Gathering to His Name: The Story of Open Brethren in Britain and Ireland.
This nicely written and detailed survey of Open Brethren history from its beginnings in the late 1820s to the present is sympathetic enough to appeal to insiders, but also supplies balance, critical analysis, and solid scholarship.
Since 1945, Open Brethren have reduced their distance from other evangelicals, but since the 1960s they have been less fruitful evangelistically in an era of secularism and prosperity.
As the only detailed account covering Open Brethren in Britain and Ireland from its beginnings to the present, this study will stimulate further research.
In the schism of 1848-49, Open Brethren insisted on the freedom to receive in membership any applicant they believed to be "sound in faith and godly in life." The other faction, here designated as Exclusive Brethren, screened out applicants regarded as "linked in fellowship with teachers of erroneous doctrine" (3).
Among the best known of these early leaders was John Nelson Darby, foremost of the Exclusives after the separation, of whom the author provides a careful and evenhanded analysis, in contrast to Darby's treatment by more partisan Open Brethren historians.
His closest tie was with his brother-in-law George Muller, whose influence in open Brethren circles was second to none.
Darby's followers became known as Exclusive Brethren in contrast to the Open Brethren, with whom Groves was associated.
Brought up in a Belfast 'Open Brethren
' family before post-graduate work in radiation biology took him to Iowa and London, after a briefer time at Ann Arbor where he met his wife and helped run a Billy Graham mission.