Our Story, Our Stories

Our Story, Our Stories August 13, 2013

Sent to me by a friend, Yes, that yellow line will lead you to my friend’s denomination.


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  • Jeremy B.

    That’s pretty cool! Is there a bigger version of this? It’s hard to actually read what’s under the names.

  • Rick

    If you click on the picture, then adjust your computer’s zoom setting, it is easier to read.

  • Jeremy B.

    Yeah, tried that. Also saved it and blew it up in Photoshop. Alas, not great. I can decipher it, but was hoping there was a larger version somewhere without the pixelation. Found the original PDF here: http://nazarene.org/files/docs/tree.pdf

  • KentonS

    or “Let’s put you into a box.”

  • NateW

    This is really cool from a educational standpoint. It’s neat to see how all the denominations are traditionally related and can help understand the common backgrounds of different denominations.

    It’s cool to see all the diversity of thought and belief that are bound up within the One Church of Christ. At the same time though it makes me a bit sad to see so many little boxes that are more or less rigidly bound by doctrinal and theological fences. I don’t see a single box here that I identify closely with. I see aspects of Christ (and absences of Christ) in all of them.

    Something here made me think of Matthew 8:19-20:

    Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

    How often do we seek a theological/doctrinal place to “lay our heads”? Why are we so eager to bind ourselves to communities of like minded people according to intellectual ideas about God? So that we can rest in our certainty and surety?

    I really identified with MacLaren’s ideas in his book “A Generous Orthodoxy” and highly recommend it. Love the full title:

    “A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN

  • Tony Springer

    Thanks Scot. Interesting to see that the Churches of Christ/Disciples of Christ/Christian Church (aka COCDOCCC) branching from the Anabaptist/Believers Church. While this might follow in some theological sense, the historical development comes out of Reformed -> Presbyterian then dotted lines to Baptists (tangentially) before settling in its own group. So, the tree should connect the COCDOCCC with Reformed and Anabaptist/Believers in the same way the Church of God (Anderson) has both Wesleyan/Holiness and Anabaptist/Believers.

  • david carlson

    fail. No EFCA. He probably would of gotten the place wrong anyway.

  • Jeremy B.

    If you consider genealogy to be unduly categorizing then sure.

  • scotmcknight

    Tony, I have no desire to defend the chart, but the CofCs are a kind of Anabaptist, get back to the Bible, break from the power establishment… so I suspect that’s why they get assigned there. More from where they land than where they come from?

  • Martin R Davis

    I think the chart is a little inaccurate in that it shows Protestantism starting simultaneously with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. It should really have Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy directly under Christianity – then Protestantism EXPLODING underneath into the 30,000+ denominations that now exist…….also Islam should be underneath Eastern Orthodoxy.

  • scotmcknight

    The Pietist movement out of the Lutherans is ignored here, and that Pietism influenced other movements.

  • danaames

    Martin, if you want to relate Islam to anything that came before, I think it would be more to Judaism than Orthodoxy.


  • Chris Logan

    I was wondering where the ECC ended up … too much via media for a chart like this, maybe …

  • danaames

    At least the complier put Eastern Orthodoxy on the chart. So many people forget it exists. However, the compiler does not seem to understand that the cultural differences and/or the existence of national churches among Eastern Orthodox are not the same thing as “denominations.” All Orthodox hold the same beliefs. If the Eastern Christian world were to be represented more accurately, it would be between Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian – with whom we stand a reasonable chance of re-uniting in my lifetime. May God grant it.

    If the chart is meant to be somewhat of a time line, Martin has the right idea; in such a case the first division would have not been until about 1200 AD. There is, of course, contention about who split from whom at that point…


  • Tony Springer

    Yes. As a CC, I appreciate the grouping with Anabaptists.

  • josenmiami

    BINGO! the creator of the chart found me in the Nazarenes! However, I do not see third wave charismatic no-denomns on there, i.e. Vineyard.

  • NateW

    I grew up in the EFCA (even went to national conference once or twice) and I’m not sure where I would put it. Depends if you’re mapping theology or history. It seems that this is more a theological family tree than historical, so perhaps somewhere in the baptist realm of things.

  • Nancy Gordon

    If you go to the original document, it’s a PDF and you can enlarge it quite a bit and it’s quite readable.

  • Here’s one that includes the Pietist movement out of Lutheranism 🙂


  • david carlson

    Diagram for the win.