Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805–1880)
Over at the blog run by several key folks at BIOLA’s Torrey Honors Institute, The Scriptorium Daily, today’s date elicited a meditation on Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805-1880) and the exorcism that propelled him to fame, such that he came to influence Karl Barth, among others. The following is written by Fred Sanders:
Today (December 28) in 1843, an unclean spirit cried “Jesus is victor!” as it departed from a young girl in Möttlingen, Germany.
The possessed girl was Gottliebin Dittus, and the presiding pastor was Johann Christoph Blumhardt (1805-1880). An account of the conflict can be read in the book The Awakening, available as a free pdf from Plough books. In fact, several books by and about Blumhardt and his son are available from Plough. The account of Blumhardt’s encounter with the unclean spirit is carefully written to avoid anything prurient, and to discourage unhealthy curiosity. But given the subject matter, it’s inevitably chilling and weird. It ranges from standard poltergeist behavior (loud knocking) to apparitions of the guilty departed, to intimations of the dark, spiritual world inhabited by fallen angels. Some of the scenes are, to speak anachronistically, straight out of exorcist movies. Continue reading
Again a re-post, from the Christianity Today history blog. For a related posted on this blog, see here:
Signs and Wonders: The Charismatic Power of Early Christianity
by Chris Armstrong | January 7, 2009
When we teach about the early church, we frequently omit the story of spiritual gifts.
Cessationism is the belief that the miracles of Jesus’ lifetime and the apostolic period happened solely to attest to the authority and inspiration of the apostolic writings, and that miracles and extraordinary spiritual gifts ceased after the writing of the apostolic documents was concluded.
As writers such as ex-Dallas Seminary professor Jack Deere have argued, this is a position with no biblical foundation. But it also has a problem with the historical record. That record shows clearly that the early church was quite active in the charismatic gifts at least through 200 AD. There was a decline in the 3rd century, and then again it became active.
Sadly, many writers and teachers who are not cessationist continue to give the impression that miracles and extraordinary gifts were phenomena limited to the apostolic period. The way the early church is usually taught, we hear much about martyrdom and persecution; much about Gnostics and Arians and doctrinal disputes; much about how bishops and clergy roles evolved, and how the apostolic tradition was passed down and the canon of the New Testament evolved. Continue reading
Posted in Resources for Radical Living
Tagged Adolph Harnack, Augustine of Hippo, charismatic movement, charismatics, Didache, early church, exorcism, faith healing, healing, Irenaeus of Lyon, Justin Martyr, miracles, Origen of Alexandria, prophecy, Shepherd of Hermas, Stanley Burgess