I had an exchange with Brian Wagner on Ephesians 1:4. It instantly turned into a debate about time and God’s knowledge:
When God supposedly “chose” you before creation, where you unchosen at some point and then chosen? What did God see when He supposedly chose you… just your name, your life up to the point where He decided He wanted to get involved noticeably to you, your whole life forever and all His involvement in it already? What did “you” mean when He chose “you” back then before you existed?
We know the “us” refers to those that receive the heavenly blessings. So, we know it is believers. We know he chose them before the creation event. If your worldview was true, then God only chose a hypothetical group of individuals but without knowing that any of them would exist.
If B-theory is true then you always exists in your own temporal moments.
But God chose persons. People. That means that he chose them to be saved in the outplaying of events. Since God is timeless we were never at any time unchosen.
fantasy… for why are we not cogniscient of our future moments right now?
Ps 90, 2 Sequential Reality
There are two definitions for “time”. One is connected only to creation… it is the measurement of matter in motion. The other is connected to reality which is from God’s nature.
Reality is sequential events… befores and afters going backwards infinitely and forwards infinitely. “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps 90:2)… “who was and is and is to come” (Rev 4:8). There were events of communication, relationship, and decision making in the Godhead before creation of space and matter… right?
A reality that is sequential and non-sequential for God at the same “time” is a logical contradiction borrowed into Christianity from neo-platonism. The Scripture gives no other “competing” reality for God’s presence, which is contradictory to the word “reality” anyway.
His foreknowledge is dynamic therefore and not static. His understanding is infinite (Ps 147:5). He knows all the possibilities that still exist and all things that are already determined that limit those possibilities.
Some like the illustration of God as a blimp watching the full parade below. But for a blimp to watch a parade, the full parade has to exist. The future does not exist as a completed entity to watch either as a place or in God’s mind.
Reality is only sequential, and comes from God’s eternal nature – “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps 90:2), “who was and is and is to come” (Rev 4:8). Relationship and communication in the Godhead before creation were sequential (befores and afters).
The underlying important issue is – does God’s mind reflect univocally the sequential reality of His Word, or have scholars discovered in their philosophical reasoning that God hid from Scripture His perspective of reality? It would be a perspective that also makes man’s perspective in Scripture actually faulty, for Scripture makes the future as not yet existing, but in reality it is already existing as completed (forever), for God’s reality is the only true one.
Do you think the Kalam argument is true? That everything to begin to exist has a cause.
Everything that needs a cause to exist has a cause. 😉 But you didn’t answer my question. Why are we not knowing/recognizing the reality of the future that you think we already exist in the moments of?
I’m not sure you answered my question either. I asked if you affirmed the Kalam. B theory doesn’t state that every moment is the same but merely that they’re equally real. So, there’s no reason to suppose B theory would entail us remembering events that come later in the story. My point is going to be that you have problems with infinite regression.
TheSire an infinite God doesn’t… 😊
Well, then you do because God couldn’t be thinking or have created the world because an infinite amount of time hasn’t been transversed. So, either infinite regressions are good or they’re problematic.
So God can’t do what you think is impossible, even though He declares it in His Word… hmmm?
I asked if you thought the Kalam argument was true. I don’t think the bible says God transverses infinite regressions.
Psalm 90:2 NKJV — Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
Sounds to me like He clearly does!
Brian Wagner quotes Psalm 90 as proof of this sequential theory of divine time.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
It is hard to see how stating that God is “everlasting to everlasting” is inconsistent with the theory that God is timeless. The Psalm is about contrasting the Eternal God with the fleeting lives of humans. Commentators on the psalms can’t find this inconsistency:
And so the final affirmation of this little hymnic section keeps our attention on his eternality: “from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” The doctrine of God in Scripture asserts that God has no beginning and no end—he is eternally present. Interestingly, although the Greek version incorrectly read the word “God” (72$) as the negative (‘78) and joined it to the next verse, it made perfectly good sense to the translator to read the remaining words as “from everlasting to everlasting you are.” There is no other god who can compare. There is no other god.
Allen Ross-A Commentary on the Psalms: 90-150 (Kregel Exegetical Library)(Page 29).
The point is that God never came into being nor can he cease being who he is. The other verse mentioned was Revelation 4:8.
8 And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”
Arminian scholar and commentator Grant Osborne get the exact opposite interpretation then Brian Wagner:
Finally, the living beings celebrate the eternality of the one ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος (ho ēn kai ho ōn kai ho erchomenos, who was and is and is to come), following the title used in 1: 8 rather than that in 1: 4, which reversed the past (“ who was”) and the present (“ who is”). The emphasis is on the God who sovereignly controls past, present, and future. Each aspect should not be overly stressed (contra Thomas 1992: 363, who says the past is emphasized and the future relates to the longing of creation for redemption), but the effect of the whole predominates. God is eternal and sovereign. Mounce (1998: 126) may be correct in calling this an expansion of the interpretation of “Yahweh” in Exod. 3: 14, “I AM WHO I AM.” The eternality of God is repeated twice more in 4: 9, 10, “him who lives forever and ever.”
Osborne, Grant R.. Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 5504-5511). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
An expert commentator on the book of Revelation G. K. Beale comes to the same conclusion as Osborne:
The use of “the Lord God Almighty” in v 8c is based on its recurrent use in the LXX (e.g., Amos 3:13; 4:13; 5:14–16; 9:5–6, 15; Hos. 12:6; Nah. 3:5; Zech. 10:3; Mal. 2:16). The second name for God—“the one who is and was and is coming” (v 8d)—as observed in regard to 1:4, is based on OT and Jewish exegetical tradition. The threefold title expresses an idea of divine infinity and sovereignty over history. Furthermore, in the light of 11:17, the last clause of the formula, ὁ ἐρχόμενος (“the one coming”), expresses a future, once-for-all eschatological coming of God (see on 11:17 and 1:4).
The significance of the two titles “Lord God Almighty” and “the one who is and was and is coming” is to emphasize that the God who transcends time is sovereign over history. But this is no abstract theology of God. Through John the readers are being given information from the heavenly, secret council room of the Lord. The titles show that the intention of this crucial vision is to give the supra-historical perspective of “the one who is, was, and is coming,” which is to enable the suffering readers to perceive his eternal purpose and so motivate them to persevere faithfully through tribulation. As with the uses of both titles in the OT and as already seen in 1:4 and 1:8, so here God is able to fulfill his prophetic purposes and deliver his people despite overwhelming odds (for the background and significance of the two titles see further on 1:4 and 1:8).
Beale, G. K. (1999). The book of Revelation: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 332–333). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.
So, Brian has to further explain God’s relationship to this dimension God resides in. Where did time come from? If God is subject to time, then it doesn’t originate from him. This leaves him needing to explain where did God’s domain come from. Why is there a divine being in an infinite regress of time rather than nothing? Another issue is why does the bible always paint the sole ultimate reality as Yahweh alone and not Yahweh in some temporal dimension? What was God doing for this actual infinite of time? Didn’t God create time?