'God is not Fair': Local minister speaks on new book
George Thompson of Waynesville will be speaking about his book, “God Is Not Fair, Thank God!: Biblical Paradox in the Life and Worship of the Church,” at 3 p.m. April 5 at Blue Ridge Books.
Thompson, a graduate of Pfeiffer University and Duke Divinity School, served as an effective United Methodist pastor for 35 years in rural, small-town, campus communities, and urban centers of western North Carolina. From 1987-1992 he was senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.
During that time he was chairman of the Board of Directors for REACH of Haywood County, was active in the revitalization of Haywood Christian Ministries, and helped implement a “sister cities” relationship with the Town of Waynesville and Mtskheta in the Republic of Georgia, USSR. During that time he was a contributing editor for Pulpit Digest.
He has served as trustee chair of Pfeiffer University and superintendent of 87 churches in the former Charlotte District. Currently he lives in Waynesville, teaches third grade Sunday school class, is an Ally with Circles of Hope, a member of the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference Planning Committee, active in the Waynesville Rotary, and is a writer, teacher, speaker, community volunteer, husband, and grandfather.
Life is not fair. What does this reality imply about the nature of God and the destiny of human beings? In this engaging book, Thompson asserts that “fairness” is not an expectation of the faithful within Judeo-Christian scriptures. Biblical narrative discloses the mystery of a paradoxical deity that indwells with the suffering of creation and thereby provides a mercy that exceeds the evasive goal of fairness.
The process of healing and redemption of this cracked creation occurs through the tears and suffering of the biblical God whose authentic power is revealed within divine vulnerability and weakness. The Jesus of history truly manifested the fullness of this paradoxical God, for he disclosed the richness of the divine Being by emptying himself and taking the form of a redemptive servant.
When the church grasps for power and control, avoids compassionate and costly ministries among the poor and powerless, and renders primary focus upon gaining heavenly rewards; it rejects its Christ-centered mission, relinquishes its paradoxical purpose, and ceases to strive toward becoming an extension of the incarnation.
Thompson explores various paradoxical facets of each personae of the Trinity and richly illustrates with stories from his vast experience as a parish theologian.