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The Background and Development of Brethren Doctrines 1650-1987

Dale R. Stoffer, 1989


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232 Pages

The Brethren movement beginning in 1708 in Schwarzenau, Germany, has produced a diverse assemblage of believers. In spite of the abundance of books by and about the Brethren, few deal with theology. This is the first book to treat the historical development of Brethren theological thought. Stoffer identifies three major influences on the early Brethren: Radical Pietism, Anabaptism, and the Polish Brethren movement. After a lengthy examination of these "historical and theological roots of Brethren thought," Stoffer proceeds to examine in detail the "life and thought" of three representative Brethren leaders: Alexander Mack Sr. representing the eighteenth century; Peter Nead, the nineteenth century; and J. Allen Miller, the twentieth century. These men were the dominant forerunners, respectively, of the Brethren bodies including the Church of the Brethren, the Old German Baptist Brethren (Old Orders), and The Brethren Church (Progressives).

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