A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

God Can't: Freedom and Uncontrolling Love. An Interview with Thomas Jay Oord

Tom Oord helps us think through such questions as: Does God know the future? Is God in control? Can God answer prayer? Can God heal?  Does God cause suffering? There's lots of good stuff here, folks. Enjoy!


Brian Small said...

Two questions are raised for me from this interview:

1) Oord's view seems to suggest that God is not omnipotent. If God "can't" do some things, then God is not truly all powerful.

2) There are places in Scripture in which it appears God directly does harm to people. The flood story and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. How does he square this with God's love?

Allan R. Bevere said...

Brian, I have let Tom know about your comment. Hopefully, he will be able to respond.

Thomas Jay Oord said...

Brian - Thanks for your good questions! I'll respond in kind.

1. Philosophers debate the meaning of "omnipotent." It's not a word I typically use for my position, although if you allowed me to define it, I could. I use the word "almighty." I think God is mightier than all others, exerts might on all others, and is the source of might for all others. God is almighty in these three sense without being able to control others.

2. I don't think there's a single verse or passage in the entire Bible that explicitly contradicts my view of God's power. But there are several stories and verses that run counter to my view that God always loves perfectly. I think the overall drift of scripture points to a perfectly loving God, and it is clearest in Jesus. But some passages portray God as doing or allowing pointless pain.