Theology of Luck: Fate, Chaos, and Faith

Fringer and Lane’s Theology of Luck addresses the complex questions of God’s nature and sovereignty straightforwardly, but without contending to know all the answers.

Somewhere between the “God of control” and the “God of passivity,” with their respective “theology of certainty” and “theology of absence,” Fringer and Lane argue for a “God of relationship”: a God that does not wield power, but yields it; a God that “has demonstrated a willingness to initiate but a hesitance to dominate”; a God that is working “to transform this world through love and not through magic and manipulation.” The arguments are clear, the language is accessible, and the sources are adequately academic and sufficiently biblical, such that truly anyone might take and read—laity, clergy, or academician. For each study, the authors provide further reading—both “beginner to intermediate” and “more advanced”—as well as provocative and productive questions for individual or small group reflection.

Written by Nazarenes and published by Nazarene Publishing House (!), Theology of Luck is a gentle introduction to open theism for a denomination that is in the ideal theological location to consider such an understanding of God: evangelical, Wesleyan, and rooted in holiness traditions. I absolutely recommend this book to Nazarenes, but also to anyone who struggles with questions of God’s will and human freedom in the face of evil, abuse, and sheer bad luck.