1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.

    You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Is God outside of time?

Discussion in 'NonChristian Help Forum' started by Lux Veritatis, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Lux Veritatis

    Lux Veritatis New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have heard the argument that God is necessarily outside of time. Is this true?

    If we define "time" as a measurement of change (so that we can say something is in the past, is presently happening, or will happen), then God cannot be outside of time. If God was outside of time, he would not be capable of change (for if he did, then he would be in time.) If God cannot change, God cannot create for an action of will requires moving from a state of non-will to will, which requires time (because it is a change.) If God cannot create, he cannot be the creator of the universe.

    However, if God is inside of time, then he also cannot be the creator of the universe for time has not always existed, meaning there must be a being greater than God making God not God.
     
  2. Selene

    Selene New Member

    Messages:
    2,080
    Likes Received:
    90
    God is outside of time, which is why the Bible says that God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. On the other hand, God is also inside time. He is everywhere.
     
  3. Lux Veritatis

    Lux Veritatis New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    If God does not change, how did he create the universe? To create means something goes from non-existence to existence. Creation is an act of God. Act implies God decided to do something. If he cannot change, how can he go from not creating to creating? Either he must always be creating or never create, if he doesn't change, he can't go from one to another.
     
  4. lforrest

    lforrest Well-Known Member Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    2,541
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Faith:
    Christian
    This verse I believe offers some insight to God's perspective.

    Revelation 8:3-4
    3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.

    The prayers of God's people were given to God as a single package. I suspect these represent all the prayers of the saints that ever were or shall ever be. Expand this concept to all of our reality and God can be perceived as existing in a higher dimension where all time is laid out before him.
     
  5. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    14,714
    Likes Received:
    1,023
    Faith:
    Christian
    The idea that God does not change is in the context of his relationship with mankind. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all creation but not the beginning and the end of himself. Time is relative to created things and not to the creator.

    Blessings!!!
     
    Tofayel likes this.
  6. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,105
    Likes Received:
    205
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    God is atemporal by his very nature. It seems as though you are offering up a pantheistic/panentheistic view of God, to be honest. If you maintain that God cannot change, but that the act of creation would necessitate a change, then you're essentially saying everything is God in the pantheistic or panentheistic sense - that God is more or less present in that which he created. That is not at all the Christian mindset. Time itself is a creation, subject wholly to the Creator.

    However, given that the ability to create was inherent in God, in that he is omnipotent, he would not need to change, since the characteristic (for lack of a better term in my vocabulary) of creation ability would be inherent in his very nature. In other words, God did not change to create, he simply created.

    This logic approaches the matter from an anthropocentric perspective, attempting to place our logic and constraints on God. We testify that God was not created, but has always been. Our minds cannot fully grasp a being that has the same mindset, knowledge, and characteristics as he did a trillion years ago (to simply pull a number out of the proverbial hat).
     
  7. Lux Veritatis

    Lux Veritatis New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    If logic and reason cannot be applied to the "unknowable" God, how is it you claim to know anything about him at all? Your guess is as good as saying "it was magic."
     
  8. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,105
    Likes Received:
    205
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Because of his Revelation to us; even the Bible underscores the point that to take a look around at the complexity is to look at the creation of a Creator. I believe this point is generally knowable without even opening a single page of the Bible, whether some chose to acknowledge this or not is their own prerogative.

    The issue is not that logically and reason need be totally abandoned, but that the logic and reason available to us come to an end well shy of whatever it was that created us, by very definition. When approaching whatever created us, it requires humility. It's actually quite logical that what was created will never have more than the creator in the same way that a painting might convey things about the artist, but every detailed encoded into his or her DNA is not in that work. Even computers fit into the analogy because computers don't know, they simply calculate based on what the software input tells them to do.

    Even taking into account scientific development and the exponential nature of our collective knowledge as humanity, we are nowhere remotely near whatever set this universe into motion. Thus, you are either left with the notion that it's all random chance and favorable development, or some godly being/creator built it. Surveying the various world religions, none offers a more convincing story for me than Christianity. That is based upon me opening up a Bible and reading it and experiencing events in my life which point to Yahweh the Christian God as the true God.
     
    biggandyy likes this.
  9. Lux Veritatis

    Lux Veritatis New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    First, in order for us to say that something is "designed" or appears to be designed in some way, in your example a painting, we must compare it to things that occur in nature. We then say "this is clearly not created by nature alone, there must be a painter." However, you cannot assert that God is the designer of nature because you have nothing to compare nature itself to. You must first show that God must exist, then you can assert he is the designer. You can't compare nature to itself and say "well this clearly is designed."

    Second, please provide evidence of God's atemporality and his innate "creator-ness" that you are asserting. The burden of proof is on you since you are claiming a special and supernatural being.
     
  10. Dan57

    Dan57 Active Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    114
    Country:
    United States
    I believe God created time for us, and because of us.. Time is applicable to finite creatures and is measured by the number of times the earth rotates around the sun. I think Einstein's theory suggest that traveling faster than the speed of light reverses time.

    God is everlasting, so for an infinite entity, age does not exist, time is simply a measurement used to determine age. Time does not affect what has always been and will always be, but is a measurement used to describe what has already happened and when something else will occur. Outside of the flesh and material world, time is not relevant. God is spirit, a different dimension where moth and rust doth not corrupt.

