by Allen Diles
Through the centuries, marginalized Christian renewal movements have challenged the status quo of the religious establishment, often at great cost. These nonmainstream religious movements generally receive little attention in standard introductions, but Let Truth Prevail tells their story, surveying the history, beliefs, and practices of various medieval and post-Reformation European renewal movements:
17th-century German Pietists
18th-century Scottish restoration movements
Magisterial Protestants and Catholics
The Moravian Brethren
The Schwarzenau Brethren
The Unity of the Brethren
Allen Diles classifies these groups as restoration movements, calling attention to their enduring legacies. Each reacted against perceived corruptions in the church and sought to renew faithfulness to God’s truth and his intended ideals as they applied Scripture to their historical context.
Though Let Truth Prevail demonstrates the strengths of these renewal movements, the book also considers their limitations. Current readers can challenge their own self-understanding of history, God, faith, Scripture, and the practice of the Christian way by reflecting on these marginalized believers.
Allen Diles received his ThD in Church History/Historical Theology at Charles University, Czech Republic (1990-91, 1994-2005). He has taught Bible, missions and church history at Harding University since 2005 and has published several scholarly articles. In addition to preaching in several states and foreign countries, Diles also served seven years as an elder of the College Church in Searcy, Arkansas. In 2018, he helped plant the Living Way Church of Christ, and he currently leads its missions ministry. He and his wife, Laurie, have two sons, Andrew and Luke.
“Today, there is a longing for a Bible-based Christianity that takes discipleship seriously. But this same longing can be found throughout the history of the church. Anyone interested in church renewal needs to be familiar with the stories that Diles so engagingly tells. The faith of these Christians—many of whom died for their convictions—is inspiring, and there are valuable insights to be gleaned from Diles’s comparison of these European renewal movements.”
—Mark E. Powell, Dean and Professor of Theology, Harding School of Theology,
“In this survey of select Christian renewal movements of the last eight centuries, Diles proves to be a reliable guide through what many consider the margins of church history. Readers are effectively introduced to a variety of groups united around the primacy of the New Testament, sacramental renewal, clerical reform, moral living, and, above all, the courage to pursue the truth at all costs. These accounts should inspire our current generation to join this ongoing pursuit of truth.”
—Keith Stanglin, author of The Reformation to the Modern Church
“Something important happens when we set our own restoration movement alongside the stories of earlier ones. We begin to see how time, context, and tradition always shape the restoring agenda. Allen Diles’s stories of earlier restoration efforts in Europe are compelling—and guaranteed to enrich and reorient our perspective on faithful Christian discipleship today.”
—Leonard Allen, author of In the Great Stream: Imagining Churches of Christ in the
“Allen Diles has done us an immense service in his recounting of the tradition—or better, the traditions—of ‘restoring New Testament Christianity.’ In spite of the potential shortcomings of such traditions, acknowledged herein, the impulse nonetheless gives rise to a story much broader, compelling, and moving than many might expect. Here is a vision of Christian discipleship that may, at the least, require great courage; and at most, it may cost some of us our lives, as it has some of the faithful men and women whose stories are recounted here. This is truly an important contribution to Christian scholarship and to the church.”
—Lee C. Camp, Professor of Theology & Ethics, Lipscomb University, and host of
Tokens Show (www.TokensShow.com)
Demensions (inches) 6 x 9
Weight (pounds) .5