Presbyterianism is a part of the reformed tradition within Protestantism, which traces its origins to Britain Scotland. Presbyterian churches derive their name from the presbyterian form of church government, governed by representative assemblies of elders. A great number of Reformed churches are organized this way, but the word Presbyterian, when capitalized, is applied uniquely to churches that trace their roots to the Church of Scotland, as well as several English dissenter groups that formed during the English Civil War. Presbyterian theology emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures, the necessity of grace through faith in Christ. Presbyterian church government was ensured in Scotland by the Acts of Union in 1707, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. In fact, most Presbyterians found in England can trace a Scottish connection, the Presbyterian denomination was taken to North America by Scots and Scots-Irish immigrants; the Presbyterian denominations in Scotland hold to the Reformed theology of John Calvin and his immediate successors, although there is a range of theological views within contemporary Presbyterianism.
Local congregations of churches which use presbyterian polity are governed by sessions made up of representatives of the congregation. The roots of Presbyterianism lie in the Reformation of the 16th century, the example of John Calvin's Republic of Geneva being influential. Most Reformed churches that trace their history back to Scotland are either presbyterian or congregationalist in government. In the twentieth century, some Presbyterians played an important role in the ecumenical movement, including the World Council of Churches. Many Presbyterian denominations have found ways of working together with other Reformed denominations and Christians of other traditions in the World Communion of Reformed Churches; some Presbyterian churches have entered into unions with other churches, such as Congregationalists, Lutherans and Methodists. Presbyterians in the United States came from Scottish immigrants, Scotch-Irish immigrants, from New England Yankee communities, Congregational but changed because of an agreed-upon Plan of Union of 1801 for frontier areas.
Along with Episcopalians, Presbyterians tend to be wealthier and better educated than most other religious groups in United States, are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business and politics. Presbyterian tradition that of the Church of Scotland, traces its early roots to the Church founded by Saint Columba, through the 6th century Hiberno-Scottish mission. Tracing their apostolic origin to Saint John, the Culdees practiced Christian monasticism, a key feature of Celtic Christianity in the region, with a presbyter exercising "authority within the institution, while the different monastic institutions were independent of one another." The Church in Scotland kept the Christian feast of Easter at a date different from the See of Rome and its monks used a unique style of tonsure. The Synod of Whitby in 664, ended these distinctives as it ruled "that Easter would be celebrated according to the Roman date, not the Celtic date." Although Roman influence came to dominate the Church in Scotland, certain Celtic influences remained in the Scottish Church, such as "the singing of metrical psalms, many of them set to old Celtic Christianity Scottish traditional and folk tunes", which became a "distinctive part of Scottish Presbyterian worship".
Presbyterian history is part of the history of Christianity, but the beginning of Presbyterianism as a distinct movement occurred during the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. As the Catholic Church resisted the reformers, several different theological movements splintered from the Church and bore different denominations. Presbyterianism was influenced by the French theologian John Calvin, credited with the development of Reformed theology, the work of John Knox, a Scotsman and a Roman Catholic Priest, who studied with Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, he brought back Reformed teachings to Scotland. The Presbyterian church traces its ancestry back to England and Scotland. In August 1560 the Parliament of Scotland adopted the Scots Confession as the creed of the Scottish Kingdom. In December 1560, the First Book of Discipline was published, outlining important doctrinal issues but establishing regulations for church government, including the creation of ten ecclesiastical districts with appointed superintendents which became known as presbyteries.
