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Homage to a Broken Man: The Life of J. Heinrich Arnold – A true story of faith, forgiveness, sacrifice, and community

(Bruderhof History Series)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Those who knew J. Heinrich Arnold later in life wondered at the way people were drawn to this strange man with a thick accent and easy smile. They sensed that here was someone who understood, someone they could trust. What made him different?

Eager to answer this question, Peter Mommsen set out to uncover his grandfather’s past. This is what he found: A boy who faced down N
Hardcover, 415 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Plough Publishing House (first published September 7th 2004)
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Julius McCarter
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Peter Mommsen's Homage to a Broken Man: The Life of J. Heinrich Arnold -- A True Story of Faith, Forgiveness, Sacrifice and Community is another of those spiritual biographies that epitomizes what Paul had in mind of the Corinthians, as living epistles that continue in testimony to Jesus. As Arnold's grandson, Mommsen brings a unique perspective to appreciate this unusual man, this highly gifted pastor. It truly is a "homage to a broken man" -- a real human being who was used by God to accomplis ...more
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
This life of J. Heinrich Arnold is told by his grandson. Arnold made a vow as a young child to spread the gospel of Jesus. Through the flight from Nazi Germany to the commune pioneered in Paraguay, Arnold stayed true to his faith in spite of much physical and spiritual suffering. His personal brokenness inspired deep compassion. I would love to have met him face to face.
Joe Morriss
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An engaging account of the life of one of intentional Christian socialists community pioneers. Takes us through the personal struggle of one man as he carries the burden of responsibility for a great vision. Couldn't put the book down so relevant to the future of many post charismatic community settings today. A lesson to us all. Heartbreaking and heartwarming.
Stephen Jones
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very powerful book which tells the story of a man with a hunger for Christ and the courage to follow him. In particular Arnold is inspired by the faith of his father Eberhard Arnold. At key points in his life it is those memories of what his father would have said or done that make the difference.
Pete Ordi
Dec 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Why? Why this book? There is nothing honorable about the life of Heinrich Arnold. His was a wasted life.
Jenni Spice
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Courage Comfort and Peace of Mind. This book unexpectedly gave me the courage to face a huge challenge. Life changing. This is why I read!
Rebecca Chapman Dann
To condense this whole book into one thought I would say that it is a story about a humble, spiritual man, who creates a life of love and beauty only to be stalled by men of ambition and manipulation. And yet his vision is carried on over generations and decades. This true story of a devoted Christian family establishing, and trying to maintain, communal life is fascinating. J. Heinrich Arnold is the main focus of the story even thought the dedication to communal living and the original commune ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rod Dreher has become the champion of Christians in the U.S. building "Benedict Options" in the face of American culture's increasingly hostile stance toward traditional Christian faith. Dreher has written and spoken extensively on the Benedict Option over the past two years, and is writing a book, which will be released in March 2016.

Dreher insists that embracing the Benedict Option--which undoubtedly will be expressed in a variety of forms by different communities of believers--does not mean w
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
다벨에 방문했을 때, 브루더호프가 스스로의 역사를 어떻게 정리하고 있는 지 궁금했다. 공동체 아이들이 학교에서 세계사를 배운 이후에 공동체 역사를 수업시간에 배운다고 들었던 터였다. 나의 호스트 가족이 조 였는데, 1960년대에 공동체에 큰 위기가 있었던 이야기를 해 주었다. power seeking, 권력에 대한 욕구가 공동체가 깨지고 1/3정도 되는 이들이 공동체를 떠나가는 위기의 원인이었다. 방문이 짧아 다 들을 시간이 없었는데, 이 책을 선물해 주었다.

능력과 성공의 이야기가 아닌, 공동체를 이루고자 했던 이들이 어떤 실패를 겪어 왔었는지에 대한 이야기이다. 그 정신을 되새김질 하며 살고 있는 후손들을 만나고 와서, 또 그런 이들과 함께 살고 있어서 그냥 신앙 전기로 읽히지는 않았다. '긍정의 힘'이 말하고 있지 않은, 하지만 전도서의 기자가 말하고 있는 '실패의 신앙'이다.
Carmen Hinkey
A deep and powerful biography, but much more than that. The story of suffering and redemption, betrayal and forgiveness, and most of all the love of Christ in one man's heart.
Larry Jebsen
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Heiner is the authentic kind human that takes the time with you. Opened up a great world to me. purity . The kingdom of God is something you do together. Community. Loved it!
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Peter Mommsen is editor of Plough Quarterly, a magazine of stories, ideas, and culture for people eager to put their faith into practice:

After studying classics at Harvard from 1994 to 1997, Peter left college to work on an organic monastery farm on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua. Returning to his home town in upstate New York, he has worked as a writer, editor, and translator

Other books in the series

Bruderhof History Series (7 books)
  • A Joyful Pilgrimage: My Life In Community
  • Against the Wind: Eberhard Arnold and the Bruderhof
  • Anni: Letters and Writings of Annemarie Wächter  - A Bruderhof Member's Story
  • I Put My Sword Away: An Iraqi Soldier's Journey from Battlefield to Brotherhood
  • My Search: A Holocaust Survivor's Journey - Bruderhof Stories
  • No Lasting Home: A Year In The Paraguayan Wilderness
“To make another human being feel like a fool is a terrible sin,” he once told Heiner. “It is soul murder.” 0 likes
“The first believers in Jerusalem distributed all their goods. ‘They were of one heart and one soul, and shared all things in common.’ As soon as the Spirit was poured over them, nobody could hold onto property any longer.” 0 likes
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