Triune Godhead, Or Trinity
One of the biggest religions in the world, Christianity, has a long history spanning more than two millennia. Christians are monotheistic, which means they hold the view that there is just one God who made the heavens and the world.
This triune Godhead, or Trinity, is made up of the Father (who is God), the Son (who is Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.
What Is The Name Of God In Christianity?
The primary name by which God reveals himself in the Old Testament is Yahweh, which is also the most revered, unique, and untranslatable name of God.
However, the name was used for the God of the Israelites, representing the biblical pronunciation of “YHWH,” the Hebrew name revealed to Moses in the book of Exodus. The name YHWH, consisting of the sequence of consonants Yod, Heh, Waw, and Heh, is known as the tetragrammaton.
Symbol Of Christianity
The cross is the primary emblem of Christianity and represents Jesus’ crucifixion and his suffering.
Age Of Christianity
In Israel, Christianity first emerged more than 2000 years ago. Jesus, a Jew, founded Christianity by introducing a new idea about Judaism to a group of disciples. Jesus emphasized both God’s and people’s love in his teachings.
Yeshua, which is Joshua in English, is the Hebrew name that Jesus used.
Origin Of Christianity
In the middle of the first century CE, Christianity emerged in Judea, initially based on the teachings of Jesus and subsequently on the writings and missionary activities of Paul of Tarsus.
The religious leaders who have been instrumental in forming this faith’s doctrine, rituals, and international impact are at its core. This article examines the significant religious people who have made a lasting impression on the Christian religion and its adherents, from the modest beginnings of Jesus Christ to the contemporary leaders of numerous Christian groups.
A Chronology Of Christian Religious Authorities
1) Jesus Christ, The Founder Of Christianity
Jesus Christ, whose life and teachings are the foundation of Christianity, lived in the first century AD in Judea, which is modern-day Israel and Palestine. The major character of Christianity is Jesus, who is held to be the Son of God and was sent to Earth to atone for humankind’s sins via his crucifixion and resurrection. His teachings, which are emphasized in the New Testament of the Bible, are the cornerstone of the Christian religion and emphasize redemption, love, and forgiveness.
2) The Apostles/Early Evangelists
The four authors who are credited with writing the four canonical Gospels are known as the “Four Evangelists” in the Christian tradition. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Mark, a disciple of Peter and therefore an “apostolic man.
Matthew, a former tax collector, was chosen by Jesus to be one of the Twelve Apostles.
Luke, a physician, wrote what is now the Book of Luke to Theophilus.
John, a follower of Jesus and the youngest of his Twelve Apostles, is also recognized as the author of the book of Acts (also known as the Acts of the Apostles) and as Paul of Tarsus’ close friend.
Because the goal of their work is to share the “good news” (or “gospel”) of Jesus, they are referred to as evangelists, which is a term that means “people who proclaim good news.”
The Apostles were instrumental in advancing the Christian faith. The theological writings of Augustine of Hippo, such as “Confessions” and “City of God,” have had a significant and enduring influence on Christian theology. Christian theology is still influenced by his perspectives on original sin, grace, and the character of God’s sovereignty.
Jerome is well-known for producing the Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Bible. For centuries, the Latin Bible used in the Western Church was exclusively based on this translation.
Athanasius is revered for supporting the Nicene Creed, which recognized Jesus Christ’s deity. The fundamental Christian views on the Trinity were firmly established as a result of his efforts to confront the Arian heresy.
5) The Popes
The Popes are the top officials of the Roman Catholic Church. Since the beginning of Christianity, the Roman Catholic Church, one of the biggest Christian groups, has been presided over by a series of popes. The Pope, who is regarded as the spiritual head of the Catholic Church and the Bishop of Rome, has had a considerable impact on both the development of religious doctrine and the reach of the Church.
a) Pope Gregory The Great
Gregory the Great, also known as Pope Gregory I, played a significant role in the early history of the papacy. During his pontificate, from 590 to 604, the Church’s authority in Europe increased, and substantial administrative changes were made.
b) Pope Innocent III
The pontificate of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216) was a zenith for papal power. He had a considerable political impact and helped to shape the doctrine and organization of the medieval Church.
c) Pope Francis
Pope Francis has gained notoriety in recent years for emphasizing social justice, inclusion, and discourse. Since the start of his pontificate in 2013, concerns including interfaith harmony, poverty, and climate change have received more attention.
