I have waited to post this review for a long time. I’ve been aware of this book a number of years, first hearing about it in conversations with the author who was being deeply touched by the mystery of God. Then through the writing process as he put those thoughts down and finally through the publication process. Today it is finally being released by Zondervan and I can finally recommend it to you.
It’s called Paradox Lost: Rediscovering the Mystery of God. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about recommending this book to you, not because if it’s author (who’s a great friend of mine), or the great stories therein (which are many), or the writing style (which is fabulous), or because I suggested the title (which I did), but because the content of this book is so important at this time in Christian history.
For hundreds of years, we’ve sought to stuff God in a box. Academic approaches to Scripture have created systematic theologies that substitute ideas about God for actually knowing him, and popular teachers have given us endless formulas to get God to do what we think he should do. We have reduced God to a concept or to a set of principles and by that have diminished him in ways that have disillusioned so many people when he doesn’t do for them what they expect him to do.
Paradox Lost: Rediscovering the Mystery of God, invites to consider that God is so much greater than any box we might use to describe or build to contain him. Author Richard Hansen gently makes that point showing us that what is unknowable about God is inviting rather than threatening and helps us see that what might appear to be contradictory in Scripture are simply complementary understandings of him that must be held in tension, not resolved. Recognizing that God is greater than any system we can attach to him isn’t a barrier to faith, but the place where faith begins.
Rich Hansen has been my friend for nearly 30 years, since we pastored in the same community together. Over the decades we have met regularly to pray, listen, and encourage each other through the best and worst of times. He also worked for many years as a missionary professor at Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
I can say this about him, he lives what he writes, and a more genuine individual you will not meet. And that comes through in his book
Here’s the endorsement I gave for its publication:
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.