A History of Christian Theology
Many persons falsely assume that all of the various Christian religions basically believe the same thing. In reality, it is surprising how diverse Christian beliefs are. In order to more fully comprehend the doctrine of the various Christian traditions, it will be helpful to review the history and development of Christian theology so that the beliefs of each denomination can be seen in proper relief against the backdrop of history that highlights the differences between these various traditions.
A clear understanding of history has always been a rare commodity, but today’s self-absorbed secular world is particularly vulnerable to misunderstandings regarding our religious foundations. This lack of knowledge destroys appreciation for ones own and other people’s spiritual heritage leading to increased discord between individuals and groups. It is our hope that this website will increase mutual understanding and appreciation among all religious traditions.
The study of the basic doctrines of the various Christian traditions will benefit everyone who embarks on this venture. It is important to learn about the beliefs of other religions in order to not only decrease misunderstandings, but to also increase the depth of understanding one has of his or her own tradition. Looking at anything from a different vantage point invariably adds depth to our perception, and with that increased insight our appreciation of what we comprehend grows, even if we do not fully accept the veracity of all of these new views. Regardless, our own beliefs invariable grow through any exercise that increases our understanding and appreciation of the beliefs of others. The more deeply rooted a person becomes in his or her religious beliefs the less threatened he or she should feel but instead fell increased freedom to both engage in and be enriched by conversations with people from different religious traditions.
Through our study of various religions, the contributors and editors of ClearStone Publishing have grown to value and respect their various perspectives, even when we may not fully concur with them. We honor the many sincere seekers of truth found in all religious traditions, several of whom have helped shape beliefs that continue to influence the world to this day. We sincerely hope that we will not distort the beliefs of any religious tradition as we review their history and theology. Indeed, we hope that followers of the various religions discussed in this website will feel that we both respect their beliefs and have accurately portrayed their views, even when we point out concepts that appear erroneous from an historical perspective. We sincerely regret any failure to accomplish that goal and apologize if we inadvertently misstate someone else’s views or demonstrate a lack of reverence, which may occur despite our diligent effort to be accurate and respectful.
We hope to present these various beliefs clearly and not through a cloak of political correctness. Truth can always sustain scrutiny and the investigator is always elevated by an increased understanding of eternal truths, wherever they are found. Unfortunately, most religious traditions passionately restrict doctrinal discussion to their orthodox perspective, resulting in many Christians not understanding or appreciating the truths that they have. As a non-affiliated entity, ClearStone Publishing has more freedom to compare and discuss the doctrines of various religions. Again, we strive to do so respectfully, but will still strive to help readers identify truths themselves by comparing various perspectives of important theological issues as accurately as possible. We all need to remember that flawed humans have been involved in every religious tradition, so it should be of no surprise that unfortunate events have occurred and questionable ideas have been proposed in all of the various traditions. Yet, each tradition espouses teachings that uplift and inspire their followers. We encourage everyone to be slow to condemn and quick to understand, even if one does not agree. We hope that our material will not appear to be polemic, however we are all human beings with biases, whether we recognize them or not, and we may fall short of our aspirations. Our primary objective is to inform and clarify, not convince.
Increasing understanding through open, honest, and respectful dialog between individuals of divergent beliefs or non-belief is a primary objective of this website. Accordingly, we invite readers of all persuasions to comment on and correct information in any of the posts of this site.