In time, the Scots Confession would be supplanted by the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, which were formulated by the Westminster Assembly between 1643 and 1649. Presbyterians distinguish themselves from other denominations by doctrine, institutional organization and worship; the origins of the Presbyterian churches are in Calvinism. Many branches of Presbyterianism are remnants of previous splits from larger groups; some of the splits have been due to doctrinal controversy, while some have been caused by disagreement concerning the degree to which those ordained to church office should be required to agree with the Westminster Confession of Faith, which serves as an important confessional document – second only to the Bible, yet directing particularities in the standardization and translation of the Bible – in Presbyterian churches. Presbyteria
Evangelicalism, evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide, transdenominational movement within Protestant Christianity which maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ's atonement. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or "born again" experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God's revelation to humanity, in spreading the Christian message; the movement has had a long presence in the Anglosphere before spreading further afield in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries. Its origins are traced to 1738, with various theological streams contributing to its foundation, including English Methodism, the Moravian Church, German Lutheran Pietism. Preeminently, John Wesley and other early Methodists were at the root of sparking this new movement during the First Great Awakening. Today, evangelicals are found across many Protestant branches, as well as in various denominations not subsumed to a specific branch.
Among leaders and major figures of the evangelical Protestant movement were John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Billy Graham, Bill Bright, Harold John Ockenga, John Stott and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The movement gained great momentum during the 18th and 19th centuries with the Great Awakenings in Great Britain and the United States. In 2016, there were an estimated 619 million evangelicals in the world, meaning that one in four Christians would be classified as evangelical; the United States has the largest concentration of evangelicals in the world. American evangelicals are a quarter of the nation's population and its single largest religious group. In Great Britain, evangelicals are represented in the Methodist Church, Baptist communities, among evangelical Anglicans; some evangelical Christian denominations are grouped together in the World Evangelical Alliance. The word evangelical has its etymological roots in the Greek word for "gospel" or "good news": εὐαγγέλιον euangelion, from eu "good", angel- the stem of, among other words, angelos "messenger, angel", the neuter suffix -ion.
By the English Middle Ages, the term had expanded semantically to include not only the message, but the New Testament which contained the message, as well as more the Gospels, which portray the life and resurrection of Jesus. The first published use of evangelical in English was in 1531, when William Tyndale wrote "He exhorteth them to proceed in the evangelical truth." One year Sir Thomas More wrote the earliest recorded use in reference to a theological distinction when he spoke of "Tyndale his evangelical brother Barns". During the Reformation, Protestant theologians embraced the term as referring to "gospel truth". Martin Luther referred to the evangelische Kirche to distinguish Protestants from Catholics in the Roman Catholic Church. Into the 21st century, evangelical has continued in use as a synonym for Protestant in continental Europe, elsewhere; this usage is reflected in the names of Protestant denominations, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
In the English-speaking world, evangelical was applied to describe the series of revival movements that occurred in Britain and North America during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Christian historian David Bebbington writes that, "Although'evangelical', with a lower-case initial, is used to mean'of the gospel', the term'Evangelical', with a capital letter, is applied to any aspect of the movement beginning in the 1730s." According to the Oxford English Dictionary, evangelicalism was first used in 1831. The term may be used outside any religious context to characterize a generic missionary, reforming, or redeeming impulse or purpose. For example, the Times Literary Supplement refers to "the rise and fall of evangelical fervor within the Socialist movement". One influential definition of evangelicalism has been proposed by historian David Bebbington. Bebbington notes four distinctive aspects of evangelical faith: conversionism, biblicism and activism, noting, "Together they form a quadrilateral of priorities, the basis of Evangelicalism."Conversionism, or belief in the necessity of being "born again", has been a constant theme of evangelicalism since its beginnings.
To evangelicals, the central message of the gospel is justification by faith in Christ and repentance, or turning away, from sin. Conversion differentiates the Christian from the non-Christian, the change in life it leads to is marked by both a rejection of sin and a corresponding personal holiness of life. A conversion experience can be emotional, including grief and sorrow for sin followed by great relief at receiving forgiveness; the stress on conversion differentiates evangelicalism from other forms of Protestantism by the associated belief that an assurance of salvation will accompany conversion. Among evangelicals, individuals have testified to both gradual conversions. Biblicism is a high regard for biblical authority. All evangelicals believe in biblical inspiration, though they disagree over how this inspiration should be defined. Many evangelicals believe in biblical inerrancy, while other evangelicals believe in biblical infallibility. Crucicentrism is the centrality that evangelicals give to the Atonement, the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, that offers forgiveness of sins and new life.
