Mell - Yeah, I certainly didn't mean that we shouldn't...it definitely can be informative, etc. I wrote that post way too late at night, so perhaps it didn't come off right.
But I do think it's a bit trickier than travel philosophies. Countless volumes for all the religions written over several mellenia are indeed hard to condense into a forum though. And it's started off with some instances of people explaining religions that they claim to not even profess.
- The Protestant movement was not started by King Henry (though this has already been corrected by tannismc)
- Methodists do indeed believe in the virgin birth but not the Immaculate Conception
...though I'm sure one can find people in all strains of their religions who differ on certain beliefs. (For the record, I'm not Methodist
One could easily write large books comparing just the different versions of the Protestant church. After Martin Luther made the initial break, Protestants have continued to protest themselves ever since...thus resulting in dozens of versions of the non-Catholic Christian belief system - Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Calvinism, Baptist, etc. Once the adherence to the central authority of Rome was out the window, it was open season on creating one's own interpretation of things (sorry if that sounds pejorative to the Protestants out there). So although there are many common beliefs amongst all the branches of Protestants, there are areas of differing. Protestants generally rely solely on the Bible for their source of their beliefs...which leaves interpretation open to each reader...which then results in the multiple factions above.
The Catholic Church is a bit easier because they have a central authority - and thus a consistent declaration of beliefs in the Catechism
. (Have fun reading that over your coffee break). Thus Catholics rely both on the Bible and the Tradition/authority/history of the Church as the source of their beliefs.
So I guess the danger I've seen already is the digging too far into the details with explanations of a rather complex topic by someone who doesn't profess belief in a particular system. I don't mean offense to those who tried...you're noble for trying. I'm just saying it can be tricky.
Not sure if this is any better:
In closing I'll give my best effort at the "Christianity in 100 words or less"
-God created people.
-Because of the sin, the relationship between man and God got hosed up.
-God came to the world in a tangible form in that of Jesus Christ
...the Son of God.
-Jesus was tortured and killed by crucifixion by those in power...and then Resurrected from death 3 days later...thus exerting his power over death and sin.
-He offers this power over sin (Salvation) to those who believe in him...thus restoring the opportunity for communion with God.
That's my best shot at it without getting into doctrinal specifics.
To be clear...go ahead and discuss...I'm just sayin' it's a tricky one.
Damn...I tried to just sit here and drink my virtual beer like Stephen. I'll go back to that now. Though it's 9:30am...so perhaps orange juice? If you've ever read my blogs...you'll know I can start rambling...and I have again.
(oh, and I hope that I don't go to Hell for linking to the 'Buddy Jesus' picture from Dogma. but it cracks me up)