Science Fiction Part 1

The Eternal God

By Kersley Fitzgerald

Sci Fi the Series

The Eternal God
Free Will and a Blue Box
Calvinism and Vincent
Faith of Dragons
Sins, Souls, and Sentience
Daughters and Gifts

I promised you something light and fluffy. What's fluffier than a Tribble?

The prevailing attitude in the science fiction world is that those who believe in the eternal God are foolish and illogical. This isn't universal by any means, but it is common. Nevertheless, God has a habit of using people who reject Him to serve His purposes. Both of my parents were sci fi lovers, although my mom loves fantasy a bit more. I grew up going to church and watching Star Trek. It's inevitable, I suppose, that some of the broad, creative thinking that goes into science fiction would affect how I see God. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The Timelessness of God

I was sitting in a Bible study a few years ago and one of the men was talking about how God can be eternal — specifically about how he'd never understood it before. How can God exist outside of time? How can anything live outside of a linear timeline? He was surprised when he found out the concept wasn't foreign to me.

Two things led me to get a glimpse of the eternal God. One is derivatives in calculus. If dt is one moment, and we experience t — a sequence of moments in a linear line — it stands to reason there is a higher order of time that makes our timeline look as simple as a single dt moment looks to us. (Don't ask me to explain it any further than that. Calculus was a very long time ago, and I'm not sure I really understood it then!)

But the biggest help was a short story by Spider Robinson I believe called "Temp." If memory serves, it was about a plant that astronauts had brought back to Earth. Those who ate it lost their hold on linear time. Their consciousness experienced every moment of their lives all at the same time. It wasn't as if they were watching their lives and could scroll and rewind, they experienced every moment simultaneously. That must be similar to how God sees our universe, except that He's also omnipresent — He experiences every moment simultaneously. He is eternal in that He has no beginning or end, and He is outside of time. And doesn't go mad in the process.

Knowing the Future

No matter how much we study, no matter how much we know, we cannot definitively know God's plan for the future. We may receive inklings and impressions. We can study the Bible until we have it memorized. In Greek. But God's ways are *not* our ways. We are simple and limited and really not all that creative. We don't see the big picture. We can't even see all of our own little pictures. We think God wants us to take this job, and then we're told we didn't get hired. We think He's going to reward us with a strong ministry, and we get nothing but grief. God does have a plan. He does have our best interests at heart. But those "interests" will always be His interests for us, not necessarily what we want.

Where's the metaphor in all this? Qui-Gon Jinn and Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon was a powerful, educated, hardcore Jedi. He knew the mysteries of the future. He was even insightful enough to know that Anakin was the chosen one. But, obviously, it didn't turn out as Qui-Gon had expected. Funny how when Qui-Gon kept talking about Anakin bringing "balance to the Force" he seemed to forget the good side of the Force was doing quite well for itself, and any "balance" would have to go the other way. Which it did. In the form of Darth Vader. (I think it's hilarious that most of these Star Wars names are not coming up as misspellings as I type.)

Humility is an essential part of any intellectual undertaking. Running around, assuming we know the future, can be so dangerous. We are fortunate beyond measure that we have only to look to God for guidance and not rely on our own understanding. With God's wisdom comes life. With our own comes a moon-sized space station that can destroy planets.

Next: The God Who works in history — and the Doctor Who tries.

Ha, ha, ha, I crack myself up!

TagsGod-Father  | Reviews-Critiques  | Theological-Beliefs

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Published 6-9-11