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Eberhard Arnold: an Appreciation

Richard J. Foster


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From the introduction to Arnold’s book The Prayer God Answers:

Eberhard Arnold’s astonishing ministry occurred in Germany between the enormous upheavals of World War I and World War II. His major work, Innerland, absorbed his energies for most of his life. The manuscript had to be packed in metal boxes and buried at night for safekeeping from the Nazis, who raided his study on two occasions. Innerland spoke forcefully against the demonic spirits that animated German society in that day: the murderous strains of racism and bigotry, the heady nationalistic fervor, the mindless mass hysteria, and the vulgar materialism.

In 1933 the Bruderhof, the intentional Christian community that Arnold had founded, was stormed by the Gestapo, SS, and police; and its school was closed. Ultimately the Bruderhof community was forced to flee Nazi oppression, first to Liechtenstein and then to England. Today Bruderhof communities can be found in several countries around the world.

In the midst of this tumultuous era in human history, Arnold penned his lucid and wise essay, The Prayer God Answers. In it he traverses the landscape of Christian prayer, providing us with vital and hard-won insights into the life of faith.






Portrait of Eberhard Arnold as a young man.
Related Article The Danger of Prayer – by Eberhard Arnold Read
Contributed By photo of Richard J Foster Richard J. Foster

Richard J. Foster is the founder of Renovaré, an ecumical Christian community, and the author of several books including A Celebration of Discipline (Harper San Francisco, 1988).

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