A History of the Moravian Church (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/10/14
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Please be aware that "CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform" and "First Rate Publishers" produce a very inferior, mostly unreadable version of their book. After trying twice, I will never again purchase a book printed by them.
Mr.Hutton does a very good job of piecing together the aberrant as well as the fundamental views of the Bohemian reformation movement, later called Moravian. He appears to leave no stone unturned in his effort to acquaint us with the origin of, the idiosyncrasies, and mistakes of the Moravian church and it's leaders.
My only complaint is his infidelity to chronological order in his story. One is thrust back in time on several occasions, to pick up a strand left behind in a previous chapter.
Overall, the author appears to be very trustworthy. He both praises and faults Zinzendorf as well as exposing the many errors in both teaching, hymnody, and practice. His analysis of the inclusiveness and the centralization of the missionary efforts of the visible Moravian church show us plainly that when men attempt to improve themselves through self imposed separation and discipline, they always resist the will of the Holy Spirit. The tendency toward isolationism and, simultaneously, a lack of proselytizing almost doomed the church many times.
My view of Zinzendorf is much affected by this book and I realize, more than ever, that there is no perfect or faultless man on the earth. At the same time, while I admire much of what the Moravian church (Unitas Fratum) did and attempted, they were almost self-defeating in their open mindedness toward both Protestant and Catholic believers. They were the most ecumenical of churches, but therein lay their biggest problem: the point of their beliefs and doctrines were muddled. While they were widely admired for their morality and integrity, they were, it seems, much too focused on temporal appearances and self-sufficiency and ironically, dependency on the "Lot", which became their rule rather than a tool to determine the will of God in only the most difficult situations.
A very broad, yet very detailed history of this troubled and yet admirable movement. The author includes the doctrinal stance of the present day Moravian church, which is indicative of the long term affect of the historical views and teachings of their founder, Count Zinzendorf. I admire their declaration of "In Essentials, Unity, In Non-Essentials, Liberty, and In All Things, Love", but they also adhere to the Augsburg Confession. This is confusing to me, since they affirm both the Lutheran and Anglican views and yet consider themselves members of neither church. Yet, those they "converted" they compelled to remain in or return to their original churches. Interestingly, the Augsburg Confession denounces the Ana-Baptist theology regarding the sacraments. Indeed, the Moravian church emphasizes experiential Christianity, that is, inner feelings and revelations as well as outward emotional raptures. In that regard they seem to have predated the current charismatics and the Quietism.
In short, this is an very interesting and fairly concise history of this movement. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a better understanding of the church that actually predates the Ana-Baptists and was inspired into existence by the teaching and martyrdom of John Hus. I did wonder what the author's relationship was to one of the principles in the English mission, another James Hutton, but that is hardly relevant due to the apparent transparency of the author regarding each person's human flaws.
The book was a bit dry as it reflected on the more current Moravian church doings, but that is just a matter of being honest in the development of the history.