Timelessness as Non-Concept


Tim Chaffey writes against Open Theism:

Open theists often construct a straw man to knock down at this point. They claim that God cannot look down the passages of time to see what an individual will freely choose to do. This straw man betrays their misunderstanding of God’s nature. God is not “in time” as we are. He transcends time. He is not part of His creation like the pantheist declares. He is outside of it (transcendent) but can intervene when and where He chooses. Since God is not physically bound to the universe, He is not affected by time. As such, God does not need to “look down the passages of time” to see the future. He sees the entire timeline at the same moment.

This paragraph is entirely philosophical. The irony is that not a dozen sentences before, Chaffey criticizes Open Theism as being “philosophically based”. Where in the Bible describes God as outside of time? We have plenty of passages about God experiencing things in time and even learning new things. What we do not have is Platonic timelessness as described in Plato’s Timaeus.

Being “outside of time”, in addition to not being Biblical by any stretch of the imagination, is a non-concept. How does a being exist apart of sequential events? How does a being exist in timeless immutability? And furthermore, how does that being interact with time? It is not conceptual.

If a being was “outside of time”, this would be no different than non-existence (which is fitting because Platonism tries to describe the ultimate being in purely negative ways). There would be no room for action, interaction, creation, change any time in any fashion. God would not exist. Timelessness was designed by the Platonists to be a non-concept, and that is exactly what it is.

Perhaps Chaffey can take his own advice, and discard philosophy when forming his opinions about God.’

source: Christopher Fisher, “Apologetics Thursday – Timelessness as Non-concept” (godisopen).


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