Back to the Future


The debate between Christopher Hall and John Sanders over openness theology ["Does God Know Your Next Move?" May 21] properly focuses on Scripture, but as a scientist, I am troubled that some of Sanders's statements are incompatible with modern science.

He says that God's knowledge of the future is not really limited because "the 'future' does not yet exist so there is nothing 'there' to be known. … God knows all that can be known, and to say that it is a limitation for God not to know 'nothing' is ridiculous."

The actual existence of past, present, and future is required by Einstein's theory of relativity. All space and time form a four-dimensional continuum that simply exists; the theory does not permit time to be treated as a dimension in which the future is open or incomplete. The theory of relativity has measurable consequences and has been validated by rigorous experimental tests. It is only with great trepidation that one should abandon it.

From a Christian point of view, it is reasonable to conclude that the temporal and the spatial extent of our universe were created together, and thus the entire four-dimensional structure resides before its Creator in an eternal present. Thus our modern scientific understanding of the nature of time fits quite well with the Christian tradition that God has knowledge of all time, past, present, and future: "Before Abraham was, I am."
Michael G. Kane, Ph.D.
Skillman, New Jersey

A.W. Tozer (The Knowledge of the Holy) is surely spinning in his grave. He wrote that "the essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him," and that "so necessary to the church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the ...

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