Portal:Christianity

Portal:Christianity

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The CHRISTIANITY PORTAL
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Introduction

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religious group whose adherents believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Logos, and the savior of humanity, whose coming as the Messiah (Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible, and chronicled in the New Testament.[need quotation to verify]

Christianity began as a Second Temple Judaic sect, in the 1st century, in the Roman province of Judea. Jesus' apostles and their successors, the Apostolic Fathers, spread it across large parts of the Middle East, Europe, Ethiopia, Transcaucasia and some other parts of Asia, despite initial persecution. Emperor Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and decriminalized it in the Edict of Milan (313), later convening the First Council of Nicaea (325) where Early Christianity was consolidated into what would become the state religion of the Roman Empire (380). The council formulated the Nicene Creed (325), and the Church Fathers supervised the compilation of the Christian Bible (5th century). Early statements of essential beliefs were the Apostles Creed and Nicene Creed. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united communion of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon (451) over differences in Christology, while the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism (1054), especially over the authority of the Pope. Similarly, Protestantism split in numerous denominations from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation (16th century) over theological and ecclesiological disputes.

Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization. Christianity was a leading influence on the development of Western civilization in Europe during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Following the Age of Discovery (15th–17th century), Christianity was spread into the Americas, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization.

Selected article

The parable of the talents (as depicted in this 1712 woodcut) is often cited in support of prosperity theology
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a religious belief among some Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being is always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations will increase one's material wealth. It is based on interpretations of the Bible traditional in Judaism (with respect to the Hebrew Bible), though less so in Christianity. Prosperity theology views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver security and prosperity. The parable of the talents is often cited in support of prosperity theology.

The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God's will for his people to be happy. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through donations of money, visualization, and positive confession.

It was during the Healing Revivals of the 1950s that prosperity theology first came to prominence in the United States, although commentators have linked the origins of its theology to the New Thought movement which began in the 19th century. The prosperity teaching later figured prominently in the Word of Faith movement and 1980s televangelism. In the 1990s and 2000s, it was adopted by influential leaders in the Charismatic Movement and promoted by Christian missionaries throughout the world. Prominent leaders in the development of prosperity theology include E. W. Kenyon, Oral Roberts, TD Jakes, A. A. Allen, Robert Tilton, T. L. Osborn, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Reverend Ike and Kenneth Hagin.

Prosperity theology has been criticized by leaders in various Christian denominations, including within the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, who maintain that it is irresponsible, promotes idolatry, and is contrary to scripture.

Selected scripture

Jesus Christ
It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face. They went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to prepare for him. They didn’t receive him, because he was traveling with his face set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Elijah did?”
But he turned and rebuked them, “You don’t know of what kind of spirit you are. 56 For the Son of Man didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
They went to another village. As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord.”
Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another, “Follow me!”
But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”
But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce God’s Kingdom.”
Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those who are at my house.”
But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for God’s Kingdom.”

Selected biography

Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th century Christian bishop of Constantinople. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. As a classically trained speaker and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking theologians, and he is remembered as the "Trinitarian Theologian". Much of his theological work continues to influence modern theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three persons of the Trinity. Along with two brothers, Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, he is known as one of the Cappadocian Fathers. Gregory is honored as a saint in both Eastern and Western Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church he is among the Doctors of the Church; in Eastern Orthodoxy and the Eastern Catholic Churches he is revered as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs along with Basil of Caesarea and John Chrysostom.

Selected image

Saint Paul Writing His Epistles
Credit: User:Mathiasrex

The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen New Testament books which have the name Paul (Παῦλος) as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul the Apostle. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. They provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity and as part of the canon of the New Testament they are foundational texts for both Christian theology and ethics.

Did you know...

...that Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches celebrate Mass, while Eastern Christian churches instead celebrate Divine Liturgy?
...that the length of a Church service can vary widely, depending on the denomination and priest, and can range from 40 minutes to 3 hours?
...that Mandarin Chinese translates the word "Christ" as Jidu (基督)?
...that the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in Côte d'Ivoire is listed by Guinness World Records as the largest church in the world?

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