I was kindly provided with a review copy by the author. Some justification exists for this lack of particularity: can love really be defined? He taught for many years at Northwest Nazarene University. Because of this love-grounded power, God should not be thought the cause of evil nor culpable of failing to prevent it. Longtime participants in this dialogue will appreciate the creativity and courage of his controversial proposal for a 'theology of love' informed by the social and natural sciences. Moreover, he does so without condescension or dogmatism. Significantly, unlike many who use the term without heedful attention to what it means, Oord recognizes that the very concept of 'love' requires careful analysis and refinement.
His approach to love is historical, critical, analytic, and prescriptive. This informed and readable work deserves a wide readership. For Example, the killing of others to protect American freedom and liberties against communism and national socialism, killing has even included the intimacy and truth of God sending his Son to die on a cross as a direct act of love, for others. Summary Thomas Jay Oord Most people today affirm the central role of love for human flourishing. Others seem content to accept that the existence of suffering in the face of an all-powerful and loving God is a mystery too deep for humans to fathom.
Some espouse beliefs which, when subjected to even the most basic scrutiny, have disturbing implications for the character of God. Love can be defined variously in terms of desire, feelings, relationships, sex or romance, or as whatever produces well-being. Who are we, and what ought we to do? That makes an examined life worth living. But many theologically-informed readers find the final chapter too brief. His writing is very accessible, reflecting his ample experience as a journalist writing thoughtfully for a wide audience. Very much worth reading and pondering. But we do know we ought to love.
Tom Oord's rigorous survey of the scientific data and philosophical resources breathes new life into the study of theology's central topic. Oord is an award-winning author, having written or edited more than twenty books. Readers will likely be surprised at the vast amount of research and theory pertaining to love, altruism, well-being, prosocial behavior, agape, benevolence, and related issues in science. A gifted speaker, Oord is known for his contributions to research on love, open and relational theology, science and religion, and the implications of freedom and relationships for transformation. A gifted speaker, Oord is known for his contributions to research on love, open and relational theology, science and religion, and the implications of freedom and relationships for transformation. The book covers all the aspects of the new science and theology of love in a phenomenal overview of the existing literature, shaped by the author's own wonderfully constructive position.
Moreover, different disciplines provide their own often conflicting perspectives on love. Oord is known for his contributions to research on , , , , , , , and theology. If God is good and loving, why do evil and suffering exist in the world? Sure to generate discussion in both the church and the academy! Rejected are the views that say or imply that theology always trumps science or science always trumps theology. Would we want to define it without ambiguity, even if we could? Oord's vision is that we are placed on Earth with inexhaustible opportunities to love. His essential kenosis model of providence may not be an exhaustive solution to the problem of theodicy something which, given the nature of the problem, may, in any case, be impossible to attain ; but it is an elegant foundation and starting point for an understanding of God that is both honouring of his essentially loving nature and congruent with the complex realities of the universe in which we live. Perhaps they're embarrassed that discussions of love are often superficial and simplistic, more emotional than reasonable. In the Western tradition since the time of Christ, understanding love has become even more complicated as it was established a the central co-mission of Christian moral action.
For the past decade or more, I have been thinking about the love, science, and theology interface. But it also risks real answers. Pressing them to identify how they know which action is loving and which is not, however, reveals quickly that they do adopt some definition of love. Moreover, different disciplines provide their own often conflicting perspectives on love. Thomas Oord has had an important role in this development and is now able to provide a sweeping, but detailed, survey of the results. Consistently readable and generously teachable, Defining Love brings a strong and surprising voice to current questions about divine power, the gift, creation, and cosmology. I was not required to write a positive review.
Thomas Jay Oord offers and defends a definition of love he believes can propel love research across theological, scientific, and philosophical disciplines. His writing is very accessible, reflecting his ample experience as a journalist writing thoughtfully for a wide audience. Oord then attended , earning an M. The text presents some of the most exciting edges of contemporary science, bringing them into revelatory interchange with the most important questions of theology. Perhaps they're embarrassed that discussions of love are often superficial and simplistic, more emotional than reasonable. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books and hundreds of articles. A twelve-time faculty award-winning professor, he teaches at institutions around the globe.
In short, agape repays evil with good. Throughout history in philosophical and theological treatise, love has been discussed, examined, and many have attempted to define it. This is a splendid book that does more than any other to introduce the worlds of science and theology to a new field of integrative research and conceptualization that is giving agape a new centrality in our lives. After serving as a pastor for several years in a church in , he enrolled at , graduating with a. Thomas Jay Oord interprets the scientific research and responds from a theological and philosophical standpoint, providing a state-of-the-art overview of love and altruism studies. To put it another way, God never totally controls others.
This book is deeply reassuring to all who have been troubled by the challenges of science to Christian faith. Without a definition applicable across disciplines, it is difficult to see how significant progress can be made in understanding and promoting love research for human flourishing. Oord knows the issues and the sources and is a sure-footed guide in dealing with them. Love can be defined variously in terms of desire, feelings, relationships, sex or romance, or as whatever produces well-being. The book will appeal to professors, students, and scholars in theology, ethics, and the sciences as well as those engaged in the science-and-religion dialogue. Some scientific studies suggest that human beings are innately selfish and that virtues such as self-sacrifice are a delusion. Without a definition applicable across disciplines, it is difficult to see how significant progress can be made in understanding and promoting love research for human flourishing.