Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I have been meaning to address certain comments that our Reformed brother in Christ, Ken Temple, made in the combox of our previous thread (LINK) concerning what theologians have termed the "timelessness" God; Ken wrote:
As for Scriptural evidence that the God of the Bible is above and outside of time; and created time, matter, space, energy:
Rev. 1:8; 4:8
Isaiah chapter 40
I Cor. 8:6
"I am that I am" - Exodus 3:14
John 8:24, 8:58, and all the other "I am" statements in John. John 1:1-5; 17:5
Read a good Systematic Theology such as Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, pages 156-261, including the Trinity; or Louis Berkhof or Robert Reymond.
I sincerely wonder how closely Ken has read Reymond's A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, for Reymond actually denies the "timelessness" God; note the following:
These verses [Gen. 21:33; Ps. 29:10; 45:6; 90:2, 4; 102:25-27; Is. 40:28; 1 Tim. 1:17] clearly ascribe everlastingness to God. But what is not so clear is whether his everlasting existence should be understood, with most classical Christian thinkers (for example, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas), as also involving the notion of timelessness. (Page 192, 1st ed.)
In pages 173-177, Reymond reflects on what some other Reformed thinkers have had to say on this issue (e.g. Gordon H. Clark, Robert Lewis Dabney, Charles Hodge), and provides "three reasons" why he ends up rejecting God's "timelessness". He sums up his conclusion with:
...it would seem that the ascription to God of the attribute of timelessness (understood as the absence of a divine consciousness of successive duration with respect to his own existence) cannot be supported from Scripture nor is it self-consistent. At best, it is only an inference (and quite likely a fallacious one) from Scripture. These reasons also suggest that the Christian should be willing to affirm that the ordering of relationships of time are true for God as well as for man. (Page 176, 1st ed.)
Not only is Reymond at odds with many of his fellow Reformed theologians on this issue of God's "timelessness", he also takes issue with the Nicene Creed, the eternal generation of the Son, and the term "person", all of which has caused some Reformed folk to express certain reservations about his book. Perhaps the most thorough critique of the tome was provided by Dr. Robert Letham in his Fall 2000 - 62.2, Westminster Theological Journal (pp. 314-319) review.
Anyway, I hope that Ken drops by so we can discuss some of these issues.
Grace and peace,