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Church Membership

(2,985 words)

Author(s): Kraus, Dieter | Lippy, Charles H. | Huber, Friedrich | Hermelink, Jan
[German Version] I. Forms – II. Law – III. Practical Theology I. Forms 1. Europe The multiplicity of churches in Europe, especially in the realm of the Reformation churches, has also brought about various forms of church membership, although the now common tendency to link church membership with baptism has had a unifying effect. Divided church membership may occur when a distinction is made between the church as a spiritual body based on its confession and its ecclesiastical principles and the church as a body constituted according …

Oxnam, Garfield Bromley

(202 words)

Author(s): Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] (Aug, 14, 1891, Sonora, CA – Mar 12, 1963, White Plains, NY), became a Methodist pastor (Methodists) in California after graduating from the University of Southern California (1913) and Boston University’s School of Theology (1915). He joined the Boston faculty in 1927, leaving in 1928 to become president of DePauw University, Greencastle, IN. Elected a Methodist bishop in 1936, he served in Omaha, Boston, New York, and Washington DC, prior to retiring in 1960. ¶ Oxman, committed to a liberal social gospel perspective and ecumenism, served as president o…

Van Dusen, Henry Pitney

(167 words)

Author(s): Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] (Dec 11, 1897, Philadelphia, PA – Feb 13, 1975, Belle Meade, NJ) studied at Princeton University, Union Theological Seminary, and Edinburgh. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1924 and became a professor of systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary in 1926. In scores of books and articles, Van Dusen advocated an evangelical, Christocentric liberalism. He was a key figure in the 1948 formation of the World Council of Churches. He served Union Theological Seminary as…


(135 words)

Author(s): Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] The Christadelphians (“brothers of Christ”) are an Adventist group, whose beliefs come from the teachings of John Thomas (1805–1871), a British physician who came to the USA in 1832. In 1847 Thomas split from his earlier teacher A. Campbell and settled in Richmond, VA, which is still a Christadelphian center. He also took his message to Britain where the largest number of Christadelphians live today. The Christadelphians believe in the imminent S…

Federal Council of Churches

(151 words)

Author(s): Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] (FCC), a cooperative agency, set up in 1908 by some 28 U.S. Protestant denominations, to boost Protestant influence. Jointly producing some educational materials and coordinating home and foreign missions, member churches tried to sustain the Protestant character of American culture. Early on, the FCC adopted a social orientation and supported the concerns of the working class. The FCC emerged at a time when similar groups were forming in areas like religious education, student wo…

National Council of Churches

(533 words)

Author(s): Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] The National Council of Churches of Christ (NCC) was founded in the ¶ United States in 1950 as an association of several significant interdenominational agencies, including the Federal Council of Churches, the International Council of Religious Education, and the United Council of Church Women. Most mainline Protestant and Orthodox denominations are members of the NCC, although some of the largest religious groups in the United States, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist …

Community Movement

(3,740 words)

Author(s): Geldbach, Erich | Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] I. Europe – II. North America I. Europe There has been a community or “fellowship” movement (Ger. Gemeinschaftsbewegung), an organized form of pietism in practice, since the 19th century in various European countries, especially in Scandinavia, as well as in eastern and southeastern European countries, although it was or is not as important there as in the German-speaking countries (Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Alsace, as well as Holland). Its impact (with regional variations), in terms of numbers too, has been greatest in Germany. The historical roots of t…

Universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Churches

(277 words)

Author(s): Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] (UFMCC). This Protestant denomination, noted for its ministry with gay, lesbian (Homosexuality), bisexual, and transgendered persons, began in 1968 in Los Angeles, California, where its headquarters remains. Its founder is Troy Perry, a Pentecostal pastor (Pentecostalism) who was forced out of his pulpit when he acknowledged his homosexuality. Affirming the historic creeds and doctrines of Protestant Christianity, UFMCC holds observer status in both the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. Local congregations are known for the…


(889 words)

Author(s): Lippy, Charles H.
[German Version] Although ideas later associated with Unitarianism may be found in the Christological controversies of the 4th century, the Socinian movement (Socinians) in the age of the Reformation, and some Anabaptist thought, modern Unitarianism owes its genesis to liberal currents in British religious dissent (Dissenters) and in New England Puritanism (Puritans) in the 18th century. The moderate Enlightenment that stressed the reasonableness of Christianity influenced J. Priestley (who discov…