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Love's Endeavour, Love's Expense Paperback – August, 1977

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd (August 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0232513805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232513806
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,351,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Pamela B. Garrud on August 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
...this book ... is still in print in the UK. But beware. Although this book is short, it is theologically and philosophically dense. It consolidates a life-time of reflection on the Love of God by a much-celebrated British writer and theologian who eschewed the life of academia for that of an urban (Anglican) parish priest.
It is extremely difficult to review this book in which one idea is chain-linked to the next. Broadly, Vanstone's reflection is that true love gives everything it has, to the point of being spent, while simultaneously allowing the object of it's love to be and become in complete freedom. And God, needless to say, is True Love.
I don't agree with everything Vanstone says; I have a hard time, for instance, of thinking of God being totally exhausted in the act of loving his creation. Nonetheless, what this book did for me was to answer the question: "Is it true that God actually cares and participates in our reality? And if the answer is yes, how does God do this without violating the free will of those God loves?" For me, the net result of reading this book has been to make both God and God's love more real and less ethereal.
The manner in which this message is brought home is, however, relentlessly intellectual. This is not a book to read for easy, uplifting inspiration, but rather for challenging intellectual inspiration.
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A fine examination of the problem of evil in good God's creation, and a look at the role of the church as it evolves in the world as it is. Though VanStone and Pagels think and write differently, 'Love's Endeavour, Love's Expense' and 'The Origin of Satan' belong in the conversation about why bad things happen. Note: the U.S.A. publishing name of Love's Endeavour was 'The Risk of Love'.

I first encountered this book in the early 80's. I lent it out repeatedly until one day it never came back. When I next needed it for myself, I finally discovered it hiding under the American title in a university library. And, now, with the help of Amazon, I have again my own copy. It doesn't read as dramatically from page one as it did then, but I'm in my 34th year of priesthood in the Episcopal church now and people, time, and the Church have taught me much. What I remembered for all these years was how VanStone's thinking gave me a way to help others deal with their hurt when they were blaming God for whatever had hurt them or those around them. VanStone had come to one way of looking at it that made sense. As does Elaine Pagels. As do others: theologians, novelists, film makers healers, and whosomevers among them.
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"Love's Endeavour, Love's Expense" is a great book. I profited so much by it that I found another book by William Vanstone, "The Risk of Love," and ordered it.
I have nothing to add to the other reviews except to note that "The Risk of Love" is exactly the same book as "Love's Endeavour, Love's Expense," except that "The Risk of Love" is published by Oxford University Press in hardback.
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