Saturday, December 09, 2017

What is "Essential Kenosis"?

How should we understand how God interacts with creation? Is God all powerful, and therefore able to do anything God desires? Are there limitations, even if self-generated limitations? In other words, does Gods' character define how God engages creation? In the view of Thomas Jay Oord, any conversation about the actions of God must be understood in the context of God's "uncontrolling love." Tom explores this concept in his book The Uncontrolling Love of God: An Open and Relational Account of Providence (IVP Academic, 2015). He then invited a number of people including scholars and pastors and lay persons to respond. Those responses appear in the book Uncontrolling Love: Essays Exploring the Love of God with Introductions by Thomas Jay Oord, (SacraSage Press, 2017). [Note: the cost of the paperback has been lowered from 24.95 to 11:95 on Amazon until Christmas Eve]. I contributed one of the essays to that book.  Now, as part of an effort to broaden the conversation about the "uncontrolling love of God," Tom, who is a theologian teaching at Northwest Nazarene University, has produced a brief video describing what he calls "essential kenosis." I'd like to invite you to view it, reflect on it, and hopefully respond here with your thoughts. Is this an understanding of God's nature and God's relationship to creation that makes sense? How does this understanding of God who is love invite us to participate in the work of God and empower us for that work? 

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