Protestantism versus Catholicism: The Ever Evolving Nature of Church Growth
By Paige Sneed
This essay tackles the modern manifestation of the age-old conflict within Christianity of Protestantism versus Catholicism. The Protestant reformation happened in the 16th century, and ever since then the two traditions belonging ultimately to the same faith have spaked many movements, tensions, and developments. As such, these tensions are clearly vast and deeply rooted, and they exist on terms both theological and in the cultural values held by the denominations. Within Protestantism, many other sects and denominations have separated from the original and may no longer call themselves Protestant; however, they still find their roots in Protestantism and therefore in the Protestant/Catholic struggles and tensions. In fact, the advent of these breakaway churches has affected the overall tension between the two traditions of Protestantism and Catholicism significantly.
Ultimately, it becomes clear that these tensions follow a pattern. The sects tend to grow closer together and farther apart throughout time based on situational factors such as war and immigration. This essay demonstrates that the tensions were heightened during the post-war era of 1950 but have since grown closer due to the effects of modernism and urbanism. It is important to understand these traditions and their tensions because they impact the formation and function of our culture in a very large and significant way.