… gnostic theosophy, the schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches and, later still, the eruption
of the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. From the metaphysical seeds planted by Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Anabaptists and the Anglican reformers, a myriad theologies grew, persisting to the present day in such a plethora of sects as to require religious encyclopedias to catalog the variants.
With such tremendous diversity, how should the term Christianity be defined? If used to identify those who claim to adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ, then Muslims deserve inclusion. If used to define any specific system of beliefs in order to ideologically separate Christianity from Islam, these same tenets of faith divide the world of
Hence, any attempt to define a term of such uncertain origin and meaning, and
one that has defied definition by billions of people over two thousand years, would seem futile at this point.
Consequently, for the purposes of this book, the term Christian is applied in the colloquial sense of the word, to all who identify with the label, whatever
the beliefs of their particular Christian sect may be.
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