This is understood most in terms of a substitutionary atonement, in which Christ died as a substitute for sinful humanity by takin
Dallas the City of Dallas, is a city in the U. S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,341,075, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U. S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U. S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.3 million people as of 2017. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U. S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents. Dallas and nearby Fort Worth were developed due to the construction of major railroad lines through the area allowing access to cotton and oil in North and East Texas.
The construction of the Interstate Highway System reinforced Dallas's prominence as a transportation hub, with four major interstate highways converging in the city and a fifth interstate loop around it. Dallas developed as a strong industrial and financial center and a major inland port, due to the convergence of major railroad lines, interstate highways and the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. A "beta" global city, the economy of Dallas has been considered diverse with dominant sectors including defense, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, transportation. Dallas is home to 9 Fortune 500 companies within the city limits; the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex hosts additional Fortune 500 companies, including American Airlines, ExxonMobil and J. C. Penney. Over 41 colleges and universities are in its metropolitan area, the most of any metropolitan area in Texas; the city has a population from a myriad of ethnic and religious backgrounds and the sixth-largest LGBT population in the United States as of 2016.
WalletHub named Dallas the fifth most-diverse city in the U. S. in 2018. Preceded by thousands of years of varying cultures, the Caddo people inhabited the Dallas area before Spanish colonists claimed the territory of Texas in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. France claimed the area but never established much settlement. In 1819, the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain defined the Red River as the northern boundary of New Spain placing the future location of Dallas well within Spanish territory; the area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain, the area was considered part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, with a majority of Anglo-American settlers, gained independence from Mexico and formed the Republic of Texas. Three years after Texas achieved independence, John Neely Bryan surveyed the area around present-day Dallas, he established a permanent settlement near the Trinity River named Dallas in 1841.
The origin of the name is uncertain. The official historical marker states it was named after Vice President George M. Dallas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, this is disputed. Other potential theories for the origin include his brother, Commodore Alexander James Dallas, as well as brothers Walter R. Dallas or James R. Dallas. A further theory gives the origin as the village of Dallas, Scotland, similar to the way Houston, Texas was named after Sam Houston whose ancestors came from the Scottish village of Houston, Renfrewshire; the Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. Dallas was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1856. With the construction of railroads, Dallas became a business and trading center and was booming by the end of the 19th century, it became an industrial city, attracting workers from Texas, the South, the Midwest. The Praetorian Building in Dallas of 15 stories, built in 1909, was the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi and the tallest building in Texas for some time.
It marked the prominence of Dallas as a city. A racetrack for thoroughbreds was built and their owners established the Dallas Jockey Club. Trotters raced at a track in Fort Worth; the rapid expansion of population increased competition for jobs and housing. In 1921, the Mexican president Álvaro Obregón along with the former revolutionary general visited Downtown Dallas's Mexican Park in Little Mexico; the small neighborhood of Little Mexico was home to a Latin American population, drawn to Dallas by factors including the American Dream, better living conditions, the Mexican Revolution. On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Elm Street while his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Downtown Dallas; the upper two floors of the building from which alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, the Texas School Book Depository, have been converted into a historical museum covering the former president's life and accomplishments. On July 7, 2016, multiple shots were fired at a peaceful protest in Downtown Dallas, held against the police killings of two black men from other states.
