Social Connects


John Sanders

Evil and the God Who is Love: 
A Review of Thomas Jay Oord’s 
_The Uncontrolling Love of God_

Dr. Thomas Jay Oord is one of the most prolific and well-known Wesleyan theologians in the United States. He has written, edited, or contributed to over twenty books on theology, philosophy, science and the combination of them. In his latest book, The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence, Dr. Oord proposes a new model of divine providence that wedges itself between voluntary divine self-limitation (espoused by most Open theists) and providence as an impersonal sustaining force (espoused by most Process theists). Oord calls his model "Essential Kenosis" and points to the divine nature itself as the constraining factor in divine providence. For Oord, love is necessarily noncoercive and necessarily gives freedom/agency to others. For God to be love means that God cannot fail to be noncoercive nor fail to give freedom/agency to others. Therefore, God cannot prevent genuine evil insofar as such prevention is constrained by God's nature of love.

Here's an excerpt from the review:

"Besides being a gifted philosopher and teacher, Dr. Oord is also a very talented photographer. From surveying his work over many years, it appears that one of his favorite things to capture is a beaming sunset over an beautifully textured landscape. He goes on long hikes into deserts and mountains to compose the perfect shot at the perfect moment. Dr. Oord’s photographic instincts mirror his theological proposal in [The Uncontrolling Love of God] in many ways. In a timely and winsome way, he has composed a snapshot of providence that is a shining ray of light in the very textured landscape of theologies of divine providence."

Check out the full review at

Links: Bookmark and Share


A Few Brief Reflections on the OPEN 2013 Conference

Last week, I had the honor of co-directing the first conference on the Open View, that was intentionally designed for church leaders and laypeople, with Tom Belt, Tom Oord, and Marcia Erickson. Two previous conferences that were devoted to the dialogue between the Open View and science were held in 2007 and 2008, in Quincy, MA and in Azusa, CA respectively. But many Open View proponents felt it was time for a deliberately non-academic conversation. That's why "OPEN 2013" focused on practical subjects related to the Open View and implemented dialogue, rather than exclusively lectures, as the primary method of participation.

The conference was held at Woodland Hills Church and senior pastor Greg Boyd was one of the conference's keynote speakers. John Sanders and Thomas Jay Oord also delivered keynote talks. All three keynote speakers did a fantastic job, and each one provided substantive Q&A sessions following their talks. Dr. Oord even integrated Q&A into his presentation making it extraordinarily interactive. But one undeniable highlight of the conference was Jessica Kelley's sharing of Henry's Story. Her testimony of how the Open View and the Warfare Worldview has helped her process her pain and preserved her faith in God was definitely the emotional pinnacle of the conference. Several of us on the planning team noted her poise during Q&A and her powerful gift of clear communication.

Links: Bookmark and Share


OPEN 2013 - Open Theology & the Church

The first Open theology conference for church leaders begins tonight. I'm honored to be helping to lead this historic event, and I hope that it becomes an annual event.

OPEN 2013 - Open Theology & the Church is being held at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN and sponsored by ReKnew Ministries. The conference keynote speakers are Greg Boyd, John Sanders, and Thomas Jay Oord.

For livetweets of the event, follow @OpenTheology on Twitter.

Q&A sessions with the conference speakers will be live streamed at The Open View website. To participate in the discussion, tweet your questions using #OPEN_2013.

Links: Bookmark and Share

Welcome to

Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, Associate Pastor @NewCityChurch of Los Angeles, sometimes web designer, writer, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

T. C.

Books I'm Currently Reading:

Facebook Page

Follow This Blog


Member: MennoNerds

Browncoats Biblioblog Network

We Aim to Misbehave!


TC on Instagram

Recommended Books