Aaron: Welcome to Everyday Theology, where we don’t tell you what to believe or why to believe it, but rather explore our Christian beliefs and why they matter to us in relation to God, to creation, and to others. My name is Aaron Ross.
Before we get started, I just want to let you know this is actually part two of a two-part series between Doctors Chris Green and Tom Oord about God’s knowledge, about how we relate to God, and what God can or cannot do. So if you haven’t listened to the first part, I would encourage you to go back to the last podcast. Listen to the first part before diving in to Part 2 here.
Well, you know, I was gonna honestly, just being a fly on the wall in this conversation and just getting to hear you two is just like, it makes my heart happy.
Hey I like, well, I was going to say I like to build walls. I’m like, no, I don’t actually, no.
No absolutely not I think maybe especially in kind of light of the idea of Everyday Theology, you know, we had this kind of example of Michael, but in some sense what can be, if I can just ask this question, break in and ask here, what can be the way in which in both kind of systems, because there seems to be kind of a lot of like agreement that happens in kind of talking it out. Even though there are still kind of major differences…
Chris: Aaron, can I say this? I think this is it, Tom, see if you agree with this. I think Tom and are 100% agreed about God’s character. Where we disagree is about God’s nature.
Chris: I think we have the exact same view of character…
Tom: I’m not sure, it would depend on the distinction there. What would you say the difference is between God’s character and nature?
Chris: I think again, this can be semantics and we need to be careful here because the words can get used synonymously. I think you and I are in full agreement about God is nothing but good. God is not at odds with himself in terms of what he wants for us or what he’s doing with us. He’s not playing one game with his left hand and another one with his right hand. He’s of one heart for us, and that heart is absolute love all the way down. But I think where we differ, so I think that’s what I mean by character, is his disposition toward us, his affection for us, his desire for us. I think I don’t think there’s even a whisper of disagreement about that. I think where we disagree is what that means in relation to Infinity eternity, power, the classic attributes of God’s nature in that sense. So for me, it’s Infinity is basic and there and therefore is all together other than causal because the infinite right isn’t by definition isn’t causal. So at least the way I’m working with the concept of the infinite and so on down the line is that is that cleared up You know, you see I’m saying that?
Tom: Yeah, I think that is amazing. I don’t like the word infinite at all.
Chris: So anyway, because I can’t, I mean that’s what I love most about it. So help me understand what you don’t like about it.
Tom: Yeah, obviously infinite can mean lots of different things. But if we just look at the word not finite it’s not telling us anything constructive about God. It’s an apophatic move. If infinite means everlasting Oh, I believe God is everlasting. I’m totally on board with that. Of course, I think God is Everlasting sequentially and you think God is, you know Eternal whatever outside of time. So those words are gonna have a little different meaning if infinite means something like that something like never gives up or is immense in all space, you know, I’m totally there but that word infinite gets used in so many different ways and if we just the way it the word says not finite. It’s not telling us anything constructive. And so I try to shy away.
Chris: I think it’s telling us the most constructive thing, which is that God is the one in whom the finite finds Its home. So for me the word infinite, that’s why I said it’s what I love most about God. It’s what I to me. It’s what makes God worshipful is that his love is infinite and there is a one way this plays out for me is that he’s therefore infinitely creative you notice I said that earlier when I was saying God doesn’t need anything to do what he wills because he’s infinitely creative. So here is how we’re going to preach this and I have for good or bad and well, yeah, I’ll just leave it alone. But if we’re going to preach this as I did some day I talked about the Thomas story briefly and how I’m struck by the fact that in the story of Thomas, Jesus says look at my hands and my side reach your hands forward and touch my hands and my side. He doesn’t say my wounds. And he doesn’t say my scars, although obviously, he’s referencing his woundedness, right? He’s referencing the fact that he has. He’s undergone torture. And there’s something that Tom that Thomas can touch although of course in the text. It never says if Thomas does or not. Well, what I’m arguing for is an eschatological event in which hands and sides bear witness to what has happened beyond scarring and wounding. That what we’re praying for is not just that the wounds will heal and therefore scar but for a kind of healing that without making the past not to have been. Makes it so that it is not what it was. And I can’t say that without Infinity like I can literally is not possible. I mean, well I shouldn’t say is not possible. I can’t imagine a way to say that that kind of eschatological restoration will be brought about without Infinity because one of the things I have to say and I often do is that the appearance of Jesus is something that happens to time. Not in time. So the coming we’re awaiting is not a it’s not a temporal event. It’s not anymore in my future than it’s in my past. I’m no closer to it than Abraham was, I’m no further from it than Abraham was and not because God is outside of time. But because God is infinitely infolding time. And I don’t think of time as a hindrance for God one way or another. I don’t think God is timeless. I think God is timeful and he’s timeful precisely because of infinity. So I mean obviously now this one I’m just preaching but that’s why I love that so much like I’m struck by the fact that even though we adore the same character in God. It’s like we’ve somehow. Let’s work into an entirely different sense of Nature and I don’t know what to do that exactly, but I’m fascinated by it.
