Neither Necessary nor Inevitable

"History Needn't Have Been Like That"

By Udo Middelmann

Neither Necessary nor Inevitable

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  • ISBN: 9781610974134
  • Pages: 156
  • Publication Date: 7/1/2011
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00
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eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781610974134
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 7/1/2011
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00
 

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Neither Necessary nor Inevitable

"History Needn't Have Been Like That"

By Udo Middelmann

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781610974134
  • Pages: 156
  • Publication Date: 7/1/2011
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
ebook-logo

eBOOK

  • ISBN: 9781610974134
  • Format: epub
  • Publication Date: 7/1/2011
  • Retail Price: $20.00
Web Price: $16.00
Web Price: $16.00
 

*All eBooks are non-returnable

** Click here to review our ePub FAQ and policies.

About-

Historic determinism is a convenient way to tie up the uncomfortable loose ends in the tragic lives of millions and to explain, at the same time, the exceptional opportunities of many of the rest of us. A belief in an inevitable chain of events or the will of God, or destiny, or historic necessity suggests a formula to justify each situation as inevitable. Here history is seen like a single track, on which people ride in different cultural coaches in the same direction. Every stop, every departure is part of a natural schedule. It readily leads to resignation for many and arrogance for the lucky. Neither Necessary nor Inevitable argues and illustrates that such attention to the sirens of retrospective determinism gives a false sense of security and a freedom from responsibility. When history swallows the importance of people's choices, inalienable rights become inalienable conditions.
In Neither Necessary nor Inevitable, Udo Middelmann argues that while written history may tell a story of choices and consequences in a tight mesh, living history is the result of genuine choices that render the record too chaotic to support the belief in a controlling master plan of material or divine intention. Instead we each lay down our cultural tracks with personally significant choices. Turns and stops are not inevitable, and each choice affects the course of history for generations. Responsibility is not reduced by the belief in a necessary history or a willful God.

Endorsements & Reviews-

"Udo Middelmann presents an impressive and refreshing case for a view of human history that preserves the wonder of man as a true moral agent while affirming a biblical understanding of God as the providential One who works in time. This brilliant treatment deals with a difficult and often misunderstood subject of the relationship between man's choices and God's plan. Middelmann distinguishes himself by offering a compelling argument grounded in the notion of form and freedom that strikes a proper balance between God's purposes and man's freedom. He argues persuasively that man's free choices actually contribute to the shape of human history but always within the form of God's overall plan. Appreciatively, Middelmann does this while avoiding any notion of open theism. His intellectually rigorous treatment within this book makes history more than a piece of theater and yet avoids placing man in a chaotic world. The Christian community owes a great debt to Middelmann for his precision in thought and well-informed mind that has crafted this most important work."
-Bruce A. Little
Professor of Philosophy
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Finally, a much needed intellectual tonic to help us decipher the strains of ancient Hellenic and religious pluralism that cloud the moral framework of historic Judaic-Christianity. With numerous examples from history and key texts, Udo Middelmann unpacks the loss of historical engagement and moral will in much theological thinking, aiming to recover the agency and dignity of the believer and the infinite-personal God for our times. Provocative and highly recommended."
-Mike T. Sugimoto
Professor of Asian Studies
Pepperdine University

"Finally someone skillfully challenges the widely held assumption that 'everything happens for a reason' as if guided by an unseen hand. Years of work in the former Soviet Union demonstrate the sad reality of what a fatalistic mindset can do to a people and a nation. The events of life are assumed to be both necessary and inevitable with disastrous consequences both personally and nationally. Udo Middlemann provides insight and thoughtful consideration to the reality that our choices not only matter, but are indeed, history making."
-Jesse L. James
Founder and CEO
Global Leadership, Inc.

"Udo Midddelmann is that rare Christian intellectual who 'thinks otherwise'; writing against current ideological and political determinisms, as well as the easy certitudes of a compromised Christianity, he subjects both secular and religious presuppositions to the light of historical reality and the witness of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. This is a profoundly challenging argument for human creativity and choice as a vital part of the created order, calling us to take responsibility for a future that will be shaped, for good and ill, by our actions today."
-Lloyd Davies
Professor of English Literature
Western Kentucky University

"Neither Necessary nor Inevitable is philosopher and theologian Udo Middleman's latest work challenging modern philosophy, the natural sciences, and even many world religions on their assertions of a closed system of 'necessary destinies, invariable power, or an impersonal unity of Being.' Life and history are not mapped out for us by God; providence is not fatalism. Our decisions and choices matter, for good or for ill. Here is clear, logical, biblically informed thought, laced with dashes of humor, which consistently argues the point that God created humankind to make a difference in this world and that with the choices we make, we do-one way or the other. Christian pastors, counselors, teachers, and other leaders will especially appreciate the way Middelman has dismantled the mantra of misguided and ill-informed people who retreat to the opium of 'God has a plan for my life,' when tragedy or hardship strike one's life. God does clearly have a plan for our lives. It is called faithfulness. Neither Necessary nor Inevitable is about the importance of making such choices, not only for ourselves, but for the world over which God has given us dominion."
-Fred R. Anderson
Pastor, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City

Contributors-

Udo Middelmann

Bio(s)-

Udo Middelmann is the President of the Francis Schaeffer Foundation and the author of four earlier books: Pro-Existence (1974), The Market-Driven Church (2002), The Innocence of God (2006), and Christianity vs. Fatalistic Religions (2007).

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