Hello everyone and welcome to Deeper Waters, where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’re studying the doctrine of God right now and our topic is eternity. For those who are just joining us, the guide that we’re using is the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Don’t have one? SHAME! Just kidding….You can go to newadvent.org and read the Summa for free there. We’re on question four of the tenth section. Before that, I do ask that you pray for my Christlikeness first that I will see the world as I ought to see it. Second, for my finances. Third, for a related area in my life.
Now on to the question. For tonight, we’re asking if time is different from eternity. Aquinas says they do. To begin with, Aquinas is open to a universe without a beginning. This does not interfere to him with the doctrine of creation. He states that even if the universe had always existed, it would still not be eternal.
This is because there would be a before and after in it and a change from potency to actuality, which gets to what someone was asking about the blog last night. The Bible does say we will have eternal life, but for that, it means more than just the duration of life but the quality of life. We will have the finest quality of life.
In a universe without a beginning and end, there would still be before and after. Because of that simple fact, it could not be eternity because as has been said earlier, there is no before and after in eternity. It is also because that we can speak of the parts of time. We can speak of a day or an hour or a millennium. We cannot do that with eternity because eternity has no parts. Thus, eternity and time are different.
But couldn’t eternity be considered the now of time? Aquinas says no. The subject is the same. There is always now. What is that now however is constantly changing. When I started this blog, now was something different from what it was then. When I started this sentence it was something different and when I finish it will still be something different.
Now I do believe the now is the closest we have to eternity, but it is not part of eternity. Now readers. Why is it that time could not be part of eternity also? Those who have been following should realize this. Eternity is the nature of God and God is simple and thus has no parts. If he has no parts, then eternity, which is his nature, has no parts to it either.
Still, we do well to live our lives more in the now. Look to the past for reflection. Do not look to beat yourself up. Look to the future with hope. Do not look to it with dread. However, the now is the only moment you can really enjoy. Live in the now. It is where you are.
We shall continue tomorrow.