From: William Gray
I would differ from the AHD on their wording here). I am confident
that there are Christians in many of these groups: Lutherans, Baptists,
Episcopalians, Anglicans, Catholics, Presbyterians, and so on. Sometimes
it may be in spite of a particular church affiliation that one follows
Christ, at times it may be as a result of the particular church. The key
is whether the person is actually a follower of Christ Himself or just a
follower of a religion. These thoughts can be clarified by a reading of
most any book of the Bible, especially the Gospel of John or John's
Even after years of studying Eliot, I'm not sure how to place him in
regards to Christianity.
Didn't he say he is Anglo-catholic in religion?
Is there reason to believe that might have changed?
Defining things, esp. now-a-days in these times when
objectivity has gone out of fashion (sorry Nancy) is
I suppose one could propose an external definition
(if one can get outside of a condition in which the
object of definition has poisoned everything)
which would have the broad general characteristics
of a dictionary defintion.
Then one could observe how Christianity defines itself from
within, which is where lots of divergencies begin. Perhaps
one of the initial, if not the initial internal definition
is in the Gospel of St. John, Chapter Six -- which goes something
like "if you do not eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will not
have life in you" (almost sounds like a line from 4Q doesn't it?).
Just the very Sayer's saying of that definiton caused a divergence
as recorded in that Chapter. A "hard" saying indeed. "a hard time
we had ot it."
The internal definition is more to my sensibility.