Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Mon Aug 29 2005 - 14:36:57 EDT

On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 22:22:15 -0400 "George Murphy" <>
> I've been quite busy for the past week & have just glanced at the
> posts in
> this thread & its predecessors. But it seems to me that most of the
> discussion has badly missed the point because it has failed to take
> the
> Incarnation seriously enough. God has become a participant in the
> history
> of the universe & therefore in its temporality. It isn't possible
> to wall
> this off as involving "only" the Son: He is /homoousoious/, "one in
> being,"
> with the Father. That God can "interact" with time-bound creatures
> is is a
> basic aspect of the Christian faith, obscured only because people
> insist on
> retrofitting it to /a priori/ philosophical notions about God.
> Shalom
> George
I was wondering when we'd hear from you. It looks to me as though you
are viewing the incarnation from the human viewpoint. God didn't scratch
his head when Adam fell and figure that he'd have to become the redeemer.
He didn't wait until you were conceived, or born, or baptized, or reached
the age of accountability, to determine that you were one of the
redeemed. It's common to say that foreknowledge and predestination were
settled in "eternity past." But there is no past, present or future in
God's eternity, for it is of a single piece. His eternity differs from
ours, which is endless time, whereas his is timeless. Mixing eternities
leads to confusion.

I see a similar problem in the discussion of God's transcendence and
immanence. The latter is usually viewed as his presence in time, whereas
I believe that it should be seen as there being no time outside of his
purview, support, control, providence, or whatever other term
characterizes the relationship. The normal view involves a restriction on
God; the latter, on creation. The matter is too subtle to be relevant to
our prayers, but philosophical analysis makes much of minutiae.

As to /homoousoious/, are you suggesting that the Father became
incarnate? This could skirt the patripassian heresy. Any discussion
involving the Trinity will probably provide statements that mislead.
Ultimately we are dependent on revelation, but finite human beings
interpret it.
Received on Mon Aug 29 15:00:24 2005

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