Searching for the True Church
Brethren and Evangelicals in Mid-Twentieth-Century England
Foreword by Harold H. Rowdon
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
Roger Shuff grew up in Croydon, Surrey, and worked for the Lord Chancellor's department before training for Baptist ministry at Spurgeon's College. His BD dissertation surveyed the growth of exclusivism in the Brethren movement in which he was raised. In 1998 he became pastor of Westerham Evangelical Congregational Church and completed the doctorate on which this book is based at Spurgeon's College.
Front cover photograph: Westminster Central Hall. Used by permission of the Trustees, Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London. Westminster Central Hall was a favored venue for large gatherings of Brethren.
'The Brethren movement, with its high view of the church and its weekly Lord's Supper, grew from the 1930s to the 1950s, contributing scholarship as well as impetus to a wider Evangelicalism. Its Exclusive branches, here identified as connectional, stood apart, but the largest grouping, the Taylor Brethren, were dragged into the public gaze by the policies of an authoritarian leadership. Many of the Open Brethren, here called independent, became absorbed into the Evangelical resurgence they had helped to create. Such is the story Roger Shuff tells - with judicious evaluation of the primary sources, a well developed sense of proportion and an eye for the unexpected.'
--David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling, UK
'Roger Shuff's evenhanded historical analysis is full of surprises. He succeeds admirably in illuminating how the interplay between the various Brethren groups and cultural and religious change left the movement further diversified. His work
is indispensable for understanding both Brethrenism and English evangelicalism in the twentieth century.'
--Neil T. R. Dickson, Editor Brethren Archivists and Historians Network Review
'This work combines careful scholarship with exceptional readability, and breaks fresh ground in its relation of developments among mid-twentieth-century Brethren to contemporary trends within wider Evangelicalism and British culture. I warmly welcome its appearance.'
--Tim Grass, Associate Tutor in Church History, Spurgeon's College, London, UK
'This excellent study is the product of thorough research and offers a range of perceptive new insights into the various groups of Brethren in England. It breaks new ground in showing
their distinctive features and their relationship to wider evangelicalism.'
--Ian M. Randall, Lecturer in Church History and Spirituality, Spurgeon's College, London, UK