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The Confluence that was Schwarzenau

This series is an attempt to elucidate the dialectical (both/and) tension at the heart of Brethren theology and to relay its importance for today.

The scene of Schwarzenau 1708 was a Germany that had been ravaged by the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Though the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) had ceased the warring between the rival factions guised by religious preference, it had two consequences for dissenting groups that affected the early Brethren. First, while the Treaty ended violence among the three major churches—Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed—dissenters were not tolerated. Anabaptists and Pietists, alike, were viewed with great suspicion and, in some territories, sought out and punished with imprisonment, torture, or death. Such condemnation only bolstered the Anabaptist view that the true church entailed a sharp distinction from the world. Martyrs Mirror solidified this distinction as the text was a popular devotional tool of Anabaptist families. Meanwhile, sermons in Lutheran and Reformed churches were often “violent attacks against other faiths” which only served to reinforce a disdain for dissent.[1]

Secondly, the Treaty made the religion of the territory that of the leader which was captured by the popular slogan of the period, “As the prince, so the religion.” Prior to the Treaty, the religious identity of the German Palatinate, specifically, went from Lutheran (1546) to Reformed (1560) and then flip-flopped four more times before 1648. Over 150 years the region switched religious identification six times, meaning one could literally go to bed in a Lutheran territory and wake up in a Reformed one.[2]

In 1706 the noble in power in the region of Wittgenstein, the adjacent region north of the Palatinate, in which the village of Schwarzenau was located, was Count Heinrich Albrecht (1658-1723). Albrecht was favorable to all refugees for two reasons. First, because of the Thirty Years War, there was great economic need in the region—many religious dissenters were glad to settle and find work in the territory in exchange for the right to practice their distinctive faith beliefs. Second, Albrecht had an affinity for Pietism.[3] As Hochmann’s disciples were forced to leave Schriesheim, in the Palatinate, they landed in Schwarzenau in the Wittgenstein territory under Albrecht’s jurisdiction.[4] The Imperial Cameral Court of 1708 found the region to be a place of refuge for “vagabonds, Pietists, Anabaptists, Quakers and Mennonites.”[5] To that group of “vagabonds” we now turn. A central personality to this motley crew was Ernst Christoph Hochmann von Hochenau.

Hochmann was originally planning on going into law. While at the University of Halle, he found himself converted by the teachings of August Hermann Francke (1663-1727), a disciple of Spener, to Pietism. Hochmann’s theology quickly became radicalized by the thought of Gottfried Arnold whom he met in 1697. With Arnold, Hochmann found no “iota of an express command in Scripture for [baptizing infants].”[6] Later in his life, while imprisoned at the Castle of Detmold, Hochmann produced one of the first Pietist creeds in which his rejection of infant baptism is detailed. This quest became elaborated in the subsequent preaching themes that animated his itinerant ministry:

  1. He [Hochmann] had been called by Christ to preach the gospel.
  2. There is a spiritual church (that often stands in contrast to the visible church of the day).
  3. The kingdom of Christ is at hand.[7]

Alexander Mack (1679-1735), a miller in the village of Schriesheim in the Palatinate (see map below), met Hochmann around 1703 at which time Mack and his wife became involved with Pietism. About 1705, they became devoted followers of Hochmann.[8] Their conversations quickly turned to baptism:

A question much discussed in pietistic gatherings in Schwarzenau was the rite of baptism. For Mack, the New Testament clearly indicated that adult baptism was a necessary initiation into the body of Christ. Two ‘foreign brethren,’ probably Dutch Collegiants, who visited Schwarzenau in the summer of 1708, strongly urged the Mack group to practice adult baptism in spite of its illegality…Hochmann replied immediately, expressing no opposition, providing baptism followed true repentance and faith. He cautioned them, however, to “count the cost” and avoid a sectarian spirit.[9]

Hochmann was uneasy about the need for an outward form of baptism, preferring a more spiritual understanding of the ordinance. Mack, influenced by Arnold and Swiss-German Mennonites, felt that the outward form was necessary for the witness of the church but was torn between his loyalties to the Scriptures, Hochmann, and the Mennonites with whom he had been in conversation.[10]

Persecution erupted in the Palatinate forcing Mack and other disciples of Hochmann to flee to the neighboring territory of Wittgenstein. There they settled in the village of Schwarzenau. In this village, the first baptisms and formation of the first congregation took place.[11]

