Monday, January 17, 2011

The true Church history

I don't know what factional Protestant school Jim West went to, but here is the true story of Christian denominational history:
Alternatively (to repeat my older diagram):


  1. Ari:

    Not a bad chart (I was happily surprised to see that the Roman Catholic Church is correctly placed as a breakaway from the Orthodox Church), but three flaws that jumped out at me (and that are very significant flaws):
    1. Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox are not two different denominations; they are two of the 21 national synods of Bishops which make up the Orthodox Church and which are in full communion with each other. This demonstrates the problem with anachronistically applying the word "denomination" to ancient churches. Each of the Orthodox churches is a fully-autonomous, self-regulating entity, and so in terms of "government" they are separate denominations. However, each recognizing the other as being within the Orthodox Church (singular) and each is fully united in faith to the other. The implication that the Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox are two separate churches in the same way that, say, Methodists and Baptists are is a giant mistake. It's also incomprehensible why the chart would include only those two Orthodox churches; the Russian Church is the largest single Orthodox body, but the Greek Church is actually relatively small compare to other Orthodox national synods.
    2. The chart is missing the Oriental Orthodox, an offshoot of the Orthodox Church which broke from the main body in the sixth century and today consists of the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Syriac, and Malankara (Indian) churches. They share a very similar faith to the rest of the Orthodox and probably (God Willing) will eventually be reunited, but, to be completely accurate, the chart should reflect that schism.
    3. The chart also does not include the Assyrian Church of the East, or so-called "Nestorian Church," which broke from the Orthodox Church at about the same time as the Oriental Orthodox did. The Assyrian Church of the East may not be a very large entity today (it is mostly confined to modern-day Iraq and the diaspora from there), but it was once the largest Christian church in terms of geographic area covered, with Archbishoprics as far away as the east coast of China.

  2. Hey David!

    Thankyou for the numerous corrections. I am well aware of the diagrams Western flavour. Although I do admit I probably would have forgotten the Nestorians if I did the diagram myself (other than the change in switch RCC with EOC)

    But because of this I am granted immunity from claims of Western centrism

  3. Ha! Well you should have known better then! ;)