Hi Eric. I haven't read Oord, but based on your description, he seems to argue that God is subject to a standard that exists independently of him--"inherently uncontrolling love." If that is so, if God is subject to a standard greater than himself, then we don't need him in order to subject ourselves to that same standard, and God is, therefore, not the top of the food chain. That contradicts the teachings of all mainstream Christian sects, though I'll allow that some perhaps teach that God is not the alpha and the omega--the be all end all--in contrast to Christian scripture. If God "can't", then the claim but forward in Matthew that "with God, all things are possible," isn't true. If the Bible is in error, then where does the authoritative Christian narrative come from? How can Christians know anything about God?

Furthermore, that definition of love doesn't carry water. I am much wiser than my children, I love them, and that love demands that I circumscribe their behavior. If they're wandering near a railroad track, you can best believe I'm going to control what they do, precisely because I love them. The idea that God, who is supposedly infinitely wise, allows us to stand in front of all of life's many runaway trains because he loves us frankly just sounds silly. If we are God's children, then he has a duty to see to our welfare, even if that means protecting us from ourselves. That's especially true if, as Christs warns, everlasting torment is at stake.

Again, if I witness my 8 year old steal my car and do nothing to sop him, I won't be able to wash my hands of whatever tragedies might occur by saying "I didn't control my son because that would mean I don't love him." Just the opposite is true. This Thomas Jay Oord sounds like a snake oil salesman.

I write about movies, books, culture, politics, and the intersection between them. MA in English, words in The Ascent, PSILU, The Writing Cooperative, and more.

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