The Protestant Reformers: Going Against the Grain
A pivotal time in Christian history was the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. During this period, a number of significant figures who opposed the Roman Catholic Church’s authority and promoted changes based on their readings of the Bible came to prominence.
1. Martin Luther
Martin Luther is frequently cited as the Reformation’s impetus. His 95 Theses, which criticize the Church for selling indulgences and argue for a return to Scripture as the final authority, were notably posted in 1517. Luther’s ideas impacted other Protestant denominations and gave rise to Lutheranism.
2. John Calvin
Another important person in the Reformation was the French theologian John Calvin. His doctrine, known as Calvinism, placed a strong emphasis on predestination, God’s omnipotence, and a literal reading of the Bible. Calvin’s theories significantly influenced Protestantism and helped to define the Reformed tradition.
3. Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Tutu, a prominent South African Anglican cleric, played a crucial role in the fight against apartheid and has been a vocal advocate for human rights and reconciliation.
4. Billy Graham
The American evangelist Billy Graham was a prominent figure in the 20th century, known for his large-scale crusades and his influence on evangelical Christianity.
Contemporary Christian Leaders; A Global Perspective
Christianity has grown into a global faith with diverse leaders representing various denominations and regions. Some contemporary Christian leaders have had a notable impact on both their respective churches and broader society.
1. Pope Francis
As previously mentioned, Pope Francis has garnered attention for his progressive stances on social and environmental issues, as well as his efforts to foster interfaith dialogue.
2. Charles Parham and William J. Seymour
Parham and Seymour were key figures in the early Pentecostal movement. Seymour’s leadership at the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906 is often cited as the birth of modern Pentecostalism, with its emphasis on speaking in tongues and spiritual gifts.
3. Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a Baptist preacher who incorporated his Christian faith into his quest for racial justice and equality. Although he is most known for his civil rights advocacy, Martin Luther King Jr. also had a background in music and the arts.
List of Contemporary Christian Figures (In Chronological Order)
The top officials of the largest Christian churches or denominations are listed below in chronological order. Based on the total number of attendees, the list is arranged in descending order.
Pope Francis was chosen as Rome’s 266th bishop on March 13 of that year. The pope is the patriarch of the Latin Church, the biggest of the 24 independent (sui iuris) churches of the Catholic Church, in his capacity as bishop of Rome. Additionally, he is the leader of the bishops’ college, which oversees the global church. Catholics believe that the Pope and the entire Catholic Church are entitled to this primacy in perpetuity, according to the papal primacy concept.
