Let's go back to the block universe: It states that the universe does not move and that only things move 'in' it. We know God is the all but physicists are focused mostly on the physical universe. However, their reasoning is sound: Time is no different than 'length.' Both are constructs of increments within the unmoving. It isn't a 'Greek' tainting physics. At worst, you can say it is a physicist 'agreeing' with a Greek or a Greek happening to agree with him. As I said, it is really much ado about Open Theism nothing at all to even invoke 'those pesky ungodly Greeks.' It really doesn't matter, just what is demonstrably true. The best one could accuse me of, is 'letting the pesky truth' form my worldview, Greek or no. Trying to accuse me or the church of allowing Greek philosophy is literally three fingers pointing back in our Western culture. You, I, any pastor of Open Theism, literally have been affected by Greek thought and not all, nor even most of it bad. It literally is the reason you and I are having this conversation and why there are Battle Royales.The passage is talking about Christ's character.
It's not saying that he's a stone idol that cannot change in any way. He BECAME flesh, He GAINED a new nature, one which He never had before the incarnation.
Good, so you understand, at least on paper, why God is both relational to, and yet beyond our finite universe. The part involved with our short span in this universe is genuinely part, not all, of His existence.That would be a line segment. Not a line.
We agree.To use your analogy, humans are beings whose existence are best represented by rays. They have a beginning, but no end.
God is a Being Whose existence is defined by a line. It has no beginning, and no end.
Next verse, Ephesians 1:16,17 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.Not sure what you're referring to in that verse...
You may have cited the wrong verse.
This is why it's helpful to look at the verses you're referencing, even if you don't copy/paste them into your post.
I disagree. In order for His understanding to be infinite, He necessarily has to be as well. We may not agree, but it isn't a point I need to belabor. We don't have to agree on every point and every scripture, especially when you already believe the point anyway.Well, no, the Verse says God's UNDERSTANDING is infinite. I agree that God is infinite, but let's not say that a verse says something it doesn't say.
So important (we agree) but realize you are a bit different from other Open Theists. Most of them believe God's line is unidirectional like a ray, not a line. I always appreciate and want to note in thread where you and I are on page for any others reading in on us (if they do).Everlasting God. Meaning, line, extending to infinity in both direction. Not a ray, which extends in only one direction to infinity, and has a beginning or end. Not a line segment, which has both a beginning and end.
You and I agree. Just realize at this point 1) you and I actually agree and 2) that I've had to argue exactly what you are arguing here with other Open Theists.Which is the exact opposite of the word used in Isaiah 40:28.
Say it with me, Lon. "The opposite of finite is INFINITE."
A line is infinite.
A line segment is not.
A point is not.
A ray is, but only in one direction, but as stated above, a ray cannot define God's existence, as He "always was."
Colossians 1:16 (not 15):
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
What you are saying is not what the verse says. Don't try to change what scripture says, Lon.
It says "by Him all things were created..."
It says "all things were created through Him and for Him."
It does not say "nothing exists neither without nor outside Him." It says nothing of the sort.
John 1:3 does. You cannot 'object' simply because I didn't reference the verse that says exactly that I had already given it to you. Why WOULD you object? Try not to posture quite so much. Yes we disagree on points but let's not argue each and every point. It doesn't matter if I referenced a verse yet again. It matters if what I said was scripture and it is.
It isn't a 'catch.' Read here: Note that the ones who do not like Einstein (and other Physicists) are arguing against time as a construct but rather an 'absolute' as it relates to the universe. IOW, the argument comes specifically from people who believe that time is a constant property 'of the universe.' These same physicists would have to drop that if God is the source of all things. Their very argument is based on the physical universe always existing and giving it 'eternal properties.' We know from scripture the universe is not the constant, God is and is NOT physical nor dwells 'in' this material universe other than as already illustrated by a ray and a segment. The line intersects it, but neither the segment or ray can adequately define the entirety of a line and neither is it possible, by demonstration and analogy (not simply because Lon said so) in thread, does time adequately describe God's existence eternally.Verse 17 says, "And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist."
Well, no. Pay closer attention, otherwise it becomes easy to beg the question of time being created:
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Did you catch it?
"...nothing was made that was made."
Not correct. I posted two links.This verse says that [everything that was made] was [made through [Christ]].
You now and still have to show that time was [something made] and a [thing].
That isn't quite correct either. They may not state it exactly that way, but it is clear, it is what is meant. I'm not sure what all Open Theists argue and as I've stated, you agree with me more often than not BUT a few have argued in the time-clock experiment thread, that God is not able to experience atemporality.No Open Theist claims that God is "ruled by time."
All of His creation is in some sense, an aspect of His being, but you don't mean 'creation' at that point, so the meaning is it rules His nature and that He cannot exist outside of it. It is like saying measurement is part of His nature: Yes in the sense that it comes from Him but measurement relates to His creation as a 'part' of Him. Time, a measurement, only relates to 'parts.' Like the presentation of the 'block universe' it is understood in physics, that nothing moves 'outside' of the universe, at least in the 3 dimensional sense, because they are working from a model whereby movement 'within' the universe is already everything contained in that universe.' As they look at the big picture, there is nothing that is in that container that isn't already there. So physicists would argue similarly that "God cannot write a new song." Everything about 'song' is already there as the infinite. "Finite" can discover things outside of themselves because they cannot 'infinitely' know anything. Cannot. God is already 'infinite.' I realize you argue against Psalm 147 but you also said you believe He is infinite thus your arguments and points where you acquiesce are already arguments, with me, against assertions by other open theists.Rather, we (or at least, I do) claim that time is an aspect of His existence.
