viewed and still is viewed in Orthodoxy as One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. From the Traditional Orthodox perspective Rome added 'Papal Supremacy' over primacy and also created what is considered heresy with the development of the filioque and addition to the Nicean Creed as I am sure many of you know. What does not seem to be understood is the unity of Orthodoxy. It is not many "churches" as in Protestantism but One Church united and undivided much like God in His essence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.145.48.186 (talk) 06:02, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Change section under main denominations to this?[edit]

Main denominations[edit]

CHURCH - FOUNDER - YEAR - PLACE[1]

References

  1. ^ Mead, Frank (1990). Handbook of Denominations. New York, NY: Abingdon Press. ISBN 9780687165728. 
This list has a number of serious problems. Firstly, it mixed up denominational groupings and denominations - it has Presbyterian (rather than, e.g.,Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)) but then it has both Methodist and United Methodist. The current list is just denominational families, which is better, although the heading probably should be adjusted to reflect this. Secondly, some of the foundings are dubious. I know there is a citation here, but the key thing is that they were not founded in the same way. There is no doubt that Luther can be described as the founder of Lutheranism, but 1517 is a very arbitrary date. But in what sense is Smyth the "founder" of the Baptists? He is merely the first pastor on historical record. Thirdly, in what sense is Four Square Gospel a "main" denomination? Doesn't it just come under Pentecostal? Several other groups, like the Seventh Day Baptists, cannot be called "main" either. Fourthly, the list seems to have a particularly American focus (possibly reflecting the source) which is inappropriate here. StAnselm (talk) 21:38, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

non-Trinitarian groups[edit]

These have been included here as Protestant. I think this is worth some discussion within the article, as they would not be universally regarded as protestant. Ordinary Person (talk) 08:32, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

Why does my edit keep being reverted?[edit]

One of the definitions of protestantism is, according to the article "denying the universal authority of the Pope", it then goes on to say "more broadly, to mean Christianity outside "of an Orthodox or Catholic church". Really? Since when has the Orthodox Church recognized the universal authority of the pope? By definition they are protestant. The article has tripped over itself, and someone keeps reverting it. Why?

It's not one of several definitions, it's part of a definition with several aspects, hence the word "and". --JFH (talk) 20:55, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Expanding the previous comment with which I thoroughly agree, Protestantism is strictly defined in the article as:
  1. denying the universal authority of the Pope;
  2. affirming the Reformation principles of (a) justification by faith alone, (b) the priesthood of all believers, and (c) the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth".
To be classed as "protestant" a denomination must pass these four separate tests. While the Orthodox deny the universal authority of the Pope, this is not an adequate reason for classing them as protestants since they do not accept the last three doctrines of the Reformation which also form an essential part of protestant belief. Therefore the reversion is correct as I tried to indicate briefly in the summary when I reverted it recently. Jpacobb (talk) 21:59, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Whoa hang on a minute, it doesn't matter if you say it's 'not one of several definitions' it most certainly is. Here's how it works. The catholic church claims to be the true church, it's teachings are absolute, there is no room for movement, there is no part of the catholic church that thinks abortion is ok, or part of the catholic church that thinks homosexuality is fine. So it doesn't matter if you disagree with the catholic church on one thing, and accept the others, you are still protesting against the catholic churches absolute rule and dogma. Therefore, you ARE by definition, a protestant. (or a heretic, if you go back far enough)

The 2nd point you are trying to make is that protestant is a 'group' of western Christians that broke off from the catholic churches rule and dogma. True, but it is not limited to western people, it's all who have heard of the popes claim to authority, and continue to do whatever they do rather then what the catholic church wants them to do. That technically would make muslims/ sikhs/ hindus etc..'protestants'

"To be classed as "protestant" a denomination must pass these four separate tests." First off, no they don't. That's your false interpretation of it. To be classed as protestant you only need to reject the catholic churches dogma in any part, as the catholic churches teachings are absolute.

There is no '4 seperate tests' and a 5 day health a safety course you have to pass to be classed as a protestant, what rot! All those Christian churches that are not part of the catholic church? Protestant. End of discussion. The reason why you are in such a mess, and trying to say 'this church is protestant, but this one isn't' is because you have gone away from what it means to be a 'protestant' The articles definition is wrong. You are applying protestantism to a group of western churches when the definition applies to ALL churches and religions outside the catholic church, because of the catholic churches claim to absolute rule.

