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A more detailed introduction to Christianity
Why essays in this section are important to read:
Many Christians are familiar with the beliefs and teachings of their
own denomination, but have never been exposed to the amazing diversity of
beliefs within Christianity.
Many Christians have never been taught how their own denomination's
beliefs changed down through the centuries.
Many non-Christians also are unaware of the current range of beliefs and practices
Many people are unaware of the methods by which various denominations extracted their
different beliefs and practices out of a single book -- the Bible.
Problems involved in writing about Christianity:
Many Christians believe that a Christian is a follower of Jesus or that a
Christian is exactly who the Bible defines to be Christian. Unfortunately, there
is no consensus on precisely what Jesus' teachings were, and exactly how the
Bible defines Christians. Estimates of the percentage of American adults who are
Christian varies from about 80% to less than 1% depending upon which
faith group's definition that one uses.
There are on the
order of 1,500 different Christian faith groups in North America which
promote many different and conflicting beliefs. Further, many groups believe
that they alone are the "true" Christian church
and that all of the others are in error. Consider, for example, belief in Yeshua
of Nazareth (a.k.a. Jesus Christ). There are Christian groups that consider him
purely divine, others consider him as 100% human and 100% divine; still others
consider him as purely human -- the greatest of all of the prophets.
And so, while the followers of any given Christian faith group are certain
that they are Christian, some have doubts about hundreds of other denominations
On this site, we use the same definition as is used by public opinion
pollsters and government census bureaus. We define as
Christian any person or group who sincerely, devoutly, seriously believe
that they are Christian. This makes some of our visitors very angry, and is
responsible for more negative Emails than any other topic.