After receiving Hochmann’s letter, and after much Bible study, discussion, and prayer, eight persons chose to be baptized in the Eder River, which flows through Schwarzenau. In the first week of August 1708, those eight were baptized by trine immersion to establish what Alexander Mack, Jr., later called a “covenant of good conscience with God.” An officiant chosen by lot baptized Mack, who then baptized the others. The once loosely organized group became a Gemeinde, or congregational community. They were called the New Baptists of Schwarzenau.[12]

Though early Brethren theology was greatly indebted to Hochmann, on baptism, Mack and others felt that a break from Hochmann’s spiritualized understanding was necessary. As Stoffer details:

In many facets of their thought, Hochmann and Mack were in complete agreement. However, in the area of church organization and practice they had major differences. Hochmann’s spiritualistic separatism undergirded his vision of an invisible church of the Spirit…The outward sacraments were replaced by Spirit baptism and spiritual communion…[Mack] supported the institution of an organized church along with the practice of such rites as baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and discipline.[13]

Although many Radical Pietists would go on to reject religious symbolism entirely (in favor of a “spiritual” understanding of the church), innovations in the outward form of baptism marked a significant divergence between Mack and Hochmann.

The existential truth implicit in Mack’s understanding of baptism is that rather than being a mere spiritual symbol that mediates God’s grace to the individual, “[Mack] spoke of faith and baptism together and stressed that [baptism denotes] a personal faith commitment.”[14] Arnold’s understanding of this balance held great influence on the early Brethren.

[Pietist mysticism] led to a fresh openness to God’s revelation other than the Bible. [Jacob Boehme] who is often named as seminal to the [Pietist] movement, carried this so far as to assert that “the entire Bible lies in me.” However, radicals such as Gottfried Arnold maintained that the role of the “inner spiritual voice” must be accompanied by the “necessary use of the outer word of Scripture.” In relationships with his mystical radical Pietist neighbors, Mack followed Spener, Arnold, and Hochmann by insisting that the Inner Word must be consistent with the Outer Word of Scriptures. Individual leanings of the Spirit were acceptable if tested by discerning biblical insights with others.[15]

To the present day, the centrality of baptism by trine immersion baptism stands as a signifier of the dialectic that is at the heart of Brethren theology.[16]

With the dialectic of baptism as a central signifier, the early Brethren entrenched themselves in two meta-traditions that transcended both Radical Pietism and Anabaptism. The first comes out of the late W.R. Ward’s research into early evangelicalism. Ward argues that much scholarship on evangelicalism begins too late and does not observe the roots of evangelical identity in German Pietism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. When one explores this era of evangelicalism, Ward argues, an “evangelical hexagon” emerges that frames much of the later discussions of evangelical identity, though only five of the six characteristics are applicable to the early Brethren:[17]

  1. A hostile view towards the scholasticism (Aristotelianism) that emerged in second century Lutheranism;
  2. A robust mystical theology to balance/correct the above scholastic distortions;
  3. The centrality of the conversion experience as signifier for a regenerate life of discipleship;
  4. An apocalyptic hope;
  5. The creation and promulgation of small groups.[18]

Ward’s hexagon is helpful to begin to inform a Brethren relationship with larger evangelicalism, specifically American Evangelicalism. Not all of Ward’s descriptions would fit the early Brethren.[19] Brethren do fit Ward’s first characteristic but their position would have been to reject what they deemed to be the elitism and the trappings of creeds, formulas, and confessions. There is an early impulse that pushes for a lived theology that encompasses both head and heart.

Ward’s second characteristic is clearly present in the early Brethren. In reaction to the scholastic ethos that informed much of the established churches, the early Brethren were conversant with a number of mystical thinkers (Hochmann and Arnold mentioned already). This appreciation for mystical theology does not create the centrality of a “conversion experience” as denoted in Ward’s third identifier. Instead, early Brethren argue for the centrality of baptism. As Denise Kettering-Lane notes:

For the early Brethren, baptism was the primary marker of a change of life, not a story of conversion. Yet, there is a sense in which baptism marked the individual’s move into the community of faith and the first step into obedience and reform of life. Thus, baptism marked the beginning of the reform of life.[20]

