In defending their claim that the Incarnation was not a change in God, such theologians claim that Open Theists confuse Christ's humanity with His divinity. However, there are not four persons of the trinity, as is implied by such objections. His humanity did not become human. It is the eternal God the Son who became flesh. Responding to the debate, R.
For this objection essentially asserts that this past period that God has existed through is of finite duration. Yes, God's ways are higher than our ways. However, consider the relationship between two valid arguments: Thus, a man does not "enter eternity" at his death, but at the moment of conception. But when you identify it, name it. For He is truth. This realization enables theologians to build a list of things that our dynamic and free God can know but that an unchanging deity could never know.
Undoubtedly, these men are currently denying this central doctrine of Christianity hopefully only temporarily, and hopefully, they will simply retract their comments because they are trying to defend the claim from Plato devotee Augustine that God is timeless thus without sequence and that He is utterly immutable.
Please pray for these men who clearly love the Lord but who are subordinating the biblical Incarnate Son of God to Platonic utter immutability. See more at opentheism. To defend Platonic utter immutability those who hold the Settled View will deny that God has the freedom even to think new thoughts. So what do they get in trade for God's freedom? God would also have decreed then how filthy each time would be, and "all for His glory and pleasure" including the rapist being beat to death in prison.
The fact that God says, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked" Ezek. Yes, God's ways are higher than our ways. But they're not lower. He doesn't take pleasure from adultery.
That is a valid position, for otherwise, God's very existence would be dependent upon the creation. For if our existence is necessary in His mind eternally for Him to be God, then in a fundamental way He could not be self-existent for we would be eternally necessary for God's very existence, and He then could not be God without me. This is a twisted theological perversion. Such notions diminish God and would falsify the valid theological doctrines of God's aseity and self-sufficiency.
And further, they bring the Christian into absurdities like praying to change the past. After all, if God is outside of time, then there is no difference to God in prayers for the future and those for the past, in praying for those living today and for those who died yesterday. Christians find themselves battling the same absurdities as time-traveling science fiction characters. Coming back to reality though, even in sovereignty we see God changing.
For in eternity past He was not sovereign. Yet after He returns "in His own time" as "the King of kings" 1 Tim. The Bible records miraculous events in which God supernaturally, miraculously intervenes by superseding physical and spiritual laws. That would include His supposed inability to perform separate acts of creation, to act in sequence through any intervention, or even Himself from a burning bush to speak with sequential words. Changing the past is irrational and contradicts reality itself.
Praying for a change to the past is asking for the impossible, like asking God to create an exact duplicate of Himself. Consider the kinds of miracles that could be performed, conceptually, if God had power over time itself. Further, regarding salvation, a request from Jesus had the effect of summing up every conceivable possibility of changing the past. God permitted Adam and Eve to bring into existence eternal beings, men and women who all inherited Adam's " flesh ", that is, his tendency to sin.
He could have preserved their memory of being exiled from the Garden, of one son murdering another, of all their children, grandchildren, and so on, hating God and one another. So not only is there no biblical evidence that God has the power to intervene to change past history, additionally, there is positive evidence, from Gethsemane, that no such power exists, which brings us by another route to the same truth required by the Incarnation. God exists in time. Pre destination and Fore knowledge: Which theological camp believes that God's foreknowledge is literal?
Which camps believe that it is a figure of speech? On the other hand, those who accept as literal the Bible's repeated descriptions of God as everlasting rather than timeless can also accept the biblical doctrines of predestination and foreknowledge as being literally true of God. So, ironically, it is the believer who accepts the Scripture's presentation as God existing in time who takes the Bible's teaching on these two doctrines literally.
Instead of all that, we can accept here that the Bible means literally what it says, and in doing so we recover the literal doctrines of foreknowledge and predestination. For He claims to do these exact things a hundred times over. The absolute divine timelessness atemporality; non-sequence; no past; etc. Only by acknowledging that God exists in time can one restore the doctrines of predestination and foreknowledge to their literal status of actually describing God as He is.
And the singular word "time" does not appear. Instead, Paul wrote, "before the times of the ages," which is very different from the way many of our Bible versions render this phrase, which translations do not flow from the grammar but from the translators' commitment to Greek philosophy. So in the Old Testament God looked forward and in the last two millennia He looks backward to that wonderful and yet terrible time.
However, if Christ had been slain previously, before the foundation of the world, then there would have been no need for the righteous dead to wait in Abraham's Bosom "until the death of the one who is high priest in those days" symbolizing Christ. The parallel passage at Revelation See a similar construct in Jeremiah 2: Good Translations; Bad Interpretations: This verse is almost always quoted completely out of context.
The complete passage, Psalm God's "book" here is not the Bible, and it is not the Book of Life, but it is the genetic code that God wrote with His finger and enabled us to inherit from our parents. Thus the last day written in that book is not the day of one's death, but the day of one's birth. See this more fully exegeted at AmericanRTL. Rather than implying that God is outside of time, the passage means that God is patient, and extraordinarily capable.
He is patient, as stated in the very next verse, that God " is longsuffering toward us " 2 Pet. God has wonderful qualities that can only be had if He exists in time, including patience, being slow to anger, and hope. If atemporal, He could not have expectation or hope, but He does have expectations e. The "thousand years" passage shows that God is extraordinarily capable and can do in a single day what men may think would take eons. It is not that God is able to do anything, for He can only do that which is doable.
Regardless of how much time was available, He could not make another God just like Himself, nor could He make it a virtue to worship the devil. These are logical and moral impossibilities, and God is good, and rational. For He is truth. On the other hand, a thousand years are not as one day to those of us living on this Earth, because we face death, and we have severe limits to what we can accomplish in a day. Although in a brief moment we can gain eternal life, by trusting in Jesus Christ.
