American originals: homemade varieties of Christianity by Paul K. Conkin

By Paul K. Conkin

In a piece of extraordinary breadth and readability, Paul Conkin bargains an even-handed and in-depth examine the key American-made types of Christianity—a varied team of spiritual traditions, every one of which displays an important holiday from western Christian orthodoxy.Identifying six distinct kinds, Conkin examines the most important denominations consultant of every unique number of American Christianity: recovery (Churches of Christ, Disciples of Christ); humanistic (Unitarians, Universalists); apocalyptic (Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses); Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints); religious (Christian technological know-how, Unity); and ecstatic (Holiness and Pentecostal denominations). targeting the early years and maturation of those teams, he discusses their founders and leaders, origins and previous international roots, and crucial doctrines and practices. Conkin closes each one bankruptcy with a advisor to extra reading.The first finished survey of those American originals, this booklet will function a helpful source on a couple of spiritual traditions whose participants not just contain an important percent of the yankee inhabitants but additionally make up an expanding percentage of Christian converts around the globe.

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My topic is not specific denominations, but distinctive types of Christianity, whether represented in America by only one denomination or by many. Yet even this guideline faces problems, as best illustrated by the present Disciples of Christ. They derive from the broader Restoration Page viii movement, still reflect in doctrine and practice some of the distinctive features of that movement, but have become so ecumenical and have so loosened the bases of separate identity as to be virtually a part of the Christian mainstream.

I do believe that they now represent quite distinctive versions of Christianity and that they have a special home in America, however much they borrowed from abroad. My topic is not specific denominations, but distinctive types of Christianity, whether represented in America by only one denomination or by many. Yet even this guideline faces problems, as best illustrated by the present Disciples of Christ. They derive from the broader Restoration Page viii movement, still reflect in doctrine and practice some of the distinctive features of that movement, but have become so ecumenical and have so loosened the bases of separate identity as to be virtually a part of the Christian mainstream.

One can do nothing on one's own to merit salvation. But when God, working through the Word and the Spirit, chooses an individual, then his grace (his beauty) is simply irresistible. One is overwhelmed with a new insight, a new understanding, and new likes and dislikes. Finally, such a saving work by God is permanent. The saints, however much they may entertain doubts or fall into disobedience, will persevere once in grace, always in grace. Those called Arminians disagreed. To illustrate their point of view, I take the extreme position of Wesley.

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