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Converting the heathen in the last days: Turkish baptisms in the Ysenburg Court in the 1690s

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Chapter Summary

On the 21st of October 1694 Conrad Bröske took part in a remarkable event: the baptism of a young Turkish woman in the Reformed Church in Offenbach. The Second Preacher in Offenbach, Conrad's cousin Johann Christoph Bröske, did in fact report "each and every circumstance" of the baptism in great detail. To set the stage for these events, it is important to consider that Bröske's world included the empire of the Ottoman Turks and its sudden demise. And Bröske's views on Turkish conversion must be set in the context of how first generation Protestant Reformers viewed the Turk. With Bröske and the Philadelphians the Turk was a potential convert, the object of God's abundant grace at the dawn of Christ's millennia kingdom. Bröske saw successful mission to the "heathen" as a sure sign of the dawning Philadelphian church age. This age would soon supersede the Sardic age of Reformation Protestantism.

Keywords: baptism; Conrad Bröske; Offenbach; Ottoman Turks; Philadelphians; Reformation Protestantism



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