Aaron: Let me ask, I want to ask this kind of question to bring it to a practical place only. It is. Let me ask a question that makes it easier for me to understand the practicality. Like let’s use some test cases and I think one test case that’s often used especially as it relates to open theism versus other models of God is in both of your systems then what would be the purpose if a friend is sick and I want to sit down and I want to intercede in pray for my friend’s sickness for God’s healing even more so, probably just the curing of a friend. In both of your systems may be what would be the relationship that I would have in that moment to God or that God would have to my friend in which what God is doing all it can do can’t do should I pray should I know? Not pray, you know what good. Is it going to do in some sense in my relationship with God and my friend and I’ll start with whoever wants to start with that question.
Tom: All right I’m going to begin with the plug that I have a book coming out in July called Questions and Answers for God Can’t and there’s a whole chapter on why you should pray and why prayer I am assuming that you mean something like petitionary prayer not just, you know, confessional prayer or whatever prayers a commitment. So I really do think that our petitionary prayers can actually make a difference to God and the world that’s one of the advantages I think open theism has. I think that we should pray that God isn’t sort of sitting back arms folded not doing anything until we pray enough times God’s already active working in the situation and that you’ve made up here with the sick friend. God wants to heal. The sickness isn’t the part of some mysterious plan that God has for you know, making the world a better place or teaching your friend a lesson or whatever. God also is not punishing your friend with this sickness so what I think happens is that because God needs Creation in order to do all the good God wants to see done in the world, that our prayers can actually make a difference in what God chooses and what and how God acts moment by moment. It’s not that our prayer somehow turbocharged God to instantaneously control our sick friend and heal that person you know all and as a sufficient cause all alone, but our prayers could be additional information, data, additional relational. Well, just use the word date again because I can’t think of a good word. But anyway, they can provide additional means by which God’s healing activity might be more effective than had we not prayed. So there’s no guarantees. But our actions can make a real difference.
Aaron: Hmm. I think I would want to ask a clarifying question on what it means to say that what God could do is be more effective or less effective based on prayer? If we want that real quick from you before we to get to Chris.
Tom: Yeah, I’m making a couple of assumptions. One assumption is that we live in an interrelated world such that our actions have an effect on others and prayers and action. I’m making another assumption that God is a relational being that we have an effect upon God such that our actions affect God and prayers and action. So both those assumptions go into play here that some that say that our actions make a difference to God in the world and therefore moment by moment God takes into God’s self everything that happens and responds in the next moment based upon what happened in the previous ones.
Aaron: Great, that helped me clarify. I think I wanted to make sure that was clarified before we jump to Chris.
