by Ryan Burge, 11/20/22.
It’s fascinating to see the reach of the Catholic Church, the United Methodist and the non-denoms compared to the geographic concentration of the Southern Baptists and LDS.
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In the 2020 CCES, there are 44,131 white respondents. There are 1,892 Southern Baptist Republicans. There are 1,107 non-denom Republicans. There are 1,102 United Methodist Republicans. Democrats in the UMC, ELCA, ECUSA, ABCUSA, DoC, CoC, and PCA combined are 1,296.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Ed is what I call an organic intellectual (Inside the Organic Church, Abingdon Press). That is someone who can take a complex concept and make it easy to understand. An important concept is the differences between first order, second order and third order beliefs. Ed calls these essential (theological) issues, convictional (theo.) issues and preferential (theo.) issues. Church leaders today must grasp the important differences and Ed provides us an important wordage framework.
…I am an evangelical ecumenist, as I’ve described in an earlier article. If we have a common understanding of the gospel, there are some things we can do together, but there are also some things we cannot do together.
… I can’t partner with someone who has differing first-order beliefs in the same way I can partner with someone like Tim, who has differing second-order beliefs than I do but the same first-order beliefs.
Where’s the line?
First-order beliefs are non-negotiable beliefs. I’ve called them essential issues.
They’re issues such as the nature of the gospel, the divinity of Jesus, or the authority of Scripture.
Second-order beliefs are beliefs that would generally place you in different churches. They might be Arminianism, Calvinism, beliefs about gender roles, or baptism, to name a few.
I’ve called them convictional issues.
Third-order beliefs are things that are not a big deal, such as worship style or other preferential issues.
I’ve called them preferential issues.
People who have differing first-order issues are of a different faith. Second-order issues are different denominations. They will limit some partnerships, such as trying to plant a church, but we can still be partners of the same faith. Third-order issues are only a different preference, and we can most easily partner and engage in different ways.
Read more at … https://edstetzer.com/blog/partnering-across-denominations
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: If you are coaching churches (or just connecting with leaders of a different denomination) it’s helpful to have one place where you can get reliable statistics on their number of churches, their growth or decline, etc. The American Religious Data Archives (ARDA) is the place scholars go for that data. Here is a link to their webpage which includes up-to-date statistical data on all of the major Christian denominations: http://www.thearda.com/landing/index.asp
The ARDA has integrated all of its information about each of the largest denominations and religious groups in the United States into one webpage.
Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. With a plethora of different denominations today, it’s sometimes hard to grasp how they relate to one another. People within a denomination can usually cite their denominational history with ease. But they often don’t know the family tree of other denominations.
Therefore, it can be helpful to have a visual depiction of various denominations’ family trees.
The American Religious Data Archives has created helpful “family trees” for most denominations. Below is the Methodist family tree. You will find more denominational family trees at this link: http://thearda.com/denoms/families/trees/
Read more at … http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/