Christian Beliefs

Fast Facts: Christian Beliefs
Creeds Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed
Religious Authority Bible (all), ecumenical councils and creeds (Catholic and Orthodox), papal decrees and canon law (Catholic), continuing revelations (Pentecostal)
God(s) One God, who is a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; angels; demons; saints
Human Nature Created good but all inherit "original sin" from Adam, causing a tendency to evil
Meaning of Life All have sinned and are thereby separated from God. Salvation is through faith in Christ and, for some, sacraments and good works.
Means of Salvation correct belief, faith, good deeds, sacraments (Protestants emphasize faith alone)
Afterlife Resurrection of body and soul; eternal heaven or hell (most denominations); temporary purgatory (Catholicism)

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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Article Info

Title Christian Beliefs
Last UpdatedFebruary 13, 2021
MLA Citation “Christian Beliefs.” 13 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021. <>