Re: impassibility

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Fri Dec 09 2005 - 18:04:54 EST

You may be right that we're going nowhere. What I take to be facts are
that some things are true of all three members of the Trinity, while
there are other things which are true only of one Person. The Son entered
time in the Incarnation and, I believe, remains a physical entity even
though the characteristics of his body are different from those he had
before the resurrection. The eternal Father did not enter time, which he
(and the preincarnate Son) created. Thus far I think we agree.
Consequently, his eternity is without time, both in the sense that he is
outside of terrestrial time and totally timeless. This is consonant with
the block view of the universe derivable in general relativity, with the
notion that the whole is known to him. To place him in any kind of time
(except timeless time, which is already contradictory) produces
contradictions and incoherence. The best attempt to have God somehow in
time without giving him endless past time is the notion that he entered
time when he created time. But this conflicts with the notion that the
Son, but not the Father, entered creation, which I believe is the sole
orthodox notion.

Some people think God knowing all requires absolute determinism. I
believe that we were created with some freedom, though it depends on the
dependability of the kosmos. That God knows does not mean that God
causes, except that he is the original cause of all, the support of all,
and the source of freedom.

I still very much want a reason for differentiating a hermeneutics that
supports a nonliteral interpretation of Genesis 1 from a hermeneutics
that demands that all verses speaking of God changing must be taken
literally. Your claims require that there be a rational distinction. I
can think of none, and you haven't pointed me to any.

On Fri, 9 Dec 2005 17:09:13 -0500 "George Murphy" <>
Dave -

I think this has gotten to the point where we're just playing old tapes.
I want to insist as strongly as possible on the reality of God's
involvement in history via the Incarnation, & the implications of the
cross & resurrection of Christ, & think that it's necessary to drop a
metaphysics of divine timelessness to do justice to that. You think that
the necessary christological & trinitarian emphasis can be maintained
without abandoning that metaphysics. We probably aren't going to get
beyond that. You can have the last word here, at least for the time

Received on Fri Dec 9 18:28:50 2005

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