The Holiness and Pentecostal Churches: Emerging from Cultural Isolation

Article by Donald W. Dayton

The Holiness and Pentecostal churches, the youngest of the ecclesiastical families examined in this series, are often overlooked and sometimes avoided by their elder brothers and sisters in Christendom. Notice, however, is especially appropriate now because the rest of this century will see the culmination of a continuing process as these churches emerge from sectarian …

The Methodist Story

Article by Grant Wacker

Book Review: Methodism: Empire of the Spirit By David Hempton. Yale University Press, 291 pp.   In 1868 General U.S. Grant remarked that the United States possessed three great parties: “The Republican, the Democratic, and the Methodist Church.” More recently my colleague Stanley Hauerwas quipped that “long after Christianity is dead and gone, the United …

The Mormons: Looking Forward and Outward

Article by Jan Shipps

In less than two years from now, the 150th anniversary of the formal organization of the Mormon Church will be observed with carefully choreographed ceremonies telecast from the gigantic Tabernacle in Salt Lake City’s historic Temple Square. Distinctly separate ceremonies will be conducted in the 10,000-seat auditorium in Independence, Missouri, the center-place and headquarters of …

The Reformed Churches: Enlarging Their Witness

Article by Howard G. Hageman

The churches that bear the name “Reformed” are only a fraction of the churches in this country that represent the Reformed tradition. It is one of the curiosities of that tradition in the U.S. that, while Baptists are always called Baptists and Methodists are always called Methodists, many Reformed Christians are called Presbyterians! The difference, …

The Unitarian Universalists: Style and Substance

Article by Robert B. Tapp

For church-watchers, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) provides fascination. Formed in 1961 by a merger of Unitarians and Universalists, this relatively new denomination is small (its membership peaked at slightly above 200,000 during the bulge of the ‘60s); wealthy (43 per cent of its members earn more than $25,000 a year); and highly educated (42 …

Toward the Prophetic: A New Direction in the Practice of New Thought

Article by Liza J. Rankow

Called “The Religion of Healthy-Mindedness” by William James in his classic work, Varieties of Religious Experience, New Thought is a spiritual and philosophical movement associated with the founding of a number of ideologically-related churches in the late 19th and early 20th century United States. Among the best known of these are Divine Science, Religious Science …