The gunman identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, began firing at police officers at 8:58 p.m. killing five officers and injuring nine. Two bystanders were injured; this marked the deadliest day for U. S. law enforcement since the September 11 attacks. Johnson told police during a standoff that he
Private schools known to many as independent schools, non-governmental funded, or non-state schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments. Children who attend private schools may be there because they are dissatisfied with public schools in their area, they may be selected for their academic prowess, or prowess in other fields, or sometimes their religious background. Private schools retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students for tuition, rather than relying on mandatory taxation through public funding; some private schools are associated with a particular religion, such as Judaism, Roman Catholicism, or Lutheranism. For the past century one in 10 U. S families has chosen to enroll their children in private school. In the United Kingdom and several other Commonwealth countries including Australia and Canada, the use of the term is restricted to primary and secondary educational levels. Private education in North America covers the whole gamut of educational activity, ranging from pre-school to tertiary level institutions.
Annual tuition fees at K-12 schools range from nothing at so called'tuition-free' schools to more than $45,000 at several New England preparatory schools. The secondary level includes schools offering years 7 through 12 and year 13; this category includes university-preparatory schools or "prep schools", boarding schools and day schools. Tuition at private secondary schools varies from school to school and depends on many factors, including the location of the school, the willingness of parents to pay, peer tuitions and the school's financial endowment. High tuition, schools claim, is used to pay higher salaries for the best teachers and used to provide enriched learning environments, including a low student-to-teacher ratio, small class sizes and services, such as libraries, science laboratories and computers; some private schools are boarding schools and many military academies are owned or operated as well. Religiously affiliated and denominational schools form a subcategory of private schools.
Some such schools teach religious education, together with the usual academic subjects to impress their particular faith's beliefs and traditions in the students who attend. Others use the denomination as more of a general label to describe on what the founders based their belief, while still maintaining a fine distinction between academics and religion, they include parochial schools, a term, used to denote Roman Catholic schools. Other religious groups represented in the K–12 private education sector include Protestants, Jews and the Orthodox Christians. Many educational alternatives, such as independent schools, are privately financed. Private schools avoid some state regulations, although in the name of educational quality, most comply with regulations relating to the educational content of classes. Religious private schools simply add religious instruction to the courses provided by local public schools. Special assistance schools aim to improve the lives of their students by providing services tailored to specific needs of individual students.
Such schools include tutoring schools to assist the learning of handicapped children. Private schools are one of three types of school in Australia, the other two being government schools and religious. Whilst private schools are sometimes considered "public" schools, the term "public school" is synonymous with a government school. Private schools in Australia may be favored for many reasons: prestige and the social status of the "old school tie"; some schools offer the removal of the purported distractions of co-education. Student uniforms for Australian private schools are stricter and more formal than in government schools – for example, a compulsory blazer. Private schools in Australia are always more expensive than their public counterpartsThere are two main categories of private schools in Australia: Catholic schools and Independent schools. Catholic schools form the second largest sector after government schools, with around 21% of secondary enrollments. Most Australian Catholic schools belong to a system, like government schools, are co-educational and attempt to provide Catholic education evenly across the states.
These schools are known as "systemic". Systemic Catholic schools are funded by state and federal government and have low fees. Catholic schools, both systemic and independent have a strong religious focus, most of their staff and students will be Catholic. Independent schools make up the last sector and are the most popular form of schooling for boarding students. Independent schools are non-government institutions that are not part of a system. Although most are non-aligned, some of the best known independent schools belong to the large, long-established religious foundations, such as the Anglican Church, Uniting Church and Pres
Westminster Shorter Catechism
The Westminster Shorter Catechism is a catechism written in 1646 and 1647 by the Westminster Assembly, a synod of English and Scottish theologians and laymen intended to bring the Church of England into greater conformity with the Church of Scotland. The assembly produced the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger Catechism. A version without Scripture citations was completed on 25 November 1647 and presented to the Long Parliament, Scripture citations were added on 14 April 1649. Catechesis is a practice of teaching the Christian faith. New converts to Christianity were taught through lectures during the first four centuries of the Church's existence, but this practice was abandoned with the rise of Christendom. Christian humanists and Protestant Reformers sought to revive the practice, including the Reformed. John Calvin's Genevan Catechism was influential among the British Reformed; the most popular British catechisms included works by John Craig, James Ussher, Herbert Palmer, John Ball, Anthony Tuckney.
