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“The true God of love does not cause or allow evil. The Spirit of love present to us and all creation is not morally responsible. The good news for those who hurt is that God couldn’t have singlehandedly prevented their pain.” –  Excerpt from God Can’t.

I did not want this book to end. I wish Dr. Oord had written it 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago. It represents, in an accessible nutshell the Bible’s pervasive themes. The author clearly accounts for suffering and God’s part in healing and providing hope along with those who choose to cooperate with God. Yes, Tom affirms that God needs us, given the limits of being God, such as not having a body for most of human history.

This is where the Good News that “God can’t” enters. God has done and can do many wonderful things, but God cannot do what you can do while you are embodied and able to bring a cup of cold water to a thirsty person. Neither can God thwart evil people from carrying out the disasters that bring suffering. Why? Because God’s love, though creative and potent, cannot control free creatures. But this is balanced by God can! “The God of uncontrolling love is the most powerful and loving person in the universe!”

To delve into the reasonable, loving, and vulnerable explanations provided, to find your understanding of life and your love for God renewed, read this book.

Karen Strand Winslow, Ph.D.

Biblical and Jewish Studies Professor of Biblical Studies

Azusa Pacific Seminary