God’s Revolution

Eberhard Arnold’s reflections on vital issues such as capitalism, war, suffering, disease, poverty, community, property, military service, and sustainable farming, among others, are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago. Excerpted from the book God’s Revolution.

From before the First World War into the late 1920s, Eberhard Arnold was a popular figure on the lecture circuit in Germany, serving universities, the Youth Movement world, and the student Christian world. Notes or outlines of many of these talks have been preserved in rough form. From early 1920 until his death in 1935 Arnold was regularly presenting teaching sessions for the members and the guests of his community. From many of these talks as well, rough notes have been retained. It is from these sources that most of the following materials have been drawn....

We remember how it was the collapse of national cultural self-confidence which freed German youth in 1919–21 to be seized in an unprecedented way by the power of Jesus’ kingdom message. We remember how it was the collapse of democracy and the rise of Hitler which set in bold relief how different and how powerful is the corporate quality of spiritual resistance. We remember that it was in the desperation of the late first century that the Apostle John was given visions of how God’s saving purposes for the world are not thwarted but enhanced by that setting. Thus our discerning more frankly the wounds and the wars of our present world, which Arnold could not foresee, may once again set in relief the pertinence, and the promised power of the kingdom way, the course already set for us, which the following texts so simply and so authentically interpret.

Adapted from John Howard Yoder's introduction to God’s Revolution (Walden, NY: Plough, 2021). Explore the articles below to read excerpts from this book.