Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Wed Aug 31 2005 - 00:13:22 EDT

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 20:15:47 -0400 "George Murphy" <>
> > All you re asking for is a distinction that the biblical authors
> did not
> > make.
> Perhaps you didn't note that I posed a broader question than that of
> a
> distinction between 2 types of eternity. "More generally, what is
> the
> biblical
> basis for claims that God cannot enter into time, that God is
> immutable in
> all regards & cannot be affected by anything that happens in the
> world?"
My response is that I am doing in philosophy what you as a theologian are
doing, working through the logical consequences of revelation. I'm not a
master of patristics, but I doubt that anyone presented the bifurcation
that Augustine presents. They hadn't thought in those terms before. I
simply draw the further consequence that the Creator is outside of time.
Additionally, change requires a before and after, a previous state and a
succeeding state, requiring time and probably space and matter, with the
possibility of analogs in the case of finite spirits. I don't have that
much data on such spirits beyond their existence. Now, if you can come up
with a consistent description of a being both outside of time as Creator
and within time as reactor, apart from the incarnation, I'll acknowledge
a mutable deity. However, I am persuaded that a deity necessarily tied to
the universe fits process theology, but cannot be made orthodox. The
alternative is to join Dodgson's White Queen.

> > The same problem arose in the early church over the orthodox
> > creeds. There were intense arguments, with some elements
> departing
> > unconvinced. I believe there are still Nestorians.
> >
> > There is another matter in that I did not say that God cannot, but
> that
> > the Creator qua Creator IS not in time--which is the point of your
> Latin
> > quotation.
> The quotation (it's from Augustine) is to the effect that God's
> origination
> of the world was not in time.
> > I see matters as drawing out the consequences of this citation
> > It is obvious that the Redeemer entered time, becoming human.
> Your term "the Redeemer" is ambiguous here. Are you agreeing that
> in the
> Incarnation the 2d Person of the Trinity became a participant in the
> time of
> our world?
Yes, the Son emptied himself and became incarnate. But I do not claim to
explain how one Person of the one God who exists in three Persons could
do so. I go along with the person who noted that one who denies the
Trinity is in danger of losing his soul, while the one who tries to
explain the Trinity is in danger of losing his wits.

> > Note that
> > I also was explicit that all time-space is open to the Creator.
> Nothing
> > happens without his concurrence.
> >
> > I immediately grant that the concepts involved are not readily
> stated in
> > human language. We do not have nontemporal terminology. But, if
> > /exelexato hemas en auto pro kataboles kosmou/ (Ephesians 1:4) is
> pushed,
> > God is /in tempore/ for there is a before and after to creation.
> This
> > fits a multiverse but hardly a universe.
> BTW, in regard to the earlier term "patripassianism" that you used
> in an
> earlier post: What is problematic about the ideas associated with
> that term
> is not 1st of all the idea that the Father could suffer but that it
> expressed a variety of modalism in which the Father really could be
> said to
> have been crucified. Tertullian, who provided the classic
> refutation of
> that idea, also wrote (in _The Five Books against Marcion_) that "It
> is part
> of the creed of Christians even to believe that God did die, and yet
> that he
> is alive for evermore."
And Tertullian has been accused of promoting nonsense, not on the point
just noted, by being misquoted, even by the supposedly orthodox. However,
I don't expect you to quote his as authoritative in his late works. I try
to avoid imitating his career.
> Shalom
> George
Received on Wed Aug 31 00:43:14 2005

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