Welcome to Out of Eden. This is an attempt to document my journey through religious deconstruction starting on day one. Join me, Sam Morse, as I attempt to finally figure out what I believe in by asking the difficult questions regarding my childhood fundamentalist Christian faith. Listen as I wander the no-mans-land that is agnostic uncertainty.

My Reading: The Uncontrolling Love of God - Chapter One

My Reading: The Uncontrolling Love of God - Chapter One

My Reading: The Uncontrolling Love of God - Chapter One

Book by Thomas Jay Oord

Blog Post by Sam Morse

Chapter 1: Tragedy Needs Explanation

It’s not often that a book can hit me like a brick wall because of the feelings I’ve experienced towards God and my childhood faith. I call it my childhood faith now because I simply can no longer fully believe in what I used to. I do honestly doubt, however, that grappling with the random tragedy of this world has ever been a unique area of doubt; as one can clearly tell by the chapter in which I am reading.

The author immediately humbles the reader’s mind back to the very real and at often times “random” tragic occurrences which can seem far too common in our everyday world. Some events are quite familiar to me because of the access to news media in this day and age. Then there are a few events of which I would almost wish to have not known about but are required to enter a very real mindset of the realities of this seemingly chaotic world.

The first chapter presents four very real and extremely difficult to hear stories of people who have experience trauma and tragedy that go beyond any hurt that I have experienced in my life. I will not break down each story presented by the author, because I feel they deserve the time to be read and processed personally. In order to make it extremely clear to you the emotions he is presenting as his opening argument, however, I will give the titles to these four stories...

1. It’s utter pandemonium

2. It’s an act of god

3. It was just meant to be

4. I don’t know if my heart will ever heal

I had read this chapter a few days ago, and as I am sitting here enjoying a morning coffee I am paused...humbled...and genuinely reminded of how powerful those titles are. How familiar are these words to those who have experienced trauma? Especially for those who have experienced seemingly “random” events in their own personal lives.  What makes it even more personal to me, is that those titles remind me so deeply of how events such as these were talked about within the four walls of the church; they could at times even be explained away as normal or expected within “god’s plan”.

The author then presents such a real thought. One which I have often asked in fervent prayer or have even screamed to the heavens in pure mortal frustration. He asks, “How can we make sense of these true stories? What do they tell us about life and God?”.

I let that question sink in. How many of us, including myself, have simply thrown their faith in a “loving god” away because of the overwhelming lack of love in the chaos around us? I am deeply curious to know how this author has grappled with such genuine human questions.

Stay tuned for Chapter Two: The Randomness and Regularities of Life

 

 

 

My Reading: The Uncontrolling Love of God - Chapter Two

My Reading: The Uncontrolling Love of God - Chapter Two

Reading Plan

Reading Plan