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The inner life by Eberhard Arnold

The inner life

by Eberhard Arnold

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3.5 stars. Eberhard Arnold's "The inner life" is a Christian classic, but it is best read slowly and savored. There is much to appreciate here, teachings on the "divisive callousness of pride," and the importance of spending time in prayer so we may cultivate an inner life that prepares us to live an outer life of love and non-violence. Written following the First World War yet while anticipating the Second (Arnold sent a copy to Hitler), the book is eerily relevant to current world affairs. The style of writing is dense and abstract, however, with few analogies, metaphors, or stories to illustrate Arnold's ideas. Still, this is a book that rewards patient readers with fresh insights. ( )
  someproseandcons | Aug 7, 2019 |
The 1936 Innen Land; Ein Wegweiser in die Seele der Bibel und in den Kampf um die Wirkklichkeit by Eberhard Arnold was not only a study into the what and how of the Christian everyday life, but also emphasized the importance to look for God's Kingdom instead of longing for a Third Reich. When a copy of the book was sent to Adolf Hitler and his staff, they dismissed the call-to-repent and took Arnold prison. In 1975 the magnum opus of Eberhard Arnold, which was initially published as a patriotic pamphlet for German soldiers in 1914, evolved into the full book, was translated into English as The Inner Life: Inner Land: A Guide into the Heart of the Gospel, which now in 2019 sees a reprint and renewed introduction to the general public.

Christ calls us to deepen our inner life in stillness and quiet. He teaches us to pray, to spread the good news, and be full of the Holy Spirit. The illumination of our hearts by God will work out in our entire life, private and public. Arnold admires both God and his church as being the manifestation of God on Earth since Jesus' ascension. The living church receives its unity and unanimity from the continual outpouring of the Spirit. The guide illustrates the topics with an overwhelming series of references to Bible versions. It's a continuous flow of truths without slicing it into topics or sound bites. All human efforts toward salvation are doomed to fail. Human spirits unite in God's Spirit. Understanding this may take a while, even a life, but it's worth looking for! ( )
  hjvanderklis | Jun 23, 2019 |
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It is hard to exaggerate the significance of Inner Land. Arnold's magnum opus, it absorbed his energies off and on for years: from World War I, when he published the first chapter, to the final days of his life in 1935, when what turned out to be the final manuscript was packed in metal boxes and buried at night until it could be smuggled out of Nazi Germany.Arnold saw this book as a way into the "inner land of the invisible, where man's spirit must find the roots of its strength before he can press on to the mastery of life he is called to by God".A treasure trove of remarkable depth, there is not a page that fails to prick the conscience -- or enkindle the spirit.Thomas MertonArnold's writing has all the simple, luminous, direct vision into things that I have come to associate with his name. It has the authentic ring of a truly evangelical Christianity, and moves me deeply. It stirs to repentance and renewal. I am very grateful for it.Christianity TodayCalls men and women to a life of such trust in God that their attitudes toward his kingdom, other people, material wealth, and earthly power are transformed.… (more)

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