1) Eastern Catholic Churches
The head of the worldwide college of Bishops and the highest leader of these churches is the Pope. There is a Patriarch or other leading Bishop for each autonomous (sui iuris) church:
- Coptic Catholic Church: Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak
- Melkite Greek-Catholic Church: Patriarch Youssef Absi
- Maronite Church: Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi
- Syriac Catholic Church: Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan
- Chaldean Catholic Church: Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako
- Armenian Catholic Church: Patriarch Raphael Bedros XXI Minassian
- Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church: Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk
- Syro-Malabar Church: Major Archbishop George Alencherry
- Syro-Malankara Catholic Church: Major Archbishop Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos
- Romanian Greek-Catholic Church: Major Archbishop Lucian Mureşan
- Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church: Metropolitan William C. Skurla
- Hungarian Greek Catholic Church: Bishop Péter Fülöp Kocsis
- Slovak Greek Catholic Church: Metropolitan Ján Babjak
- Ethiopian Catholic Church: Archbishop Berhaneyesus Souraphiel
- Eritrean Catholic Church: Archbishop Menghesteab Tesfamariam
2) Eastern Orthodox Churches
- Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople: Bartholomew I of Constantinople
- Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria: Theodore II
- Patriarch of Antioch: John X
- Patriarch of Jerusalem: Theophilos III
- Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus’: Kirill
- Archbishop of Peć and Serbian Patriarch: Porfirije
- Patriarch of Romania: Daniel
- Patriarch of All Bulgaria: Neophyte
- Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia: Ilia II
- Archbishop of Cyprus: George III
- Archbishop of Athens and all Greece: Ieronymos II
- Archbishop of Albania: Anastasios
- Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia: Stefan
- Metropolitan of All Poland: Sawa
- Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia: Rastislav Gont
3) Churches in Partial Communion
- Metropolitan of All America and Canada: Tikhon Mollard (autocephaly not universally recognized)
- Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine: Epiphanius I (autocephaly not universally recognized, canonical ordination not universally recognized)
4) Oriental Orthodox Churches
- Tawadros II is the current head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria. He is the spiritual head of more than 16 million Copts and also bears the title of Patriarch of All Africa under the Holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark the Evangelist.
- Ignatius Aphrem II Karim is the Syriac Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and the whole East. In India, he serves as the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church’s Supreme Head.
- Catholicos of All Armenians: Karekin II
- Catholicos of the East: Baselios Marthoma Mathews III
- Patriarch-Catholicos of Axum: Abune Mathias
- Patriarch of Eritrea: Abune Qerlos, though the legitimacy of his assumption of office has been questioned due to his predecessor, Abune Antonios, being removed from office, which is largely seen as non-canonical, for criticizing the civil government.
5) Churches Not in Communion
- Patriarch of the British Orthodox Church: Abba Seraphim El-Suriani
- Metropolitan of the Malabar Independent Syrian Church: Cyril Mar Baselios I
6) Church of the East
- Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East: Mar Awa III
- Catholicos-Patriarch of the Ancient Church of the East: Gewargis III Younan
7) Old Catholic Church
- Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht: Bernd Wallet, the principal leader of the Union of Utrecht. As a primate of the Old Catholic Church in communion with the sec of Utrecht, he is considered first among equals, though he does not have jurisdictional authority.
- Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church: Anthony Mikovsky, the principal leader of the Union of Scranton.
Modern Era’s 20 Most Influential Christian Leaders
Christian leadership does not require fame, but it does require influence. Being a leader entails taking risks and speaking up for what is right. However, leaders must have a message that is compelling and motivating. It’s hardly good leadership if you turn around and nobody is following you.
You can tell whether your leadership is working if it has influence. Being correct is not sufficient. Being an effective leader requires a thorough awareness of your audience, the Scripture that informs your message, and both verbal and written communication skills.
It is a tremendous thing to be able to persuade others to follow Christ and live a Christian life, but it also comes with a duty to serve something far greater than any one ministry or particular Christian leader.
1. Richard Warren
The founder of Saddleback Church and a fourth-generation Southern Baptist minister is Rick Warren. With the publication of his book The Purpose-Driven Life in 2000, Warren became one of the most well-known and prominent Christians in the country. The book sold more than 25 million copies in the first six years of its release and prompted tens of thousands of congregations all throughout the country to study it.
When he hosted a church forum in 2008 that was attended by both presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama and then gave the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration, he cemented his reputation as a powerful Christian.
2. James Dobson, M.D.
Dr. James Dobson, an evangelist, author, and psychologist, gained most of his notoriety when he started the Christian conservation group Family Talk. Dobson rose to renown internationally by using radio to disseminate his evangelical beliefs; his radio program, “Focus on Family,” was heard in more than 164 nations.
Dobson is still a significant figure in the conservative movement and is sometimes viewed as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson’s successors as leaders of the evangelical movement.
3. Pastor Joel Osteen
The televised megachurch sermons that Pastor Joel Osteen delivers to an audience of 10 million people each week are undoubtedly his best-known accomplishments. In the majority of his sermons, Osteen avoids using formal theology and preaches positive themes that he refers to as the “prosperity gospel.”
