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Churches of Christ

(289 words)

Author(s): Gaustad, Edwin S.
As an offshoot from America’s Disciples of Christ movement (Christian Church [Disciples of Christ]), the Churches of Christ had by the beginning of the 20th century separated into an uncompromisingly distinctive “brotherhood.” Taking a firm stand against the quiet, almost inevitable move from sect to denomination, these churches—without hierarchy or headquarters or national program—resisted modernity and ecumenicity in their ecclesiastical life. Most conspicuous was their rejection of instrument…

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

(784 words)

Author(s): Gaustad, Edwin S.
1. Origin and Aims 1.1 The beginnings of the Disciples of Christ movement lay peculiarly in the time and space of America’s 19th-century frontier. There the nation provided the liberty, the frontier the opportunity, and the century the dream of apostolic purity. The first generation of the new nation seized religious liberty ¶ as though it were a challenge to be met with all the energy and creativity of which human imagination was capable. The 1820s and 1830s saw a host of experiments—millennial, utopian, transcendental ( Transcendentalism), and m…

Churches of God

(531 words)

Author(s): Gaustad, Edwin S.
The label “Church of God” is among the more confusing contributions of the United States to denominational terminology. Several quite distinct organizations claim the name, some of these finding it necessary to resort to parenthetical additions to make clear just which Church of God they are. Most of these groups do share a common background of Pentecostal interest evident in 19th- and 20th-century America. Pentecostalism traditionally emphasizes the “second blessing” of sanctification, which is to follow sometime after the “first blessing” of justification (see Rom. 5:9). The…

Baptists

(2,350 words)

Author(s): Schütz, Eduard | Gaustad, Edwin S.
1. Name and History The name “Baptist” was originally a derogatory name used by opponents who wanted to call attention to the Baptists’ distinctive practice of believers’ baptism. Baptists themselves would have preferred to be known more as a congregational movement than as a baptismal movement. The Baptists developed in England out of English Puritanism, or more strictly out of Congregationalism, which formed congregations independent of the state and the state church (Separatism). The Baptist impulse probably came by way of the Mennonites, who baptized by pouring. Because of per…