Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Wed Aug 31 2005 - 07:40:59 EDT

Dave Siemens wrote: "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.... If you can come up
with a consistent description of a being both outside of time as Creator
and within time as reactor...I'll acknowledge
a mutable deity. "

Any activity whatever requires a before and after, so if God is active apart from our universe, event sequence exists for him even though not measurable in our kind of time. By doing anything whatever he creates event sequence. So event sequence is more fundamental than space-time. God is outside of our kind of time but he acts and so experiences event sequence.

I see no reason why God should not be able to experience also our kind of event sequence and participate with us in our events. And yes, by interacting with us he permanently changes. The creation is important to him, it's not an idle pastime; and he knew at the outset he would be changed by it.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: D. F. Siemens, Jr.<>
  Cc:<> ;<>
  Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:13 PM
  Subject: Re: God the interactor (was God the tinkerer)

  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 07:40:48 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Aug 31 2005 - 07:40:48 EDT