This dialectic of inner/outer and individual/community captures the communal nature of conversion for the early Brethren. A break between Hochmann and Mack, as already noted, occurred around the centrality of a visible witness of the church through practices like baptism. This witness, however, counter to Ward’s fourth identifier, is not from an imminent eschatology or apocalyptic vision.[21]

Lastly, and most notably for the early Brethren, Ward’s fifth identifier of the presence of small groups rings true. Unlike Ward’s description, however, the early Brethren separated from the established church. As Alexander Mack Jr. noted in his description of the Schwarzenau congregation:

Here and there private meetings (in which the newly awakened souls sought their edification) were established alongside of the usual church organizations. However, because of the spiritual envy of the clergy, the hearts of the authorities were embittered, and persecution began to take place here and there.[22]

In light of these five identifiers, Kettering-Lane summarizes the role that Ward’s research into early evangelicalism will have on projects such as this one:

If Ward is right that early evangelicalism in Pietism…provided the roots from which evangelicalism today sprang, then it certainly makes sense that there continued to be some places of connection, including an emphasis on Scripture and an interest in reformation of life. Ward’s argument provides a helpful lens through which we can see the involvement of early Brethren with evangelicalism as extending to an earlier period and connecting to some of the historical roots in Pietism (emphasis mine).[23]

An emphasis on Scripture and the ongoing reformation of life places the Brethren in a larger tradition that encompasses the movements of Radical Pietism and Anabaptism. This tradition has been termed the “Believers Church” tradition of which Donald Durnbaugh produced a masterful study.[24]

Durnbaugh’s research reveals seven characteristics of this larger tradition:

  1. Voluntary membership
  2. Separation of church and civil government
  3. Regenerate church
  4. Church discipline as detailed in Matthew 18
  5. Mutual aid
  6. Believers’ baptism
  7. Centrality of both Word and Spirit[25]

It is in this tradition that the early Brethren most assuredly find a home. These seven identifiers will be essential in each generation of Brethren theological development and will produce points of tension and anxiety as Brethren interact with twentieth century American Evangelicalism. Durnbaugh’s seventh characteristic, the dialectic of Word and Spirit, will anchor the other six in the Brethren witness. Pietism established the inward regeneration necessary for a covenanted community. Simultaneously, Anabaptism provided the discipline necessary for a regenerate community to exist counter the fallenness of both established churches and imperial governments. For as Durnbaugh notes, “The Believers’ Church…is the covenanted and disciplined community of those walking in the way of Jesus Christ. Where two or three such are gathered, willing to be scattered in the work of the Lord, there is the believing people.”[26]

The Brethren view of baptism establishes a central dialectic that captures Brethren theology on several fronts. First, this dialectic reveals a desire to authentically describe the inward and then outward dimensions of the Christian journey. Second, it reveals a theology that is less a systematic, propositional understanding of truth and more a communal, lived out expression of Truth—seeing baptism as a relational following and obedience to Jesus who is the Truth (see John 14:6). Thirdly, this dialectic places the Brethren in early evangelical streams of Pietism and in the larger tradition of the Believers’ Church.

What develops with the genesis of the congregation in Schwarzenau, and is manifested in their understanding of baptism, is a fresh theological epistemology grounded in their new relationship with Jesus—inward regeneration expressed in a community of the regenerate. As Peter Rollins notes, this

view of truth is concerned with having a relationship with the Real (God) that results in us transforming reality. The emphasis is thus not on description but on transformation. This perspective completely short-circuits the long-redundant debate as to whether truth is subjective or objective, for here Truth is the ungraspable Real (objective) that transforms the individual (subjective).[27]

And in agreement with Rollins, Roger Olson argues that this emphasis

is on transformation, relationship, and activism…and less on…the importance of assent to propositions or participation in ceremonies and rituals. The keynote is inwardness with outward behavior flowing naturally from an inward transformation.”[28]

This regeneration of the entire person, inner then outward, becomes best communicated in the Brethren understanding of baptism as Pietist and Anabaptist distinctives merge in a symbol of such a dialectical witness. Moore notes:

Whereas Radical Pietism emphasized personal and individual spirituality, the Mennonites provided an emphasis on an outward and corporate spirituality. The Brethren would seek to wed these two emphases, but always with Jesus as the focus of life and practice…The Brethren would overlap both Anabaptist and Radical Pietist thought with their emphases on obedience to Jesus and following him as example in life.[29]

With the blending of the inner convictions of Pietism and the outer structures and symbols of Anabaptism, the early Brethren embodied a dialectical unity centered in the person of Jesus Christ revealed through both Word and Spirit. From its beginnings, the Brethren witness, pivoting on the centrality of Jesus, is a theological movement that creates ongoing reformation (Pietism) and consensus-driven unity (Anabaptism) in the life of the church. It is a theology shaped by the interplay of Pietist emphases of Spirit, individuality, and openness held in dialectical tension with Anabaptist emphases of outward form, community and order.

