Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Terminology Tuesday: Time, Timelessness

Time, Timelessness: Time refers to the relation of events within creation to each other. Generally events are viewed as forming a linear succession, leading to the idea of the "time line." But the succession of events might also by cyclical, resulting in time as a circle. The Bible presents time as a divinely created reality in which God historically works out the divine plan of salvation. Thus time begins "in the beginning" and moves linearly toward a future goal. Philosophers and theologians have debated how time and eternity are related, as well as the nature of the connection between God and time. Some thinkers assert that time and eternity are totally distinct, while others collapse them, in part as a reaction against viewing time itself being an entity. Theologians who assert that God is timeless maintain that God created time and therefore stands "above" the temporal flow. Others suggest that God travels with creation through time.1

Suggested reading on God & time:
• Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time William Lane Craig
• God & Time: Four Views various authors

1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 115.


TerryH said...

The theological and philosophical implications of this topic are quite significant. I think I am correct in stating that Dr. Craig is of the later view. Any recommendations of a single-author read for the former view? We must get this one right!

AllanP said...

I just finished God & Time (Greg Ganssle, ed.). Dr Craig takes the position that God is outside of time sans creation, but entered time upon creation. Personally, I found God & Time a challenging read, particularly the part written by Nicholas Wolterstorff, but definitely worth the effort. I'll need to revisit it a couple of times, after I give my brain a rest.

Davitor said...

To the thinking mind it would appear that time exist because it perceives time as many, many different moments.
Yet if you observe this present moment without thoughts in time you would come to the realization that there is only one moment, this present moment. Is life ever not this moment? This one moment, now, is the only thing you
can never escape from. The one constant factor in your life. No matter what
happens. No matter how much your life changes. One thing is certain. It's always now. Since there is no escape from the now, we can have proof without a doubt of its existence.
You can visualize many things in the future or lament many things in the past but if it's one thing for certain they are all being experienced in this present moment.

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