Friday, January 17, 2014

Can a timeless God know time?

Jeremy Pierce
That's the one thing timelessness can give them [i.e. freewill theists]. It doesn't resolve the compatibility issue, but it does provide a means of immediate awareness, since every time is immediately accessible for God.

I don't see how divine timelessness ipso facto makes every time immediately accessible to God. Perhaps this assumes an implicit contrast to a temporal God who only has immediate access to the present (as well as remembered access to the past). Unlike a temporal God, a timeless God isn't "confined" to the present. 

Perhaps this plays on the picturesque metaphor of a God who is "above" time, so that he can see the entire timeline. Or, to vary the metaphor, "outside" time so that he can objectify the timeline. If so, that's figurative and anthropomorphic. It's not clear how we'd translate that into a literal counterpart. 

And, if anything, the opposite seems to be the case. If God is timeless, and that's it, then isn't God isolated from time? Hermetically sealed off? He's not in direct "contact" with temporal events. 

Now Calvinism has metaphysical resources which mere classical theism does not. A timeless predestinarian God can know whatever happens, because he makes it happen, by planning it and causing it. 

1 comment:

  1. Time is the means by which that which is massless exhibits the characteristics of matter. It is the medium the eternal God uses for expressing his substance in the existence of the universe, for creating that which is not him.