PITTSBURG - An award-winning author will touch on some of the eternal questions about the nature of God and God’s relationship with the world at the 2017 Lloyd H. Rising Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26, at Pittsburg’s First United Methodist Church.

Thomas Jay Oord, an author, theologian, philosopher and scholar of multi-disciplinary studies will talk about “The Uncontrolling Love of God.”

Based on his book with the same title, Oord’s lecture addresses age-old questions such as, “Are random events of death and destruction really ‘acts of God?’” and, “If God is capable of controlling any situation, how do we make sense of the cruel and unpredictable realities of life?”

In his writing, Oord draws from scripture, science, philosophy and various theological traditions to offer a theology of providence that emphasizes God’s inherently non-coercive love in relation to creation.

Oord earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwest Nazarene College, a master’s degree in divinity from Nazarene Theological Seminary, and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University. He served as a church pastor in Walla Walla, Wash.; Lenexa, Kan.; and Bloomington, Calif. Oord taught at Eastern Nazarene College before returning to his alma mater, Northwest Nazarene University, where he has been a professor of theology and philosophy since 2002.

Oord has taught at institutions around the world and has become well known for his contributions to research on love, open and relational theology, science and religion, and theologies exploring the implications of freedom and relationships for transformation. He is the author of more than 20 books, including “The Nature of Love: A Theology” and “Defining Love: A Philosophical, Scientific, and theological Engagement.”

The Lloyd H. Rising Series was created in 1983 both to honor Rising, who was senior pastor of Pittsburg’s First United Methodist Church from 1950 until 1967, and “to continue the tradition of ecumenical theological exploration in a joyful gathering.”

The series opened with human rights and social justice activist Rabbi Mark Tanenbaum and over the years has included a wide variety of speakers, including John Dominic Crossan, an Irish-American New Testament scholar, historian of early Christianity, and former Catholic priest; William Sloane Coffin, peace activist, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and former Yale University chaplain; and Rosemary Radford Ruether, feminist scholar and Catholic theologian.

The Lloyd H. Rising Lecture Series is free and open to the public. The First United Methodist Church of Pittsburg is located at 415 N. Pine. For more information, call the church at 620-231-2170.