Wednesday, July 28

More on Open Theism and Gods Infinity

I found a paper on the subject, The Implications of God's Infinity on "Open" Theism, from the Conservative Theological Journal, written by Steve Lewis, . He makes some of the same points I do, but makes them better, and makes many more points, so if you are interested in more and better on the subject, you'll find this interesting.

On the subject of a temporal God's relation to space, He writes:
If God is temporal, then He is not infinite with respect to time. If God is not infinite with respect to time then He cannot be infinite with respect to space either, because "according to the dominant contemporary scientific understanding, both time and space are correlative. It is the space-time universe. There is no time without space and no space without time. If so, then the logical consequence of affirming that God is temporal would be to assert that he is also spatial. This falls right into the lap of process theology, which [open] theists claim to reject." If God is not infinite with respect to the space-time universe, then He is not infinite at all. This leads to the conclusion that God is a finite being; He is like us, only "bigger" somehow.
That last statement is an important one. No matter how you cut it, if God is "in time", then He is no longer an infinite God, but just a really, really big God. No matter how big the really, really, big is, it's a a huge downgrade from infinite--a downgrade not only in "amount", but in type, and God becomes no longer other than we are, but like us.

Makes me think of those Romans 1 verses:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man.... (NKJV)
Lewis thinks the open theist's confusion arises from confusing God's actions with His attributes:
Many of the "openness" arguments for God's temporality involve their denial that a timeless being has the ability to act in time; they say that a God who acts in time must be in time. This assumption, however, confuses God's actions with His attributes. God has the attribute of infinity, and yet His actions occur in the temporal universe. The open theists seem to have no trouble believing that the infinite God created the universe ex nihilo, but does not this involve His acting in time without being a creature Himself? Why should an infinite God who can act in His created space-time universe be required to be temporal?
Interesting stuff.

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