Second Edition of “Background and Development of Brethren Doctrines” Now Available

September 27th, 2018


More than 25 years after the first edition was published, Brethren Encyclopedia has now released the revised and expanded Second Edition of Dale R. Stoffer’s “Background and Development of Brethren Doctrines 1650-2015.”

This monograph, number 8 in the series, was more than five years in the revision and updating by the author, the former dean and professor of church history at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio. The purpose of the study, according to its introduction, is fourfold. First, the European background and origins of the Brethren are studied in order to identify the interpretative tools and sources of authority used by the early Brethren to arrive at their distinctive beliefs and also to characterize the b

asic features of Brethren thought and practice.

Second, the impact of major American cultural and religious movements on Brethren thought and practice are given special prominence. Third, the thought of three men--Alexander Mack, Peter Nead, and J. Allen Miller--are examined in depth. These men were recognized by their peers as the leading exponents of the Brethren faith during their lifetimes.

And finally, conclusions are drawn about how the Brethren approach the theological task. Because of the Brethren claim to have no fixed theological standards other than Scripture and the resulting aversion to dogmatic theology, their theological method necessarily differs from that of Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Reformed.

The 418-page volume is available only in hardback, double-column format. There are extensive indices related to doctrine, practice, and polity as well as persons, places, and institutions and an index

of scripture references. Extensively footnoted throughout, the volume reflects the careful, precise scholarship of its author. Purchase price is $62 plus shipping and handling of $7.

Dr. Dale Stoffer is currently monographs editor for the Brethren Encyclopedia and he represents The Brethren Church on the Encyclopedia’s board.

To order the monograph, or to receive more information, log onto or contact Brethren Encyclopedia at 5137 Waltersdorff Rd., Spring Grove, PA  17362 or call (717) 817-6025.

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