His non-denominational sermons have drawn attention from all around the world, mostly because of his upbeat Christian themes. He preaches at the Houston-based Lakewood Church, the largest church in America with more than 50,000 members, which his father founded. He has received a lot of criticism for his preaching methods, but that hasn’t prevented him from becoming one of the most significant preachers of our day.
4. Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie grew up in a Bible study group of 30, which he led when he was 19 years old. Today, he is the leader of the Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has a church of more than 5,000 and more than 250,000 weekly attendees. It is considered to be the eighth-largest church in the country.
By hosting the National Prayer Services, authoring more than 70 books, and speaking at significant evangelical gatherings, Laurie has reached millions of people.
5. Billy Graham
Today, you can’t discuss evangelism without mentioning Billy Graham, making him, despite dying away in 2018, one of the most significant figures in Christian history. No one in American Christian history—living or dead—could throw a big-tent revival like Graham could.
Graham began holding huge meetings known as “crusades” in the 1940s when the gospel would be proclaimed, testimonies would be heard, and songs would be performed. On each of these occasions, tens of thousands of people were rescued. More significantly, Graham served as an inspiration to a new generation of Christian leaders who continue his work to this day.
Billy Graham will always have a place on any list of important Christians, serving as pastor to presidents from Eisenhower to Obama, a close friend of Queen Elizabeth, and a counselor to millions.
6. Archbishop Timothy Dolan
As one of five children, Cardinal Dolan comes from a traditional Catholic family. Dolan would pretend to celebrate Mass as a youngster and couldn’t recall ever not wanting to be a priest. In his current role as Archbishop of New York, he is in charge of approximately 3 million Catholics in the United States and almost 300 parishes, some of which are among the oldest in the country.
One of the most influential Christian leaders in the nation, he oversees thousands of hospitals, schools, and other church institutions in addition to those individuals.
7. Andrew White
When it comes to worldwide ministry, it’s difficult to find another Christian with greater clout. He served at St. George’s Church outside the Green Zone from 2005 until 2014 where he was better known as the Vicar of Baghdad. His contribution in regions of the world where Islam is the majority is revered by all faiths.
Even though the church told him to leave Baghdad, his advice and opinions are still highly regarded today.
8. Ronnie Floyd
You might not be familiar with Ronnie Floyd’s name if you don’t consider the Southern Baptist Convention to be one of the most significant groups in modern Christianity. But if you’ve been paying attention, you know that this former president—who is also the senior pastor of Cross Church and the organization’s CEO—is unquestionably one of the most powerful Christians in the world.
The SBC is the biggest Baptist denomination in the world, with over 14 million worshippers and close to 50,000 churches. In terms of membership, it is second only to the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Therefore, you can be sure that many people are listening when Ronny Floyd speaks.
9. Mary Ann Glendon
People who often interact with the Pope are likely leaders in their own right if he is a powerful Christian figure. It was all by Mary Ann Glendon. She represented the United States at the Vatican during the second Bush administration as the country’s ambassador to the Holy See. Glendon further served on the President’s Bioethics Council and was later appointed by the Pope to the Pontifical Commission of Inquiry on the Vatican Bank.
Her example is leadership in and of itself; she was awarded both the National Humanities Medal and the Evangelium Vitae Medal by the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.
10. Doctor Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Okay, so perhaps this is a little deceptive response. But when you give it some thought, it’s difficult to deny that MLK continues to have a significant impact on the social justice movement that is currently growing across the country. Christians still advocate for civil rights today, and they still employ his protest strategies.
Perhaps even more impressively, Christians with liberal and conservative political views frequently identify him as a key inspiration. What else may be the current impact if not that?
11. Jim Winkler
Another person who may go unnoticed by many Christians but who still has a significant impact on Christianity is Jim Winkler. If Winkler’s name is unfamiliar, maybe the name of his most recent job will be the National Council of Churches, where he has served as president and general secretary since 2013. Since 1908, the NCC has played a significant role in representing Protestantism, with leaders like Winkler often having access to the White House and other locations of secular authority.
