R.E, Christianity

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Contrasting beliefs about the Bible

The Fundamentalist View

  • The Bible is without error
  • Everything the Bible says is true (Literalists)
  • For example, Fundamentalists believe that God created the work in 6 days ie, the theory of evolution is wrong.

The Liberal View

  • The Bible was written by Humans and may therefore contain mistakes
  • Christians should be free to interpret the Bible...
  • ...Particularly involving modern day issues, such as genetic engineering.

The Moderate View

  • Humans who wrote the Bible could (and did) make mistakes in describing ideas in the Bible.
  • The writers were inspired by God and expressed the truth as they believed it.
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Key Terms

Fundamentalist: someone who believes in the Bible as a factual record; miracles are accepted as events that happened exactly as described. Fundamentalists believe that the Bible is divinely inspired and without error.


Liberalist: someone who interprets the Bible freely.


"All scripture is inspired by God." 2 Timothy 3:16 - supports the Liberalists.

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The effects of Biblical interpretation on believer

Uses of the Bible:

  • For prayer: for instance The Book of Psalms (Psalm 23 - The Lord is my Shepherd)
  • For study: to undestand how God wants Christians to live. For understanding and guidance.
  • Guidance: For following rules and seeking guidance in passages about marriage, sexuality and abortion (for instance)
  • Obedience: FUNDAMENTALISTS live their lives in strict obedience to the Bible.
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THE APOSTLES' CREED and its key beliefs

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth;

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into Hell. The Third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there he shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.

Key beliefs in the Creed - God is a 'trinity' of persons.

Impact of these beliefs on Christian lifestyle:

  • They should respond personally to God in prayer
  • Jesus is a role model, and Christians should follow his example and live a life close to God.
  • They can take comfort and guidance from the Holy Spirit in their daily lives.

Incarnation: God taking the human form of Jesus.

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The Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension of Jes

Through his crucifixion and death, Jesus opened the way for human salvation.

IMPACTS: -When people are genuinely sorry, God forgives sins. - Christians have to accept the possibility of suffering and death. - After death there is an end to pain.

The resurrection is the central teaching of Christain faith. "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." - Paul (1 Corinthians 15:17)

  • By accepting Jesus, Christians can also be resurrected.
  • Christians remember Jesus' Resurrection by prayer, church serives and celebrating Easter.
  • The Ascension - paves the way for the coming of the Holy Spirit, who guides and comforts Christians in their everday lives.
  • Christians can look forward to being united with God in Heaven.

ASCENSION: 40 days after Easter (the Resurrection). PENTECOST: 10 days after Ascension (50 days after Easter)

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The Holy Spirit

Gifts of the Spirit: Speaking wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, miracles.

Uses of the Gifts of the Spirit:

  • Preaching, speaking in tongues to spread Christianity
  • Use in daily lives (teachers, doctors, nurses)

Impact of the work and gifts:

  • Spirit gives life to the Church, and guides the daily life of Christians.
  • Charismatic Movement: emphasise the gifts of the spirit.
  • Quakers believe that the Holy Spirit inspires and directs their acts of worship.
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Religious leaders (priests and bishops)

Role of a Priest (Apostolic Succession, inheritance of authority given by Jesus to the disciples):

  • leading church services
  • administering ceremonies (such as baptism, marriage, funerals)
  • running a parish.
  • Visiting the sick
  • Organising charity work, prison visits, youth clubs etc.

Role of a Bishop (Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox Christians are episcopal [bishops])

  • Ordain priests
  • Pastoral care of the clergy
  • Confirmation of young people



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Religious leaders (Ministers, Pastors, Elders)

  • Ministers: (Non-conformist churches such as the Methodist church)

Belief that all members are equal before God so ministers will often wear normal clothes. Similar to the role of the priest.

  • Pastors: (Baptist and Lutherean Churches)
  • Elders: mature people who have leadership roles within the the church.
  • Members of the community: a general memeber of the church who may contribute their own spiritual gifts or help with administration. (Quaker worship: All members can contribute...Charismatic worship: Those with spiritual gifts may contribute.)


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