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Dispute with the reformed preachers in Elberfeld, 1704–1706

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Chapter Summary

From November 1704 until mid 1706 Conrad Bröske was involved in a bitter dispute with the Reformed preachers of the Elberfeld Classis. This conflict came on the heels of his intense and acrimonious feud with fellow Philadelphian, Johann Konrad Dippel, just two years earlier. Bröske now faced opposition from the opposite flank. He was accused by the Elberfeld Classis of compromising Reformed teachings on the church, sacraments and kingdom of God. When the Reformed Church in Elberfeld called Bröske as its second preacher, the Classis challenged the decision. The controversy provides insight into the conflicts and church politics that dominated the religious landscape at this time as well as into Bröske's temperament and personality. Max Goebel characterized the controversy as a classic Protestant theological conflict. He argued that the Elberfeld church was inwardly-oriented and held to new, erroneous, chiliastic, Philadelphian teachings.

Keywords: Conrad Bröske; Elberfeld Classis; Max Goebel; Philadelphian teachings; Protestant theological conflict; Reformed preachers

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