Consider one example though of what God can do in a single day. Eleven times the Bible says that God stretched out the heavens. Looking at the stars then, it appears that the light of the universe has been traveling for eons, yet God stretched out the heavens in a single day Gen. In fact, it was on a Wednesday. Holland, assistant professor of theology at Liberty University, wrote one of the two definitive works on the intersection, or lack thereof, in the church's teaching on atemporality and the Incarnation.
The terminology of the New Testament teaches us that Is There Time in Heaven? Timelessness invalidates one of the Lord's most wonderful arguments. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. If God is outside of time, then the first weed that grew in Eden is still alive, to Him, even though He is not the God of the Weeds. Though it be dead, yet the weed' be alive to a timeless diety. However, Jesus argument was not unsound, but valid and true, as it could be only if God exists in time, as He does.
Timelessness Invalidates Conversion and Every Victory: But this is false for Hebrews says that Jesus suffered "once for all. Neither men nor angels can be omnipresent, even in heaven, for they would thereby have to be divine. The same limitation would apply with timelessness. If God existed outside of time the angels before His throne "who do not rest… saying, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come'" and the men ministering to Him forever would also have to be timeless, which would mean that they were divine also.
And Jesus said we shall receive much "in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life" Luke And "In the beginning" in Genesis 1 does not mean in the beginning of time, for that's Augustine's interpretation based on Plato, but we have the Lord's interpretation based on Mark, for as Jesus said, the phrase means in "the beginning of creation" Mk.
God did many things before creation John And a foundation of the Settled View is seen to be heavily based on human philosophy and contradicted by the entirety of the relevant biblical material. Samuel Lamerson , D. Is time really a dimension of space?
The host for both of these, David New, removed these debates from his site so they've recently been made available again by TheologyOnline. We human beings have difficulty thinking even about simple aspects of time. Consider these corrections to six other popular misconceptions. Time travel is theoretically possible. Measurement of time equals time itself. Simply pointing out this nearly ubiquitous error should suffice to correct it.
Secular folks and believers alike frequently assume this non-sequitur with Christians suggesting that there could be no time prior to the Earth's orbit or its rotation. Their confusion equates to the claim that if man possessed no ruler then there could be no length, or no scale there could be no gravity, or no speedometer then no velocity, so no clock, no time. The measurement of something does not equate to the thing itself and as pointed out since at least by the Rev. Time flows toward the future.
Time's arrow is almost universally described as pointing from the past to the future such that the current of time flows forward. Of course this is a metaphor, yet the direction of this arrow is wrong. The truth is the reverse. For to whatever extent we may speak of time flowing, say, as a river, then to that extent time flows from the future into the past, from its source into the depths. The current of time brings the future into the present and the present into the past.
For, which is more likely to be flowing suspended perfectly in time, a fjord or the future? A pebble or the past? Regarding rivers, men build anchors and docks to resist their flow. Regarding time, what is it that resists its flow, and what rides in its current? Dates, for example, ride the current of time keeping pace perfectly with its flow. Incorrectly men assume that the current of time sweeps us from birth to death, which would be moving us toward the future. But more accurately, the current of time eventually sweeps our entire earthly lives into the past.
Time does not carry our birth forward into the future, nor as it might if time flowed forward does it forever postpone our physical death pushing it later and later. Rather, "I" am like a floating buoy anchored to the river bed bobbing and resisting the flow of time. Mullins writes of "endurantism" and uses the common phrase, "persist through time".
An astronaut does not persist through his spaceship but he persists through space, which, as he travels is gradually receding behind him. Thus time is not carrying us, but we are persisting through it.
The carrying capacity of a river's current, how much sediment it can transport in suspension, depends upon the current's speed. Considering everything that exists, both physical and spiritual, the incorrect view of time flowing forward suggests an absurdity. For if time were actually flowing forward, it would need to have its own carrying capacity.
Time would then have to possess whatever features were necessary to transport every physical particle and every spiritual entity, temporally forward. Or, every physical particle and spiritual entity would have to possess whatever features were necessary to hold onto time as it carried them. Rather, the passage of time pleases Ockham. No carrying or latching required, time simply flows backward, bypassing all. Events are not similarly anchored. Defenseless to the flow of time, as so much sediment suspended in a current, events are whisked into the past.
An event belongs first to the future, then to the present, and finally to the past. So they flow perfectly with the current of time. Though nearly ubiquitous, the misperception that "times flows forward" bringing us into the future is not harmless. The murkier the water the less transparent it is. In reality, we resist the flow of time and live forever and only, as does God, in the present.
Which brings us to the best definition: Time is the beginningless, endless, present, continuous, irreversible future to past dimension of change. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. Do you still have no faith?
He freed me from all my fears. I am the First and the Last. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Be assured, He is with you in whatever you face, in the turmoil and struggles, amidst the anxious thoughts and the worries of life. He is there, strengthening, helping, and He holds you in His hands. He gives us the power to live courageously, boldly, fearlessly in this life, when many things that surround us would tell us to be afraid.
His truth whispers strong and sure to the deepest core of our spirits. All of that stuff on your mind? Give it to Him — again. Replace those fearful thoughts with His words of truth. And sleep in peace tonight. This article is part of our larger resource library of popular Bible verse phrases and quotes. We want to provide easy to read articles that answer your questions about the meaning, origin, and history of specific verses within Scripture context.
It is our hope that these will help you better understand the meaning and purpose of God's Word in relation to your life today. God is in Control. Read More Debbie McDaniel. Editor's Picks 31 Spiritual Warfare Scriptures: