Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine

Paperback | September 7, 2011

byPeter J. Thuesen

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Winner of the Christianity Today 2010 Book Award for History/Biography, and praised in Christian Century as "witty...erudite...masterful," this groundbreaking history, the first of its kind, shows that 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, the extent of God's providential involvement in human affairs - and has fueled theological conflicts across denominations forcenturies. 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 megachurches preach a "purpose-driven" outlook that owes much to thedoctrine 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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Winner of the Christianity Today 2010 Book Award for History/Biography, and praised in Christian Century as "witty...erudite...masterful," this groundbreaking history, the first of its kind, shows that far from being only about the age-old riddle of divine sovereignty versus human free will,the debate over predestination is inseparable...

Peter J. Thuesen is Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is author of In Discordance with the Scriptures: American Protestant Battles over Translating the Bible and editor of The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 26, Catalogues of Books.

other books by Peter J. Thuesen

Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.98 inPublished:September 7, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199832390

ISBN - 13:9780199832392

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Table of Contents

IllustrationsIntroduction: Doctrine of Discord: Presdestination in American Christianity1. The Predestinarian Labyrinth: Historical Background2. The Agony and the Ecstacy: Predestination in New England Puritanism3. ''Shall the Hellish Doctrine Stand?'' Enlightenment Doubts and Evangelical Division4. From Methodists to Mormons: Attacking Predestination in the Young Republic5. Domesticating a Doctrine: Catholics and Lutherans6. Debating a Doctrine: Presbyterians and BaptistsEpilogue: The Purpose-Driven Life? Predestination and the Decline of MysteryGlossary of Theological TermsNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

''Whatever your views on predestination, you will profit greatly from this thoughtful book...Peter Thuesen brings fresh perspectives to bear on this much-contested subject.'' --Christianity Today