The concept of predestination has been an essential topic in theology and philosophy since at least the time of St. Augustine, and is notoriously among the most contentious of religious doctrines. Many people of faith have found the belief that God destines them for eternal joy a source of great comfort, but many others have found it deeply troubling. Above all, those who reject predestination have been motivated by concerns about the doctrine's implications for human free will and divine responsibility for evil.
Couenhoven addresses these issues by taking up two important questions: “What does predestination actually imply?”, and “How have great theologians defended their doctrines of predestination?” He answers these queries by analyzing why Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and Barth found the doctrine attractive, and explaining the different ways in which they combined belief in predestination, freedom, and God's goodness. The book concludes with a constructive chapter in which Couenhoven defends predestination as a doctrine of hope.
This is an introduction to one of Christianity's most controversial doctrines. The doctrine of predestination has been an important part of Christian orthodoxy since at least the time of St. Augustine. Yet it has also long been one of the most controversial of Christian doctrines. A handful of major questions and worries that have kept both theologians and laypersons from embracing the doctrine. Above all, these include worries about the implications of the idea of predestination for Christian understandings of human free will and divine responsibility for evil. The fact that it poses such concerns raises two basic questions: 'what does a doctrine of predestination actually imply?', and 'why has some version of that doctrine proved appealing to so many great theologians including Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and Barth?' In this Guide for the Perplexed , Jesse Couenhoven leads the reader through the thorny issues connected with the Christian understanding of predestination. He offers a historical analysis of the great theologians who embraced or rejected the idea. In the last chapter he tackles the remaining issues in a constructive way. Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Number of Pages: 176 p. ;
Genre: Religion + Beliefs
Series Title: Guides for the Perplexed
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Academic
Book theme: Systematic, Calvinist
Author: Jesse Couenhoven
Street Date: August 23, 2018
Item Number (DPCI): 247-21-4458