Too often the tensions and unanswerable questions of Scripture and the Christian life are seen as barriers to faith. In Paradox Lost, pastor and author Richard Hansen shows that they are exactly the opposite—indeed, God’s mysteries are one of the places where we may encounter him most closely.
In exchange for Enlightenment-based rationalism that can stunt spiritual imagination, Hansen invites readers to:
- Discern that there is a hiddenness to God that can be inviting rather than threatening
- Appreciate that God is far greater than we sometimes assume, and to adjust our mental maps to make more space for awe
- Realize that faith and reason are not enemies but rather dance partners that complement one another
Hansen examines three kinds, or “orders,” of biblical paradox, each at a deeper level than the last, demonstrating for readers that paradox is both endemic to modern life and also a natural part of the landscape of Christian faith. Paradox Lost doesn’t seek to solve or justify paradox; instead, it looks through paradox toward what it reveals—namely a holy, mysterious, and awesome God.
About the Author
Richard P. Hansen (D.Min, Fuller Theological Seminary) is a longtime pastor and former missionary professor at Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has written articles for Leadership Journal, Preaching, Books & Culture, and International Bulletin of Missionary Research and received study grants from both the Louisville Institute and the Lilly Endowment.
You’ll love this book as it explores the wonder of a living God who exceeds all your expectations. Paradox Lost is a compelling and timely reminder that God transcends all the boxes we build for him. -- Wayne Jacobsen, author, Finding Church and He Loves Me; coauthor, The Shack
Hansen is so at home with ideas about biblical paradox that we hardly notice before this book has entered way down deep into our thoughts and feelings about God. Hansen’s meditations supply many splendid images which steer us clear of simplistic thinking about the life of faith. -- Dustin Ellington, ecturer in New Testament, Justo Mwale University (Zambia)
Truly a “eureka” book. If you’ve ever wondered how human free will and the will of God can coexist, or any number of apparent contradictions in the Bible can be resolved, here are your answers. -- David Winter, Hon. Canon of Christ Church, Oxford; former Head of Religious Broadcasting, BBC
Hansen’s years of teaching internationally have taught him the value of presenting theology through the acceptance of paradox, rather than systematically trying to resolve all the mysteries. We can all benefit from this fascinating and enlightening perspective. -- John H. Walton, Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College
A highly stimulating, challenging, and well-balanced book. Hansen shows us that paradox reveals a holy, mysterious, and awesome God. I am looking forward to reading this book once more! -- Kurt Christensen, Professor of Theology, Lutheran School of Theology, Aarhus, Denmark