Christians and non-Christian Americans alike have benefited from Winkler’s advocacy for social justice and voting rights.
12. Robert George
George is a prominent legal scholar and thinker who is also a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and the United States Convention on Civil Rights. However, being a devoted Catholic, he draws on the same school of thought as Christian philosophers like Thomas Aquinas when considering the law.
George also held the position of Chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a place that had a significant global impact.
13. Bishop Reginald Jackson
As the leader of Abyssinian Baptist Church, historically New York City’s largest Black church and cultural center in Harlem, Reverend Butts has significant influence in New York City, the state, and national Christian and political movements.
Appointed to economic development boards by the Governor, Butts has worked to revitalize inner-city neighborhoods.
14. Calvin Butts
Jackson is the 132nd bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to have been elected and installed. One of the largest Methodist groups in the world, AME, has over 2.5 million members. AME has deep roots in social justice and racial equality as the first autonomous Protestant denomination established by Black Americans.
With the development of more than 30 ministries under Jackson’s direction as pastor of St. Matthew alone, the church has grown. Since then, Jackson has taken the lead in campaigns to end racial profiling, inspiring the state of New Jersey to establish laws to do so.
15. John Mark Comer
Comer is the perfect illustration of a modern-day Christian leader who is extending their ministry’s reach in all directions. the founding pastor of Portland’s Bridgetown Church, a former member of the Christian worship group Telecast, and the New York Times bestselling author of Live No Lies and other well-known works presenting Christian coping mechanisms for dealing with the demands of contemporary society.
Comer is at the forefront of the movement to reach out to the younger generation in a variety of ways and address their needs.
16. Chris Galanos
If you start out young, you have a distinct advantage when it comes to influence. Chris Galanos was on the right track to significantly impact many lives over a long period of time when he founded the Experience Life Church in Lubbock, Texas, when he was just 25 years old. He became one of the youngest megachurch pastors in the United States, with 13,000 conversions in the first ten years.
He has since moved on from megachurches to a new multiplication strategy with the goal of making one million disciples in the next 10 years. Chris might already be well-known, but if he achieves his goal, he might end up becoming the generation’s most well-known Christian preacher.
17. Paul Crouch
Millions of prospective new believers have unprecedented access to the Word of the Lord thanks to the development of broadcast media. The Trinity Broadcasting Network, run by Paul Crouch, has been the most effective ministry at reaching these people. It has been in operation since 1973 and is frequently called the biggest Christian television network in the world.
However, Crouch’s involvement in Christian broadcasting dates back much farther to the 1950s, when he first began developing an instructional AM radio station at the Central Bible Institute and Seminary. Christian ministry today frequently makes use of contemporary technology to spread an age-old message, yet none of it would have been possible without Paul Crouch.
18. Pope Francis
It is difficult to overstate the Pope’s influence given that there are an estimated 1.3 billion Catholics in the world as of 2019. Someone with enormous influence is one of the few Christian leaders who can pick up the phone and get the head of state of almost any country in the world on the line. But in using that authority, the present pontifex maximus also demonstrates moderation, discernment, and compassion—all qualities that characterize a Christian leader.
He has added a New World perspective to the oldest Catholic institution as the first Pope from the Americas.
19. Bishop T.D. Jakes
Bishop T.D. Jakes, a preacher, author, director, and counselor to the previous three presidents, has won praise for his ability to minister to Christian audiences of all racial backgrounds, ethnicities, and religious beliefs.
His 40 years in the ministry and being recognized as one of the most significant preachers of his day by prestigious publications like Time Magazine and The New York Times contributed to his growing popularity. In Dallas, Texas, he established the Potter’s House in 1996. It is a non-denominational, multicultural church and humanitarian center that now has more than 30,000 members and more than 50 programs.
