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Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine is a groundbreaking history that shows predestination to be far from being only about the age-old riddle of divine sovereignty versus human free will, the debate over predestination is inseparable from other central Christian beliefs and practices--the efficacy of the sacraments, the existence of purgatory and hell, and the extent of God's providential involvement in human affairs.
The debate has fueled theological conflicts across denominations for centuries. Peter Thuesen reexamines not only familiar predestinarians such as the New England Puritans and many later Baptists and Presbyterians, but also non-Calvinists such as Catholics and Lutherans, and shows how even contemporary mega-churches preach a "purpose-driven" outlook that owes much to the doctrine of predestination. For anyone wanting a fuller understanding of religion in America, Predestination offers both historical context on a doctrine that reaches back 1,600 years and a fresh perspective on today's denominational landscape.
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Customer Reviews for Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine
Review 1 for Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine
There are very few subjects that bring out the best and worst in theologians. And predestination has certainly proven to be one of them. This subject has been responsible for the rise and fall of many who were once and are even now competent in other areas of theological interest. It is important to note that what a person believes concerning predestination often determines what he or she believes about the nature of God, the veracity of the Bible, and the reality of sin. Furthermore, an accurate understanding of the doctrine of predestination will tell if a person has compromised with the man-centered teachings of Arminianism, or whether he or she has remained faithful to the God-centered, and biblical good news of Calvinism. This book is an absolutely outstanding journey across some touchy theological terrain. And all I can say is, Well done, professor Thuesen! You have undertaken to go where many fear to tread.
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Review 2 for Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine
For a balanced and scriptural book that goes FAR beyond the mere history of predestination views, see Norman Geisler's "Chosen But Free." This incredibly important book AFFIRMS God's SOVEREIGNTY as well as MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY, while also exposing the heresies of both "Extreme Calvinist" views AS WELL AS THOSE OF ARMINIAN ONES. The updated version of CBF also directly responds to James White's "The Potters Freedom" most convincingly. Geisler provides perspectives of historical church fathers, key theologians like Spurgeon and Sproul, and an EXHAUSTIVE examination of relevant Scriptures. God (in His divine sovereignty)has absolutely and FREELY given us(no, we did not earn it)a choice as to whether to accept His offer of salvation or to reject it (and no, we are not earning this through ANY sort of merit or works if we accept it, as the price for it has already been paid through Christ's sacrifice on Calvary).