SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • actual occasions;
  • creation;
  • divine initial aims;
  • efficient causality;
  • eternity;
  • final causality;
  • God-world relationship;
  • space-time;
  • structured field of activity;
  • time (A-series versus B-series);
  • togetherness of past;
  • present;
  • and future;
  • Trinity;
  • Whiteheadian societies

Abstract.

Russell Stannard distinguishes between objective time as measured in theoretical physics and subjective time, or time as experienced by human beings in normal consciousness. Because objective time, or four-dimensional space-time for the physicist, does not change but exists all at once, Stannard argues that this is presumably how God views time from eternity which is beyond time. We human beings are limited to experiencing the moments of time successively and thus cannot know the future as already existing in the same way that God does. I argue that Stannard is basically correct in his theological assumptions about God's understanding of time but that his explanation would be more persuasive within the context of a neo-Whiteheadian metaphysics. The key points in that metaphysics are (1) that creation is contained within the structured field of activity proper to the three divine persons of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and (2) that the spontaneous decisions of creatures are continually ordered and reordered into an ever-expanding totality already known in its fullness by the divine persons.