It is a commonplace that no work such as a dissertation is accomplished alone, and that is especially true of this one. I wish to thank Dr. Robert Caldwell, my advisor for this project, whose patient endurance with me and my rambling thoughts should earn him a purple heart. His advice and direction were invaluable, and as I told him before, I could not have begun or completed this work without him. I would be remiss if I did not mention the late Dr. Robert Bernard (language professor) and his wife, Mary Ella, whose friendship, encouragement, and example of godliness were a source of strength for me. Indeed, the faculty, staff, student body, in short, the entire Southwestern Seminary community where I lived for three years, was a constant witness to me of God’s work in the lives of those around me and their desire to love and serve Him. I must also thank the good people of the Church of Christ the King in Fort Worth where my wife and I received needed spiritual strength and nourishment each week. And also our beloved friends of First Southern Baptist Church in Hutchinson, Kansas, who not only remembered us while we were away, but took such good care of our grown but young daughters, telling us how dear they were to them every time we returned to visit.
To my parents-in-law who provided encouragement and financial support, thank you. They were also kind to visit and refresh us on occasion.
To my father whose faith and understanding of Scripture has shaped me, which faith dwelt first in your Grandpa and Grandma Marks, and then your mother, Pearl, and through you, was bequeathed to me, thank you. And if the saints in heaven, surrounded by all that glory, have time to pity us poor wretches in this vale of tears, I pray that your late wife, my sainted mother, is pleased with her son’s work. And to my sister and brother, thank you for your encouraging words these past few years.
To my children, Kara and Elise, who were deprived of their mother for three long years, and had to plan weddings from long distance, I ask your forgiveness. Such sacrifices on the part of a father’s daughters make one wonder during and after if the project was worth the cost. And yet it seems that you drew closer to the Lord in my absence than you ever did in my presence. I thank the Lord for His mercy to you.
And above all, to my beloved wife, Karla, who left a job she loved, moved over four-hundred miles away from home, lived with an intractable husband in an apartment of just four-hundred square feet for three years, saw more money going out than coming in—a difficult matter for an accountant—and still managed to keep us afloat, and, as I have already confessed, was removed from the presence of her daughters for three long years—for all of this and more, I beg your forgiveness. Your sacrifice was too great, and neither this dissertation, nor my degree, will ever equal your loss. The circumstances that brought us to Fort Worth cannot be related here, but know this: No wife has ever been so faithful, so devoted, so loving, as you have been to me, from our first day until now. As unmanly as it sounds of a husband, you have carried me aloft for all these years, ever taking care of me and putting me ahead of yourself. This dissertation is only another proof of that. Our prayer has been that it will serve the Church of Jesus Christ in some small way, or else will be a vehicle for us to serve the Church in some smaller way. How God might use it, I can only plead ignorance. But if it so happens that all God ever did through it was to show me once again what a devout woman you are, and how I should thank Him every day for the blessing of being married to you, well then, is it not obvious that He must love me more than any other man in the world!
And to the Lord my God, may this poor work somehow bring you glory. And finally, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Stephen M. Taylor