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PredestinationThe American Career of a Contentious Doctrine$
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Peter J. Thuesen

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195174274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174274.001.0001

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Introduction: Doctrine of Discord

Introduction: Doctrine of Discord

Predestination in American Christianity

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Doctrine of Discord
Source:
Predestination
Author(s):

Peter J. Thuesen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174274.003.0001

The Introduction opens with two vignettes about recent tornadoes that struck Indiana and Illinois. For some Christians, the doctrine predestination resembles the capricious wrath of a twister: God elects certain persons for salvation while visiting destruction upon others. for other Christians, predestination is the rock of certainty—a doctrine of assurance in an unpredictable world. while most Catholic and Protestant thinkers have equated outright denial of predestination with atheism, they have disagreed mightily over whether God elects persons arbitrarily or based on some foreseen condition of merit or faith. This debate is the main focus of the book, which argues that predestination is the unacknowledged source of much American denominational division. The book further argues that predestinarianism has tended to work against sacramental understandings of Christianity in which grace is conveyed continually through ritual. The Introduction presents these arguments and previews the content of the six main chapters and Epilogue.

Keywords:   tornadoes, assurance, Catholic, Protestant, arbitrarily, foreseen, denominational, sacramental

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