What does it mean for god to be outside of time? does this mean he doesnt experience time? is he frozen in a eternal moment, or is it just a different kind of time, as in, his reality being defined by eternity. Is God outside of time because Gods eternal existence isn’t measured by time? Or is it somthing beyoud human undestanding.
[quote=freesoulhope]What does it mean for god to be outside of time? does this mean he doesnt experience time? is he frozen in a eternal moment, or is it just a different kind of time, as in, his reality being defined by eternity. Is God outside of time because Gods eternal existence isn’t measured by time? Or is it somthing beyoud human undestanding.
The basic meaning is that there is no succession in God. There is no change in good, He is immutable. All things occur at once to God. This is something that is impossible for any human to understand.
Condensed from an article by Rich Deem …
There is much evidence from both the Bible and from science that demonstrates God must exist and operate in dimensions of space and time other than those to which we are confined. God could not have created the universe if He were only a part of it. The Bible says the universe cannot contain Him.
According to particle physics and relativity, at least ten dimensions of space existed at the creation of the universe. Three of these dimensions (plus time) formed the space-time manifold that we can directly observe. The other six of these dimensions exist within the universe as incredibly compact dimensions of space. God must be able to operate in all of those ten dimensions plus more in order to have created the universe. A verse from the book of Hebrews suggests God created the universe out of some of the dimensions of space and time which are not visible to us.
The God of the Bible is invisible and cannot be seen except if He reveals Himself to us in a three-dimensional form that we can see. A being which exists in dimensions beyond our three spatial dimensions would be invisible to creatures (us) which can only exist in the confines of our universe.
The God of the Bible is described as omnipotent. If God were confined to three dimensions of space and one dimension of time, then He could be in only one place at one time. The God of the Bible is described as knowing all that we do. We can hide nothing from God. A three-dimensional God would not have the ability to see through walls (Can you?) and could not know what happens outside of his sight.
Stephen Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose extended the equations for general relativity to include space and time. Not only space, but also time has a beginning - at the moment of creation. Studies in particle physics have shown that our dimension of time is really only half a dimension, since time can only move forward (forget the time travel movies - this is scientifically impossible). If God existed in only one dimension of time, then He would have had to have been created at one point. The Bible says God was not created, but has existed from eternity past to eternity future. The Bible also suggests God created time and was acting before time began, confirming that God exists in at least two dimensions of time. In addition, the Bible states God can compress or expand our time line, based upon what He wants to do. For God to turn a day into 1000 years and 1000 years into a day requires that He exist in at least two dimensions of time.
A three dimensional God would be unable to hear all of our prayers, since He could not be everywhere at once. In addition, a three dimensional God could not perform any of the signs and miracles of the Bible, since He would be confined to the laws of physics of our three-dimensional universe, which make no allowance for miracles.
We cannot visualize a God who exists in dimensions beyond our own, but we can look at a model of a universe in which there are fewer dimensions than ours and extrapolate to that of an extradimensional God.
Imagine we are the observers of a universe which contains only two dimensions of space and one dimension of time. All things in this universe exist in a single plane (i.e., everything is flat). We observe this two dimensional universe from a three dimensional universe, and therefore, have one dimension more than the creatures which live in this two dimensional universe.
For this demonstration, we are pretending this page is part of the universe of Mr. and Mrs. Flat. The Flat family are confined to the plane of this page and can only move within this plane. They can neither see nor interact with any part of the third dimension of a three-dimensional world.
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Whenever Mr. Flat looks at Mrs. Flat, he sees only one side of her at a time. In this two-dimensional universe, she appears to him as a line segment. In order to see all of Mrs. Flat, Mr. Flat must walk all the way around his wife. From each angle, Mr. Flat will see only one or two line segments of differing lengths which compose Mrs. Flat. A complete picture of Mrs. Flat can only be formed in the mind of Mr. Flat. However, we, as observers from a three-dimensional universe can see the entirety of Mrs. Flat at one time. Not only can we see all of Mrs. Flat, but all of Mr. Flat at one instant in time. We can even see inside Mrs. Flat, something that Mr. Flat could never see, unless he were to cut her open. Likewise, God, with only one extra dimension, can simultaneously see all sides and the insides of each one of us.
Mrs. Flat hides in a two dimensional room
Mrs. Flat wants to have a moment to herself, so she goes into a room and locks the door. Mr. Flat cannot see her, because she is surrounded by four walls. However, we are able to see her, because her walls do not extend into the third dimension of our universe. Likewise, an extradimensional God can see us at all times, even if we try to hide behind our three dimensional walls.
A god who is not extradimensional would not be able to observe us at all times, as stated in the Bible.
