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A strong aversion to the word “denomination”


Dr. Roger E. Olson, a Baptist minister and professor of theology at Baylor University, is currently updating and revising the Handbook of Denominations in the United States. In a blog post regarding the work in progress, he makes a very interesting observation about the state of denominationalism in our country: “One of the biggest surprises for me in this whole research project has been the adamant rejection of the word “denomination” by many leaders and members of denominations. For the handbook’s purposes, a “denomination” is any collective, network, of congregations (whatever they may call themselves) that has some identity. A denomination does not even have to have a headquarters, let alone a hierarchical structure, to be a denomination. For example, the…

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