Not if you can grasp 1) WHY physicists postulate a block universe (it was necessarily true from their observations) and 2) grasp that God does not interact as you and I and that such is essential to the unity of God lest we argue tritheism.He exists and interacts within the Godhead, therefore sequence occurs.
Correct. Temporality is all we know so all our language is capable of articulating. However, we do understand an eternal nonbeginning, and the perplexities, even if we have no language to fully disseminate that understanding. It is similar in an attempt to convey a fourth dimension. We use a 3-D model to try and hint at the 4th, yet we cannot do it justice. Similarly, it is why "without faith, it is impossible to please Him..."And yet, it is not possible to not say that there was a "before" the existence of "things" if there is no time.
Perhaps the line, ray, segment will serve: We know that there is no 'before' on the line unless we superimpose a segment 'prior' which is just moving the goal post. "Before" in that sense is exactly the same thing but it can help one at least conceive that there is something and always was something (both is and was are segment points, so you are correct in observation the whole way through, that we cannot adequately talk about 'no time' when all we, as finite beings know is time. As with above, a good many of us can conceive an eternal nonbeginning, but there are a good many that have little idea what we mean and so take this on faith (as we do with anything we don't grasp well from scripture).According to the definition I use, time is the dimension of change. Change, a "before" and "after," logically require the pre-existence of time in order to occur. Thus, "before the creation of time" is logically self-refuting.
This is also very near to the discussion/debate between most physicists and the few that are in disagreement in the links I've given. Almost identical: The block universe theory starts with 'all that their is' because science maintains that there is no new material in the universe, that atoms don't change and cannot. A few physicists, not quite grasping what Einstein and others were saying, disagree because they can 'see' a clock ticking and by observation 'see/measure' changes. This disagreement is often started because of 'perspectives.' The physicist seeing change is looking from his/her small viewpoint and trying to quantify an incredibly and seemingly infinite universe from that limited concept and perspective so isn't really grasping Einstein's theory of relativity which is looking at the whole, even as he, a man, is an incredibly small part of that whole. The dissenting physicist is perplexed specifically because he/she isn't grasping the whole, just caught up in the wave of personal observation and trying to validate it.Again, God certainly doesn't change in certain ways. But He DOES change in other ways.
Almost identically, the discussion here is upon the same premise: That Open Theists are looking at man as special in all of God's creation (true) and that the other theologians are looking at a whole (as best as any finite being can), reading scriptures that reveal at least some idea of an omni (like "Almighty") and recognizing a truth that applies to the whole that does not apply to the part (man's short existence).
Perspective, most specifically, drives the block universe that necessitates (by its concept) that time is a construct and, depending on how big you are in the universe, an illusion because it is magnified the smaller you are and nonexistent if you are the 'largest ultimate' (the universe itself).
I'll leave this alone. I disagree and have argued against it in other threads on TOL. I'm not sure a rehash, in this particular thread, will serve.For example, He exists. That doesn't change. But, He changed His mind on multiple occasions in the Bible.
Not my position.
Read again with me: en (a preposition) – properly, in (inside, within);God is "supernatural," literally "outside of nature." God created nature. But cannot, logically create time, for the above stated reason.
Here's the problem with this position:
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
The Greek word for "in" used in "and in Him all things consist" means "into," "to," "unto," and "for" as well.
The Greek word for "consist" in the same phrase means "to create, form, shape, make." It has the idea of "proprietorship of the manufacturer" (according to Strong's). In other words, the verse isn't saying that creation is "in" Him, so much as it's saying that He is the owner of creation.
It means 'in' and is seldom translated any other way. Greek actually has a word for unto and 'gar' for 'for.'
That said, He is not the physical universe. He is/was Spirit, which means that 'substance' comes 'from' Him. I want to be very careful when I particular say 'panenthiesm' because His flesh came from Spirit. I'm convinced 1 John 3:2 "when we see Him, we'll be like Him, for we will see Him as He is" means that we see through a glass darkly. While I'm fairly adamant in discussion, it is for the sake of truths we can know. I'm not super hung up with Open Theism, just want to discuss why it isn't 'those dirty Greeks' that have affected theology to this century.
A line can be both finite and infinite. If you draw a line, you actually draw a segment yet we call it a line for the properties of it continuing further than our lines that were drawn. As I've discussed, the difference in physics discussion is most often associated with perspective. A person who is on the ground would tend to say a line down the highway is a segment. A person in the air above will say that same line, where line-breaks may be unseen, is a line. What we can say is this: As a line crosses a segment, it is temporal within the two points but we recognize that the defining aspect of a line, is that it is infinite. Likewise, God can be both temporal as He interacts and hears our prayers, yet, similar with a block universe, perspective of the whole leave time as an illusion only for those small, inside seeing nothing but the change rather than the whole.God cannot be both temporal and atemporal. God does not violate the law of non-contradiction.
Appreciate the discussion to this point. I try to keep to shorter posts in discussion forums so will probably have 5 or more responses, I hope broken in appropriate places to keep the cohesion of the discussion. -Lon