I'll leave this for 24 hours, then i will revert the change.

Please see WP:V. The existing definition comes from a WP:RELIABLESOURCE and clearly has several parts. Reverting against consensus would be edit warring which could lead to a block. --JFH (talk) 14:50, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
The claim that Orthodoxy is somehow "Protestant" is completely spurious and ridiculous for all kinds of theological and historical reasons. Anyone who makes such a claim is seriously ignorant of both theology and history. The Roman Catholic Church itself doesn't consider Orthodoxy as Protestant. This alone is sufficient reason for no one else to do so. Anglicanus (talk) 15:09, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

The definition is NOT a reliable source, as it is a subjective definition. Therefore you can only go on what Protestantism is actually about, that is protesting against the catholic churches rules. Your ignorance of definition is not my concern, and using the catholic church as a source? Ok, let me just grab my sides as they have just left orbit. Fact is that to be a protestant you have to reject the popes rule, that's it. Who cares what the catholic church says? It's irrelevant. Infact the Catholic church has defined the rest of the world as protestant when it claims that it's rule is supreme, and the rest of the world rejects it. Kinda like Muslims and kaffir. Truth is NOT decided by consensus, it is decided by facts. Something that Anglicanus is missing just goes to show that he is the sort that doesn't understand the meaning of the words he is using, showing himself to be totally ignorant and thus a hypocrite. You have a few more hours before it gets replaced, if you can offer nothing better then it will be.

Your silly rant is not worth the time and effort to respond to. But good luck trying to get your way on this issue ~ you will have plenty of time to reconsider things while you are blocked from editing. Anglicanus (talk) 02:54, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

I trimmed the Mormonism section[edit]

The Mormonism section went into too much detail relative to other religions of similar size and history such as Methodism. Since that content can be found in other articles, I trimmed it to the standard two paragraphs (as with other movements) and linked to those articles pbp 17:16, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

Protestant denominations[edit]

There are not 33,000 demoninations of Protestantism - this is a myth perpetuated by Roman Catholic apologists to discredit the doctrine of sola scriptura. The world Christian encycleopedia actually says there are 33k denominations of *Christianity*, and only 8500 of those are Protestant.

The said encycleopedia also uses an extremely strict definition of denomination, so the one Roman Catholic church has ended up being differentiated into 242 denominations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_ZXbrbfXrY — Preceding unsigned comment added by 14.201.42.230 (talk) 02:13, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

"Denominational families" in the lead[edit]

I reverted Ernio48's addition of "Evangelical" to the list of denomination families, as I don't think it falls in to the same class as Methodism, Lutheranism, etc. The entry for Evangelicalism refers to it as a movement present in multiple denominations. I removed two references that I feel are inappropriate - although the Museum of Protestantism citation could be reinstated if another user sees fit. The Pew Forum reference is clearly being used to cite the view that Protestant denominations can be grouped in to 'families', as it doesn't give an exhaustive list of all of the denominational families named in the lead. The list we're using seems to have been taken from the graph used further down in this article (File:Protestant branches.svg).
I feel that Evangelicalism shouldn't be listed. A case can be made that "Congregationalism" should be listed a subset of Calvinism. Clearly we should only be listing the major families - so no "Plymouth Brethren" or "Remonstrants". I think it would be useful to have some consensus on the denominational families that we list in the lead.

P.S. I thank Ernio48 for their previous additions to the article, so I felt it would be basic courtesy to explain why I made the decision to revert! -- Hazhk Talk to me 22:31, 18 July 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. If we want to put things in that perspective, we should also remove Pentecostals, because from what I've read this movement is observed primarily by Protestants, but as well in the Catholic church. I think Pentecostalism is just the same case as Evangelicalism. After reading that report and around the web, I got an impression that Protestants are divided approximately between 200 million Pentecostals, 200 million Evangelicals, 400 million other branches. That was the reason for the addition of Evangelicals and Pentecostals.Ernio48 (talk) 12:54, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the Charismatic movement (article says, 'Among Roman Catholics, it originated around 1967.') is distinct from Pentecostalism. The former is a movement akin to Evangelicalism, whereas the latter is a family of denominations. The Pentecostalism article lists denominations that are distinctly Pentecostal in character (also Category:Pentecostal denominations). Yes there are "Independent Evangelical" churches, but they are usually considered to be "non-denominational". Whereas we see that Pentecostalism has denominations. Most Evangelical Christians are members of Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, etc., churches - not a family of denominations in their own right. -- Hazhk Talk to me 13:31, 19 July 2014 (UTC)
This Pew report might be helpful. No cagegory for Evangelicalism, which is mentioned elsewhere as a movement. It does have a denominational category for "historically pentecostal denominations". There is also a category for Congregationalists separate from "Presbyterian or Reformed". I could go either way on that one. --JFH (talk) 14:46, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
So it stays as it is, unless someone has any other ideas on these Protestant families.Ernio48 (talk) 10:12, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