This central dialectic informed the Brethren understanding of salvation and how, unlike baptismal regeneration which posits that baptism is intimately linked to salvation, Brethren saw baptism intimately connected with discipleship. Salvation is a past, present and future tensed theological cooperative (“I was saved,” “I am being saved,” “I will be saved”) between the believer, the church, and God. Brethren do not place an emphasis on what one knows. Instead, faith is a transformed life based on who the believing community (and individual believers) have come to know as real. This inner to outer and individual to community is captured by Stoffer:

These governing principles give to the Brethren view of salvation and the Christian life their characteristic features: (1) enlightenment by the Word and Spirit as a necessary precondition to the salvation process; (2) repentance as a change of heart and mind which will bring forth fruits—a changed life; (3) faith as both confession of belief in Christ and commitment and surrender of one’s life to Him; (4) obedience as a quality inherent in saving faith; (5) baptism as an integral part of the salvation process which looks backward as a response of obedient faith to the gracious work of God and forward as a symbol of the new life…; (6) God’s gracious gifts to the repentant believer of forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit, justification, and adoption; (7) regeneration as the divine work of creating a new being in the believer; (8) union with God as a relational experience which acts as a catalyst for godly living; (9) the new life, denoted by obedient faith, as a loving response to a gracious Father; (10) sanctification as the progressive change of the believer into the character of Christ and the divine nature.[30]

Baptism captures the movement from inner to outer. Inner enlightenment, repentance, and regeneration moves outward toward a life of conversion, discipleship, faithfulness, obedience, and fruitfulness. With every baptism comes the appropriation of this dialectical call to count the cost. Brown captures it best by noting:

For Mack, salvation was more than being saved to heaven when we die. Salvation is related to each meaning of baptism listed. A story that frequently circulates in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, tells the same. A brother was saved in a revival that swept through the country over by the big river. The congregation he was joining gathered around the horse tank on one of the farms. After the third dip, he leaped out of the water waving his hands in the air and shouting, ‘It is finished! It is finished!’ The elder grabbed the back of his shirt and looked straight into his eyes. ‘No, brother,’ he said, ‘it’s just beginning.’”[31]

The Schwarzenau baptisms and subsequent congregation were just the beginning of the Brethren story. We now turn to the persecution and subsequent emigration to America that brings the Brethren story to the new world.

Next Post: J. Allen Miller—A Brethren Prototype

[1] Donald Durnbaugh, Fruit of the Vine: A History of the Brethren, 1708-1995, 2nd ed. (Elgin, IL: Brethren Press, 1996), 6.

[2] Ibid, 7.

[3] See Moore, Brian H. A Brethren Witness for the 21st Century: A Search for Identity and Cultural Relevance. Hagerstown, MD: Self-Published, 2008.

[4] Schriesheim held a policy of religious toleration for close to 40 years under the leadership of Elector Karl Ludwig (ruled from 1648-1680). Ludwig permitted a limited number of Mennonites to settle in the region to help with the rebuilding necessary following the Thirty Years War. In 1685 the family line ended and a new elector, Johann Wilhelm, ruled from 1690-1716. Wilhelm was pro-Catholic and even though churches were to be shared by the three faiths, Catholicism was given preference. Such a change in context forced those who would become the Schwarzenau Brethren to evacuate Schriesheim for Schwarzenau. See Donald Durnbaugh, European Origins of the Brethren (Elgin, IL: Brethren Press, 1958), 30-31.

[5] Durnbaugh, Fruit of the Vine, 24.

[6] Dale Stoffer, Background and Development of Brethren Doctrines, 1650-1987 (Philadelphia: The Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., 1989), 38.

