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Out of Time, continued

Time and The Old One
   Einstein did reconcile his visions of different worlds of time into a unified theory which saw time as relative to the point of view of the observer.
   As I read Einstein's Dreams something began to click in my mind, something I had read before. If Einstein wanted to know "The Old One," the very Creator of time, had "The Old One" ever expressed Himself about time?
   Yes! In The Bible. The Creator of time has much to say in His word about time and points of view. After I read Lightman's book, even though it was fictional (but perhaps not fiction!), some of the Bible's mysteries about time have begun to clear for me a little.

Where Time Is A Circle

(14 April, 1905)
Ecclesiastes1:5-11
"The sun rises and the sun goes down; back it returns to its place and rises there again. The wind blows south, the wind blows north, round and round it goes and returns full circle. All streams run into the sea, yet the sea never overflows; back to the place from which the streams ran they return to run again.
   "All things are wearisome; no man can speak of them all. Is not the eye surfeited with seeing, and the ear sated with hearing? What has happened will happen again, and what has been done will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, 'Look, this is new'? No, it has already existed, long ago before our time. The men of old are not remembered, and those who follow will not be remembered by those who follow them."

A World of Sudden Opportunities

(22 May, 1905)
Ecclesiastes 7: 13&14
"Consider God's handiwork; who can straighten what he has made crooked? When things go well, be glad; but when things go ill, consider this: God has set the one alongside the other in such a way that no one can find out what is to happen next."

Ecclesiastes 11: 1-5 "Send your grain across the seas, and in time you will get a return. Divide your merchandise among seven ventures, eight maybe, since you do not know what disasters may occur on earth. If the clouds are heavy with rain, they will discharge it on the earth; whether a tree falls south or north, it must lie as it falls. He who watches the wind will never sow, and he who keeps an eye on the clouds will never reap."

Ecclesiastes 3: 18&19 "I said to myself, 'In dealing with men it is God's purpose to test them and to see what they truly are.' For man is a creature of chance and the beasts are creatures of chance."

James 4: 13-16 "A word with you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go off to such and such a town and spend a year there trading and making money.' Yet you have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Your life, what is it? You are no more than a mist, seen for a little while and then dispersing. What you ought to say is: 'If it be the Lord's will, we shall live to do this or that.'"

A World of Fixed Time

(22 June, 1905)
Predestination is a daunting problem for many Christians. After all, the very message of salvation is that all may be saved. How might that be possible if a person's destiny is set from time long ago? It seems to be unfair—as if some of God's children are being singled out for special treatment. It's almost...well...undemocratic!
   And yet The Bible is packed with statements that say, in clear terms, that God does predestine some for one fate, some for another. Is it possible that this is an example of point of view at work in time?

Romans 8:29&30 "For God knew his own before ever they were, and also ordained that they should be shaped to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the elder among a large family of brothers; and it is these, so fore-ordained, whom He has also called."

Romans 9: 21-23 "Surely the potter can do what he likes with the clay. Is he not free to make out of the same lump two vessels, one to be treasured, the other for common use?
   "But what if God, desiring to exhibit His retribution at work and to make his power known, tolerated very patiently those vessels which were objects of retribution due for destruction, and did so in order to make known the full wealth of his splendor upon vessels which were objects of mercy, and which from the first had been prepared for this splendor?"

I Thessalonians 5: 9 "For God has not destined us to the terrors of judgment, but to the full attainment of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Hebrews 13: 8 "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and for ever."

A World With A Shifting Past

(27 June, 1905)
Another problem for Christians is the question of forgiveness. Forgiveness, yes; but how can it be possible for God to forget our sins, as He promises? For us this isn't possible, but for the Creator of time...well, point of view again?

Hebrews 8: 12;
10: 15
8:12: "...'I will be merciful to their wicked deeds, and I will remember their sins no more.' By speaking of a new covenant, He has pronounced the first one old; and anything that is growing old and aging will shortly disappear."

10: 15: "'This is the covenant which I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will set my laws in their hearts and write them on their understanding'; then He adds, 'and their sins and wicked deeds I will remember no more at all.'..."

A World Where Time Is A Sense

(5 June, 1905)
II Peter 3: 8&9
"And here is the point, my friends, which you must not lose sight of: with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. It is not that the Lord is slow in fulfilling His promise, as some suppose, but that He is very patient with you, because it is not His will for any to be lost, but for all to come to repentance."


   What if Einstein is right: clocks see time one way; you see it another; I, another? Is time really a matter of point of view? Are there various worlds of time? Does time really exist at all except in our point of view?
   "He has made everything to suit its time; moreover He has given men a sense of time past and future, but no comprehension of God's work from beginning to end." Ecclesiastes 3: 11
Enjoy!

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