Charles Wells charles at FREUDE.COM
Mon Apr 22 14:11:13 UTC 2002

The view that Baptists have had a continuous history since the time of
Jesus is called the Continuation view or the Successionist view and is
explicitly rejected by many Baptists, including quite conservative
ones.  This is discussed quite intelligently in

The Successionist view is expounded (unconvincingly to me) in these two places:

People of other main line Protestant denominations deny they are
Protestant.  Episcopalians (of which I am one) often explicitly deny they
are Protestant on both historical (not from Luther) and theological
grounds.  Some Episcopalians refer to themselves as Catholic.  I have heard
Presbyterians say they are not Protestant too, but I don't remember the

On a related subject:  In the fifties, the Evangelical and Reformed Church
and the Congregationalists merged to form the United Church of Christ.  One
variety of Campbellite churches have been calling themselves Churches of
Christ for 150 years or so, and many current members of those churches are
quite resentful of the UCC for stealing their name.  The UCC is
demographically middle and upper class and the Churches of Christ have many
working class and small town people in them.  Not only that but the
national UCC tends to take moderate or liberal positions (they were the
first big denomination to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained) and the
Churches of Christ are quite conservative theologically, although in my
experience they are not hate-mongers or crooks like many of the more
notorious conservative church leaders.  I am sure these two types of
differences add fuel to their resentment.  Even though I am a pointy headed
liberal, I tend to sympathize with their annoyance.

I have personally witnessed people confuse the two groups, too.

--Charles Wells

>As for "Protestant", there is a long-standing claim that Baptists are NOT
>Protestants.  The claim is that their variety of Christianity descended
>from the original practices of Jesus and John the Baptist, and that the
>Catholic Church went off on a tangent (or in other words, it's the
>Catholics who were the Protestants.)
>In my experience most Baptists don't bother claiming this claim, but I
>still find it odd that the Baylor administration should be unaware of it.
>      - James A. Landau

Charles Wells
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