Forward By Randall Worley
God Is (Not) In Control / Revised
Forward by Randall Worley
I am asked from time to time to endorse books. My criteria for accepting requests have always been that I have a relationship with the author. I’ve had the privilege of knowing Jason Clark for a few years now, and I’ve found him to have a pure and hungry heart for God. He is a man who has an insatiable curiosity for all things spiritual.
In God Is (Not) In Control, Jason gives us the liberty to color outside the lines of our many unperceived biases about God. He courageously addresses the “logic of love,” which always leads us on a journey from knowing, to not knowing, to a new knowing.
God is not obligated to explain the why, how, and when of our lives. We probably wouldn’t believe Him anyway, even if He explained everything satisfactorily. But what if our seeking to “make sense” of God is actually limiting our understanding of God to something we call logic?
God is not logical. That doesn’t mean He’s illogical. No, God is beyond logic. He is beyond our finite ability to understand. So, to accuse Him of failing to be logical is nonsense. God doesn’t fail to make sense; we simply don’t have the limitless knowledge to understand Him. He doesn’t bow to our logic; we bow to His omniscience.
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” —Thomas Aquinas.
The way Jason approaches the question of control reminds me of the poem by Emily Dickinson titled “Tell All The Truth, But Tell It Slant.” Dickinson says that “we should tell the truth —the whole truth—but tell it indirectly, in a circuitous and round-the-houses fashion. The truth,” she says, “is too bright and dazzling for us to be able to cope with it in one go. We have to be overwhelmed by it.”
Ostensibly, God is in control, but not in the way we think of control. The belief that God is all-powerful does not mean that God exercises all power. It only means that God is the ultimate source of all power.
As fallen people, we may value the ability to control others and project this attribute onto God—See Matthew 20:25-28. However, the cross reveals our fallen assumptions about what God must be like. The cross reveals that God empowers others to act on their own, against His wishes, if they so choose. The cross reveals the unconditional, inescapable love of God and His sovereignty that doesn’t need to ensure He will always get His way.
Many people in the church have been taught that divine sovereignty is synonymous with unilateral control. Some have even argued that if God is not in control of everything, then something must be in control of Him. Still, others have proposed that if God is not sovereign over all, then He has no sovereignty at all.
Why should we think that God would cease to be God because He decided to create something He does not scrupulously control? On the contrary, this view seems to severely restrict God’s omnipotence! It reduces the Creator to unilateral control. What is honorable about controlling something simply because a being has the power to do so? “Love does not insist on its own way.” In other words, love is not controlling.
This book is an invitation to those who realize that if we are afraid of the answers, we will never ask the hard questions. I applaud Jason for the courage he’s demonstrated to reintroduce us to a God who is immeasurably good and relentlessly loves us regardless of where we are on our journey.
—Dr. Randall Worley
Author of Brush Strokes of Grace, Wandering and Wondering, & A Manifesto for Spiritual Searchers
God Is (Not) In Control: The Whole Story Is Better Than You Think
Revised Edition Available Now At AMAZON.COM