With Protestantism now experiencing a decline in growth and expansion, many people are concerned about the future of denominations. Church budgets are being slashed, and dissident groups are increasing in number on the denominational fringe. To provide a better understanding of and respect for the potentials and limitations of denominations, Dr. Richey presents the varying perspectives of acknowledged authorities to explain first of all what denominationalism, a basic form of the American church, is.
How did denominationalism begin, what is its essence, and what is the denominational pattern of the Christian church? Ten articles explore these questions from different viewpoints and give alternative explanations. Dr. Richey provides an introduction to each of the articles, calling attention to its particular contributions and divergences from other interpretations while raising important critical questions.
The question What is the future of denominations? cannot be answered without a more explicit understanding of the phenomenon of denominationalism. The articles presented here, together with their introductions, represent Russell Richey's attempt to penetrate both the vagueness that surrounds denominationalism and the causes of the current malaise afflicting individual denominations.