Saturday, November 8, 2008

God and Time

I thought this might be interesting to share. This subject has fascinated me for years, and reading this book has really brought it to the forefront. So much so that I am going to be writing a much fuller treatment of what I think about it for my final philosophy paper this term (btw... my view is none of the ones below). The following is an excerpt from a review I wrote on the book God and Time: Four Views Edited by Gregory Gnassle.

After the introduction, Paul Helm makes the case for the classical view of divine timelessness. Ascribing to the B-theory of time, Helm asserts that God is timeless and atemporal and rejects the idea that analogies with our temporal existence will be able to describe that which is foreign to such a system of existence. Most of his argument is positioned as a defense against the common, popular objections to the classical theory.

Alan Padgett takes a quite unique stance in relation to the other contributors saying that God is “relatively timeless”. He makes a distinction between measured time and pure duration. The pure duration is defined as a quasi-temporal, changeless time that flows without any measure or increment. He suggests that God exists in this pure duration, and has created the current measured space-time in which we exist. So in this sense, God is timeless relative to the created space-time of our universe.

William Lane follows Padgett with a theory that addresses the problem of God existing before creation, and therefore, before created time. Lane suggests that God exists timelessly and alone until creation of the temporal universe at which point real relation to creation requires God’s entrance into time. In this system of understanding God’s relation to time, creation exists as a causal boundary to God’s timeless eternity.

Finally, Nicholas Wolterstorff delivers a hard-hitting argument for God’s unqualified temporality. Wolterstorff uses narrative as a basis for his argument asserting that any being who has a history that can be communicated narratively must necessarily exist in time, and to suggest anything else is to not take an honest look at reality and scripture.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Prayer

Posted this on facebook first.

God, bless our nation and our new leader. Turn our nation's heart towards you the author and perfecter of justice, peace, and change. Put in place the right advisers and grant your wisdom to our new President Barack Obama.