Conservative Christianity, also known as conservative theology, theological conservatism, traditional Christianity,[1][2] or biblical orthodoxy[3] is a grouping of overlapping and denominationally diverse theological movements within Christianity that seeks to retain the orthodox and long-standing traditions and beliefs of Christianity. It is contrasted with Liberal Christianity and Progressive Christianity, which are seen as heretical heterodoxies by theological conservatives.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] Conservative Christianity should not be mistaken as being necessarily synonymous with the political philosophy of conservatism, nor the Christian right (which is a political movement of Christians who support conservative political ideologies and policies within the realm of secular or non-sectarian politics).[14][15][16][2]

Theological conservatism is found in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Protestantism, the Church of the East, Old Catholicism, and throughout all of Mainstream-Nicene Christianity in both Western Christian and Eastern Christian traditions.[17][18][19][20] Within Protestantism, it is largely made up of Evangelical Christianity and Christian Fundamentalism, while the Confessing Movement, Confessionalism, and to an extent Neo-orthodoxy make up the remaining; in Roman Catholicism it is inclusive of Catholics that adhere to Traditionalist Catholicism as well as the Magisterium, Scriptures, and Traditions of the Church at the exclusion of Catholic Modernism and Folk Catholicism[21]; and in Old Catholicism it currently includes the Union of Scranton, those of similar beliefs, and historically the Union of Utrecht until its adoption of theological liberalism.[7][6][22][23][24][25][26][27][28] In spite of this, not every community has had a direct connection with the Fundamentalist–Modernist controversy.

Evangelical leaders like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council have called attention to the problem of equating the term Christian right with theological conservatism and Evangelicalism. Although evangelicals constitute the core constituency of the Christian right within the United States, not all evangelicals fit that political description. The problem of describing the Christian right which in most cases is conflated with theological conservatism in secular media, is further complicated by the fact that the label religious conservative or conservative Christian applies to other Christian denominational religious groups who are theologically, socially, and culturally conservative but do not have overtly political organizations associated with them, which are usually uninvolved, uninterested, apathetic, or indifferent towards politics.[29][30] Tim Keller, an Evangelical theologian and Presbyterian Church in America pastor, shows that Conservative Christianity (theology) predates the Christian right (politics), and that being a theological conservative didn't necessitate being a political conservative, that some political progressive views around economics, helping the poor, the redistribution of wealth, and racial diversity are compatible with theologically conservative Christianity.[31][32] Rod Dreher, a senior editor for The American Conservative, a secular conservative magazine, also argues the same differences, even claiming that a "traditional Christian" a theological conservative, can simultaneously be left on economics (economic progressive) and even a socialist at that while maintaining traditional Christian beliefs.[2]

General beliefs

Moreover it went on to address philosophical concerns the presuppositions for the first time arguing beyond the creeds that philosophical positions were vital, "Since the Renaissance, and more particularly since the Enlightenment, world views have been developed that involve skepticism about basic Christian tenets. Such are the agnosticism that denies that God is knowable, the rationalism that denies that He is incomprehensible, the idealism that denies that He is transcendent, and the existentialism that denies rationality in His relationships with us. When these un- and anti-Biblical principles seep into men's theologies at a presuppositional level, as today they frequently do, faithful interpretation of Holy Scripture becomes impossible."[40]

Component movements

It may specifically refer to movements such as:

