God's Eternity

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  • The Traditional Christian view of God is that he is eternal i.e. he exists outside time and is not affected by time. 
  • They believe this for a number of reason: The Bible suggests God has always existed, God is the creator of the universe so must have been outside it to create it and time passing is a feature of our universe, God must be the unmoved mover and uncaused causer and he cannot be if he is not eternal, God is perfect; if he was subject to time that implies change which implies imperfection.
  • Boethius describes God's eternity as 'the complete possession all at once of illimitable life'
  • He implies that God lives one eternal present, there is no beginning or end for him, everything happens simultaneously not a series of consequential events (linear).
  • God is simple so he does not learn new things and time does not pass for him. 
  • God is changeless and for him there is no past, present or future, it is all seen in 'one glance'
  • Aquinas agrees with Boethius saying that there is no beginning or end for God and since time involves beginnings and endings he must exist outside of it. 
  • Implication for Religious Language: Aquinas says that if you are speaking about the nature of God e.g. his eternity, you are ultimately…

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