What about Episcopalian? I think we should place Brethren in the lead section, as it was estimated in the Pew report as having 0.5% share just like Congregationalists; or get rid of Congregationalists; or place them along Presbyterians and Reformed as part of Calvinists. I think we should mention that a lot of Protestants belongs to nondenominational charismatic, evangelical and fundamentalist churches.Ernio48 (talk) 11:11, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

Quick comment: "Episcopalian" is the adjective used to identify the Anglican Church in the USA (¿+ some churches elsewhere which it started?) Jpacobb (talk) 18:53, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
And the Scottish Episcopal Church! To address Ernio, I would support removing Presbyterian and Congregationalist from the lead and simply having "Reformed" (maybe with a note?). I don't think listing ever single group is necessary however; the sentence actually refers to "the majority of Protestants". Intricacies such as non-denomination churches have no place in the summary of the article. I think the lead is becoming too long as it's only meant to be an introduction and summary of the article's content. -- Hazhk Talk to me
Well, I think the lead section is long enough and summarizes the whole content of the article. I don't have anything else to add, except one thing (see "Overlinking" under this post).Ernio48 (talk) 08:47, 30 July 2014 (UTC)

Overlinking?[edit]

I am concerned about the large amount of blue print in some sections which I find distracting. I have therefore edited one small section to see how it might be reduced. WP:OVERLINK states that provides that:

"An overlinked article contains an excessive number of links, making it difficult to identify links likely to aid the reader's understanding significantly and in particular, unless they are particularly relevant to the topic of the article, the following are not usually linked: everyday words understood by most readers in context;" and "the names of major geographic features and locations; languages; religions; common occupations; and pre- and post-nominals;" ...

There is also the question of the way country names and the like are linked not to the article on the country etc. but to a more specialized article. For example, in the lead section France links to Reformed_Church_of_France. I can see why this has been done, but I am not convinced it is good editorial practice and wonder whether it would be better to use the templates "See also" or "Main"

I realize that in an overview article of this type we are going to need a lot of links but to my mind they could be usefully reduced so that only those which a really necessary remain. What do others think? Jpacobb (talk) 01:01, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I think we should replace France with France, and do it will all other countries-just to keep the cohesion with the previous sentence about Lutheranism. I've been wondering if the historical perspective is the accurate way of showing the spread of Protestantism. I mean unlike writing that it spread in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, UK, Finland, etc. What do you think? I think it is correct when we face the truth that there was no Finland in those times (it was a part of Sweden) or Germany.Ernio48 (talk) 08:47, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
(i) So far as geographical place names as such and the like are concerned, Wikipedia is aimed at the average reader with no special knowledge and this says to me that we should use modern names ie up-to-date terminology. In this case, that means including Finland as a separate item. If really necessary, one could add "(then part of Sweden)", but I don't think this is relevant in the lead section here. (ii) I am strongly opposed to "submarine links". [[France]] should relate to the article "France" not "Reformed Church of France". Such links seem to go against the wiki guidelines which are found at WP:LINKCLARITY and MOS:PIPE, and unless the reader puts the cursor on them they are misleading. I should much prefer the use of some sort of Template:see also or Template:Main Jpacobb (talk) 16:52, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
If we use present day names of the states, how are you going to handle Germany? Are you going to write present-day Poland, Belgium, etc. (as parts of these countries belonged to Holy Roman Empire at the time - and some of them turned Protestant when Reformation happened) despite the fact that these are today primarily non-Protestant countries?Ernio48 (talk) 22:01, 30 July 2014 (UTC)
I suggest the use of phrases like "some/many parts of". The question as to whether Protestantism put down permanent roots or not is a different one and needs to be handled separately although it might be covered in the lead section by adding "although it did not take root permanently in some of them" Jpacobb (talk) 20:27, 1 August 2014 (UTC)