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Can a Timeless God Really Understand us?

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  • Can a Timeless God Really Understand us?

    My mother mourned her parents for thirty seven years, and suffered from crippling arthritis for over eleven years, and it seems to me that much of our suffering here is related to our perception of time.

    If God really is timeless, and lives in Augustine's eternal now, could He really understand how we feel?

    Could He understand what time is like for someone in pain?

    Could He know the difference between an hour of pain, and a day, a week, or a month in pain?

    And if God really is timeless, and Jesus really was fully God and fully man, what would that mean in terms of the incarnation?

    Would that mean that Jesus the man experienced the six hours on the cross, while God The Son never really experienced the passage of time at all (because to Him the whole ordeal--His Passion, His birth, and all the years in between-were all part of some eternal now He experiences all at once)?

    I've been questioning my faith for a long time, and right now I need help trying to understand this.

    First I'd like to know what the orthodox Christian doctrine is, and then I'd like to know if it's logically coherent.

    Please help me.
    Last edited by Brooklyn; 04-08-2015, 01:28 AM.

  • #2
    Being timeless and in the eternal "now" doesn't mean God experiences something briefly, it means he experiences every moment eternally. So in a sense Christ is still experiencing the crucifixion among other things
    "Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ." - That Guy Everyone Quotes

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    • #3
      Originally posted by hamster View Post
      Being timeless and in the eternal "now" doesn't mean God experiences something briefly, it means he experiences every moment eternally. So in a sense Christ is still experiencing the crucifixion among other things
      So can He understand what the passage of time is for us?

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, he also designed our minds and every nerve in the human body and brain. And He is omniscient, so I would assume He understands every possible relationship to time that there is and better than we do.
        "Some people feel guilty about their anxieties and regard them as a defect of faith but they are afflictions, not sins. Like all afflictions, they are, if we can so take them, our share in the passion of Christ." - That Guy Everyone Quotes

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by hamster View Post
          Being timeless and in the eternal "now" doesn't mean God experiences something briefly, it means he experiences every moment eternally. So in a sense Christ is still experiencing the crucifixion among other things
          You know I always wondered about that, would Christ, in some sense, experience the pain of crucifixion for eternity. If that is the case it puts His sacrifice in a completely different light.
          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

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          • #6
            Originally posted by seer View Post
            You know I always wondered about that, would Christ, in some sense, experience the pain of crucifixion for eternity. If that is the case it puts His sacrifice in a completely different light.
            I'm going to tentatively disagree with hamster. I don't see a reason why Revelation's view of eternity wouldn't also apply to Christ:

            "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." - Revelation 21:4
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
              I'm going to tentatively disagree with hamster. I don't see a reason why Revelation's view of eternity wouldn't also apply to Christ:

              "There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." - Revelation 21:4
              This is the difference. When we are out of pain, or get through pain, the memory fades, the pain is in the past. This happened to me in this past week. The question is can an all knowing God experience something then not experience it - in its fullness?
              Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

              Comment


              • #8
                God Creates the time frame and space relationships to reveal the attributes of God that cannot be known nor experienced. God's methods of Creation are the natural course of our existence we witness through the knowledge of science.
                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                Frank

                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  This is the difference. When we are out of pain, or get through pain, the memory fades, the pain is in the past. This happened to me in this past week. The question is can an all knowing God experience something then not experience it - in its fullness?
                  Would you want to ask Him?
                  If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                    Would you want to ask Him?
                    I think we will all know one day.
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Brooklyn View Post
                      My mother mourned her parents for thirty seven years, and suffered from crippling arthritis for over eleven years, and it seems to me that much of our suffering here is related to our perception of time.

                      If God really is timeless, and lives in Augustine's eternal now, could He really understand how we feel?

                      Could He understand what time is like for someone in pain?

                      Could He know the difference between an hour of pain, and a day, a week, or a month in pain?

                      And if God really is timeless, and Jesus really was fully God and fully man, what would that mean in terms of the incarnation?

                      Would that mean that Jesus the man experienced the six hours on the cross, while God The Son never really experienced the passage of time at all (because to Him the whole ordeal--His Passion, His birth, and all the years in between-were all part of some eternal now He experiences all at once)?

                      I've been questioning my faith for a long time, and right now I need help trying to understand this.

                      First I'd like to know what the orthodox Christian doctrine is, and then I'd like to know if it's logically coherent.

