Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Ecclectic Orthodoxy| Prisoner of Time: The Temporal Deity of Analytic Theology

Ecclectic Orthodoxy| Prisoner of Time: The Temporal Deity of Analytic Theology

"I confess that I am finding the notion of temporal eternity difficult to grasp, which may surprise some of my friends and colleagues. After all, I cut my theological eye teeth on the eschatological construal of triune divinity propounded by Robert W. Jenson. Jens taught me that God’s eternity is not his abstraction from time but his faithfulness through time. Though I parroted the formula, I suppose I never really overcame the earlier catechesis passed on to me by C. S. Lewis: “Almost certainly God is not in Time. His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to him at 10:30 tonight, he need not listen to them in that one little snippet which we call 10:30. 10:30—and every other moment from the beginning of the world—is always the Present for Him.” When I read folks like Richard Swinburne talking about divine temporality, I find myself wondering how his Deity can possibly be the transcendent Creator of heaven and earth. This wonderment has increased exponentially over the past several years. It’s one thing to identify God by the telling of biblical stories. It’s quite another thing to think that he actually swims along in time like the rest of us. As opaque as I find the notion of divine timelessness to be, I find the notion of divine temporality even more so. This is my problem, of course, not Swinburne’s; but I thought you needed to be aware of it."

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