[7] Hochmann three preaching themes are anchored in three streams he found in Christian mystical literature: (1) Christ must be formed in us; (2) He will unite himself with us if we surrender ourselves to him; and (3) we should follow Christ in our lives. As Stoffer notes, “this Christ-mysticism appears in Hochmann’s thought much more frequently than the Boehmist-inspired Sophia speculation” see ibid, 258. Boehme speaks of Sophia in The Way to Christ.  Sophia, “wisdom” in Greek, was the personification of the wisdom of God and is prevalent in Hellenistic religion. At times, Sophia is portrayed as a pure virgin spirit which emanates from God. The Sophia is seen as being expressed in all creation and the natural world as well as, for some of the Christian mystics like Boehme, integral to the spiritual well-being of humankind, the church, and the cosmos. Sophia is seen as outside creation but compassionately interceding on behalf of humanity to alleviate its suffering by illuminating true spiritual seekers with wisdom and the love of God. Boehme’s Sophia speculation influenced Jane Leade, the 17th century Christian mystic and founder of the Philadelphian society that influenced numerous Radical Pietist groups.

[8] William R. Eberly, The Complete Writings of Alexander Mack (Philadelphia: The Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., 1991), 1. For more on Mack’s family and life, see Donald Durnbaugh. “Brethren Beginnings: The Origins of the Church of the Brethren in Early Eighteenth-Century Europe.” PhD Dissertation. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1979. Also see William G. Willoughby, Counting the Cost: The Life of Alexander Mack. Elgin, IL: Brethren Press, 1979.

[9] Ibid, 3.

[10] Notes in Mack’s personal Bible reveal interaction with Anabaptist sources like Golden Apples along with a text known as the Gospel of Nicodemus in support of trine immersion. The Gospel of Nicodemus, also known as Acts of Pilate is an apocryphal New Testament text claimed to have been derived from a Hebrew work written by Nicodemus, who appears in the Gospel of John (cf. 3:1-21). See Hans Schneider. “Alexander Mack’s Notes about Immersion Baptism.” Brethren Life & Thought 48, nos. 1-2 (Winter/Spring 2003): 18-28. See also Marcus Meier. The Origin of the Schwarzenau Brethren. Translated by Dennis L. Slabaugh. Philadelphia, PA: The Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., 2008. As Meier notes:

Mack furthermore picks up those biblical passages that ‘distinctly and clearly’ suggest the rite, and uses them to substantiate a symbolic understanding of water baptism: The expression ‘burial of sins’ is found in Rom. 6:3; the passage at Eph 5:26 speaks of a ‘water bath’; according to John 3:5, the human being is reborn of ‘water and spirit.’ For Mack, immersion baptism points to a hidden truth: the ‘burial of sins.’ The ‘inner nature’ of baptism shows itself in the outward performance of the rite or, the other way around, water baptism is significant of ‘what is inward.’ Mack fundamentally rejected the rite of pouring because of this parallel. Aspersion baptism also cannot make the ‘burial of sins’ visible. Rather, it is alone the immersion under the water of the person baptized that reveals the deeper meaning of baptism to the believer” see Meier, Schwarzenau Brethren, 123.

Stoffer further notes, “Though Hochmann and the Brethren shared the desire for the establishment of a visible community, their motivations for this desire had little in common. Hochmann’s Spirit-impelled, eschatological fellowship belonged literally to a different world from the Brethren Gemeinde based on a desire to fulfill the New Testament commands and examples for baptism, communion, and discipline” see Stoffer, Brethren Doctrines, 258.

[11] Willoughby has placed the date of the baptisms between August 5 and 8, see Willoughby, Counting the Cost, 58.

[12] William R. Eberly, ed., The Complete Writings of Alexander Mack (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1991), 3. Six of the eight Brethren baptized were from the Reformed Church. The other two were Lutheran. See Willoughby, Counting the Cost, 58.

[13] Stoffer, Brethren Doctrines, 66.

[14] Ibid, 16.

[15] Dale W. Brown, Another Way of Believing: A Brethren Theology (Elgin, IL: Brethren Press, 2005), 39.

