Christian Beliefs

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Christianity has historically taken correct doctrine very seriously. Early church leaders and councils carefully distinguished "orthodoxy" from "heresy" in an effort to preserve what they saw as the true Christian message.

In the Middle Ages, the decisions of ecumenical councils and the doctrine of apostolic succession ensured that correct belief was safeguarded. However, this did not stop great minds such as Thomas Aquinas from exploring and even questioning all aspects of Christian theology within the bounds of orthodoxy.

During the Protestant Reformation, attention turned once again to preserving the original message of Christianity. Reformers called for the stripping away of the many superfluous and even erroneous doctrines that had developed over the centuries and demanded that theology be based on the Bible alone.

The importance of correct belief was brought even more to the forefront with the reformers' emphasis on true faith as the only requirement for salvation. Almost all of the denominational divisions that have arisen since the Reformation center around matters of doctrine, not practice.

Given the 2,000 years' worth of available writing on its many subjects and its sometimes complex philosophical arguments, Christian doctrine can be an intimidating subject for the beginner.

The following articles therefore attempt to summarize the general consensus of Christian beliefs on everything from God to the afterlife, with historical development and denominational differences taken into account as much as possible.

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Christian Beliefs about Human Nature

Christianity teaches that humans were created "in the image of God" but now have a "fallen nature" characterized by a tendency to sin.

Imago Dei

Christian Beliefs about Religions

In recent years, Christianity has increasingly faced the question of whether or not salvation is found apart from Jesus Christ. The existence of so many religions in the world, and the unprecedented exposure that followers of different faiths have to each other at this time in history because of the ease of communication and travel, has led many people to ask questions like "Is one religion the right way to God and heaven, while other religions are wrong?" or "Are some right and others wrong?" Christians answer questions like these differently...

Christian Beliefs about Salvation

## Need for Salvation: Sin and Death In Christianity, salvation is made possible by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion 2,000 years ago...

Faith and Works

New Perspective on Paul

Christian Doctrines of Scripture

Virtually all followers of Christianity regard the Bible as the highest authority for religious belief and practice, but views differ as to the nature and extent of its inspiration and authority...

Christian Eschatology

One of the core doctrines in Christianity is that Jesus Christ will come back to the earth at an unknown time to destroy the enemies of God, rid the world of sin, reward followers, and establish peace...

amillennialism

postmillennialism

premillennialism

Christianity on the Afterlife

Christian beliefs about the afterlife vary between denominations and individual Christians, but the vast majority of Christians believe in some kind of heaven, in which the deceased enjoy the presence of God and loved ones for eternity...

Hell

Purgatory

Christology

Christology is the branch of Christian theology that seeks to answer the question, "Who is Jesus Christ?" from a theological perspective.

God & Spiritual Beings in Christianity

Christians believe in one God who is "three Persons" - the Trinity - as well as angels and demons. Some Christian denominations also honor saints.

angels

Demons

God

Holy Spirit

Jesus

Saints

Trinity

Transubstantiation

Transubstantiation is the doctrine that the bread and wine of the Eucharist actually becomes the body and blood of Christ, although it continues to have the appearance of bread and wine...

creation (Christianity)

Christians believe that God created the universe. Denominations and individual Christians differ in their beliefs about howGod created, with some accepting current scientific theories and others adhering to a more literal interpretation of Genesis, but all mainstream Christians agree that God is the Creator of everything that exists...

ex nihilo

Imago Dei

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