The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence

Rarely does a new theological position emerge to account well for life in the world, including not only goodness and beauty but also tragedy and randomness. Drawing from Scripture, science, philosophy and various theological traditions, Thomas Jay Oord offers a novel theology of providence―essential kenosis―that emphasizes God’s inherently non-coercive love in relation to creation. The Uncontrolling Love of God provides a clear and powerful answer to the problem of evil, the problem of chance, and how God acts providentially in the world.


 
If you want to understand the delicate balance between God’s power and human free will, read this book. Seriously. Oord has finally provided the solution to the problem of evil in the world, and provided the way forward regarding the age-old debate over divine sovereignty and free will. Using the love of God as seen in Jesus Christ as the guiding principle, Oord shows how God’s love does not (indeed, cannot) control others. If it did, it would no longer be love. -Jeremy Myers
 
This is a must read for anyone wrestling with questions of a good God and the challenge and problem of evil. Oord’s book outlines his developing thought on God’s uncontrolling love and what that means in terms of God’s influence on our lives. Oord’s thoughts may help you (as it has me), challenge your thinking (as it has me) and even cause you great angst and frustration, but his book will not you leave you untouched in some way. If you have read Sanders, Stott, Wright, you will know that there are many ideas and views. The question is does Oord’s explanation fit a classic solution of Occam’s razor? You will have to read the book to answer that question for yourself. For me, Oord ranks with Chesterton, Lewis, Capon, Wright, Yancey, and Boyd as writers that have empowered my journey towards a greater understanding of God’s endless mercy and grace driven by His magnificent love. May Christ be praised. -Allen Knight
 
“We all want to make sense of life…” So begins Dr. Oord’s “The Uncontrolling Love Of God”. Dr. Oord provides an intriguing look at how we might make sense of chance, evil, miracles, and provision, all in light of a good God of love. Where others have tried to make love the defining characteristic of God only to let other characteristics take control, Oord consistently keeps love at the center. The result is a new model for the providence of God-at the heart of which is non-coercive love. After summarizing other models of providence, Dr. Oord goes on to define what a God of non-coercive love might look like in relation to his creation. Do I agree with everything in the book? I’m not sure yet. Is it making me think about God and who He is in a new light? Yes! If you want a creative, fulfilling, original look at the problem of evil, I’d encourage you to check out this book. -Christopher Baker

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