It is always good to talk with Bill Feltner, host of His People on the Pilgrim Radio Network (covering Northern California, Nevada, and Wyoming). Recently Bill called to ask the question: why are there so many church denominations? It is a big question and a long-ish answer but. The existence of denominations is one of the things that critics of Christianity allege against the church—if Christianity is true, why can’t you agree among yourselves? Of course the premise of the question is false. It assumes that there is no genuine agreement among the various Protestant denominations. There is, even though there are (arguably) differences sufficient to keep us separate. The implied premise of the objection is that history does not matter. That is a false premise. History matters and the more we know about the history of the various denominations (and the broader story of church history) the better we are able to understand 1) that there have not always been this many denominations, even after the Reformation; 2) that the same forces that lead the West into unbelief and secularism also contributed mightily to the rise of the many denominations.
Here is part 2 of the show: