Church History and World Religions


Selected Reading

Quick Quotes

The Pentecostal spring of the early Christian Church stands in the strongest contrast to the icily rigid Christianity of our day. Everyone feels that there a fresher wind blows and purer water springs, that there a stronger power and a more glowing warmth hold sway than is the case today among those who call themselves Christians.

- Eberhard Arnold

We experience that unity is at the same time agreement with the apostolic testimony of the New Testament, and agreement with the testimony of the future of the kingdom of God. Thus we experience unity not simply in the small circle of our community life, but as a unity that embraces all millennia; the spirit of inspired men and prophets; perfect unity with all original movements that were a spiritual uprising, with all movements, which sprang from the source, borne by the Holy Spirit and led by the inner light. We can testify that we have experienced that we become completely unanimous, when in the quiet hour the Spirit gives witness, and the light of Christ bursts into flame in our hearts, when in this silent concentrated attention the voice of Jesus speaks within us.

- Eberhard Arnold

One sign of apostolic mission and outreach by all movements of the spirit in earlier Christianity and later the Hutterites is this: while it is the custom of the institutional churches and religious gatherings of all kinds, to prepare their meetings with propaganda and the ringing of church bells and illuminated advertisements, the apostolic messengers follow, from place to place, the active Spirit, who tells them where the expectant and prepared hearts are to be found, where the people are who are moved and touched by God’s Spirit, so that the decisive message may be brought to them. Such men are to be found everywhere. We must be led to them through the Holy Spirit who guides us; they must be led to us through the Holy Spirit who leads them.

- Eberhard Arnold

Additional Reading for Church History and World Religions

The Early Christians
What did Christianity look like before it became an institution? This collection of firsthand accounts of the early church includes excerpts from Origen, Tertullian, Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, Justin, Irenaeus, and others — and equally revealing material from their critics, detractors and persecutors.
Against the Wind
A German journalist's account of the life of Eberhard Arnold, who rejected mainstream Christianity for a radical discipleship of living in community as did the early church.
An Embassy Besieged
This is an amazing account of a community who stayed true to the nonviolent way of the Cross, and how, despite relentless Nazi opposition, God protected and victoriously led them along the way.