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Homage to a Broken Man

The Life of J. Heinrich Arnold – A true story of faith, forgiveness, sacrifice, and community


Foreword by Eugene Peterson

4.32 Stars on Goodreads Read Reviews

Those who knew J. Heinrich Arnold later in life wondered at the way people were drawn to this strange man with a thick accent and easy smile. In his presence, complete strangers poured out their darkest secrets and left transformed. Others wanted him dead.


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Available languages:
한국어
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Hardcover

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About The Book

Those who knew J. Heinrich Arnold later in life wondered at the way people were drawn to this strange man with a thick accent and easy smile. They sensed that here was someone who ­understood, someone they could trust. What made him different?

Eager to answer this question, Peter Mommsen set out to uncover his grand­father’s past. This is what he found: A boy who faced down Nazis and hunger, growing up on potatoes and radical ideas. The son of a famous intellectual, determined to drop out of school and take to the road. A young lover fleeing his homeland. A new father losing his first child. An unlikely pioneer in the heart of South America.

Foreword’s book of the year awards: Indiefab Finalist

There, in the jungles of Paraguay, the religious community his parents had founded was twisted by legalism and power-hungry leaders into a cold and lifeless caricature. Arnold was betrayed by those he trusted most, separated from his wife and children, and exiled to a leper colony.

Often his life hung on a knife’s edge. But he knew he couldn’t die yet, because he hadn’t fulfilled his calling, or the promise he had made as a child…

J. Heinrich Arnold was a broken man. Yet those who knew him said they never met another like him. Some spoke of his humility and compassion; others of his frankness and earthy humor. In his presence, complete strangers poured out their darkest secrets and left transformed. Others wanted him dead.

Writer Henri Nouwen called him a “prophetic voice” and wrote of how his words “touched me as a double-edged sword, calling me to choose between truth and lies, selflessness and selfishness.… Here was no pious, sentimental guide; every word came from experience.”

Who was this extraordinary yet simple man? In this gripping and richly spiritual book, Peter Mommsen tells the dramatic true story of the grandfather he hardly knew. Read it, and you will never look at your own life the same way again. Finalist for Foreword Reviews’ 2015 Book of the Year Award for best biography.

Hardcover, 6 x 9
978-0874866131

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Table of Contents

  1. Opa
  2. Revolution
  3. Sannerz
  4. Breakup
  5. Conversion
  6. The Sun Troop
  7. Lotte
  8. Father and Son
  9. Adolescence
  10. Tata
  11. An Arrival
  12. Nazis
  13. Silum
  14. Annemarie
  15. The Farewell
  16. Four O’Clock
  17. The Last Letter
  1. Refugee Wedding
  2. Emmy Maria
  3. Heliopher
  4. Primavera
  5. Repentance
  6. Nightmares
  7. Among Children
  8. Banished
  9. Leper Colony
  10. Fatherhood
  11. Marianne
  12. On the Road
  13. Changes
  14. Woodcrest
  15. The Crucible
  16. Liberation
  17. To the Finish

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