20. Bobby Schuller
Yes, Bobby Schuller is a Christian leader who is continuing the good work of his well-known and sadly deceased grandpa Robert Schuller. But it can’t be denied that Bobby still hosts the venerable Hour of Power television program, which now has 2.2 million weekly viewers worldwide.
Schuller isn’t merely living off the generosity of his relatives. His training at Fuller Theological Seminary and Oral Roberts University is of the highest caliber, and in 2008, he established his own church in Orange in an American Legion Beer Hall. When attacked for the location, he said that speaking in locations other than churches was necessary to reach individuals who didn’t often attend church. We are at a loss for words if it isn’t leadership.
Differences Between Beliefs of Christianity and Other Religions
Let us analyze the differences in beliefs between Christianity and other religions.
a) Christianity is the Only Religion that Teaches ‘God Came to Earth’
The only religion that teaches that God came to us is Christianity. Roman 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
b) Other Religions Use Regulations to Placate God, But Christianity is a Relationship With Him:
Religions other than Christianity instruct us on a series of behaviors that are referred to as their rules or pillars. Christians don’t need to please God in order to get His benefits because He has shown His love for us by sending Jesus among us.
c) Only Teligion to Have a Founder Who Perished and Then Rose Again
Other notable religious figures have all passed away. For thousands of years, people have been searching for Jesus’ body, but they haven’t succeeded. No one has been able to resolve this “mystery” in the field of science despite all the technological breakthroughs. Because Jesus was resurrected from the dead, the tomb is now empty, and the corpse is not concealed, nor will it ever be.
Numerous inspirational religious figures have affected Christianity’s beliefs, practices, and worldwide influence throughout its history. The leaders of Christianity have had a lasting impact on the faith and its adherents, from the humble beginnings of Jesus Christ and his apostles to the theological contributions of Church Fathers, the leadership of popes, the reformers of the Protestant Reformation, and the charismatic figures of the evangelical and Pentecostal movements.
Modern Christian leaders continue to negotiate the opportunities and challenges of an ever-evolving religion in today’s varied and globalized society, ensuring that Christianity remains a vibrant and significant force in the modern period.
What Does Christianity Primarily Believe?
The central themes of Christianity believe in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection according to Christian doctrine. Christians hold that God saved the world by sending his son Jesus.
What Kind Of Faith Is Christianity?
With 2.8 billion followers, Christianity is the largest religion in the world. Along with Judaism and Islam, it is regarded as one of the three Abrahamic or monotheistic faiths.
Who Founded Christianity?
Jesus Christ, who lived roughly 2,000 years ago, is regarded as the founder of Christianity. The life and teachings of Jesus are described in the Bible, the sacred book of Christians.
What Faith Did Jesus Practice?
He was born in Galilee, a Jewish region, to a Jewish mother. All of his close friends, business partners, coworkers, and followers were Jews. He routinely attended Jewish community worship services, or synagogues, as we call them. He preached using both Jewish and biblical material.
Who Does Christianity Follow?
Pope Francis was chosen as Rome’s 266th bishop on March 13 of that year. The pope is the patriarch of the Latin Church, the biggest of the 24 independent (sui iuris) churches of the Catholic Church, in his capacity as bishop of Rome. Additionally, he is the leader of the bishops’ college, which oversees the global church.
Who Provided The Name Of Christianity?
After Barnabas accompanied Saul (Paul) to Antioch, where they taught the disciples for almost a year, the text states that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26), making Acts 11 the earliest recorded usage of the name (or its cognates in other languages).
Who Are The Five Religious Leaders?
1) Buddhist doctrine: Gautama Buddha
2)Islam: Muhammad, also known as Muhammad ibn Abdullah
3) Judaism: Moses is a prophet
4) Catholic: Francis the Pope
5) Christianity: Jesus Christ
What Do Christians Refer To As Leaders?
Careers in Christian leadership often involve one of the following titles:
Pastor, Youth Minister, Missionaries, Pastoral elder, Bishops, and Deacon.