(This is a short postscript to my post about the terms Christian or Christ-follower)
At the close of The Pilgrim Church, E.H. Broadbent offered a “Timeline Of Some Key Events (29 – 1917 A.D.).” After this, he wrote:
The following is a list (in the order of their appearance in the book) of names given to those throughout Church history who desired only to be known by the names given in the Word of God to all to trust alone in the Lord Jesus: “believers” emphasizing their faith in Christ; “brethren” pointing to their nearness to Christ; “disciples” speaking of their following after and learning from Christ; “saints” reminding them of their separation from the world and to Him; and “Christians” (perhaps first used in scorn) to point out their eternal link with Christ.
Cathars, Puritans, Novations, Priscillianists, Paulicians, Thonraks, Bogomils, Bulgarians, Patarenes, Albigenses, Nazarenes, Nestorians, Petrobrussians, Henricians, Good Men, Poor Men of Lyons, Waldenses, Vaudois, Evangelic, Spirituali, Passagini, Josepini, Arnaldistae, Speronistae, Weavers, Beghards, Beghines, Brethren, The Poor in Life, Apostles, Schwestrionen, The Poor, Hussites, Taborites, Utraquists, Calixtines, Bohemian Brethren, Jednota Bratrska, Unitas Fratrum, Anabaptists, Mennonites, Mennonite Brethren, Lollards, Wycliffites, Picards, Corner-Preachers, Deceivers, Heretics, Bush Preachers, Sectaries, Hutists, Gospellers, Those of the Religion, Huguenots, Independents, Congregationalists, Baptists, Brownists, Presbyterians, Particular Baptists, Quakers, Friends, Evangelical, Pietists, Spenerites, Quietists, Moravians, Methodists, Stonettes, Campbellites, Disciples, Churches of Christ, Stundists, Evangelical Christians, Plymouth Brethren Exclusives, Open Brethren.
I realize that there are some doctrinal problems with some of these, but still the list is important and interesting.
There is another name for the Christian faith itself that I recently learned about while reading The Edict of Fontainbleau (Revocation of the Edict of Nantes), in preparation for writing about François Fénelon. This edict repudiated the former edict of toleration of Protestantism in France. It referred to the Christian faith using only initials – RPR, which stand for:
Religion prétendue réformée = “the religion called the Reformed” that is, the allegedly Reformed religion.
Of huge interest is the fact that when I entered the French into Google Chrome’s French to English translator, to be sure I had things right, it translated the French into the initials from the revocation of the edict of toleration – RPR. Babylon translated the key word in this term as ‘allegedly’.