About faith camps

The faith of a human is deeply rooted in their personality. This is why faith differences can cause serious conflicts and hefty battles.

Because faith is not something you can clearly define in human language, the opposing camps recognize themselves by their opposing answers to a given controversial question.

Such battles are not limited to religious groups. These opponents exist throughout all faith faith cultures, including non-religious ones.

Here are some dichotomies that I have observed so far. See also A beginner’s guide to Christianity or Croque-monsieur.

embracing – excluding

embracing faith

A faith that tends to reach all humans. Focuses on the things that unite us rather than those that separate us.

“Anyone who seeks truth seeks God, whether or not he realizes it.” – Edith Stein (1891-1942)

Requirements for embracing faith are open-minded faith and reconciling faith.

excluding faith

A faith that tends to exclude others from my own group. Cares about group identity. Differentiates between “them” and “us”, between those who share “our” faith and those who don’t.

sectarian faith

A faith that cuts “us” from “them”.

conservative – progressive

conservative faith

A faith that wants to keep things as they have always been.

A conservative Christian says that the teachings of the Church are eternal and immutable.

progressive faith

A faith that wants to progress rather than staying in the place we are now.

“The Bible is a historic source that describes the Good News; its interpretation and the teachings of the Church must change and evolve.”

authoritarian – liberal

authoritarian faith

Faith based on some ultimate authority, e.g. a Holy Scripture or an institution.

liberal faith

Faith based on the idea that God talks directly to every human and that religion is just our answer to God’s word.

“We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)

The temptations of a liberal faith are individualism and relativism.

protective – open-minded

protective faith

A faith that makes you feel responsible for defending your group against its enemies.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

“Let us neither be dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants that run away before the wolf. Instead, let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ’s flock.” – Saint Boniface (675–754)

“We are God’s soldiers.”

open-minded faith

A faith that makes you feel secure without need of protection. A requirement for embracing faith.

“We are God’s witnesses.”

I classify myself as Dare to change your mind.

militant – reconciling

militant faith

A faith that loves to fight against its enemies.

reconciling faith

A faith that avoids fighting and tries to reconcile with others. A requirement for embracing faith.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45)

scriptural – non-scriptural

scriptural faith

Faith based on a Holy Scripture as ultimate authority.

“The Bible is an inerrant and infallible authority.”

non-scriptural faith

Faith based on the idea that God talks directly to every human and that religion is just our answer to God’s word.

reasonable – charismatic

reasonable faith

A faith that tends to trust in human reason. Refuses faith statements that conflict with established scientific knowledge.

“God does not act against natural laws. A miracle is something that surprises us because we don’t know everything about nature.”

“Science is a valuable tool and God wants us to use it.”

“Refusing to accept scientific evidence as a more trustworthy tool than a Holy Scripture is a form of superstition and leads to unrealistic results.”

charismatic faith

A faith that tends to distrust human reason. Focuses on intuition.

“Science is a dangerous temptation.”

I am still trying to find names for these two camps. At the moment my favourite names are “inclusive” versus “separatist”.

The two Christian camps







tolerant, progressive, …

evangelical, traditional, …

God loves every human

Only those who believe in Jesus will be saved

progressive liberal theology

traditional strict theology

reasonable approach

charismatic approach