Chris: So I think that. I mean I had a hunch this is where my difference was but it’s really fascinating to me the more I think about it that we could share so many of the same concerns and so many of the persuasions about what God is like in terms of his love for us. And yet to see all of them so differently because of the metaphysics and the sense of nature that’s at work. And I think you know, I’m not sure what to do with that. I’m not sure all of the implications of it, but let me speak to your question directly. I agree with Tom. I think prayer matters. I think prayer shapes the way things happen in the world, I have other things I want to rush to say. One is as a Pentecostal. I think it’s very important that in our churches we say our prayers do not move God to be better than he would have been otherwise That that we never want to suggest that God is capable of good he doesn’t do it because we didn’t ask for it in and you know, there’s a saying attributed to Wesley that God does nothing in the world except in response to believing prayer. And I think that I mean, I love Wesley. I’ll kiss him on the mouth.Creation itself could never happen. The resurrection of Jesus could never happen. Yeah, the forgiveness of our sins could never happen. I mean, that’s just I mean, that’s just mindless if you strip it out of its context. It makes more sense in contact. Well out of its context as a standalone statement. I mean, I think it’s just only one really wrong because I think the whole point is even my prayer is already the movement of God’s life in me. That when I pray I’m not making God be good. I’m not making God be better than he would have been otherwise, it’s the goodness of God awakening me toward his own goodness making me share in his goodness, right? It’s his life in me. That’s it, that’s making my prayer possible.
Tom: All right, and yeah, but let me ask you this question Chris if it is the case in your view. That your prayer has any effect upon God. I mean like a classic Thomist is going to say God is impassable. So God is not affected by our prayers. But if you didn’t go that direction, you could say, you know, like some Christians say that you know, my prayers God could have fixed it all alone had I not prayed, would you want to go either those directions to God’s not affected by prayer or that God could have just up and fixed it even if we hadn’t prayed all alone. Without any device or any creaturely contribution?
Chris: Not to actually betrouble. Okay, but I don’t want to say either of those things. I mean that’s that’s for me everything. That’s at stake is those aren’t the choices if those are the choices then of course, I’m going to choose the first one good because if you if those are the two choices than the second one means evil is something God is using God is allowing and and I’m not going to say that I mean, I won’t I won’t It’s a that. So yeah, I’ve got to have another way to talk and I think the Third Way or a third way, not necessarily the Third Way is to say that the way God works is always the best possible thing for everyone at the same time. All creatures are under the influence of this goodness of God, and we just it hasn’t been realized yet in our experience, but that’s precisely what we’re hoping for. So because I’m thinking of God’s relation to time as timeful rather than timeless or sequential so I don’t think God has a past for instance. I think God remembers everything. I don’t think God is living along the timeline with us. I think the timeline exists in The Happening of God and God is in his loving non-coercive way. And by the way, this is another place where I’m absolutely with you. I don’t think God is capable of violence by nature or character. I don’t think God is capable of doing that but I don’t see that to this is where I’m different from Thomas. So there’s a passage in Thomas where he’s talking about Abraham offering Isaac.
Tom: Now, you’re talking about Thomas Aquinas not Thomas Oord
Chris: Right, the namesake. So Thomas says, yeah. I’m glad you clarified that I’m even thinking about it. So Thomas said in his write up about about Abraham offering Isaac. He says this may seem to us to be wrong and it’s in his section on natural law. He says this may seem to us to be a violation of natural law, but that’s not true because everything is right because God calls it so and everything is wrong because God still calls it so right God’s word constitutes rightness and wrongness. And Billy says which actually I think is right, but then he goes on to say therefore if God tells you to do something otherwise evil it isn’t evil because God has called you to do it. Therefore It is in itself good and he talks fascinating when he talks about the Looting of Egypt. And the marrying a prostitute and Hosea and then Abraham sacrificing his son would be willing to sacrifice his son and he said in all of these cases these men were right these two men in the nation were right to obey God in spite of the fact that these things otherwise would appear to be evil. Looting, adultery, and killing the innocent And I think that the first part of what he’s saying is right and the last part is just a complete disaster right because it’s showing I mean, I think that’s ultimately worse than playing Mystery. That’s to say that God is just schizophrenia arbitrary on my do anything right and hard all the way down to meaninglessness. And so what I want to say instead is God in our prayers is always answering our prayer but because we are temporal we experience the answer to that prayer differently, and I don’t end this is why I don’t think and this is one of things that Ken likes least about my approach.
Tom: This is the thing that I don’t like about it either.
