Saturday, January 13, 2018

Time And Eternity

As I drove through the country lanes of bucolic Texas, I reflected on time and eternity. God, unless you're a panentheist, a process theologian or some other similar scoundrel, is eternal. He is simple, immutable, in pure act, and all times are present to Him in a simultaneity. 

Here's Jacques Maritain, the great French Thomist, on the subject.

“GOD'S PLAN is eternal, as is the creative act itself, though it has its effect in time. God’s plan is established from all eternity. But eternity is not a kind of divine time which precedes time. It is a limitless instant which indivisibly embraces the whole succession of time. All the moments of that succession are physically present on it. If all things are naked and open to the eyes of God it is because they are seen by His divine “science of vision” in their presentness. “To foresee” is an improper word to use when speaking of God. We employ it because we project into His eternity the anteriority (in relation to future events) of the knowledge which we would have of those events if we knew them before they happened. They are known to Him “already,” which is to say, always. He sees them as actually taking place at a given temporal instant which is present in His eternity. All things and all events in nature are known to Him at their first coming forth and in the eternal morning of His vision, because they are willed by Him, beyond all time, in the eternal instant with which their whole succession coexists."

 This is Typical

But what about free will?

“But when we deal with the world of freedom, and not only with that of nature, when we deal with free existents, creatures endowed with freedom of choice (a freedom inevitably fallible), we must go still farther. We must say that in a certain fashion those creatures have their part in the very establishment of the eternal plan, not, indeed, by virtue of their power to act (here all they have they hold of God) but by virtue of their power to nihilate* to make the thing that is nothing, where they themselves are first causes. Free existents have their part in the establishment of God’s plan, because in establishing that plan, He takes account of their initiatives of nihilating."

So, from all eternity, in the timeless present instant of God's necessary knowledge, Sean Penn's decision to be an enemy of mankind is just that, Sean Penn's decision.

Enemy Of Mankind

Present knowledge of a contingent event doesn't make it any the less contingent, readers, all four of you.

Build the Wall,



Fredd said...

Me and the other three guys who read your stuff agree. With whatever it is you said, Pastor, since you are usually right about everything else, why would you be wrong here?

Anonymous said...

Yes Parson, build your wall of Jericho.

LSP said...

Thank you, Fredd. The important thing to grasp is that Sean Penn's full of wanton skulduggery and it's NOT God's fault.

Omniscience is a grand thing.

LSP said...

A very ancient city, Anon. But is it as old as Gobekli Tepe?