A basic Christian claim is that God is active in human history to accomplish his purpose, which he will do in the end.

This book considers some of the implications of this far-reaching claim. Christian faith is bound up with our personal history but beyond that stretches far into the past. Faith is not identical with historical knowledge, for example with knowledge of the facts about Jesus, facts which must be established historically. That involves using the historian's methods of investigation. What does 'God reveals himself in history' mean? Christians claim to find an ultimate meaning in history. But how can that be? How is it possible to find an overall meaning in history, theistic or otherwise? Since Christians appeal to the New Testament in making the claim that God revealed himself in Jesus, we must go beyond that book to the Christian community which existed before there was a New Testament and out of whose midst its writings came.

To understand those books we must interpret. So where do our principles of interpretation come from, and how valid are they? This is the question of tradition. This small book is an introduction to these interesting topics. Hopefully it will help to clarify important issues and lead the reader to investigate such central matters further.

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