Zinzendorf advocated the idea of a personal relationship with God, rather than the formal churchgoing Lutheranism of the day. Zinzendorf used the term living faith, which he contrasted unfavorably with the prevailing nominalism of dull Protestant orthodoxy. For him, faith was less about an intellectual assent to doctrines than about a personal, transforming encounter with God, so the Herrnhüter emphasized Bible reading and home devotions. His ideas influenced John Wesley, who visited Hernnhut in 1738, the year of his famous conversion.
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A new member of the Igels was a Fuchs (Fox), alluding to the ancient Greek poet Archilochus, who famously declared that “the fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
Note: hedgehog
We adhere to the same confession of faith, we pray the same Lord’s Prayer, and we share some of the same ancient rites. This binds us together, and as far as we are concerned we would like to live in peace with our disparate sister. We do not, however, want to deny anything that we have recognized as God’s word. The designation Catholic or Protestant is unimportant. The important thing is God’s word.
Note: ecumenism
As a result of his intellectual openness, Bonhoeffer learned how to think like a fox and respect the way foxes thought, even though he was in the camp of the hedgehogs. He could appreciate the value in something, even if he ultimately rejected that something—and could see the errors and flaws in something, even if he ultimately accepted that something.
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