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This volume carefully traces the Reformed, Lockean, and Common Sense roots of the use of inference as a principle for interpreting scripture, along with its complex and often inconsistent use in the Stone-Campbell Reformation.


“Casey shows quite skillfully that Alexander Campbell’s increasing use of necessary inference was one of the main traits that distinguished him as a moderate in the Restorationist movement. Casey also convincingly argues that resistance to Campbell’s move toward necessary inference had created a substantial divide in that movement long before his death in 1866. The book is at its best as it unfolds the Restorationist history. . . . Of special interest is Casey’s convincing demonstration that the necessary inference question was one of the earliest wedges driven between the ideal of restoring primitive Christianity and the ideal of promoting a new Christian union. . . . a worthy successor to a strong historiography . . .” – Church History

“An abundance of information and some intriguing leads in this book make it valuable for all who are interested in the Restoration Movement. . . . In a time when guidelines for biblical interpretation have become something of a morass in Churches of Christ, Casey’s work presents both valuable information on a major issue presently discussed in many churches and the impetus for further investigations.” – Restoration Quarterly

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword, Preface, Introduction
1. The Historical Context - The Theological, Rhetorical, and Philosophical Background of Alexander Campbell and the Stone-Campbell Movement
2. The Strict Restorationist Years - 1810-1829
3. From Sectarianism to Denominationalism, 1830-1849
4. The Decline of Campbell and the Sectarian Reaction to Denominationalism, 1850-1859
5. Divergent Disciples - The Acceptance of Necessary Inference by the Bethany Circle and the Sectarian Opposition
Conclusion; Bibliography, Index, Scripture Index
Volume 2 in the series Studies in the Campbell-Stone Movement

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