ITS ABOUT TIME
Around the age of ten or eleven, having just been punished for some childish misbehavior, I posed a question to my mother. It was a question designed to justify myself in her eyes. Does God know what were going to do before we do it? When she answered yes, I sprang the trap. Then its not my fault I did what I did cause if God knew I was going to do it...I HAD to do it. Go to bed. I was dismissed without explanation.
I had no idea that the question of how God can know the end from the beginning yet have no accountability for our decisions or actions was a question that had puzzled scientists and theologians for centuries. (I must have been a brilliant child!)
Most theologians and scientists still assumed that time is everlasting and had no beginning. If, therefore, the universe of matter and energy had a definite origin (e.g.,it was created by God at some specific moment), then there must have been an initial singular event with time, at which the universe abruptly started to exist. quotes Paul Davies in his 1995 book, About Time.
Augustine, a 5th Century theologian, proposed that the world was made with time and not in time. He recognized that time is itself part of the physical universe-part of creation-and so any talk about (time) before creation is meaningless.
In his book, God, Time & Stephen Hawking David Wilkinson states Theologians and philosophers have tried to understand how an eternal God can relate to a temporal universe. Many have adopted the picture of the earlier thinker Boethius who saw God as outside time, looking down on all of time. Thus God experiences all time at once and knows every moment of the future as well as the past simultaneously.
The 5th Century thinker that Wilkinson referred to, wrote, The problem of Providence (which means: "seeing forward") leads to a second question: if God knows the future, does that mean that the future is predestined and that human beings have essentially no moral choice in the matter? He then goes on to explain how "Providence" does not mean "predetermination" or "predestination."
John 1:3 says that Christ created all things. In his book, Lifetime Guarantee Dr. Bill Gillham former professor of psychology and present founder of Gillham ministries states with regard to this verse, Therefore, there is no such thing as a natural phenomenon. If it exists in its natural state, Christ created it. This includes the TIME dimension; time was created by the Lord. Therefore, logically, HE is not time dimensional. If He were, the created would be superior to the Creator. Thus, Christ is not time dimensional. He is supratime. And the time dimension as we see it in our finite existence is actually PRESENT TENSE in His perception.
Dr.Gillham continues, Since God is not time dimensional, He can see forever into the future....This doesnt make us robots who are not free to make choices. Quite the contrary, you are a free moral agent who may make fifty choices before you finish reading this chapter. But God, being all-knowing, sees the fifty choices as present-tense reality. Read Psalm 139. It says He knows your thoughts before you ever generate them! Now, I cant figure this out completely; no one can. I just have to accept the word of God, which says His ways are higher than mine. And time is a meaningless concept to His perception, where everything is present tense. But consider also that He can see forever into the past as well. If He couldnt, Hed be limited by time just as we are.
In his book The End of Time Julian Barbour writes Anyone committed to science has difficulty with free will...From personal introspection, I do not believe that my conscious self exercises free will.
While Dr. Gillham accepts Gods word as the highest authority even without total understanding, Barbour who is committed to science relies on the authority of personal introspection.
For Christians who believe the word of God holds all the basic truths of life, the answers to time questions also lie within. Some scriptures are so delightfully deep and elusive we may never understand them fully in this lifetime.
Eccles.3:15 That which has been is now; and that which is to be has already been; and God requires that which is past.
Ps.90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
2Peter3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
However, some salient scriptures regarding time, where our understanding is essential, are crystal clear.
2Peter 3: 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God
Ps.90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Eph.5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
As their theories and philosophies about creation topple, scientists and philosophers may finally turn to the word of God for answers....and its about time.
Rev. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Copyright © Cathy Voit 2003