The possessed girl was Gottliebin Dittus, and the presiding pastor was Johann Christoph Blumhardt An account of the conflict can be read in the book The Awakening , available as a free pdf from Plough books. In fact, several books by and about Blumhardt and his son are available from Plough. It ranges from standard poltergeist behavior loud knocking to apparitions of the guilty departed, to intimations of the dark, spiritual world inhabited by fallen angels. Some of the scenes are, to speak anachronistically, straight out of exorcist movies.

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He was a well-known preacher. In he announced his support for socialism and joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany ; for this, he lost his position as minister.

As the First World War broke out, he declared his belief in a coming Kingdom of God , declaring "we live in the time before a massive change in the world. This darkness will be vanquished through the Lord Jesus Christ. As his father had done before him, he took university training pointing toward a Reformed pastorate.

However, he became disillusioned with the church and theology and so decided simply to return home to Bad Boll and act as a helper there. In time, the younger Blumhardt became quite renowned as a mass evangelist and faith healer. But after a very successful "crusade" in Berlin in , he drastically cut back both activities, saying, I do not want to suggest that it is of little importance for God to heal the sick; actually, it now is happening more and more often—although very much in quiet.

To be cleansed is more important than to be healed. He was asked to resign his ministerial status in the church. Blumhardt began as a very active and energetic legislator, but as time passed he greatly curtailed this activity and bluntly declined to stand for a second term of office. Clearly, the pattern was of a piece with his earlier retreat from mass evangelism and faith healing.

These brought him to a final position expressed in the dialectical motto: Wait and Hasten. Staunchly anti-war, [1] his understanding was that the call of the Christian is still for him to give himself completely to the cause of the kingdom. To do everything in his power to help the world toward that goal. Yet, at the same time, a Christian must remain calm and patient, unperturbed even if his efforts show no signs of success, willing to wait for the Lord to bring the kingdom at his own pace and in his own way.

And, according to Blumhardt, far from being inactivity, this sort of waiting is itself a very strong and creative action in the very hastening of the kingdom. Blumhardt suffered a stroke in and died a peaceful death on 2 August in Jebenhausen.


Christoph Blumhardt

His family was poor but teachers found him to be gifted and they encouraged his father to send him on to higher education. Blumhardt loved music and often sang hymns in his home and at church. While he was at school his father died and as the oldest he was expected to support the family. He saved as much as he could to send to his mother back home. He continued to deepen his relationship with God. He studied the Bible and reformation leaders, such as Luther. The parish was large having members.


Johann Christoph Blumhardt


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