    I'll stop before I confuse myself, subjects like this can cause headaches. :)
     
  11. aspen

    aspen “"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

    Messages:
    11,562
    Likes Received:
    2,654
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    an author is not apart of the time frame in his book. time is relative.

    i tend to believe that God forgave adam and eve instantly and then taught them what it means to forgive and be forgiven. Christ's death on the cross represents God's heart broken for us. what we call reality is an object lesson about forgiveness and an invitation to forgive others. this is a time for to practice loving selflessly and unconditionally because it will be over in a blink of an eye.
     
  12. Arnie Manitoba

    Arnie Manitoba New Member

    Messages:
    2,650
    Likes Received:
    126
    LUX

    The word "Eternity" originates in the bible
    It roughly means "A place without time"

    But here is what I think is cool .....
    Albert Einstein's theory of relativity determined that there are
    three fundamental aspects specific to our known universe

    1. TIME
    2. SPACE
    3. MATTER

    Isn't it interesting that those same three are in the very first
    sentence written in the bible .....

    1. In the beginning (time)
    2. God created the heavens (space)
    3. and the earth (matter)

    I feel this is also a good indicator of the accuracy of the bible.

    Arnie M.
     
  13. HammerStone

    HammerStone Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,105
    Likes Received:
    205
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    Do we truly compare, or do we not notice inherent characteristics with some level of complexity? Do I look at an object and run through mental images of natural phenomena, or do I inherently acknowledge something is complex? That seems like an epistemological bridge too far for me. If you know that for certain, you are a smarter man than I. (Because, realistically, you're assuming a good bit in terms of how we know what we know.)

    And I would ask that you do the same in showing that it's not designed. If it is the result of process, then this should be fairly simple as we merely need to retrace an unintelligent process, largely the result of coincidence. Otherwise, we are at a certain point, are we not?

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

    I'm happy to address arguments, but it's a waste of time for me to attempt to address them based upon your own presupposition, because they're not going to allow for anything you cannot explicitly reason in your version of reason (and further assuming your logic is the right logic, of course).

    I already have, but you reject them based upon your own presuppositions. I don't know that there is much to say down this avenue. The burden of proof is on you as much as me, because one of us is right and one of us is not. If I am wrong, I go into oblivion at worst introducing a form of discipline into my life that improves my quality of life. If you are wrong, worst case scenario places you in destruction, when external existence could have been grasped. I'd say the burden of proof is on you to be rather certain; I'm quite comfortable with where I am at. I pray and wish the same for you.
     
  14. IanLC

    IanLC Active Member Encounter Team

    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    80
    God is not confined to time for He created time Himself and ALL time is subject to Him. His knowledge of time and other great subjects are too high for the human mind and we can not fathom them only He can since He is higher and His ways are higher than ours!
     
  15. firstthings1st.

    firstthings1st. Active Member

    Messages:
    225
    Likes Received:
    65
    Faith:
    Christian
    Country:
    United States
    God is oomnipotence with all power inheaven and on earth everything belongs to him and was made by and for him Genesis 17: 1-2 Genesis 1: 1-31, and Genises 2:1-2.
     
  16. Angelina

    Angelina Prayer Warrior Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    14,714
    Likes Received:
    1,023
    Faith:
    Christian
    You do not need to compare nature to something other than it'self to conclude that there is a designer. The existence of nature itself shows that it had a beginning. Consider from nature all the other intricate complexities that needed to come into place, for it to grow and thrive. Science may be able to tell us how it works and why, but it's knowledge base is limited and can only be calculated within the codes that already exist.

    God's word says that in the beginning, he created the heavens and the earth and all things that exist within it. His very word gives an account of this creation in the beginning. There is no other book existing today that gives such a comprehensive exposition of this particular event and since then, mankind down the ages have been trying to refute biblical exegesis for one reason.

    They do not wish to stand before the throne of God at the end of their life because their ways are evil and they do not want to change their selfish lifestyle or be accountable to anyone... That is the truth :huh:

    Shalom!!!
     
  17. biggandyy

    biggandyy I am here to help...

    Messages:
    1,753
    Likes Received:
    143
    Your initial statement is somewhat flawed. Define time as a measurement of change of what? Well, the only thing I can come up with is "time" itself. That makes the statement circulus in probando.

    God is wholly other and thus really doesn't enter into this type of comparative discussion. Read some of Karl Barth and his treatment on God and His utter unlikeness to us and this universe to get a better picture.
     
  18. Lux Veritatis

    Lux Veritatis New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem with God being wholly other and as the Bible says, unfathomable, how is it that you can claim to know anything about him? You're basically saying you know something that can't be known which is a contradiction.
     
  19. biggandyy

    biggandyy I am here to help...

    Messages:
    1,753
    Likes Received:
    143
    The Bible is His revelation of the portion of Himself that he wants us to have specifically (special revelation), along with the general revelation of Himself through His Creation.
     
  20. Lux Veritatis

    Lux Veritatis New Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    If that is the case, you can no longer claim him to be unknowable, only selectively knowable.
     
Loading...