Rosenbach, Johann Georg

Rosenbach, Johann Georg, a journeyman spurmaker of Heilbronn, in Wurtemberg, who became one of the most prominent fanatics of the last century. Converted to God, as he thought, by the reading of Pietistic works, he forsook his handicraft in 1703, and traversed the cities of Central Germany, preaching and holding devotional meetings. He secured the endorsement of several professors in the faculty at Altorf, and gained over some of the students at Tubingen; but he was everywhere opposed by the clergy and driven away by the civil authorities. He eventually went to Holland, and there disappeared from view.

The teachings of Rosenbach were given to the world in three books-- Glaubensbekenntniss (1703), Wunder-u. gnadenvolle Bekehrung (1704), and Wunder-u. gnadenvolle Fuhrung Gottes eines auf d. Wege d. Bekehrung Christo nachfolgend. Schafes. It appears that he rejected infant baptism as not commanded in Scripture, and ineffective to produce conversion. He held the Lord's supper to be simply a memorial; despised the ministry in the churches; regarded the Bible as a mere dead letter, and not the Word of God; believed Christ to be the Savior, but asserted that the kindling of inward goodness would result in the saving, through Christ, of those who do not know of him; and confounded faith with its fruits, and justification with sanctification. He insisted positively on the existence of an intermediate state of souls after death, and on the prospect of a millennial reign of saints with Christ during a thousand years prior to the general resurrection.

The appeal of Rosenbach to the professors of Altorf in support of his views led to a protracted controversy, in which Joh. Phil. Storr, pastor at Heilbronn, and Prof. J. Michael Lange were the principal champions. See Walch, Einl. in d. Rel.-Streitigkeiten d. ev.-luth. Kirche, 1, 799 sq., 838 sq.; 2, 755 sq.; 5, 109 sq.; Unschuldige Nachrichten, 1704, p. 852; 1707, p. 172; 1708, p. 758; 1715, p. 1054; 1716, p. 426 sq.; 1721, p. 1096; also Von Einem, Kirchengesch. des 18ten Jahrhunderts, 2, 747 sq.; and Schrockh, Kirchengesch. seit d. Reformation, 8, 404.

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