Chris: The Integrity of present tense Human Experience. Well don’t know I don’t think it takes away from prayer. Because for me if I’m if I’m praying it’s shaping what’s happening in the world, but it’s not making God better. It’s just playing out how that goodness shapes me in this particular moment.
Tom: Yes. I’m in agreement with you that it doesn’t make God better. But what I’m saying is that your prayers provide new data to the store to keep coming back to you. Right? Right, but it down it sounds to me like you don’t think it provides God with new data earlier.
Chris: I’m not saying that yeah, but I am saying that it does. Let me give you maybe this example. So when I was I used this before I think Aaron heard me talk about this a few years ago. My wife was gone for about a week and then he was coming back and I was going to have this romantic dinner for her when she got home and my daughter who was our only child at the time was about four maybe five and she came in the kitchen and she said “Dad what are you doing?” I was like “Well making dinner for Mom.” She’s like, ”I’m going to make dinner for Mom.” I was like, okay because I had a particular kind of dinner that I wanted to make right? I mean, yeah, you can imagine and now Zoe wants to do it. And so I own the fly like said, yeah, let’s do this. So when Julie got home that night Zoe had made dinner for her, right and so everything was different. But my intention was still fulfilled right like dinner was still made and something like that’s not a perfect analogy obviously, but that something like that is what I want to say. Our prayers can shape the way the goodness of God takes place in our lives but not because God is adjusting to it. But because we are adjusting to God we are coming into alignment with him and that big as we do our Humanity expresses that Divine pressure differently. But the same Divine pressure is there either way, it’s just yeah.
Tom: but I find I find it unsatisfying whenever I hear Thomas give that kind of illustration. It’s always something good that came out at the end. So in other words, let’s say you want to make dinner for your wife and your daughter says no I want to and she has in mind poisoning your wife. Yeah and suppose that the dinner actually poisons and kills your wife now, you’re going to say well, you know, we did it together. It was known to us now. Yeah, no. No, you’re not because your attention was different than hers.
Chris: So I think that’s when the analogy breaks down right? Because right now we’re two human beings who act in the same way. God isn’t, so God’s intentions never fail.. I mean another way to get it. This is CS Lewis’s The Problem of Pain so in the chapter on hell and Problem of Pain, Lewis talks about how in the end God loses. God does not get what he wants because human beings Can Fort God our God doesn’t get what he wants and I tell me about that. Do you think that is how this is all going to end that God is not going to get what he wants? He wants to assume. He wants to save everyone, right?
Tom: Yeah in my view. It’s a potential possible end. So it could be that love doesn’t win. It’s possible in my view because God can’t control and God always works with creation. Now I think God is always going to call creatures and since it’s an everlasting process. I think there’s a good chance that God’s going to convince all creation. The Redemption of the world is not my own. Yeah and some ways. Yeah, but that’s not the kind of guarantee that can only come with some kind of, you know coercive power. So I have to be honest and say, yep, it is possible that love doesn’t win in the end.
Chris: Yeah, and I think that’s it right there for me that I can’t I don’t think I think David Bentley Hart. He doesn’t do himself any favors, but I think he’s right about this that if God created that outcome as a possibility for even one person it was evil to
Tom: Yeah, I well I could talk a lot about David Bently Hart. I think I’m gonna not go there. No, I mean like I said, yeah, I know so many papers I meant I meant his position in that. I mean, I think well, I’ll just say it quickly. I think David Bentley Hart ends up being what philosophers call a compatibilist. That is it in some ways free. We think we are but ultimately God is set things up to be in control at least by the end and I’m not a compatibilist.
Chris: I think that reason you’re reading it that way is because you’re reading it as a sequence.
Tom: Yeah, that’s probably a lot to yeah, it’s probably true.
Chris: If you don’t assume sequentiality to the action of God. So for instance when I say what I’m saying right now, I mean I think God is just as present to Abraham as he is to me and Abraham is just as present to God as I am. I think that Abraham and I are cut off from each other by time but no one is cut off from God by time.
