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Peter Becker

Various Brethren Press PDF

dunkerguide-history-complete35/27/104:55 PMPage 22Mack and Beissel far outshone him as preachers, writers, and influential figures. But Becker was recognized for his sincerity, common sense, care for others, and patience. These qualities made Becker the perfect person to lead the Brethren through the turbulent first decades in America. founding of the church in America, Peter Becker is little more than a name to mostBrethren today. He deserves better.Becker was born in the village of Dudelsheim, northeast of Frankfurt,Germany, in 1687. Baptized into the Reformed church, he grew up to become a prosperous farmer with extensive landholdings. Yet he also grew dissatisfied with the established church. He became interested in the enthusiasm and deep spirituality of the radical Pietist movement. He was especially attracted to the preaching and teaching of the radical Pietist leader Hochmann von Hochenau. Hochmann’s influence prepared Becker to hear and respond to the message of Brethren minister Johannes Naas, who visited the Dudelsheim area in 1714. Peter Becker and his wife, Anna Dorothea, were baptized by Naas on the 15th of May, 1714.

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Why Brethren History?

Various Brethren Press PDF

dunkerguide-history-complete35/27/104:55 PMPage 7300 YEARSWhy Brethren history? by Frank RamirezHeritage is full of rich stories and lessonsIlearned a good deal of Brethren history before I even considered joining the Brethren. What surprised me at the time was how little real Brethren knew about their own story.In 1974, while I was a theater arts major at La Verne College in California, fellow students Mike Titus and Phil Franklin told me that professor Vernard Eller had been asked to write a play about Brethren beginnings called “A Time SoUrgent.” It had been commissioned for the 250th anniversary of the church in1958 but never performed. Mike and Phil got this crazy idea that we ought to take this play out into Brethren society that summer. Could I help?It was the height of the gas crisis, with long lines at the pump, but the college was offering us a van (wonderfully refurbished because the staff mistakenly thought it was for the president) and a gas card. We would depend on Brethren churches for food, lodging, and maybe an offering or two.

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Alexander Mack

Various Brethren Press PDF

dunkerguide-history-complete35/27/104:55 PMPage 171708-1758Alexander MackA seeker of scripture by Alice ArcherOrganizational and unity-building skills gave new movement a foundationAlexander Mack was born in 1679 in a family of village leaders inSchriesheim, Germany. His father was twice mayor. During Mack’s childhood years his family fled three times into nearby hills for safety from invading armies, returning to help rebuild life in the community.When his oldest brother died, Mack’s parents expected him to partner with another brother in the family mill, ending any plans for a university education.Mack’s marriage to Anna Margaret Kling in 1701 united two of the leading families of Schriesheim.Mack soon became disillusioned with the local Reformed Church and joined thePietist movement. While some Pietists continued a relationship with local congregations, others known as Separatists withdrew from organized religion. Mack became a Separatist. In violation of laws against private religious gatherings, he began a

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Eternal Life

Various Brethren Press PDF

A DUNKERG U I D E TOEternal LifeA new heaven and a new earthJohn 3:16; John 14:1-7; Revelation 21:1-4W. Clemens RosenbergerEwith the age-old question: “If mortals die, will they live again?” (Job 14:14). We do this because our human self-consciousness, unlike that of the rest of the animal kingdom, makes us anxious and afraid in the face of death and dying. At the tender age of six, I realized the power of death for the first time on the night my grandmother died. Grandma’s sudden passing, the shock and grief of my mother, and the eeriness of the wake in a dimly lit home parlor packed with whispering church members and friends, awakened within me that question; “If I die, willI live again?”We live in a world of death and dying. Our nation is fighting multiple wars. Across the global horizon we witness natural disasters, violent revolutions, mass migrations, suicidal bombings, crowded refugee camps, and hundreds of thousands of people dying from hunger and AIDS. With advancing years, with illness and the death of friends and loved ones, and with an everincreasing fascination with obituaries, memorial services, cemeteries, and

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Whither Brethren?

Dale W. Brown Brethren Press PDF

another way body.qxd6/8/051:17 PMPage 218position’ as part of the total witness of a new church, but not as yet central and primary?”Some eighty percent of the delegates voted for the committee’s recommendation against joining. We still could have maintained our observer status. As a member of the committee and one of our representatives to COCU,I recall my passionate speech to the body. I believed this rejection would only be compelling if our denomination would revive our peace witness and make it central in our life and thought. We probably could have worked out other differences in belief and practice more readily than gaining acceptance of our peace heritage. I remembered the opinion of a German theologian,Otto Piper. He reminded us that our peace witness is the only justification we have to continue to exist as a denomination.J. Denny Weaver is raising this same challenge to Mennonites. He points out that Mennonites have a list of good beliefs in which peace is but one. He advocates, however, that Mennonites be a peace church in which New

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