                      Please help me.
                      I think Hebrews mentions about Jesus as a priest having the life experiences that we all have. We then see that through the Son, incarnate, God had specifically seen the world through the eyes of a living man. This is quite a powerful revelation. It shows that, in Jesus, the perception of events and pain and such were encountered within a man living through time. God is awesome! It would then seem that the memories perceived through the earthly incarnation of Jesus then would be part of the mind and understanding God now has.

                      Maybe the pain of the cross has largely been remembered in the same way all people remember passing pain ... a knowledge that it was really bad ... and an emotional memory focused on keeping a memorial of that pain yet not maintaining the active emotion of the original pain. Hopefully this makes some sense.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brooklyn View Post
                        My mother mourned her parents for thirty seven years, and suffered from crippling arthritis for over eleven years, and it seems to me that much of our suffering here is related to our perception of time.

                        If God really is timeless, and lives in Augustine's eternal now, could He really understand how we feel?

                        Could He understand what time is like for someone in pain?

                        Could He know the difference between an hour of pain, and a day, a week, or a month in pain?

                        And if God really is timeless, and Jesus really was fully God and fully man, what would that mean in terms of the incarnation?
                        Augustine's Greek Platonic beliefs have cause IMHO, a lot of issues with modern Christians understanding of who God is. I don't believe Augustine got this right, and in fact, you will see that a lot of modern Christians do not think so as well. The Timeless, Immutable, Impassible, God is not necessary for the God of the Bible to be what He claims to be. Faithful, just, righteous, loving merciful...
                        Would that mean that Jesus the man experienced the six hours on the cross, while God The Son never really experienced the passage of time at all (because to Him the whole ordeal--His Passion, His birth, and all the years in between-were all part of some eternal now He experiences all at once)?
                        No, because it make no sense...and again, Timelessness is not necessary.

                        I've been questioning my faith for a long time, and right now I need help trying to understand this.

                        First I'd like to know what the orthodox Christian doctrine is, and then I'd like to know if it's logically coherent.

                        Please help me.

                        I think Open Theism can answer a lot of your concerns without you having to abandon or struggle with your faith.
                        "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                        "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hamster View Post
                          Being timeless and in the eternal "now" doesn't mean God experiences something briefly, it means he experiences every moment eternally. So in a sense Christ is still experiencing the crucifixion among other things
                          Oh no, that means he's looking at my high school life for all eternity. I could just die.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mikewhitney View Post
                            I think Hebrews mentions about Jesus as a priest having the life experiences that we all have. We then see that through the Son, incarnate, God had specifically seen the world through the eyes of a living man. This is quite a powerful revelation. It shows that, in Jesus, the perception of events and pain and such were encountered within a man living through time. God is awesome! It would then seem that the memories perceived through the earthly incarnation of Jesus then would be part of the mind and understanding God now has.

                            Maybe the pain of the cross has largely been remembered in the same way all people remember passing pain ... a knowledge that it was really bad ... and an emotional memory focused on keeping a memorial of that pain yet not maintaining the active emotion of the original pain. Hopefully this makes some sense.
                            Agreed.

                            Yet God on His part being omniscient did not need send His Son to be incarnate for the purpose of understanding us. But He did also send His Son so we can understand that He understands us.
                            . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

                            . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

                            Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brooklyn View Post
                              My mother mourned her parents for thirty seven years, and suffered from crippling arthritis for over eleven years, and it seems to me that much of our suffering here is related to our perception of time.

                              If God really is timeless, and lives in Augustine's eternal now, could He really understand how we feel?

                              Could He understand what time is like for someone in pain?

                              Could He know the difference between an hour of pain, and a day, a week, or a month in pain?

                              And if God really is timeless, and Jesus really was fully God and fully man, what would that mean in terms of the incarnation?

                              Would that mean that Jesus the man experienced the six hours on the cross, while God The Son never really experienced the passage of time at all (because to Him the whole ordeal--His Passion, His birth, and all the years in between-were all part of some eternal now He experiences all at once)?

                              I've been questioning my faith for a long time, and right now I need help trying to understand this.

                              First I'd like to know what the orthodox Christian doctrine is, and then I'd like to know if it's logically coherent.

                              Please help me.
                              Timelessness is a disputable matter, not a core doctrine of Christianity, so don't shipwreck your faith over it.

                              Personally, I find timelessness to be incoherent, as it severely limits God to essentially doing nothing, and unable to do things found in scripture, like create the universe (Genesis 1, John 1), respond to mankind (Exodus 32:7-14, Genesis 22 (especially 12), etc), or experience emotion of any kind.

                              Indeed, the very idea of timelessness causes us to discard virtually every description and depiction of God in the bible.

                              Comment

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