Tom: And you would probably also say that your great-great grandchildren are, if they exist set sometime are going to be equally present to God that has you as Abraham, right?
Chris: Yeah. Well the whole not that they don’t exist obviously right now, but one way of coming at this is what we think Jesus resurrection is. So I think the reason you’re disagreeing with Hart on that and is the same reason you’re disagreeing with me is that we’re because of David and I are both working with concepts of infinity and divine action. I don’t think it is compatibilism I think it’s the the Maximus and I don’t think it’s Thomas. I think Thomas is actually referencing pseudo-dionysius year. I think it’s Maximus the Confessor really and Thomas works this out in his own way. Not always well and I think but when he talks about God as beyond being. Thomas is just referencing Dionysios. And that is the tradition that I’m talking about. But primarily in Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus Confessor. So for me the again, the Eschaton is something that happens to time. The past is not close to God And he will act on and that’s what I think the resurrection is when Jesus is resurrected. It’s not another event on the timeline of Jesus’ life is the taking of the whole timeline of Jesus’ life into the life of God. So Jesus life begins and ends like every life begins and he’s born and I think yeah.
Tom: I think fundamentally people who are listening to this podcast are going to have to ask themselves. What seems more intuitive to intuitively correct God whose time is utterly different from ours, which I think is something like your view or maybe you wouldn’t say utterly different but the phraseology you’re using sounds like God’s relation to time is utterly different because it’s not sequential or does it make more sense to think that God experiences time sequentially Moment by moment and that’s my view. How would you know, how do you deal?
Aaron: I’m sorry. Well, I was going to say let me let me kind of jump in here for a second because I want to maybe ask this question because…
Chris: Can I Aaron will you let me ask him about prophecy?
Tom: Yeah, I assume you mean by prophecy predictive prophecy. So the idea that I mean most prophecy in the Bible is not predictive. It’s you know, the profit standing up saying the people are doing wrong, you know, they need to change but if we’re talking about predictive prophecy we’re talking about what we do with statements in scripture in which God says, you know, something’s going to happen in our future. Yeah, a lot of those statements are claims about what God plans to do in the future. And so God doesn’t have to be outside of time to make plans about what God wants to do in the future, but there are some passages in scripture. I think probably a classic one for me is Jesus saying to Peter before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times. That sounds kind of like maybe God, Jesus at least somehow knows the future as if the future is present to him in a way that I don’t think is possible. So yeah on that kind of thing in scripture, my view doesn’t work very well. And I just like to be honest about it and say you know what?
Chris: Yeah, it’s great. What about I think well, I’m sorry. I’m just eager because I’m learning a lot. This is helping me so much like prophecy. How do I guess what I’m stuck on is I don’t see how in your view God could ever make a promise we know he could keep. It would seem like every condition got every promise. God gives would always have to be conditional. Well, it always looks like it will accomplish it.
Tom: Unless the promise is based on God’s nature. So I will never leave you nor forsake you well, if God by nature can’t leave us or forsake us then. Yeah, I will always love you. Well God by nature always loves us. So there’s all kinds of things. God can promise based upon God’s everlasting nature that I don’t even think God can change and I’m guessing you don’t think that God can change either.
Chris: No no of course. Yeah. Yeah, so I’m saying things like if no God is saying, you know Paul. In what God has begun in us the good work. He’s begun in us. He will seek and to completion like that’s not a statement about God’s faithfulness. That’s about a statement about God’s accomplishment of our faithfulness.
Tom: Yeah. Well, I mean here the question is what I mean to complete it, right? I mean that’s that’s the ultimate thing. I would interpret that as saying that God has a particular end in mind and God never gives up at bringing us to that end. Now if you interpreted as well, the end has already been decided and God knows because God’s outside of time or timeless or however, you want to talk about your view of God relation to time then obviously it would conflict in some ways.
Chris: What about space? If God is in time and time is spatial is God in space?
Tom: God is present to all things that exist, yes.
Chris: But as a thing or like as a being?
