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God Can't: How to Believe in God and Love After Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils

God Can't: How to Believe in God and Love After Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils - Thomas Jay Oord

God Can't: How to Believe in God and Love After Tragedy, Abuse, and Other Evils


Hurting people ask heart-felt questions about God and suffering. Some "answers" they receive appeal to mystery: "God's ways are not our ways." Some answers say God allows evil for a greater purpose. Some say evil is God's punishment.

The usual answers fail. They don't support the truth God loves everyone all the time. God Can't gives a believable answer to why a good and powerful God doesn't prevent evil.

Author Thomas Jay Oord says God's love is inherently uncontrolling. God loves everyone and everything, so God can't control anyone or anything. This means God cannot prevent evil singlehandedly. God can't stop evildoers, whether human, animal, organisms, or inanimate objects and forces.

In God Can't, Oord gives a plausible reason why some are healed but many others are not. God always works to heal everyone, but sometimes our bodies, organisms, or other creatures do not cooperate with God's healing work. Or the conditions of creation are not right for the healing God wants to do.

Some people think God causes or allows suffering to teach us lessons or build our character. God Can't disagrees. Oord says God squeezes good from the evil God didn't want in the first place. God uses pain and suffering without willing or even allowing it.

Most people think God can overcome evil singlehandedly. In God Can't, Oord says God needs cooperation for love to reign now and later. This leads to a better view of the afterlife he calls, "relentless love." It rejects traditional ideas of heaven, hell, and annihilation. Relentless love holds to the possibility all creatures and all creation will respond to God's love.

God Can't is written in understandable language. Thomas Jay Oord's status as a world-renown theologian brings credibility to the book's radical ideas. He explains these ideas through true stories, illustrations, and scripture.

God Can't is for those who want answers to tragedy, abuse, and other evils that make sense

What They're Saying...

"If conventional notions of God make less and less sense to you, you'll find Thomas Jay Oord's new book a breath of fresh air. Simply put, "God Can't" presents an understanding of God that thoughtful, ethical people can believe in."
-- Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

"I did not want this book to end. I wish Dr. Oord had written it 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago... To find your understanding of life and your love for God renewed, read this book."
-- Dr. Karen Strand Winslow, Ph.D., Biblical and Jewish Studies Professor of Bible, Azusa Pacific University

"As a clinical psychologist working with people in trauma, I owe Thomas Jay Oord an enormous debt of gratitude for recasting the so-called problem of evil in terms that are conceptually satisfying, theologically consistent, and pastorally liberating."
-- Dr Roger Bretherton- Principal Lecturer at the University of Lincoln (UK), Chair of the British Association of Christians in Psychology

"Victims of trauma sometimes hear theological responses that imply their suffering is somehow "God's will." A more careful theological reflection on the nature of the power of a God who is love can help. Oord gives us a clear and compelling alternative in this profoundly insightful and admirably concrete and accessible book."
-- Dr. Anna Case-Winters, Professor of Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary

"I know of no book that speaks to suffering with the depth of theological sophistication and psychological sensitivity as God Can't. This book is a rare combination of depth and accessibility, truly written for the wounded. I recommend it to my students, parishioners, and therapy clients."
-- Dr. Brad D. Strawn, Professor of the Integration of Psychology and Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

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Hurting people ask heart-felt questions about God and suffering. Some "answers" they receive appeal to mystery: "God's ways are not our ways." Some answers say God allows evil for a greater purpose. Some say evil is God's punishment.

The usual answers fail. They don't support the truth God loves everyone all the time. God Can't gives a believable answer to why a good and powerful God doesn't prevent evil.

Author Thomas Jay Oord says God's love is inherently uncontrolling. God loves everyone and everything, so God can't control anyone or anything. This means God cannot prevent evil singlehandedly. God can't stop evildoers, whether human, animal, organisms, or inanimate objects and forces.

In God Can't, Oord gives a plausible reason why some are healed but many others are not. God always works to heal everyone, but sometimes our bodies, organisms, or other creatures do not cooperate with God's healing work. Or the conditions of creation are not right for the healing God wants to do.

Some people think God causes or allows suffering to teach us lessons or build our character. God Can't disagrees. Oord says God squeezes good from the evil God didn't want in the first place. God uses pain and suffering without willing or even allowing it.

Most people think God can overcome evil singlehandedly. In God Can't, Oord says God needs cooperation for love to reign now and later. This leads to a better view of the afterlife he calls, "relentless love." It rejects traditional ideas of heaven, hell, and annihilation. Relentless love holds to the possibility all creatures and all creation will respond to God's love.

God Can't is written in understandable language. Thomas Jay Oord's status as a world-renown theologian brings credibility to the book's radical ideas. He explains these ideas through true stories, illustrations, and scripture.

God Can't is for those who want answers to tragedy, abuse, and other evils that make sense

What They're Saying...

"If conventional notions of God make less and less sense to you, you'll find Thomas Jay Oord's new book a breath of fresh air. Simply put, "God Can't" presents an understanding of God that thoughtful, ethical people can believe in."
-- Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

"I did not want this book to end. I wish Dr. Oord had written it 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago... To find your understanding of life and your love for God renewed, read this book."
-- Dr. Karen Strand Winslow, Ph.D., Biblical and Jewish Studies Professor of Bible, Azusa Pacific University

"As a clinical psychologist working with people in trauma, I owe Thomas Jay Oord an enormous debt of gratitude for recasting the so-called problem of evil in terms that are conceptually satisfying, theologically consistent, and pastorally liberating."
-- Dr Roger Bretherton- Principal Lecturer at the University of Lincoln (UK), Chair of the British Association of Christians in Psychology

"Victims of trauma sometimes hear theological responses that imply their suffering is somehow "God's will." A more careful theological reflection on the nature of the power of a God who is love can help. Oord gives us a clear and compelling alternative in this profoundly insightful and admirably concrete and accessible book."
-- Dr. Anna Case-Winters, Professor of Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary

"I know of no book that speaks to suffering with the depth of theological sophistication and psychological sensitivity as God Can't. This book is a rare combination of depth and accessibility, truly written for the wounded. I recommend it to my students, parishioners, and therapy clients."
-- Dr. Brad D. Strawn, Professor of the Integration of Psychology and Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

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