8.08.2010

On Time and God

So it occurred to me that the passage of time is characterized by decay and change. How do you know that time is passing? Well, for one thing, you can tell by the increase in overall entropy (randomness) in the world. That seems to be a universal marker for the passage of time. They say the universe will end in a heat death which basically means that chaos will eat the world. As long as time progresses and matter exists, entropy will happen and increase. It just does. It's inherent in the nature of time, just like balls dropped at the surface of earth always fall down. Everything in nature wants to be at a lower energy level, which basically means everything in nature wants to fall into chaos. Negative entropy doesn't exist for the universe. And neither does time go backwards. On a more micro level, the increase of entropy translates into decay. You can tell a new house from an old house because the old house shows more signs of decay. Time just does that to stuff. You can never make an old house naturally look like a new house after a while, because time doesn't go backwards. On an even more micro level, time will sometimes look simply like change, not necessarily negative change. Think of anything alive and growing. A growing plant looks like it's defying decay and entropy for a while, but let's not forget the cost of its growth on the surroundings. And in the end, even the most robust of plants will become a fossil or less after a million years. Even your mind/soul, which are not physical things, experience time. I don't need to explain that because we all experience time and are aware of it.

Ok. So time always causes decay and change, and God never decays or changes. Therefore, God does not experience time, except in the person of Jesus. Think of all the implications. Praying for something after the fact does not make the prayer any less valid than praying for something before the fact. It's all the same to him (although it's rather counterintuitive to us who do experience time). Predestination becomes much less of a problem because it's no longer an issue of God-chose-me-so-I'm forced-to-be-Christian/God-didn't-choose-me-so-there's-no-way-I-can-believe-even-if-I-wanted-to. He sees your post-death judgment in the present tense before you were born. There is no injustice in choosing or not choosing you before your birth. It's really not that complicated.

Anyhow. Credits to C.S. Lewis and my time travel seminar (for predestination). Many years ago, I had formulated a lot of the ideas here, plus other related ideas, but I thought maybe I was being heretical because to no one ever prays for things in the past and everyone always seemed to get hung up on predestination which I thought shouldn't really be a moral problem if this was true. Now I read all of C.S. Lewis' stuff on God and time and (I am not kidding) our ideas are the same down to the very analogies we used (not included here), although his ideas were slightly more developed. Wes said that's because we both have the same Holy Spirit, haha, which actually makes a lot of sense. Anyway, I think God's transcendence over time is something that too many Christians forget about, so here's to serve as a reminder. Also, I wanted to share because the scientific/logical backing is something I only recently realized, so it's new to me, too. Hopefully, it's logically and theologically sound.

2 comments:

  1. I've actually never thought of it that way o_o (that like..praying before/after somethign happens...could be the same).

    Quite an interesting post :D

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  2. You are getting philosophical, aren't you? but people sometimes did pray for the past: Lord, give me good results from that medical lab tests:) You think the prayer is aimed to change whatever it was?

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