Tom: Yep, an omnipresent being. So I’m willing to swallow that card of God being a being that you don’t want to swallow because I think it allows me to talk about God’s causal action in ways that are analogous to creaturely causal action. Now obviously God being an omnipresent being is going to have some differences with our being, but the similarities are also very important to me.
Aaron: Loving just listening because I’m learning a lot and I think I think it can be really really helpful to kind of explore God in a lot of these ways, but I do think we need to kind of maybe do a summation here to help listeners may be kind of again grasp something to take away within their perception and their perspectives of God, and I would I would ask the question a both of you as kind of maybe even more of an ending point and you know, if we need to have more of these I’m all for it. You know, we can just keep doing this. Maybe we’ll start a whole new podcast about Can God or Cannot God? I have to ask like this one thing: how would any person, just an everyday person, you know me. From both of your perspectives if you can give like a just one to two minute response on this is how we should view who God is for us and our lives today how might you kind of I know it’s way too big of a task, but the summit God in that kind of way with in your view and we’ll start with Tom.
Tom: You know, I’ve started first every time I feel kinda bad.
Aaron: Okay, starting with Chris. Chris, it’s here man. I give it to you. You’re just the first in the list on my computer right now.
Chris: Yeah. So for me, it’s your everything comes down to the God whose character is nothing but love and his nature is the infinite realization of that. So of love. So that means for me what’s most important to know about God is that God is the one who can who can do all things, and who does all things well, and who needs nothing to bring about what is good for us who never needs us and precisely therefore in cooperating with us does us good and brings us into our fullness. So one thing we didn’t get to tonight that I think’s Is and I’m pretty sure I know where there’s difference. But this is why for me my faith is itself already a gift of God. I don’t believe on my own. I’m not, I’m not a self grounded entity. I’m grounded in God. So if I believe, I believe because his life has taken shape in me and enabled me to believe. And therefore I don’t think salvation is a cooperation between God and me. Salvation is the working out in my life of God in me. So I don’t think people are saved because they did some of the work. I don’t think it’s like God did what he could do, and now we have to do the rest. I think it’s God doing what only God can do until we are fully humanized, until we are brought to the fullness of creatureliness. And that’s what we’re…
Tom: Well since Chris got to start. I think I’ll make my summation try to use language that draws out some of the tension between his view in mind, even though we’ve said all night, we have a lot in common. So let me start with what we have in common. We both want to emphasize God’s nature is love, that God’s in the business of love loving and not endorsing. The evil not wanting evil not allowing it etcetera. I don’t think God can do all things. Chris just said God can do all things. Nope. I might look at God titled God Can’t so there’s some things God can’t do and one of them is God can’t control or act in ways that prevent evil single-handedly. God always requires our cooperation. Also, I think God really does need us. God can’t overcome evil single-handedly unilaterally all alone. God needs our cooperation and the one more contrast I would say salvation does require our cooperation again, God can’t save us single-handedly, unilaterally. Now, I know Chris would probably want to qualify all of what he said to give it his view of God’s relation to time and that’s going to be again one of the differences between us. But we’re both in agreement that God is a god of love was not the business of causing or allowing evil; how we shape these things out differs. I think those differences matter, maybe not to every person who’s listening to this podcast, but they matter in terms of how we want to work out a system or a way of thinking that we think is rationally coherent and fits how we understand scripture all those kinds of things, but we share some important things. Things in common, but also I wanted to point out some differences.
Aaron: I think it is really helpful and I think at the end of the day what a lot of listeners can take away from this is this reality of God’s love being so grand that putting words to how God’s love works within his created world is hard to express, or maybe causes some differences in the way that we talk about it because it Is so much more than I think we can just possibly put words to even though we must try. And that relates with how God relates to us. And so I think in both Tom and Chris both of your kind of ways of talking about it are going to be a lot for people to chew on for quite some time to constantly kind of maybe go back to well if this is God then maybe then maybe this is how God works out. And I think more than anything that provides space for a a lot of people who might have kind of grown up with singular views of God or very monolithic views of God that just never allowed for them to say God might be bigger than those views that they’ve always had or always have been given.
