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.
""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
""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 subjec
|Publisher:||Wipf & Stock Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
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).
Table of Contents
Introduction No Right Side of History (Recorded History is a Story, Real History a Chaos) xix
Chapter 1 How It All Happened? 1
Chapter 2 The Reflection of Nature in Cultures 24
Chapter 3 The Weight of Significance 43
Chapter 4 Weighty Consequences of Our Choices 84
Chapter 5 History in the Seat of the Accused 108