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TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5478
NC, USA

 Does the future exist "now?"

What are y'alls thoughts on this?


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Todd

 2015/10/20 15:22Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re: Does the future exist "now?"

I don't know. Or, at least, I didn't until next week. Then I knew. Just wait. :)


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Tim

 2015/10/20 15:57Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1388
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Does the future exist "now?"

Well Brother Todd,
I'm of the school of thought that suggests that "now" is all there ever is or was or will be.... When Abraham offered up Isaac it was (for him) right now, when Columbus landed in the West Indies it was (for him) right now,... As far as I can see that past doesn't exist apart from the present and neither does the future... So I guess I believe in an eternal now.
With each of the above examples the events themselves became a part of history but at the same time (pun intended) they also helped shape the present and so are still present in a sense. So it is with the future, what we do now shapes the future we find ourselves in both figuratively and literally.


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Fletcher

 2015/10/20 15:58Profile
JHerndon
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Joined: 2010/8/1
Posts: 92
Bonifay,Fl

 Re: Does the future exist "now?"

I don't know if I'm misunderstanding the question or not. When talking about the omnipresence of God I believe that tomorrow isn't just something God knows about but it's a place that He is. Thinking about stuff like this will really make your head spin lol.


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Joshua Herndon

 2015/10/20 16:14Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2003
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

It is a hard thing to think about. I have only one analogy that seems to help me. I have thought of it like a rat in a maze. The rat (me) can only see the present...the present corner, choice, hallway, etc. But the creator of the maze takes in the whole maze at once. He knows where I have been, and the result of every path that He may allow me to take, and He sees it all "right now". For Him, the entire maze is now. For me, it is one hallway, one corner, one choice at a time.


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Travis

 2015/10/20 16:27Profile
JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1388
Dothan, Alabama

 Re:

Brother Travis,
Ha! I like that bro:)
With your permission I may have need to use this analogy-


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Fletcher

 2015/10/20 17:50Profile
flameoffire
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Joined: 2008/1/3
Posts: 189
Michigan

 Re: Does the future exist "now?"

I am not a subscriber to an "open view" of the future (or the uglier name "Open Theism") which states that the future does not exist apart from events that God has promised will occur. This view suggests that the future exists in some quantity as contingencies and possibilities rather than fixed, and that God experiences time as a sequence of events.

I find this perspective interesting, and NOT heretical.

I DO believe that God INTENDS, DESIRES, and at times COMMANDS us to view the future as open to change. We are to pray as if our prayers can change the future, and I do tend to take the view that passages regarding God changing his mind, his plans, etc. as literal.

My current perspective is that the Bible's teaching on time is not and does not need to be logically consistent.


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Jonathan

 2015/10/20 17:57Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5478
NC, USA

 Re:

Travis-

I have heard similar analogies and it is a good one-- however it makes an assumption.

That assumption is that the future exists "now" for the Creator to "see."

I truly believe God is omniscient and omnipotent. He knows all there is to know.

But there are certain things He cannot do. He cannot make a sphere with corners or make pi = something other than 3.145.... or make 1 + 1 = something other than 2. This does not mean that God is not omnipotent.

It makes some people squeamish to suggest there are things God cannot do, or know.

If the future does not exist now, then God does not know the future because it does not exist. He sees possibilities and probabilities, better than we could ever hope to imagine, since he has all knowable facts at His disposal. But if the future does not exist now, He cannot know it. It is along the lines of making cubic spheres or crooked straight lines. He can't do it because they do not exist.

I realize that such thinking is challenging to most Christians because I think that most of us have always assumed that the future exists now. In other words, that an actual "me" doing something two years hence exists NOW.

I am not so sure of that assumption any longer.

[edit- jonathan- i just saw your post after i hit enter]


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Todd

 2015/10/20 18:01Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4502


 Re: Does the future exist "now?"

Interesting question. I would argue that the answer might actually be both "yes" and "no."

Why is the answer "yes?"

We know that the future exists. Why? Prophets prophesied the future -- even foretelling (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit) of Christ thousands of years before he was born and of the end of "time" as well. We know that God knows -- and makes known -- the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). We know that the Lord called to John on Patmos to "come up hither" and showed him things that "must be hereafter" (Revelation 4:1). So, this points to a "future" that can be seen "now."

So, why would the answer be "no?"

I believe that the answer is "no" for the same reasons! When the prophets prophesied of future events, they were doing so under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God is not confined to "now." I believe that "time" is a consequential construct of creation. I believe that the Lord sees time from the perspective of eternity -- yesterday, today and forever. It is a bit like the universe is something that can only be fully viewed from that perspective of eternity (almost like a book) whereas we are confined to this side of that "glass darkly" in the "now."

In this "now," I believe that we still have a free will to make decisions and either choose the straight path of the Lord or a crooked path. The Bible -- both old and new testaments -- is filled with instructions to CHOOSE. From our vantage point in the "now," we haven't even decided what we will be eating tomorrow but, as believers, trust that the Lord will provide tomorrow. This is because we have faith that He is there. In the vantage point of eternity, God is there. He is there in the past and there in the everlasting future.

It is interesting in that most scientists feel that "time is relative" too -- a product of temporal (or endless) creation. They believe that certain forces can make time behave differently relative to an individual point (and perspective) in space.

I do not believe that our decisions are pointless. When God gives us an ability to choose, I don't believe that he is playing a game of semantics -- i.e., "choosing" what was already "chosen" by God in a "past." We may be destined for a certain end from the timeless (neither past nor present nor future) vantage point of eternity, but our decisions still have very real consequences whether we want to carry that responsibility or pass along blame to God. After all, there is no "now" in eternity.

I don't know if this is really what you're asking, so I hope that I didn't digress too far from the topic.


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Christopher

 2015/10/20 19:07Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5478
NC, USA

 Re:

Hi Chris-

I think your answer is a good potential solution to the problem.

I think part of the problem is that we as humans (well, at least me) have a hard time thinking of time as a distinct "thing." To me, time is simply a means of measuring duration. In other words, time is a tool, not a distinct thing in and of itself. To analogize, a "mile" is just a measurement. Miles don't really exist. You cant see or touch a mile.

But time, on the other hand, at least in the eyes of physics, is more than just a way to measure between two occurrences. Physicists say that time "began" when the big bang occurred. I have heard some Christians say that time began when God begat the Son. I have no idea what that means- it may even be heretical. But the idea of time having a beginning is more than my pea-brain can handle.

I guess another way of looking at my original question is whether the future is "settled." If the future does exist now, and it is settled, I think that creates a multitude of insurmountable problems, which you, Chris, seem to appreciate.


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Todd

 2015/10/20 19:54Profile





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