New Podcast Thomas Jay Oord | Uncontrolling Love

There is a dilemma that has plagued philosophers and theologians for centuries. It goes like this: how could it be true that God is all powerful and all loving, and yet there is still evil in the world? If God is powerful and loving, wouldn’t the evil be stopped? @ThomasJayOord has written about one solution to this problem in his book God Can’t. While the title is surprising and might make some people nervous, his view may not be so shocking once you hear him explain some of the finer points. In doing so, this conversation intersects with science, miracles, and ultimately with God’s place in our world and our lives.

Thanks for being on the show, Tom!

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Thanks for that introduction, Hillary. I really enjoyed this conversation. And although they may surprise some people, I hope the ideas prove helpful.

Tom

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No. The people who ask this question don’t see the bigger picture. God wants to sort out the wheat from the chaff. This is the reason we have free will. Given a free condition will you choose the path of Righteousness or the path of darkness (evil).
This abode is only a short stop along the way. Those who are Righteous enjoy immortality. There is nothing to be concerned about. God is all loving.

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I think you will like to take a listen to the podcast then! You may see things in common with Tom.

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I really enjoyed this one. I was waiting for the thread to be uploaded at 8am this morning. I always look forward to listening to then new episodes on my drive to work and so I leave early taking a longer scenic drive on Thursday.

I do believe that one thing I don’t recall really being brought up, though is that I don’t necessarily believe that God is prevented from doing something due to not having a physical body. In scripture we see that God and the Angel of the Lord is one and the same but distinct just like Christ and God. God could physically inject himself into our world and do something. But he chooses not too. Not because he lacks love, but because he’s created a world where there is free will. Free will can’t exist if God controls everything and so he allows us to make choices. Some people make evil choices and some people make good choices. Additionally God does not undermine free will of wicked men and women because it would collapse everything. Weeds among wheat. Some evil men have caused things that resulted in good things and without those things happening the good would not have either. That’s not saying God uses evil to make goodness, but that because he fixes us free will, and some people choose to do evil that evil affects people in different ways and some of those ways results in goodness.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.biblegateway.com/passage/%3Fsearch=Matthew%2B13:24-43&version=NASB&interface=amp

We also see from romans 9 that occasionally God will accent the condition of someone’s heart to actively bring about a change. Like with Pharaoh. He did not make him choose evil, but because he was already choosing evil, he hardened his heart with the knowledge of what would result. It’s a combination of not altering free will, but definitely influencing it.

But it’s a great podcast. I’ll listen to it again and definitely the book is added to my growing list.

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Love this! This was my first week for podcasts back in the saddle after maternity leave so I’m sorry I didn’t have it up sooner! :slight_smile:

No problem. I often wait to listen to the Bible project podcasts to fill in various days as well. Congratulations also!

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Thank you! :slight_smile:

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That works pretty well for evils committed by people. What about natural evils? Are there some righteous hurricanes and some evil ones that God is sorting out??

Evil, as I understand it, involves a lack of conscience and a deliberate action to do harm or exploit and abuse etc. I don’t think we can put God and hurricanes in this context.

God made the creation and that means there are some conditions in it that are destructive. However this is not the intention of God to be destructive. It is that if the creation is to have winds and rain and various forces then there will be times when these create hurricanes and cyclones etc.

I think also there may be a perception owing to the Christian point of view. I believe that we are essentially conscious beings, which means spiritual entities. Our journey (or journeys) here is only a very temporary one. Our bodies (garments) may be damaged or destroyed but who we are is not harmed or destroyed.

Yes, so the question is whether God can ever stop the destruction of these natural forces. That is what we talked about on the podcast episode.

Congratulations mom … I mean … Hillary!

Listening now. Just heard Tom’s opening statement. I agree completely at least in regard to what I think gives rise to and supports God belief. Okay, back to the conversation.

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I’ve listened to more than half of the podcast so far and I will listen to the rest in the morning. I disagree with a lot of what is said. Firstly I don’t think that it is legitimate question to ask if God can stop it and won’t or will etc. God created a physical existence, which will have both good and bad conditions but the “good and bad” is only from our perspective while living in the physical existence.

In my understanding God selected the relevant information from all the limitless information in The Mind of God and upheld that relevant information in the Divine Consciousness for the Universe(s) and every thing in it to come into being and be maintained in existence. So the hurricanes and cyclones and earthquakes etc., are all part of the deal.

If God wanted a puppet show, then God could have made the conditions for such.

I believe that God could stop natural chaos if he wanted too. I use chaos instead of evil for the same reasons already lined out.

I think part of the problem is that so many are just focused on how it affects us as modern humans. Take a large hurricane like Sally that just came through. I lost power for over a week. It was very inconvenient for me. Some died as a byproduct of the hurricane. But we are not the only things God is concerned about. His concern is for all of creation.

As that hurricane went though it knocked out power eliminating light pollution temporarily. It knocked down large trees making room for other plants. A lot of root were ripped to as trees toppled over creating overwintering spots for reptiles and amphibians. A lot of debris will become mushroom food.

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