Thursday, May 21, 2009
According to the Roman Catholic Church, "The idea that each distinct congregation fully constitutes the visible Body can, however, be traced to John Wyclif and the Lollard movement" and "The earliest literary exponent of Independence was Robert Brown, from whom the dissenters were nicknamed Brownists." [Catholic Ency.] An interesting history of Congregationalism can be found online: History of Congregationalism from about A.D. 250 to the Present Time by George Punchard (2nd edition New York, NY: Hurd and Houghton, 1865). Punchard’s history appears to disagree with the Catholic view, and I hope to get some time to look at it later.