Five Myths about the History of Heresy and Orthodoxy

Alister McGrath overviewed the epic, centuries-long battle between good and bad theology in Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth. Here are five ideas about heresy that, according to McGrath, are either myths or misconceptions. Myth One: Heresy arose from boredom with orthodox doctrine and an appetite for something new Most of the classic heresies arose … Continue reading Five Myths about the History of Heresy and Orthodoxy

Two Common Mistakes That Lead to Oversimplified History

"There is no surer basis for fanaticism than bad history, which is invariably history oversimplified." This quote is from Diarmaid MacCulloch's Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years (three thousands years because he starts with the ancient Greeks and Israelites). I think I can see the logic behind MacCulloch's statement. A fanatic can't be reasoned with … Continue reading Two Common Mistakes That Lead to Oversimplified History

A Scientist and a Poet Discuss Roses (When Wesley Met Zinzendorf)

The Moravian Church had a great influence on John Wesley. Wesley first met some Moravians on a ship to the American colonies. He befriended more of them when he had returned to England. He visited their community in Herrnhut, Germany, and was impressed. Then things began to change. As Wesley encountered more Moravians, he began … Continue reading A Scientist and a Poet Discuss Roses (When Wesley Met Zinzendorf)

Count Zinzendorf’s Weird Help/Hurt Relationship With the Moravian Church

One of the most interesting aspects of Joseph Hutton’s History of the Moravian Church is his portrayal of Count Zinzendorf. As Hutton tells the story, Zinzendorf is both the good guy and the bad guy. His quirks and faults were as big as his virtues. No doubt his generosity and wisdom was essential for the … Continue reading Count Zinzendorf’s Weird Help/Hurt Relationship With the Moravian Church

The Unexpected Advice That May Have Saved John Wesley’s Ministry

John Wesley’s ministry was saved from shipwreck by some unexpected advice. At least that’s how Joseph Hutton described the matter in his History of the Moravian Church. This story finds its place in Moravian church history because the man who gave Wesley that advice was a Moravian minister named Peter Boehler. Wesley met Boehler in … Continue reading The Unexpected Advice That May Have Saved John Wesley’s Ministry

The Key Factor That Set the Moravian Missionaries Apart

The Moravian church experienced a move of God in 1727 at Herrnhut, Germany. Many people affected by that revival spent the rest of their lives doing missionary work in foreign lands. The sending began in 1732. Leonard Dober and David Nitschmann set sail for the Caribbean Island of St. Thomas. The sending continued for decades. … Continue reading The Key Factor That Set the Moravian Missionaries Apart

The Importance of Book Serendipity (1727 Version)

Serendipity is being in the right place at the right time. Book serendipity is stumbling upon the right book at the right time. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines serendipity as the “luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for.” When those valuable or pleasant things are books, that’s book … Continue reading The Importance of Book Serendipity (1727 Version)

The Generosity and Forgiveness That Led to the Revival of the Moravian Church

Joseph Hutton's History of the Moravian Church, Part 6 In 1727, a revival came to the town of Hernnhut, Germany. It led to a missionary movement that affected the world. It also brought new life to the Church of the Brethren, a 270-year-old church that had almost been persecuted out of existence. This happened because … Continue reading The Generosity and Forgiveness That Led to the Revival of the Moravian Church

The Pre-Reformation Protestants Search for Like-Minded Brethren

Joseph Hutton's History of the Moravian Church, Part 5 By 1491, the Church of the Brethren was successfully established as a Bible-based, independent alternative to the State-sponsored church. There were two perspectives they could have taken at this point. They could have said to themselves, “There’s no church like us in the world. We’re the … Continue reading The Pre-Reformation Protestants Search for Like-Minded Brethren