Christianity. Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in the New Testament. Adherents of Christianity,

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Christianity Slide 2 Slide 3 Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in the New Testament. Adherents of Christianity, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and the Messiah (Christ) prophesied in the Hebrew Bible (the part of scripture common to Christianity and Judaism). Christian theology claims that Jesus Christ is a teacher, the model of a virtuous life, the revealer of God, as well as an incarnation of God, and most importantly the savior of humanity who suffered, died, and was resurrected to bring about salvation from sin. Christians maintain that Jesus ascended into heaven, and most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, granting everlasting life to his followers. Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel ("good news") and hence label the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels. Slide 4 Christianity is classified as an Abrahamic religion. Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the eastern Mediterranean, quickly grew in size and influence over a few decades, and by the 4th century had become the dominant religion within the Roman Empire. During the Middle Ages, most of the remainder of Europe was christianized, with Christians also being a (sometimes large) religious minority in the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of India. Following the Age of Discovery, through missionary work and colonization, Christianity spread to the Americas and the rest of the world. Christianity has played a prominent role in the shaping of Western civilization at least since the 4th century. As of the early 21st century, Christianity has between 1.5 billion and 2.1 billion adherents, representing about a quarter to a third of the worlds population. Slide 5 Slide 6 1. Beliefs In spite of important differences of interpretation and opinion, Christians share a set of beliefs that they hold as essential to their faith. Slide 7 1.1 Creeds Creeds (from Latin credo meaning "I believe") are concise doctrinal statements or confessions, usually of religious beliefs. They began as baptismal formulas and were later expanded during the Christological controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries to become statements of faith. Slide 8 The Apostles Creed The Apostles Creed (Symbolum Apostolorum) was developed between the second and ninth centuries. It is the most popular creed used in worship by Western Christians. Its central doctrines are those of the Trinity and God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period. i. belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit ii. the death, descent into hell, resurrection, and ascension of Christ iii. the holiness of the Church and the communion of saints iv. Christs second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful. Slide 9 The Nicene Creed, largely a response to Arianism, was formulated at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 respectively and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the Council of Ephesus in 431. The Chalcedonian Creed, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably": one divine and one human, and that both natures are perfect but are nevertheless perfectly united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance. Slide 10 Most Christians (Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants alike) accept the use of creeds, and subscribe to at least one of the creeds mentioned above. A minority of Protestants, notably Restorationists, a movement formed in the wake of the Second Great Awakening in the 19th century United States, oppose the use of creeds. Slide 11 1.2 Jesus Christ Slide 12 The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ). A depiction of Jesus as a child with his mother, Mary, the Theotokos of Vladimir (12th century). Christians believe that, as the Messiah, Jesus was anointed by God as ruler and savior of humanity, and hold that Jesus coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. The core Christian belief is that, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, sinful humans can be reconciled to God and thereby are offered salvation and the promise of eternal life. Slide 13 Jesus, having become fully human, suffered the pains and temptations of a mortal man, yet he did not sin. As fully God, he defeated death and rose to life again. According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary. Slide 14 1.3 Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christians consider the resurrection of Jesus to be the cornerstone of their faith and the most important event in human history. Among Christian beliefs, the death and resurrection of Jesus are two core events on which much of Christian doctrine and theology is based. Slide 15 The death and resurrection of Jesus are usually considered the most important events in Christian Theology, partly because they demonstrate that Jesus has power over life and death and therefore has the authority and power to give people eternal life. Slide 16 1.4 Salvation Protestantism teaches that eternal salvation is a gift that comes to an individual by Gods grace, sometimes defined as "unmerited favor", on the basis of ones personal belief in and dependence on the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the belief that one can be saved (rescued) from sin and eternal death. Other concepts used in the study of how salvation is accomplished include conversion, faith, justification, regeneration, and others. Slide 17 The crucifixion of Jesus is explained as an atoning sacrifice, which, in the words of the Gospel of John, "takes away the sins of the world." Ones reception of salvation is related to justification. The operation and effects of grace are understood differently by different traditions. Slide 18 1.5 Trinity Trinity refers to the teaching that the one God comprises three distinct, eternally co- existing persons; the Father (from whom the Son and Spirit proceed), the Son (incarnate in Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. Together, these three persons are sometimes called the Godhead, although there is no single term in use in Scripture to denote the unified Godhead. Slide 19 1.5.1 Trinitarians Trinitarianism denotes those Christians who believe in the concept of the Trinity. Trinity is defined as one God in three Persons. Slide 20 1.5.2 Non-trinitarians Nontrinitarianism refers to beliefs systems that reject the doctrine of the Trinity. Various nontrinitarian views, such as adoptionism or modalism, existed in early Christianity, leading to the disputes about Christology. Nontrinitarianism later appeared again in the Gnosticism of the Cathars in the 11th through 13th centuries, in the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century, and in Restorationism during the 19th century. Non-Trinitarians often believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and not the same as God. Slide 21 1.6 Scriptures Christianity regards the Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament), as authoritative. The Bible always includes books of the Jewish scriptures, the Tanakh, and includes additional books and reorganizes them into two parts: the books of the Old Testament primarily sourced from the Tanakh (with some variations), and the 27 books of the New Testament containing books originally written primarily in Greek. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox canons include other books from the Septuagint which Roman Catholics call Deuterocanonical. Protestants consider these books apocryphal. Slide 22 1.6.1 Roman Catholic Interpretation In antiquity, two schools of exegesis developed in Alexandria and Antioch. Alexandrine interpretation, exemplified by Origen, tended to read Scripture allegorically, while Antiochene interpretation adhered to the literal sense, holding that other meanings (called theoria) could only be accepted if based on the literal meaning. Roman Catholic theology distinguishes two senses of scripture: the literal and the spiritual. Slide 23 1.6.2 Protestant Interpretation Protestant Christians believe that the Bible is a self- sufficient revelation, the final authority on all Christian doctrine, and revealed all truth necessary for salvation. Protestants characteristically believe that ordinary believers may reach an adequate understanding of Scripture because Scripture itself is clear (or "perspicuous"), because of the help of the Holy Spirit, or both. Slide 24 Original intended meaning Protestants stress the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture, the historical-grammatical method. Slide 25 1.7 Afterlife and Eschaton Most Christians believe that human beings experience divine judgement and are rewarded either with eternal life or eternal damnation. This includes the general judgement at the Resurrection of the dead as well as the belief (held by Catholics, Orthodox and some Protestants) in a judgement particular to the individual soul upon physical death. Slide 26 2. Worship Slide 27 Christians assemble for communal worship on Sunday, the day of the resurrection, though other liturgical practices often occur outside this setting. Scripture readings are drawn from the Old and New Testaments, but especially the Gospels. There are a variety of congregational prayers, including thanksgiving, confession, and intercession, which occur throughout the service and take a variety of forms including reci


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