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By Thomas N Finger

Thomas N. Finger's believers church systematic theology that makes use of an eschatological framework, an enormous emphasis in historical Anabaptism.

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This difference was due, in part, to their lesser affinities with most contemporary socio-political establishments and to their somewhat greater emphasis on the freedom of the human will. 22 See J. B. Bury, The Idea of Progress: an Inquiry into its Origins and Growth (New York: Dover, 1955). In its mature form, this idea is the notion that progress is inevitable: that it is decreed by laws as unbreakable as those in the natural sciences were thought to be. Page 27 1917). They delved into the sciences, the political theories, and the philosophies of their day.

1-30. 7Dialogue with Trypho; First Apology, Chaps. 31-53. Page 16 Biblical faith, however, spoke of God's own entrance into the material world and of his intense concern for it. Accordingly, anyone who sought to be like the Christian God would seek to mirror this involvement with material reality. The Old and New Testaments regarded the natural world as God's good creation, and the body and social life as essential to human nature. Therefore, although Christianity also believed in a life beyond the present, it sought to transform affairs in this world rather than to escape them.

I seek to wrestle with the major issues handed down through theological tradition, and to develop positions profoundly refined through this dialogue and thoroughly grounded in Scripture. To write theology in this way, however, involves reexamining its fundamental themes, historical schools, and biblical foundations in a thorough, patient manner. Accordingly, Chapters 1, 4, 5, 14, and 17 of Volume I consist largely of such material. Knowledgeable readers may wish to skim or skip them. But they should be aware that the exposition and dialogue which begin there is integral to the overall enterprise.

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