Friday, December 02, 2005

God’s love requires a certain amount of free will to exist. But God’s power requires total control in order to impose his justice upon us.

If God stands at the end of time, looking back on the time that has passed, and knowing how it all works out, and if he stands at the root of time, having planned everything, but not knowing how everything will come out, then it seems we’re stuck with a conundrum. The answer must be where the past and future meet, the present. The present carries within it the uncertain potential of a future not worked our yet, and a past with a certainty of potential realized. But, how can a moment be certain and uncertain at the same time? I dunno, maybe the one is uncertain in one way, and the other certain in another way.
Is it possible that past, future, and possibly present, have a trinitarian structure, which would allow them exist simultaneously? The present cannot exist without the past and future, as if it’s literally a line between the two, and we perceive the line where the two join. Can the future exist without the past? Yes, it does exist. But does the past exist without the future? No. This would suggest a hierarchy: the present depends on the past and future, past depends on the future, and the future depends on nothing. But do the past, present, and future have any reality? The future seems to be all potential. The past seems to be all spent potential. And the present is where we spend it. This is where potential manifests itself into reality, where choices are actually made, and events actually occur. How is it that potential at all points in time and space can be stored and spent at the same time? How is it that with the Father standing at one end of time and the Son at the other, that they can observe all existence happening, yet not happening just yet? This is where our free will lies. The Son, on the one hand, stands at the root of time, having planned how things should go, but not knowing how. This gives us our freedom. But, the Father, who stands at the end of time, knows what did happen, which gives us limits on our freedom. Limits caused by the laws of physics, by human laws, various relationships, natural disasters, etc.

Why does God the Father have to know the future? If he didn’t, or chose not to know it, what would that mean? It would mean that God has withdrawn from his creation. Assuming that my assumption about the Father seeing the future by looking back on the past is true, if God gave up his knowledge of the future he’d be giving up his presence in the present, too. Because, either he exists infinitely or he doesn’t exist at all. He’d be giving up his control and foreknowledge over history. Were that so, the Son could take over for the Father and still design the future. But, it may possible, that Jesus would have to stick to his single role, creating and saving the world. That would lead the universe into eventual chaos. If the Son left, then the universe wouldn’t be here at all.