William James

William James
We must get by on what truth we have today, and be willing to call it error tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Does God Exist Outside Of Time?

The comments and questions were put:

"There are the pro and con arguments on God and time being relevant to him. We know that time is a tool of measurement. It measures when to get up such as the sunrise, or go to bed as in sundown. It measures the seasons. It exists in this physical universe. There is no denial on this.
Would time really matter toward Heavenly Father existence in his mind or where he exists? Example in Genesis:
First day was when he made light to day and darkness night. He called it the first day. What kind of day? 24 hours or one week or 1million or 1 billiion years. How relevant was time to HF?
If the first day cannot be summed in accurate time measurement until after we have later in Genesis
It was not until the fourth day that HF gave us the concept of earthly time of 24/7/365 with seasons etc...
If the first 3 days were of time how long?
Is it really relevant to HF?
We teach the concept of eternity i.e. celestial marriage.
Therefore all those who assert HF lives within time cannot be. Eternal is eternal. It is Timeless and infinite. It has no relevance to HF. Would time matter to HF? HF is outside of time. It is only a tool given for us on this plane of existence."

To which I responded:

I have never been able, and probably will never be able, to grasp how it can be that time is an illusion or that anything or anyone, including God, can exist outside of time. I can partially understand and accept the concept that an object or person could travel into the future. Because the concept of "time-applying-only-to-us-mortals-and-not-God" is completely counter-intuitive to me, I am left to make sense of various scriptures and/or doctrines which are interpreted to mean that time does not apply to God. I conclude, for now, based on my limited understanding, that these doctrines are in effect an attempt to logically extend and expand on the existing doctrines about God's supposed omniscience and omnipotence. For example, proponents of the doctrine that God knows every single detail about the future throughout eternity feel compelled to come up for some explanation for how that is so. They then reason that God could know all about the future if time were simply an illusion to us and God were able to perceive eternity from start to finish as "one great big eternal NOW". A born-again evangelical actually used that phrase once in explaning that concept to me as a teenager.

My own view, which I have held for many years, is that God is neither omnipotent nor omniscient in an absolute sense, nor is it necessary for him to be so in order for him to be a god or for him to deserve my worship. It is important to me that God be powerful and wise, but when these attributes are deemed absolute, other problems are created- particularly on the issues of free agency, accountability, punishment, and reconciling them with God's love for us.

I believe the authors of the doctrine, of God existing outside of time, were simply putting forward their own ideals of what God should be, perhaps without giving due consideration to the question of whether it would be necessary for God to have such an attribute in order for him to be God.

That is not to say that God will at some point cease to exist. I believe he will continue to exist forever. But did he have a beginning? Probably, in my opinion. And God can no more change the past than we can. He can foresee a great deal of the future because of his wisdom, knowledge, and experience, but that does not mean he knows everything down to the most minute detail, or that he can predict every future event with absolute certainty. He can probably predict most human events with much greater certainty than we can.

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