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Critically assess the traditional Christian concept of God being eternal

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Introduction

´╗┐Nyree Hands-Heart Critically asses the traditional Christian concept of God being eternal The classic understanding of God being eternal is that the word eternal refers to God existing outside of time and God having no beginning or end, however time does pass for God. This view of God as eternal or a temporal also includes the notion that God has knowledge of everything that has happened, is currently happening and will happen in the future within our world, simultaneously. Christian?s since the time of Boethius have had this view of God being eternal. Both Aquinas and Anselm have suggested that God exists outside of time, Aquinas believed that God is eternal because nothing can contain God (Proslogion 19). Aquinas believed that God is eternal because, time and change are inseparable; since God cannot change, so God cannot be in time. ...read more.

Middle

Richard Swinburne also famously followed the criticism stating that he could not make sense of talk of all the events being simultaneously present to God. However on the other hand Paul Helm has suggested that talk of God being eternal doesn?t involve the reductio ad absurdum suggested by Kenny and Swinburne because Helm argues that the eternal God is timeless and acts eternally. The second criticism is that How can God be personal and act in creation if he is eternal. The bible implies that God is personal and acts in creation. For example God responded to the Iseralties prayer for freedom from slavery in Egypt and God intervenes to help Joshua in the battle at Ai and Jericho. These suggest that God is personal and acts in time, therefore can?t be eternal because if something is eternal it is outside of time. ...read more.

Conclusion

For God to be eternal there is implications of the idea of God being the creator, as God cannot change God is eternally the creator, God does not think about creating and then create. Instead its God?s nature to be the creator. Thomas Aquinas stated that God knows all of the creation precisely because God is eternally the creator and sustains creation in existence. In conclusion a way around the problems of having an ?eternal? God is surely to believe that God is everlasting, meaning that God will always exist and always has existed (no beginning or end) but time passes for God. This was argued by Richard Swinburne whom believed the idea of events happening simultaneously can not be made sense of, however an everlasting God makes sense and fits more satisfactorily with the God that is revealed in the Bible. ...read more.

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