Did God call the Church to be an institution? The Reformation gave Europe national churches, but these came to disappoint enthusiastic believers as lacking commitment. Was the right exit policy simply to join 'free' presbyterian or congregational-type churches, as found say in America? By the 1820s, the more strategic thinkers felt t. Some followed Newman into Catholicism: other pre-charismatics advocate an ongoing apostolate that would recapture prophetic gifts: J N Darby was led to the fierce conclusion that all churches, as man-made institutions, were bound to fail. The believer's true hope was the return of Jesus Christ. With others, Darby pioneered a less formal association of believers, free of clergy and founded on radical holiness. Darby was a tireless traveler, talented linguist and Bible translator. His influence is still felt in systematic theology, missionary societies, para- and house-church movements, possibly even in US foreign policy towards the state of Israel.