[16] While Anabaptist and Radical Pietist sources account for the derivation of practice and thought of the early Brethren, there is research that reveals a third source, the Polish Brethren (Socinians), as having an influence on Mack and others. Mack notes: “The Greek word for the command to baptize actually means to immerse… [as is] translated by most translators.” The binding of Mack’s writings in German—third (1799) and fourth (1822) editions—with Felbinger’s Christian Handbook (Christliches Hand-Büchlein), shows the importance of Felbinger’s thought on Mack. Felbinger’s Christian Handbook served as a source for his own thought and practice. See Jeremias Felbinger. Christliches Hand- Büchlein, 3d ed. Baltimore: Samuel Saur, 1799. The Christian Handbook is divided into seven sections: “(1) the creation of man, his fall, and his restoration; (2) the reception of innocent children into the Lord’s visible church; (3) holy baptism; (4) church discipline; (5) holy feetwashing; (6) holy communion; and (7) the prohibition of the swearing of oaths,” See Stoffer, Brethren Doctrines, 58-59. Felbinger begins his exposition on baptism as follows: “To baptize and to immerse are one and the same,” see ibid, 37. Felbinger cites that baptisms in the New Testament occur at sites with much water therefore, in his interpretation, ruling out sprinkling as a mode of true baptism.

[17] Ward also includes the sixth characteristic of a mystical connection with nature as significant to his “evangelical hexagon.” Ward seems to imply that early evangelicalism and mainstream Pietism are synonymous. The sixth characteristic of nature was evident quite evident in the thought of Arndt and Boehme. The five characteristics listed as relevant to the early Brethren, however, are more in line with the catalytic Pietist leader, Spener. See W.R. Ward. Early Evangelicalism: A Global Intellectual History, 1670-1789 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 4.

[18] Ibid.

[19] For more on Brethren and Ward’s hexagon, see Denise D. Kettering-Lane. “Evangelical from the Start?: Brethren Origins and Evangelicalism. Brethren Life & Thought 61, supplement (Summer 2016): 1-10.

[20] Kettering-Lane, Evangelical from the Start?, 7. Kettering-Lane notes that among some Brethren there was particular interest in conversion experiences but it is not present in the writings of Alexander Mack. Kettering-Lane cites the autobiographical account of the conversion of Johann Lobach. See Durnbaugh, European Origins, 196.

[21] Marcus Meier argues that Philadelphian eschatology was a coalescing factor for the early Brethren. His work is quite convincing and his command of research (much of it never before seen) is impressive and admirable. The intersection of Radical Pietism and Anabaptism is revealed to be much more complex than once thought. Utilizing city censuses, governmental documents, and correspondences from parallel movements of the period, Meier reveals the German Palatinate as a microcosm of the Radical Reformation. While Philadelphian eschatology (and more importantly, its failure to properly predict the end of time) served as a catalyst for several Radical Pietist sects of the period in their coalescence around structures, practices and governance, the ecclesiology of the Brethren was a product of Anabaptism, specifically Mennonite and Swiss Brethren (as has been shown). The telos of the Schwarzenau Brethren was less a failed Philadelphian eschatology and more a kingdom-minded people attempting to live out the separated life they found in the New Testament—in other words, the Schwarzenau Brethren were sectarian according to the vision they found of the church in the New Testament. See Meier, Schwarzenau Brethren, 92-93. Stoffer further comments: “Mack also gave a new foundation to other Radical Pietist emphases such as brotherly love, community, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Whereas these emphases were given an eschatological our spiritualist foundation in Radical circles, Mack concreted them in the life of the visible community. This preoccupation with giving visible expression to Jesus’ teachings tended generally to weaken interest in eschatology,” see Stoffer, Brethren Doctrines, 266.

[22] Durnbaugh, European Origins, 37.

[23] Kettering-Lane, Evangelical from the Start?, 9.

[24] Durnbaugh provides a detailed historiography of this tradition tracing its origin with the Waldensians, a separatist Medieval sect from the twelfth century. Spanning centuries, this tradition, according to Durnbaugh, encompasses the groups that are known as the Radical Reformation, of which Anabaptists, Radical Pietists, and eventually Brethren are a part. See Donald Durnbaugh. The Believers’ Church: The History and Character of Radical Protestantism. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1968.

[25] Durnbaugh, Believers’ Church, 32-33.

[26] Ibid, 33.

[27] Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God (Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press, 2006), 56.

[28] Roger E. Olson, “Pietism and Postmodernism: Points of Congeniality” Christian Scholar’s Review 41, no. 4: 376.

[29] Brethren Encyclopedia Project, Brethren Spirituality: How Brethren Conceive of an Practice the Spiritual Life (Philadelphia: The Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., 2015), 71.

[30] Stoffer, Brethren Doctrines, 245.

[31] Brown, Another Way, 121.

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