Farmdale Baptist Church has been home for me and my family for the past five years as I have pursued doctoral studies. This church family has been loving and supportive every step of the way. They have not begrudged the time that I have spent in seminars or writing this dissertation. They have loved me and my family and have shown it by their prayers and financial support. There is no doubt that God placed us at Farmdale and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve Christ’s people here.
Of course, most supportive of my academic endeavors has been my family. My parents, Garry and Jan Weaver, have always encouraged and supported me in every pursuit. As long as I can remember they have been a model of sacrificial service to Christ. I am thankful for their example and investment in my life. They have recently reenlisted as missionaries at an age when many would be considering retirement. Their desire to finish strong and to see the nations reached with the gospel is a challenge and inspiration to me. They are my heroes. My brother and sister, Jeremy Weaver and Elizabeth Ramseyer, have been more than siblings, they have been lifelong friends who always bring laughter into my life. My grandparents, Frank and Hazel Weaver, have also been supportive throughout this long educational process. Their prayers and financial gifts have been used by God to meet needs at just the right time. My wife, Gretta, and our children have been patient with my long hours of writing and a constant source of encouragement. The children’s questions of “Are you done yet?” have provided motivation to finish the job as soon as possible. Gretta has always supported me, and her care for me and the children during what must have seemed like an eternity to her, is the key reason why I have been able to complete this project. Therefore, this dissertation is dedicated to her and our children, all of whom I adore.