On John Knox's return to Scotland after long exile because he was deemed by the authorities a heretic, the First Book of Discipline was drafted. It required that a Sabbath afternoon session be set aside for examination of young children in catechism, this practice was adopted in the Kirk. Catechizing became a part of life in the Scottish Churches with itinerant catechists being employed to instruct the people — a practice that continued into the 19th century. In 1643, the Westminster Assembly, designed to bring the two national churches into greater conformity, was convened at the height of the English Civil War to reform the Church of England; when the Solemn League and Covenant was as a result signed between the English and Scots the Assembly's work became the framing of "four points or parts of uniformity": a Confession of Faith, Form of Church Government, Directory for Worship, Catechizing. Although the church in Scotland had produced The New Catechisme according to the Forme of the Kirk of Scotland in 1644, it was aimed at children and youth, was not adopted by the Westminster Assembly of Divines.
Twelve or fourteen of the members of the Westminster Assembly had produced catechisms themselves prior to the Assembly. Herbert Palmer was one of the most respected catechists in the country, it was expected that his catechism, first published in 1640, would be the basis for the Assembly's, it appears that this idea was abandoned by the committee assigned to the catechism after some work in 1645, followed by another failed attempt at a single catechism from the Summer of 1646 to 14 January 1647. At this point, the committee decided that it would need to produce two catechisms rather than one, as the needs of ministers and children were different; the committee decided to wait until the completion of the Confession of Faith, to base the catechisms off this document rather than the Apostles' Creed. The Larger Catechism was completed and forwarded to Parliament on 22 October 1647, another committee was set up for the Shorter Catechism composed of Herbert Palmer as chairman, Charles Herle, Thomas Temple, John Lightfoot, John Greene, Philip Delme, Edmund Calamy the Elder, Stanley Gower.
When Palmer died soon after the constitution of this committee, another committee was formed with only Anthony Tuckney, Stephen Marshall, John Ward, along with Samuel Rutherford. Anthony Tuckney is believed to be the most influential of the committee members on the Catechism; the published catechisms of James Ussher and John Ball, as well as the theology of William Perkins were relied upon, however many of the similarities between the Assembly's Shorter Catechism and earlier ones may be explained by the common theological vocabulary of the time. The Shorter Catechism was based on the Larger Catechism, though the Shorter may have incorporated more of the earlier abandoned catechism than the Larger, it was sent to Parliament on 25 November 1647, a little over a month after the Larger Catechism. Scripture citations were added on 14 April 1648, it was passed Parliament 22–25 September and ordered to be printed with the title The Grounds and Principles of Religion Contained in a Shorter Catechism.
The Church of Scotland approved it in July 1648, it passed the Scottish Parliament in February of the next year. The purpose of the Shorter Catechism is to educate children and others "of weaker capacity" in the Reformed faith, it is based on the Larger Catechism, intended for use by ministers as they taught the faith to their congregations in preaching. The Catechism is in a question and answer format, popularized by Martin Luther as a way to help children learn the meaning of the material, rather than memorizing the Lord's Prayer, Ten Commandments, Apostles' Creed as had been the practice prior to the Reformation; the catechism is composed of answers. The first 12 questions concern God as Creator. Questions 13-20 deal with original sin and the fallen state of man's nature. Questions 21-38 concern Christ the benefits that flow from redemption; the next set of questions, 39-84, discuss the Ten Commandments. Questions 85-97 teach concerning the Sacraments of Holy Communion; the final set of questions, 98-107, explain the Lord's prayer.
This organization mimics the earlier Heidelberg Catechism used by many Continental Reformed churches. The most famous of the questions is the first: Q. What is the chief end of man? A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, to enjoy him forever; the Church of Scotlan
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also 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, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding