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  •  Using that logic... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, Debby, old possum

    All Protestants are not Christians.  They spun off from the Catholic church.

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 08:55:35 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  But their differences in theology and (7+ / 0-)

      cosmology are small; most of their differences revolve around the diminution of intermediaries (whether priest, indulgence, or angelic). They use essentially the same canon; and the cosmology they posit is essentially identical.

      Indeed, the differences between Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism are substantially greater than that of Catholic and Protestant Christianity.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:01:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They didn't come up with a brand new book, though (10+ / 0-)

           Coming up with an entirely new holy text, equally important (if not more important) to the original, along with revised interpretations of the original holy text, really brings you to another level. That's pretty much the same as the difference between Judaism and Christianity.
            The Protestants just decided that the old leadership was intentionally misinterpreting the holy texts for their earthly benefit, and promoted the laity's ability to read the holy book by encouraging its translation into the vernacular.

      -5.12, -5.23

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 09:04:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If Mormons are Christians, (16+ / 0-)

        then Christians are Jewish.

        I have no problem voting for a Mormon for president, but from a theological standpoint, we usually say Christians believe God and man are different, and believe in the Trinity.

        Mormons believe that men are little gods, and therefore the essential nature of man and God is the same.  Likewise, they do not believe in the Trinity.  

        If you go through the Apostle's Creed, which is considered a defining document, the Mormons basically reject the whole thing.

        Hard to say they're Christian.  

        Having said that, though, I do not think that Christian = good; and non-Christian = bad.  

        •  Leave these people alone (0+ / 0-)

          "If Mormons are Christians, then Christians are Jewish."

          All of the early Christians were Jewish.  They considered themselves Jews.  They parcticed Judaism.

          Jews do not dispute this.  You will sometimes hear rabbis or other Jewish leaders pointing out that "Jesus was Jewish."

          Documents like the Nicene Creed were not formulated until at least three hundred years after Jesus' ministry, long after Paul had begun the spread of Christianity among non-Jewish people.

          My point is:  how do you draw the sharp line separating two religions, especially when people in those belief systems do not see any line?  And what is gained from imposing such a binary distinction on them?  Why not just let people believe what they believe and do what they do, without trying to sort them out into types like insect specimens???

          •  Because you can't reasonably discuss (0+ / 0-)

            theology in an academic environment without being able to agree on some definitions.

            If you have two sets of beliefs, and they don't agree on the nature of man, the nature of God, the concept of the Trinity, of salvation or grace, the definition of heaven, the concept of sacraments, how can you possibly discuss anything about the two belief systems if you can't use a distinguishing phrase ?  

            It becomes a tad cumbersome.  If Mormons believe X, what do you call the other belief system?  Shall we just call mainstream Christianity "Fred" ?

            •  A bad aspect of the "academmic environment" (0+ / 0-)

              First, I'm skeptical that there is such a monolithic entity as "mainstream Christianity" that you posit.
              As for having differing concepts on "the nature of man, the nature of God, the concept of the Trinity, of salvation or grace, the definition of heaven, the concept of sacraments" -- Quakers differ from "mainstream" Christians on all of these points; are these not Christians either?  What about ancient Christians such as the Gnostics?  The Marcionites?  Hell, even the Nestorian Christians?  Do we have to toss all of them out too?
              In brief -- I'm an academic myself, but I am very wary of the academic practice of insisting that people fit our categories and formulas before we accept their right to define what they are for themselves.  This seems to me not like intellectual clarity, but pedantry-- or worse, when it may inadvertently play into prejudice and exclusion.

              •  But the problem is (0+ / 0-)

                that you cannot communicate.

                Do Christians believe in the Trinity?  Apparently not.  Do they believe that God created the universe (directly or indirectly), including man?  Apparently not.  Do they believe man was born with original sin?  Apparently not.  

                If you cannot use the term Christian to generally describe a set of beliefs, you have to be able to name them, without including people who don't have a single major belief in common.

                If the term "Christian" includes the LDS, then it doesn't mean anything, because the only thing they have in common is that both religions believe Jesus existed.  That's it.  It would be like saying a motorcycle is a car, because you don't want to be "pendantic".  If the motorcycle wants to be called a car, it should be allowed to.  But I can assure you that it would be mass confusion if you couldn't identify which vehicle you're talking about if you had to use the term car to apply to both.

                As for Quakers, I know quite a few Quakers, and the ones I know don't refer to themselves as Christians.

                The problem is that too many people (in my view) in this country think of Chrstian as good, and to say some religion isn't Christian is tantamount to making a disparaging comment.  It's not.

                •  Okay let's play this game (0+ / 0-)

                  Christians:  Monotheists who believe that Jesus Christ was sent to earth by the one God in order to be the savior of humankind.
                  In my view, that's as good a definition as one can get, IF it's necessary to impose a definition at all.  The important thing is that "Christian" is more of a social identity that people apply and use in their lives, not an object like a motorcycle.  Pretending that the term has a more objective, absolute definition might seem convenient, but it is distorting.

                  -"Do Christians believe in the Trinity?"  No, not necessarily.  That doctrine was cooked up by Tertullian in the third century.  Christians did not generally believe in it before then, and many still do not today.  Here are 26 Christian groups that do not subscribe to Trinitarianism:

                  -"Do they believe that God created the universe (directly or indirectly), including man?"  The Gnostics and the Cathars did not.  Are you siding with Irenaeus and Bernard of Clairvaux, and pronouncing them to be heretics and not real Christians?

                  -"Do they believe that man was born with original sin?"  Eastern Orthodox Christians don't, so I guess you'll have to take that one up with the Patriarch:

                  The meaning and beliefs of Christianity are not consistent across time or space.  They are constantly in dispute and up for debate.  To pretend that there is some set of core axioms of "real" Christianity is to intervene and take sides in those debates, even if unintentionally.  The most honest approach, in my view, is to accept variety and ambiguity.  If it is impossible to axiomatize such a seemingly simple system as arithmetic, then how can it be possible to axiomatize a religion?  

                  •  I agree with a lot of what you say (0+ / 0-)

                    and you are raising great points.

                    It is dicey to talk about whether Christianity has evolved over time in such a way that it is intrinsically different from the early church beliefs to such an extent that it no longer the same religion.  I totally agree with you that is an issue that can be debated.  

                    I also agree with you that trying to define "christianity" from day one, when so many different takes on things existed, amounts to pedantry.  There was no set of written dogma and no system of theology.

                    However, by your own definition of Christians, LDS doesn't fit because they do not believe in "the one God", but rather that each man is a little god.  God is only a bigger version.

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