The Conditionalist Faith of Our Fathers, vol. 2


From Author to Reader

GREAT truths that were suppressed and well-nigh forgotten in the period of the great departure following the triumphant expansion of the Early Church have been recovered one by one. And these majestic truths, once restored, have never since been lost. Biblical proofs have been assembled around them. Logical reasoning has buttressed them. Historical evidence has cast confirmatory light upon them. Men of conscience have suffered persecution for promulgating them. Others began more and more to embrace them, and adherents grew and spread. CFF2 11.1

Thus it has been with the recovery of the vital truth of Conditionalism traced in this volume. The tide of restoration has progressed much as the tide rises on the beach—by a series of alternate flowings and ebbings. Sometimes an idea seems to lose ground for a time—as when the waters recede—only to return and advance. But gradually and inevitably truth prevails. This is the continuing testimony of the pages that follow. CFF2 11.2

Along with this is the intriguing thought that books were once men. This is literally true, for books are but the crystallized, abiding expression of the inner convictions of living, thinking men. Books were once thoughts ranging through the minds and hearts of living personalities. From incipient seed thoughts they grew and developed, were roughed out and organized, revised and recast, polished and perfected—and ultimately christened with a name, and sent forth in materialized, permanent, printed form to bear their witness. CFF2 11.3

Major books are the fruition of years of study, sometimes of a lifetime of research and preparation. The worth-while books of religious history were the product of much prayer and toil and sweat and tears, and often involved the suffering and conflict of men of conviction. They were frequently written under a sense of compulsion, with a feeling of necessity for declaring or illuminating a fresh facet of recovered truth. This men have felt impelled to share with others in printed form, thus to advance the cause of truth and to bless their fellow men. CFF2 11.4

In times past the writing and issuance of such books resulted in persecution, or perchance the imprisonment, of the writer. At times their issuance led even to martyrdom because of the hostility of those who rejected their message. In other instances these book children of the mind and heart, embodying the very life blood and convictions of their writers, have succeeded in changing the concepts of thousands. At times they have shifted the thought currents of history. Such books have been valiant champions for truth and molders of thought. CFF2 12.1

Books of this sort are not dead things—mere paper, ink, and binding, dusty and musty—and should never be regarded as such. They are not merely lifeless objects, with meaningless titles and messages. Each worth-while product is the continuing projection of a personality, who being dead yet speaketh—a molding, motivating force. CFF2 12.2

In this second volume of Conditionalist Faith, covering the bulk of the Christian era, we have sought to recapture the pulsating life and personality behind the witnesses we here present by resetting them in the framework of their own times and circumstances, and tracing the effect that their writings have produced in the lives of others. We shall seek to invest them with their inherent human interest, and reveal the weight of their influence on the course of human thought and the cause of living truth. CFF2 12.3

In other words, we shall fit them into their proper biographical and historical settings, humanizing them so theirauthors may again speak forth their convictions to us today, andtake their rightful place in the line of witnesses to the greattruth of Conditionalism that we here trace across the centuries.Its course is onward today.
Washington, D.C.
CFF2 12.4