Chris: I was going to say I think some of the differences here are aesthetic. In that way earlier. I think Tom made mention of how he would encourage people to think about what’s more intuitive? Well, for me the lack of intuitiveness is a mark of authenticity, not a mark against it. Aesthetically. I mean artistically to me the whole point like when I read scripture as he is for sure that makes little sense or stories that make little sense and that there’s that one of the mark of God’s presence in our life is the mysterious not in the sense of the thing we can’t talk about, but as the overflowing of goodness. I think one thing to consider for those who listen to this bar is that some of what makes a theologian differ from another. Is an aesthetic sensibility a sense of what do you fight like so like some of it is just taste right? So not that they’re not things at stake. But I do think it’s worth noting there that I think some people in Evangelical circles are troubled when theologians disagree like this. But I think of it more like the difference between a jazz musician and a classical musician. That you don’t need to choose between them, right? They’re performing different things. So it makes sense.
Tom: What makes our conversation really interesting is we have different fundamental intuitions or aesthetics on some things but similar ones on other things like there’s lots of theologian I know whose fundamental intuitions are not that God is a god of love all the time and uncontrollable use of my language and non-coercive. Do you some of the stuff I mean that is a really significant intuition you and I share even though we have some other fundamental metaphysical assumptions, or intuitions or aesthetics that we don’t share.
Chris: What’s the one I would most want to share if I could just ask everybody if I can determine for everybody what they should believe about God I want them to trust his goodness, because I think he’s going to reveal everything. I mean, I think at the end in Heaven, we’re all going to know I was right about the nature stuff. But what we’ll be rejoicing about is that we were all right about the characters about right that God was indeed just as good as we thought he was yeah.
Aaron: Amen. I think at some point I’m just gonna have to do some kind of big conference between the two of you and just make it an all day event. And then just let you go. But we do need it to end here before we go. I’d love to hear about any projects that you both have coming up. Tom, I know you’re starting something new and exciting. So if you want to share and Chris if you’ve got anything that you want to share and we’ll we’ll talk to you people next.
Tom: Sure. I’d like to share my there’s a lot of things that could share but I think what you’re pointing to is that I have begun a position of directing doctoral students in open and relational theology an online Seminary called Northwind Theological Seminary has just begun. It’s a start-up and I’m accepting students to study open a relational thought in relation to the kind of big questions that Chris and Aaron and I have been wrestling with this for the last hour and a half or so. However long it’s been. And this is a fully online doctorate. So it’s a doctorate in Theology and Ministry is actually the official title and if you’re interested in something like that. Maybe the best way to get I can send you to the website, but I think I’ll just give you my personal email. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and just let me know you’re interested in that. In terms of other things I got going on, you can find that stuff on my newsletter. Letter or my website. My website is my full name or just you know search Google for me.
Chris: I mean, I’ve got a ton of writing projects, but I don’t have a job currently, you know, teaching post and I’m not sure what that’s going to look like. I’m honestly in a kind of vocational crisis. I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I do have some books that I’m writing, one that I’m pretty excited about, it’s unrelated to this theme or at least only tangentially related. It’s a christology and the Arts. So it’s a kind of constructive christology organized around the liturgical year in relation to film, fiction, poetry, architecture, sculpture. So like basically each chapter takes a major work of art or a major artist. Or at least an artist I’m majorly interested in and then it works out christological themes. So asking what does this art reveal about christology and what does christology reveal about the making and receiving of such are cool and I’m about halfway done with the book at this point. And you know, it’ll probably be next year before it comes up.
Aaron: Well, that’s exciting and we’re both in that club about the job. So we’re just going to start our own club together Chris. And hopefully this podcast will be coming out a couple months probably after recording. So, you know, depending on which view of God we take, either God is going to give us a job or we have some work to do with God to get that job. Either way, we’re participating and we’re going to make sure that we’re gonna do that.
Hey, Tom and Chris. It’s been wonderful having you both on the podcast. Thanks so much for being with us and you’re welcome back. Really anytime if you’re like, I got an idea. I’ll say yes to it and let’s do it. So thanks so much for being with us.