I would like to extend this model to describe a three-dimensional god in this two-dimensional universe. For simplicity, we will describe this god as a cube. This god, being three-dimensional, can choose to interact with the two-dimensional universe or not. This cube god decides to reveal himself to Mr. and Mrs. Flat, as well as their friend, Mr. Level in this two-dimensional universe. The cube god places himself above the plane of the two-dimensional universe directly in front of Mrs. Flat and extends a corner of his cube into the plane of the two-dimensional universe. Mrs. Flat sees this revelation of her god as a point. Next, the cube god places himself above the plane of the two dimensional universe directly in front of Mr. Flat and extends the intersection of two sides of his cube into the plane of the two dimensional universe. Mr. Flat sees this revelation of his god as a line segment. Then, the cube god places himself above the plane of the two dimensional universe directly in front of Mr. Level and extends an entire side into the plane of the two dimensional universe. Mr. Level sees this revelation of his god as a square.
Three view of cube god animation
Three views of cube god: Mrs. Flat … Mr. Flat … Mr. Level
All three get together and talk about their experiences seeing their god. Mrs. Flat insists her god is a point. Mr. Flat says his god is a line, and Mr. Level states his god is a square. Even though there is only one cube god, they come to the conclusion that there are three gods, because the god each saw appeared differently to each person in their two-dimensional world. Therefore a god that exhibits extra dimensions, when described in a lesser dimensional universe would seem to represent more than one entity. Likewise, our God, who must exist and operate in dimensions beyond our understanding, exists as a Trinity (God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit), although He is one God.
… condensed from an article by Rich Deem.
My favorite illustration is this: take a piece of paper and draw a line on it. The beginning of the line is the begiining of time, and the end of the line is the end of time. This is where we (and all created beings) live.
The white part of the paper that surrounds the line, and extending as far out as you wish, is all that is outside of time, that is, where God lives. We live in time, but he lives outside of time.
Of course God is also fully aware and active in time where we live, occasionally breaking into time and manifesting himself, the prime instance being the Incarnation.
If time is a line, then God is the paper on which time is drawn
the past is what is lost to us, the future is what we cannot see, and our present, the only thing we can control is gone before we can think about it.
God forbid we think of Him as limited in such a manner.
He is not part of the timeline, the timeline is part of Him
Does the future exist before we get there?
Yes. If you think about it, if God experienced time then there would be things he hasn’t yet experienced, or thoughts he hasn’t yet had. There would also be past experiences he no longer has, and past thoughts that he is not thinking now.
I think that would depend on what you mean by “exist.”
If you mean does the future posses actual being in the same sense we do right now: then no. But that is similar to the past, which also doesn’t exist in actual being as we do in the present.
But the future must exist in the mind of God. But, not only the future that will become actual, but also all possible futures that will remain unactualized.
What do you think?
Now you’re getting into different dimensions of time & space in the multiverse.
Although I know your quote of the Deem article was for the purposes of enaging the question of God’s relation to time. . . I wanted to point out that Deem’s concluding “flatland” analogy to the Trinity is somewhat problematic.
Even though there is only one cube god, they come to the conclusion that there are three gods, because the god each saw appeared differently to each person in their two-dimensional world. Therefore a god that exhibits extra dimensions, when described in a lesser dimensional universe would seem to represent more than one entity. Likewise, our God, who must exist and operate in dimensions beyond our understanding, exists as a Trinity (God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit), although He is one God.
Deem’s description comes across like the error Modalism (i.e. Monarchianism, i.e Sabellianism) Here is the New Catholic Dictionary’s definition of Sabellianism.
I don’t think Mr. Deems analogy is a very good one.
Actually, the point I brought up about unactualized possible futures is something that helps me when I think about the “problem of free will.” You know, how can God know what we are going to do before we do it, and how that impacts our freedom. But I don’t use the term “multiverse” because that sounds like they actually exist. . . like a parallel dimension or something.
A Multiverse of unactualized posibilities existing in the mind of God, does help explain why he knows things before they happen. And being close to the hearts of man, knowing their desires, this would help to. Thats a Good answer man! Though i suspect that there is more to it.
You might look up the idea of God’s “middle knowledge”; going by memory, I think that’s pretty close to what you are describing.
I think I agree here. Eternity could be “apophatic.” It’s the negative way of describing what God is NOT. Notice your language: NO succession, NO change, IMmutable, IMpossible to understand. Logically God is not these things, but what that means God’s condition IS, I don’t know.
A pluralist view might reveal one God in more fullness than a dualist or singular view. Thus God gave us the Church.
In my opinion, time is a creation of GodAllahYHWH. He effects time, but time does not effect Him.
What a terrific question!
For myself, I answer this with an argumentum ad TiVoum.
TiVo helps place me temporarily outside of Time. I no longer have to watch TV in real time, waiting for things to happen, but can gloriously take in the whole program. I can understand it all, and go forward, backward, or pause as I like. I am outside of Broadcast Time.
And that is how I think of God—He can see all of Time as one seamless whole, navigating as He will, while us poor creatures live it out second by second and without a remote control to let us fast forward or rewind or even pause.
I think this is also where Calvin went wrong—just because I can see the whole show doesn’t mean I directed it. The producer, writer, director, actors, crew etc. made all these choices along the way, in accordance with free will, but I still know how the final product will turn out even if they do not.
To my mind, this is what it must be like to be outside of Time—to experience all as if it were happening simultaneously, and yet retain knowledge of what came before and what after.