In Zinzendorf's footsteps

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About me

My name's Andy Griffiths. I'm Vicar of Galleywood in Essex, UK, Alison's husband, Beth's dad, and Rural Dean of Chelmsford South. You can e-mail me via the church website at www.stmichaelsgalleywood.org.uk.

From May to July 2012 I took 'Extended Study Leave'. I had three projects I was working on, and this website displays the fruits of one of them: investigating the thought of Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, the eighteenth century nobleman who coined the word 'ecumenical', kick-started the evangelical revival and the protestant missionary movement, developed a unque theology of his own, and accidentally started the Moravian Church. I travelled across Europe in his footsteps (you can follow my journal at the page called 'Three months with Z').  The most important pages are the ones that unpack key themes from Zinzendorf's theology: 'loving Jesus', 'forgetting self', 'mission communities' and 'serving the church'. I hope they're not academically sloppy - they're fully referenced, and you'll find a bibliography on the 'Zinzendorf's theology' page. But they're not primarily an academic treatise, they really are prayed-over and significant to me. I've also produced a version of the passion and resurrection narratives for meditation, and a guide to producing a "rule of life" drawing on Zinzendorf as a source.

(If you're interested, my other two study leave projects were a short 'Grove' book about church merger and a series of lectures in Paris about culture).

I'd like to thank Phil Anderson, whose biography of Zinzendorf you can find in the bibliography on my 'Zinzendorf's theology' page, for starting me on this quest. When we met, I was just looking to get myself invited to 'join' the Order of the Mustard Seed (not possible, or not exactly in the terms I was thinking of) and to a few 24-7 prayer leadership events. Instead, Phil pointed me towards the idea that Zinzendorf's theology might have something to say to my Anglican context. He was right. I have also had the privilege of observing the real Moravian church at work, and would like to express my regard for it; none of this is intended to steal or claim the Moravian heritage for those that are outside the living Moravian tradition.

I have somehow managed to acquire two MAs in theology, work as a church leader in two different denominations, and teach in a theological college without ever taking a course in systematic theology, so this study has been particularly refreshing and important for me. If you want to know if I am now a Zinzendorfian (as opposed to a Calvinist, a Lutheran, or whatever) the answer is no: I am a follower of Jesus, an evangelical and an anglican, and that's more than sufficient for me. If I had written about theologies of communion, baptism, the political order, or charismatic gifts, I would have come to very different conclusions from the Count. I certainly do not share his approach to marriage preparation. But on the four specific topics that seem to me central to Zinzendorf's thought - loving Jesus and his wounds (christology, spirituality and soteriology), experimental missional communities (missiology), forgetting self (sanctification) and serving the church (ecclesiology) - I do believe that he is right. Not only right, but personally nourishing to me. 

If this site encourages other Zinzendorf fans, I'm very pleased. And Christ crucified remain our confession of faith.