See also


  1. ^ "Progressing Spirit : Why Traditional Christianity Must Die". Progressing Spirit. 4 October 2018. Archived from the original on 2023-02-09. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  2. ^ a b c Dreher, Rod (2014-07-24). "What Is 'Traditional Christianity,' Anyway?". The American Conservative. Archived from the original on 2023-03-06. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  3. ^ "Biblical Orthodoxy". Trinity International University. Archived from the original on 2023-06-16. Retrieved 2023-01-18.
  4. ^ "What Do Christians Mean When They Use the Word "Conservative"?". The Good Book Blog - Biola University Blogs. 18 November 2019. Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  5. ^ Sinclair, George (8 April 2019). ""Conservative" And "Liberal" Christianity". The Gospel Coalition | Canada. Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  6. ^ a b Pinnock, Clark H. (5 January 1979). "An Evangelical Theology: Conservative and Contemporary". Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2022-05-12.
  7. ^ a b Waldman, Steve; Green, John C. (April 29, 2004). "Evangelicals v. Fundamentalists". Frontline: The Jesus Factor. Boston: PBS/WGBH. Archived from the original on June 14, 2023. Retrieved October 9, 2021.
  8. ^ Ryrie, Charles C. The Grace of God. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1963), pp. 10–11.
  9. ^ Dorrien, Gary (2002). "The Making of American Liberal Theology; Imagining Progressive Religion 1805-1900". Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theology. 11 (4): 496–497. doi:10.1177/106385120201100411. ISSN 1063-8512. S2CID 220284807. Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  10. ^ Dorrien, Gary J. (2001–2006). The making of American liberal theology (1st ed.). Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-22354-0. OCLC 48542292. Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  11. ^ DeYoung, Kevin (4 March 2011). "The Making of American Liberal Theology". The Gospel Coalition. Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  12. ^ Merriam; Webster. "Neoorthodoxy". Dictionary (online ed.). Archived from the original on 2023-03-06. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  13. ^ Brown, Robert McAfee (1986). "Introduction", The Essential Reinhold Niebuhr: Selected Essays and Addresses, Yale University Press, pp. xv-xvi. Archived 2023-05-29 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2018-01-19.
  14. ^ "Conservative Christianity after the Christian Right". Faith Angle Forum. Archived from the original on 2023-03-21. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  15. ^ Coleman, Creighton (2017-01-23). "Can the Religious Right be Left? Christian Political Organizing in the Age of President Trump". Conciliar Post. Archived from the original on 2023-02-05. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  16. ^ Barclay Key, Black Fundamentalists: Conservative Christianity and Racial Identity in the Segregation Era, Journal of American History, Volume 109, Issue 2, September 2022, Pages 458–459, Archived 2023-01-17 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Hoffacker, Jayna C. (2010-08-18). "Catholicism and Community: American Political Culture and the. Conservative Catholic Social Justice Tradition, 1890-1960". Georgia State University. Archived from the original on 2023-02-01. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  18. ^ a b "Catholic Theological Resources | Scott Hahn" Archived 2016-07-06 at the Wayback Machine [bare URL]
  19. ^ Dragani, Anthony (2014-06-30). "6. Eastern Christian Theology and Faith Ii". Adrian Fortescue and the Eastern Christian Churches. Gorgias Press. pp. 137–156. doi:10.31826/9781463236410-008. ISBN 978-1-4632-3641-0. Archived from the original on 2023-01-17. Retrieved 2023-01-17.
  20. ^ James R., Lewis (1998). "Old Catholic Movement". The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions (1st ed.). United States: Prometheus Books. p. 367. ISBN 1-57392-222-6.
  21. ^ Rock, Stella (2007). Popular religion in Russia. Routledge ISBN 0-415-31771-1, p. 11. Last accessed July 2009.
  22. ^ Roger E. Olson, The Westminster Handbook to Evangelical Theology, Westminster John Knox Press, USA, 2004, p. 172
  23. ^ Peter Beyer, Religion in the Process of Globalization, Ergon, Germany, 2001, p. 261
  24. ^ Eric C. Miller, The Political Legacy of Progressive Evangelicals Archived April 11, 2021, at the Wayback Machine,, USA, October 27, 2015 : "In relative terms, these characteristics and their usual adherence to traditionally orthodox doctrines do make evangelicals more theologically conservative than liberal Protestants".
  25. ^ Sweetnam, Mark S (2010), "Defining Dispensationalism: A Cultural Studies Perspective", Journal of Religious History, 34 (2): 191–212, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9809.2010.00862.x.
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  27. ^ a b Bishops of the Polish National Catholic Church (2008-04-28). Written at Lancaster, NY. "The Declaration of Scranton: a profession of faith and declaration" (PDF). Scranton, PA: Union of Scranton. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  28. ^ a b Polish National Catholic Church. General Synod (October 2010). "The Declaration of Scranton: official commentary" (PDF). Union of Scranton. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  29. ^ Deckman, Melissa Marie (2004). School Board Battles: The Christian Right in Local Politics. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. p. 48. ISBN 9781589010017. Retrieved April 10, 2014. More than half of all Christian right candidates attend evangelical Protestant churches, which are more theologically liberal. A relatively large number of Christian Right candidates (24 percent) are Catholics; however, when asked to describe themselves as either "progressive/liberal" or "traditional/conservative" Catholics, 88 percent of these Christian right candidates place themselves in the traditional category.
  30. ^ Joireman, Sandra F. (2009). "Anabaptism and the State: An Uneasy Coexistence". In Joireman, Sandra F. (ed.). Church, State, and Citizen: Christian Approaches to Political Engagement. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 73–91. ISBN 978-0-19-537845-0. LCCN 2008038533. S2CID 153268965. Archived from the original on November 25, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2022.
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  32. ^ "Doctrine and Race: African American Evangelicals and Fundamentalism between the Wars". The Gospel Coalition. Archived from the original on 2023-03-06. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  33. ^ "Content On: Apologetics |". Archived from the original on 2023-01-18. Retrieved 2023-01-18.
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  35. ^ Sébastien Fath, Du ghetto au réseau: Le protestantisme évangélique en France, 1800-2005, Édition Labor et Fides, Genève, 2005, p. 28
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  37. ^ Franck Poiraud, Les évangéliques dans la France du XXIe siècle, Editions Edilivre, France, 2007, p. 69, 73, 75
  38. ^ George Thomas Kurian, Mark A. Lamport, Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Volume 5, Rowman & Littlefield, USA, 2016, p. 1069
  39. ^ Randall Herbert Balmer, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism: Revised and expanded edition, Baylor University Press, USA, 2004, p. 212
  40. ^ "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy - Wikisource, the free online library". Archived from the original on 2023-06-27. Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  41. ^ Sherwood, Harriet (13 August 2016). "As traditional believers turn away, is this a new crisis of faith?". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 6 April 2021. Conservative evangelicals are biblical fundamentalists
  42. ^ Sherwood, Harriet (13 August 2016). "As Traditional Believers Turn Away, Is This a New Crisis of Faith?". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  43. ^ Hill, Brennan; Knitter, Paul F.; Madges, William (1997). Faith, Religion & Theology: A Contemporary Introduction. Twenty-Third Publications. p. 326. ISBN 978-0-89622-725-5. Archived from the original on 2023-11-09. Retrieved 2023-01-18. Catholic fundamentalists, like their Protestant counterparts, fear that the church has abandoned the unchanging truth of past tradition for the evolving speculations of modern theology. They fear that Christian societies have replaced systems of absolute moral norms with subjective decision making and relativism. Like Protestant fundamentalists, Catholic fundamentalists propose a worldview that is rigorous and clear cut.
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