What is Love and Why it’s Essential to Understanding the Universe

A Zoom Webinar with Thomas Jay Oord

 

What is Love and Why it’s Essential to Understanding the Universe

Now available via recording!

Ilia Delio

 God acts and calls all creation, from the simplest to the most complex, to diverse expressions of love, beauty, and well-being

 

Some have claimed God creates through love, because God is love. The argument sometimes considers love an energy, some “stuff,” desire, relationship, or well-being. Diverse love proposals confuse, because love is understood variously. In this Zoom webinar, I begin by looking at various ways humans have understood love on the way to offering my own definition that incorporates what I think are the positive aspects of the diverse understandings. Building from this, I argue for a love-centered beginning to the universe, in which God creates but not from nothing.

Believing God creates, calls, and empowers others without controlling anyone or anything provides an answer to the problem of evil. I call this answer “the uncontrolling love of God” view. It helps make sense of evolutionary puzzles like species dead ends (extinction) and surplus killing among various species today. I believe God acts and calls all creation, from the simplest to the most complex, to diverse expressions of love, beauty, and well-being. We live in an open and relational universe and world in which an open and relational God loves as a genuine participant.

This perspective guides my view of the future as well. I close by offering a “relentless love” view of life beyond bodily death. In this view, God does not damn anyone to eternal conscious torment but also never forces anyone to eternal bliss. Instead, the God of uncontrolling love continues to invite creatures to loving relationships after they die. Because this love is relentless, we have the hope but not a guarantee of universal reconciliation.

About Thomas Jay Oord

Thomas Jay Oord, Ph.D., is a theologian, philosopher, and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies. Oord directs the Center for Open and Relational Theology and doctoral students at Northwind Theological Seminary. He is an award-winning author and has written or edited more than twenty-five books. A gifted speaker, Oord lectures at universities, conferences, churches, and institutions. He is known for his contributions to research on love, science and religion, open and relational theology, the problem of suffering, and the implications of freedom for transformational relationships. Website: thomasjayoord.com

Original live event: Thursday, March 25th, 4:00pm – 5:30pm EDT USA (UTC/GMT-4)

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