picture source: alberteinsteinsite
Some Christians claim that Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity proves that God has absolute foreknowledge and that He lives outside of time in an eternal-now state, in which God has no sequential experience but rather that – from His perspective – the past, present and future happen in the “present”. It is my personal opinion that there is a huge problem with thinking that this theory proves those ideas.
This theory does only work when applied to matter within the universe. From the Christian viewpoint, we are not entirely made up of matter, as each one of us is also a living soul (Genesis 2:7). Also, God is Spirit (non-material) according to the Bible (John 4:24). In this realm, Einstein’s law is not applicable. Claiming it also applies there, would be to go beyond our area of expertise. (Remember that modern science can only apply to the natural realm. It cannot apply to the spiritual realm, neither does it try to.)
I believe that Christians should move on from Einstein’s Spinozan theory (which is good for matter) to a view which also deals with the spiritual. Using this theory to try to prove things in the spiritual realm – where free will choices are made – is a method which is bound to failure.
Furthermore, check out the following two arguments, together:
- At any given moment in time, a person is bound to be in a certain point in this universe. Therefore, he does not and cannot see himself in different sequences (picture:
picture source: pxleyes.
). For the individual, this is all that matters, to have the sense of experiencing an open future where genuine free will is possible. (But whether this is truly so, we will still be considering.)
2. Would it be possible (as in this video example) for a person who has been teleported to a certain distant point in space – from which he can see that I will die in the year 2080, because of an accident – to be teleported back to my location in the present – in which he can make sure I will not be at that location when that accident would have happened – consequently, leading to me being still alive and his former view of my future no longer being correct? And how come he did not see himself in that future? Or do we then have 2 persons of that person – like a clone -, one being outside of time and the other being inside of time?
If Jesus was incarnated and was therefore in time, then did He see Himself in time, from outside of time? Do we then have 2 Jesus Christs in that period of those 33 years in which our Lord walked on this earth? (Click on the picture for a bigger version.)
[For similar arguments, check out Christopher Fisher’s “Time Travel Movies” podcast which might have been based on my incarnation argument, as presented like in the previous picture.]
Of course, this is just an example. Every true Christian believes that Jesus Christ came in the flesh / became a human being in the same nature (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 4:2-3; 2 John 1:7; also read this or, more specifically, read this and this). But this idea of God being in an eternal-now state might be logically in conflict with the incarnation – which means that Jesus Christ fully left the bosom of our Father and became a human being on this earth (read John 1:1-2,11, 14; John 16:28; John 17:5; Philippians 2:6-9) -.
I hope this helps you to think through certain – probably unbiblical – theological speculation of God having absolute foreknowledge or being in an eternal-now state. Wouldn’t it be easier to drop this complicated philosophy, lest we get into intellectual problems of making up heretical ideas like Jesus being two persons or Jesus not having been fully incarnated? Do you understand the absurd logic (also, check out this and this historical example) that is necessary to hold (on) to a Platonic eternal-now state?
[For more information on other views than God being in an eternal-now state, click here.]