Can God have co-eternals

Can God have co-eternals???

I been discussing with a shi’ite muslim He said since God is the beginning and the end alpha and omega
God is the ultimate end thus heaven and hell can’t be eternal since according to him and his theology only God can be eternal , no one can share in this his eternality
What do you respond with to this kind of argument

Thank you all in advance and God bless you always

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Q10

A4 - On the contrary, Eternity is simultaneously whole. But time has a “before” and an “after.” Therefore time and eternity are not the same thing. …

A5 - I answer that, Aeviternity differs from time, and from eternity, as the mean between them both. This difference is explained by some to consist in the fact that eternity has neither beginning nor end, aeviternity, a beginning but no end, and time both beginning and end. This difference, however, is but an accidental one, as was shown above, in the preceding article; because even if aeviternal things had always been, and would always be, as some think, and even if they might sometimes fail to be, which is possible to God to allow; even granted this, aeviternity would still be distinguished from eternity, and from time. …

Reply to Objection 2. Aeviternity is simultaneously whole; yet it is not eternity, because “before” and “after” are compatible with it.

The whole point about being a God is…you’re God.
So you can have anything you want.


I take issue with that reasoning. If this Shi’ite can show that there is a contradiction between an eternal heaven and hell and God, then we must reject that particular dogma to be logically consistent. Contrary to the beliefs of certain theists (and the strawman argument presented by some non-theists), God isn’t some “get out of logic class” card that allows you to magically circumvent all reasoning.

I was not under the impression that Heaven and Hell were co-eternal with God in Christian theology. In fact, I recently read something from William Lane where he explicitly states that the “biblical doctrine of creation…holds that nothing exists co-eternally with God”
Read more:

Certainly Heaven and Hell *could *have existed since the beginning of time, but God, being outside time, would be eternal in a completely different sense.

Depends on the meaning ascribed to the words used. God is the only truly eternal Alpha and Omega. He was before time itself, He is self-existent. In that sense, no, God can’t have “co-eternals.” But He can sustain, in time, whatever He wishes to sustain in time, as that doesn’t compete with His self-existence, or His unique Being.

But one thing he keeps saying if God is the End of all things then heaven and hell must be temporary according to him
If heaven and hell have no end then those two as well as God are the Omega too

So are heaven and hell within this universe or not???
If they are why and doesn’t the laws of time apply ???

We don’t claim that Heaven and Hell are eternal, so there is no problem. We claim that that Heaven and Hell are endless, but that is not the same as eternal. Eternity is the absence of time, of before and after, and Heaven and Hell clearly have “before and after” as they pertain only to creatures, and creatures are not eternal.

So while Heaven and Hell have a beginning, it doesn’t follow that they have an end. They can exist forever after their creation, just as angels and humans do. Remember, God isn’t “in Heaven”, except in the humanity of Christ, but rather Heaven is the experience of God by creatures; God is no more “in Heaven” than the sun “feels its own sunshine”.

Peace and God bless!

God is outside of time. Heaven and Hell aren’t the beginning and the end, they aren’t self-existant.


I like Vico’s inclusion of Thomas here. If I remember correctly, in the same Question he makes a subtle distinction between the eternity of Heaven and the “foreverness” of Hell… “Eternity” is not the same as “forever,” which his quotation is getting at. Check it out for more… “Simultaneously whole and instantaneously complete,” I think is what his definition (which he is borrowing from Boethius, right?) of eternity is.

Our participation in the vision of God is “Heaven.” So make that distinction… Furthermore, in that it involves a recreation, or a “new heavens and a new earth,” it certainly has a beginning in that sense. But our actual vision of God in the afterlife is a non-temporal event, while Hell, Thomas is arguing, is entirely temporal, if I remember correctly.

TLDR: We equivocate with “eternity” a lot. Strictly speaking, it doesn’t simply mean “forever” or “always has been around.”

Much is speculation because all has not been revealed to us, or we cannot comprehend it. Symbolic language (or analogy) is used.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives a few meanings of heaven, noting that** place i**s in quotes so it means *so called *place:

326 The Scriptural expression “heaven and earth” means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: “the earth” is the world of men, while “heaven” or “the heavens” can designate both the firmament and God’s own “place” - “our Father in heaven” and consequently the “heaven” too which is eschatological glory. Finally, “heaven” refers to the saints and the “place” of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God. 186

186 Ps 115:16; 19:2; Mt 5:16.

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

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