This book presents the history and theology of a remarkable body of Christians, formed as a result of the revival of interest in the prophetic Scriptures stimulated by the events of the French Revolution. Here we have an example of a charismatic renewal within the mainstream Churches, which was rejected by them, and which hence led to a worldwide body, governed by "restored apostles," and with its own structure, liturgy, doctrine, and hierarchy of ministers. It was a movement directed towards the reunion of the Churches, uncompromising in its adherence to Scripture, its typological interpretation of the Old Testament, and in its longing for the Parousia. It sought to bring together all that was best in the various Christian traditions. Eastern as well as Western, in preparation for the return of the Church's Bridegroom in glory. The strong ecumenical purpose of this body; its approach to the reunification of Churches and clergy; the breadth and beauty of its liturgy; its resolution of internal tensions between the charismatic and established hierarchical ministries; and its emphasis on eschatology: all these are of particular relevance to Christians today.
`This must be without doubt the definitive study of the Catholic Apostolic Church ... Flegg's book provides not only the history of detailed accounts of the ecclesiology of the church, its liturgy, and the eschatological beliefs that undergirded its very existence.'
Eastern Churches Journal, Vol 1, No 1
`Like many who have written about the Church, Fr Columba Flegg has family connections with it. This enables him to write with sensitivity and warmth ... It is ... the extent of the sources used which makes this book a significant contribution ... Flegg has amassed (and been fortunate in inheriting) a wide range of rare primary material ... it is doubtful whether anyone else could have pursued so comprehensive a study ... Always the author handles his
material with a sure touch ... it is difficult to see how this work could be bettered.'
Perry Butler, Theology
`It is a thorough and scholarly work written by a theologian who not only draws upon his family links with the apostles' fellowship but also brings the rare perception of Orthodox theology to the study of the church's doctrine and liturgy ... Fr. Columba's sections on Ecclesiology and Liturgy are solid and well written, but perhaps his most valuable contribution is his exhaustive study of Catholic Apostolic eschatology. From the specific viewpoint of the
Orthodox Church of the British Isles it is a valuable book.'
The Glastonbury Bulletin
'Flegg ... here presents a massively documented account of the Church of his forebears. The tone throughout is both cool and involved. The source-material can hardly be faulted ... From such treatment emerges the fullest account of the Catholic Apostolic Church that has so far been published, and for that, historians owe him an enormous debt. One senses, too, that the rise in interest in the 19th century over the past decade or so has given credence to the
need for this book in the first place. Flegg has done his forebears a great service in writing this book, which not only 'sets the record straight', but places this tantalising Church in the wider context
in which it properly belongs.'
Kenneth Stevenson, Scottish Journal of Theology, 1993
'scholarly and balanced study ... the most valuable implications of this book are in the general discussion of what distinguishes a Christian sect from a Church.'
Edward Norman, Church Times
'monumental study of the history, liturgy, ecclesiology and eschatology of the Church ... he writes with such meticulous scholarship, insight and love that Gathered under Apostles will unquestionably remain the definitive work on this eccentric and endearing subject.'
Times Literary Supplement
'it is thorough, comprehensive and readable, and makes a valuable contribution to 19th-century ecclesiastical history ... Father Flegg ... has done well to bring the surviving sources of this interesting communion to life, and his book should be essential reading for anyone interested in 19th and 20th-century church history.'
William Ferguson, Expository Times
'Fr Flegg has done exhaustive research: he has done much to clear away the misunderstandings.'
Edwin Robertson, Sobornost, incorporating Eastern Churches Review, volume 15:1, 1993
John Kent, New Blackfriars
'This is a most interesting, careful and detailed study of the 'Catholic Apostolic Church'...It will be of the greatest interest to post-graduate students concerned with modern minority Christian groups and with the continuing problem of how far it is either necessary of possible to attempt the reconstruction of the structure and shape of the Apostolic Church at a later age.'
B R White, Theological Book Review, Vol 6, No2, February 1994
'the classified bibliography and the extensive quotation from rare or inaccessible books or pamphlets, place all students in the author's debt...there is an immense amount to be absorbed from this book.'
Keith Robbins, Ecclesiastical History, Vol 44. No4, 1993
'will become a standard work, partly because of his wide range of sources ... and partly because of his demonstration of the theological coherence of the links between Irving's original preaching, speaking in tongues, adventism, and elaborate liturgy'
David M. Thompson, Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 45, Pt. 2, Oct '94
`Flegg has done his forebears a great service in writing this book, which not only "sets the record straight", but places this tantalising Church in the wider context in which it properly belongs.'
Scottish Journal of Theology
`This fascinating volume gives an account of the history and theology of a little-known and widely misunderstood group of Christians. ... it is solidly based on authoritative primary sources. The book contains an excellent history of the church as well as chapters on its ecclesiology, liturgy, and eschatology. ... Flegg should be commended for his thoughtful, well-documented book. It is worthwhile reading for those who are interested in ecumenism,
liturgical practices, charismatic phenomena, and especially eschatology.'
Robert G Clouse, Church History, December 1996