Classifying Christian denominations

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SlaveofAll
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The conventional categorization of Christianity divides it into three: namely Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism.

This seems to be problematic, in the sense that it never takes into account breakaway groups such as Old Catholic and Oriental Orthodox churches and marginal movements such as Jehovah's Witnesses and the Latter-Day Saints.

It also leaves the impression that Protestantism is a cohesive movement with a central authority on par with Catholicism and Orthodoxy despite lack such a management, although Protestant churches have been forming leagues for co-ordination.

Protestantism is at best a continuum, with Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and other ancient denominations belonging to another continuum and Mormonism and other marginal groups belonging to yet another.
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ROTL94
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Mormons aren't Christian, they are a cult. The cult of Joseph Smith.
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by ROTL94)
Mormons aren't Christian, they are a cult. The cult of Joseph Smith.
I'm talking about classification of Christian denominations from the point of view of sociology.
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Louis IX
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The Witnesses and Mormons aren't Christians.

Old Catholics are probably a lot closer to Protestantism given that they entered into communion with the Anglicans.

Oriental Orthodox are close to Eastern Orthodox and Eastern rite Catholics in how they worship, but they're theologically different.
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by Louis IX)
The Witnesses and Mormons aren't Christians.

Old Catholics are probably a lot closer to Protestantism given that they entered into communion with the Anglicans.

Oriental Orthodox are close to Eastern Orthodox and Eastern rite Catholics in how they worship, but they're theologically different.
Unless the Witnesses and Mormons forfeit any claim to being Christian, we can't just assign them as sui generis offshoots of Christianity.

The similarity of ecclesial polities and theologies between Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Oriental communities is one reason to bundle them into a single continuum on par with the Protestant continuum.
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Louis IX
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(Original post by SlaveofAll)
Unless the Witnesses and Mormons forfeit any claim to being Christian, we can't just assign them as sui generis offshoots of Christianity.

The similarity of ecclesial polities and theologies between Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Oriental communities is one reason to bundle them into a single continuum on par with the Protestant continuum.
They do. Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus isn't the Son of God. Therefore they aren't Christians.

Anglicans are definitely Protestants.
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by Louis IX)
They do. Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus isn't the Son of God. Therefore they aren't Christians.

Anglicans are definitely Protestants.
Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons use the more or less the same canon as other Christian denominations do and describe themselves Christian, so writing them off as not Christian would be more like rhetorical than sociological.

Anglican churches tend to describe themselves as combining Catholic and Protestant beliefs and practices, so they are kinda sui generis.
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Louis IX
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(Original post by SlaveofAll)
Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons use the more or less the same canon as other Christian denominations do and describe themselves Christian, so writing them off as not Christian would be more like rhetorical than sociological.

Anglican churches tend to describe themselves as combining Catholic and Protestant beliefs and practices, so they are kinda sui generis.
That's a bit like saying Muslims are Christian because they recognise Jesus as a prophet and believe the Gospels are holy books.

Yes, but the Anglican Church signed the Porvoo Communion meaning that it's in full communion with a lot of Lutheran churches. The last I checked the Lutherans were Protestant.
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Justvisited
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(Original post by SlaveofAll)
Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons use the more or less the same canon as other Christian denominations do
Mormons add the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, which are definitive for them and from which their distinctive doctrines come. So no, not the same canon at all, and not a "Christian denomination".

JWs insist on making and using their own corrupt translation to try to rub out all the places and ways the Bible teaches that Jesus is God, though some still manage to slip through.
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by Louis IX)
That's a bit like saying Muslims are Christian because they recognise Jesus as a prophet and believe the Gospels are holy books.

Yes, but the Anglican Church signed the Porvoo Communion meaning that it's in full communion with a lot of Lutheran churches. The last I checked the Lutherans were Protestant.
The Muslims are different from Mormons and JWs because Muslims never claim to be Christian whereas Mormons and JWs certainly do.

Signing the Porvoo Communion doesn't seem to change the overall character or structure of Anglican churches, which have certain things in common with Catholic, Orthodox, and Oriental communities.
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by Justvisited)
Mormons add the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, which are definitive for them and from which their distinctive doctrines come. So no, not the same canon at all, and not a "Christian denomination".

JWs insist on making and using their own corrupt translation to try to rub out all the places and ways the Bible teaches that Jesus is God, though some still manage to slip through.
Like I said, I am discussing the classification from the perspective of sociology, not of rhetoric.
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londonmyst
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I agree it is problematic.

The current classification system tends to focus almost exclusively upon the most ancient and largest of christian denominations.
Of course- any attempts at classifying all denominations of a given religion will always include some elements seeking to expel, defame or heavily stigmatise other denominations with whom they have a long established tradition of practical hostility or deep rooted ideological differences.
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by londonmyst)
I agree it is problematic.

The current classification system tends to focus almost exclusively upon the most ancient and largest of christian denominations.
Of course- any attempts at classifying all denominations of a given religion will always include some elements seeking to expel, defame or heavily stigmatise other denominations with whom they have a long established tradition of practical hostility or deep rooted ideological differences.
Great care is thus necessary in categorizing them according to a sociological point of view.
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Louis IX
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(Original post by SlaveofAll)
The Muslims are different from Mormons and JWs because Muslims never claim to be Christian whereas Mormons and JWs certainly do.
Would you say that a druid claiming to be Christian was a Christian?
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by Louis IX)
Would you say that a druid claiming to be Christian was a Christian?
A druid that claims to be Christian cannot be Christian if one does not accept the canon of Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as well as the common practices of Christianity.

Mormons and JWs on the other hand can still claim a common identity with the rest of the Christian community by their acceptance of the Bible as part of their canons.
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Louis IX
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(Original post by SlaveofAll)
A druid that claims to be Christian cannot be Christian if one does not accept the canon of Hebrew and Greek Scriptures as well as the common practices of Christianity.

Mormons and JWs on the other hand can still claim a common identity with the rest of the Christian community by their acceptance of the Bible as part of their canons.
So you agree that there are some things you have to believe in to be a Christian.

Do you think Unitarian Universalists are Christian?
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by Louis IX)
So you agree that there are some things you have to believe in to be a Christian.

Do you think Unitarian Universalists are Christian?
The case of the Unitarian Universalists is a tricky one, given their Christian origins, albeit their expansion to include beliefs and practices from other religions have been obscuring it.
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Scarecrow13
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It is problematic to throw all protestants in the same category. It's a matter of convenience but not really helpful.
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SlaveofAll
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(Original post by Scarecrow13)
It is problematic to throw all protestants in the same category. It's a matter of convenience but not really helpful.
I don't regard Protestantism as a singular and coherent movement.
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londonmyst
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(Original post by SlaveofAll)
I don't regard Protestantism as a singular and coherent movement.
How do you attempt to classify protestant sects and offshoot movements?
As self proclaimed fundamentalists versus the non-fundamentalists, King James Only movements, oldest protestant factions like Lutherans/Anglicans/Calvinists/ Baptists/Presbyterians, church affiliations/independent alliances or dogmatic positions on salvation doctrine & the five solae.
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