Atheist LogoAtheism is one thing: A lack of belief in gods.

Atheism is not an affirmative belief that there is no god nor does it answer any other question about what a person believes. It is simply a rejection of the assertion that there are gods. Atheism is too often defined incorrectly as a belief system. To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

Atheism is not a belief system nor is it a religion.

While there are some religions that are atheistic (certain sects of Buddhism, for example), that does not mean that atheism is a religion. To put it in a more humorous way: If atheism is a religion, then not collecting stamps is a hobby.

All atheists are different

The only common thread that ties all atheists together is a lack of belief in gods. Some of the best debates we have ever had have been with fellow atheists. This is because atheists do not have a common belief system, sacred scripture or atheist Pope. This means atheists often disagree on many issues and ideas. Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds. We are as unique as our fingerprints.

Protestantism is one of the major branches of Christianity today stemming from the movement known as the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation began in Europe in the early 16th century by Christians who opposed many of the unbiblical beliefs, practices, and abuses taking place within the Roman Catholic Church.

In a broad sense, present-day Christianity can be divided into three major traditions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. Protestants make up the second largest group, with approximately 800 million Protestant Christians in the world today.

The Protestant Reformation
The most notable reformer was German theologian Martin Luther (1483-1546), often called the pioneer of the Protestant Reformation. He and many other brave and controversial figures helped reshape and revolutionize the face of Christianity.

Most historians mark the start of the revolution on October 31, 1517, when Luther nailed his famous 95-Thesis to the University of Wittenburg's bulletin board—the Castle Church door, formally challenging church leaders on the practice of selling indulgences and outlining the biblical doctrine of justification by grace alone.

Learn more about some of the major Protestant reformers:

John Wycliffe (1324-1384)
Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531)
William Tyndale (1494-1536)
John Calvin (1509-1564)

Protestant Churches
Protestant churches today consist of hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of denominations with roots in the Reformation movement. While specific denominations vary widely in practice and beliefs, a common doctrinal groundwork exists among them.

These churches all reject the ideas of apostolic succession and papal authority. Throughout the course of the Reformation period, five distinct tenets emerged in opposition to Roman Catholic teachings of that day. They are known as the "Five Solas," and they are apparent in the essential beliefs of almost all Protestant churches today:

Sola Scriptura ("Scripture alone"): The Bible alone is the sole authority for all matters of faith, life, and doctrine.
Sola Fide ("faith alone"): Salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Sola Gratia ("grace alone"): Salvation is by the grace of God alone.
Solus Christus ("Christ alone"): Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ because of his atoning sacrifice.
Soli Deo Gloria ("for the glory of God alone"): Salvation is accomplished by God alone, and only for his glory.

Learn more about the beliefs of four major Protestant denominations: