Summary and Preview

The examination in this first chapter began with a hypothesis based on Paul Ricoeur, namely, that time is tangible only as narrated time. Its aim has been to trace the central motifs of the narration of time in church hymns in order to glean formulations of questions for the rest of this study. The narration of time becomes tangible primarily in the time indications that occur in the hymns. These include everyday and seasonal terminologies, as well as eternity terminology and explicit time...

Das Wort geht von dem Vater aus und bleibt doch ewiglich zu Haus 264Christ and Time

Apart from Pspo and SA, references to the preexistence of Jesus are found in all of the hymnals. The formulation du gingst vor aller Zeiten Lauf in unerschaffner Klarheit auf (You appeared before the beginning of time in uncreated clarity)265 is rather unusual, however, because the existence of Jesus Christ before time is generally seen in relation to the parent hood of God, e.g., Jesus Christus, du ewiges Wort, aus dem Vater geboren vor aller Zeit (Jesus Christ, you eternal word, born of the...

Jesus Understanding of TimeAn Example of the Difficulty of Speaking about Time

From what has previously been said, one can see that time in the New Testament is a phenomenon shimmering with many nuances a fact that time and again leads to considerable difficulties in theological discussions. A few remarks on Jesus' understanding of time will illustrate some of the problems. Regarding the notion of time in Jesus' proclamation, Eta Linnemann111 remarks in contrast to Joachim Jeremias, Werner Georg K mmel, and Erich Gr sser that there is no evidence for a near expectation of...

Time in the Bible

The Bible certainly does not provide a theory of time, but in the Bible, time is narrated, for the things that the Bible describes take place in, with, and under the experience of time. It will become evident that such an experience of time is influenced by its particular cultural context. I will examine the biblical findings with respect to the concepts of linear and cyclical time. Furthermore, I will also attempt to render the individual semantic fields, as well as the overarching concepts...

The Pros and Cons of Trinitarian Differentiations of Time and Eternity

If at this point my deliberations on Trinitarian differentiations of time and eternity lead to some preliminary conclusions, then I can register both positive and negative results. Trinitarian models enable us to conceive of multi-temporality and relational dynamics between time and eternity. However, unsolved problems have arisen when the persons of the Trinity were assigned to different aspects of time and various ways of distinguishing between time and eternity. Because an account of time...

Eschatology as the Key to a Relational Understanding of Time

If, at the end of the previous section, there was reason to complain about arbitrary speculation, then here arises the question of whether the area of eschatology does not provide an even more slippery slope. Can eschatology be more than speculation It could hardly be more than this if it were concerned only with providing calculations of future events. However, eschatology is instead concerned with the question What may we hope It is certainly not thereby automatically relieved of the...

Eschatological Dynamics

The consideration of linear versus cyclical time should not divert our attention from other aspects of the Old Testament concept of time. Interesting observations can also be made by using distinctions between dynamic and static concepts of time as an analytic tool.69 A dynamic view of time is found in classical prophecy. It sees history as a battlefield on which evil powers attack the reign of God. The present is therefore often viewed critically It is the place of decision. The perspective is...

Hchster Trster in der Zeit321Spirit and Time

The Spirit is discussed only rarely in connection with time and eternity. Nevertheless, one can determine four different time-eternity relations of the Spirit. First, according to Gen. 1.2b, there are allusions to the presence of the Spirit at the time of creation. Second, the eternal communion with the Father and the Son is mentioned. The presence of the Spirit in time is the Spirit's third task, which is followed, fourth, by the Spirit's work on the Day of Judgment. At the beginning of time,...

Indications of Time in Final Stanzas

Within the hymns, indications of time occur more frequently in the final stanzas. In the 264 hymns of GL that contain such passages,31 indications of time are found in the final stanzas of 96 hymns. This figure is much higher for the EG. Of the 452 hymns mentioning time, 202 hymns contain such indications in the final stanza. Here, 17 percent and 23 percent respectively of all indications of time are found in final stanzas. This trend is even more pronounced in Svps. Of the 550 hymns referring...

Indications of Time in the Different Subject Areas

One can expect the frequency of time indications to vary according to subject area. For this reason, those subject areas that occur in a way comparable in all hymnals were examined with regard to the frequency of references to time.43 These were the topics of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Passion or Holy Week,44 Easter,45 Ascension Day, Pentecost, and the theme of death.46 In the case of EG, Sv ps, and AHB, the sections Trinity and Epiphany were compared. It was even possible to compare the section...

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This view of Augustine's hardly leaves room for an optimistic notion of progress. Augustine does not expect something from a future within time, but rather from a present. Only in the praesens attentio of the soul can a person, by means of a combination of memory (memoria), present attention (contuitus, attentio), and expectation (expectatio), establish a unity of temporal events.242 And only in moments of fulfilled present, when time opens itself to eternity, so to speak, in a rara visio (a...

God Time and Eternity Trinitarian Perspectives

The attempt to describe the relationship of time to eternity theologically must also consider the question of the understanding of God. As soon as one is concerned not only with the that of the distinction between time and eternity, but rather with the how of the relationship of time and eternity, then one cannot deal only with the that of a concept of God. If time and eternity are distinguished from each other and if God relates to both of them, then the question also arises regarding a...

Eschatology and Science

Despite the much described eschatological revival during the twentieth century and its accompanying flood of books, articles, and essays, it appears that the relationship of eschatology and science has hardly been a topic of discussion until now. Bibliographies at the end of encyclopedia articles or in monographs allow us to conclude that, whenever eschatology has sought dialogue partners outside of its traditional field, it has generally turned to philosophy, occasionally to social ethics, and...

Dance Instead of March Chaos Research

For many people, the term chaos theory290 may immediately bring to mind the well-known butterfly in Brazil, whose wing flapping may cause a hurricane in Texas.291 This butterfly effect illustrates two basic characteristics of chaos theory, namely, determined initial conditions and developments that are not predictable over the long term. For understanding chaos theory, it is important to distinguish between indeterminism and unpredictability. Chaotic systems are mathematically determined in...

Playing with Different Images Language and Physical Reality

What was largely ignored by Kant has been discussed deliberately by the fathers of quantum theory, namely, the fact that it is not only the perception of space and time that structures our concept of reality, but rather, language is also fundamentally involved. Both Bohr and Heisenberg have dealt with the relationship of language and reality and thus emphasized the hermeneutical character of the natural sciences in significant ways.221 In Physics and Beyond, a type of memoir in the form of...

The Quantitative Difference between Time and Eternity

Whenever models oriented toward Platonism or process theology get into trouble because they build, in different ways, on a qualitative difference between time and eternity and are then unable to demonstrate the relationship of time and eternity conclusively, the opposite path seems tempting. Namely, when one asserts merely a quantitative difference, instead of the qualitative distinction between time and eternity, then further polarization within the concept of world or the concept of God is no...

Die Zukunft ist sein Land93The History of the Future as Surrendering and Grasping

Even if my quantitative analysis of the hymnals clearly indicated that explicit mention of the future is relatively rare, these passages nevertheless tell their own history of human expectation regarding the future. I propose to define this history with the words surrendering and grasping. In this context, surrendering means confidently entrusting the future to God. Grasping, on the other hand, involves the active attempt to ensure that, in the face of a threatening and threatened future, one...

Death as Transition Eternalized Time and Eroded Eternity

The Hebrew Scriptures say little about what can be expected after death. They speak of sheol, the world of the dead, as a shadow world where one does not praise God.375 The hope for an individual eternal life is a rather late phenomenon.376 In the New Testament, the theme of resurrection is discussed in light of Jesus' resurrection. The experience of the Resurrection of Jesus does not immediately trigger the individualistic interpretation if he, then also I. Far more important was the fact that...

The Eternal Spirit

For Pannenberg, a major concern is the emphasis on the relationality of the persons of the Trinity. In the development of his thinking, he borrows the concept of field from physics340 in order to describe the triune God as a dynamic force field. Distancing himself from the Platonic-Origenic tradition of interpreting the divine spirit as nous, Pannenberg opts for interpreting God is spirit (John 4 24) as a field that can be conceived as occurring equally in all three persons of the Trinity.341...

God in Contrast to Time

Because it has become increasingly more evident in the course of this study that the question regarding the relationship of time to eternity necessitates the search for dynamic relational models, an article by Ingolf W. Dalferth sparks particular interest, because Dalferth pleads for a revision of the idea that God and time are mutually exclusive. His most important arguments for rejecting the notion of God and time as exclusive alternatives can be summarized as follows 162 1. The notion of...

Trinitarian Differentiation of Time and Eternity

First, I would like to return to Dalferth's suggestion of how the relationship between God and time can be conceived.285 I have already introduced Dalferth's revision of the view that God is eternal and therefore timeless. God's eternity cannot simply be the negative Other of time286 if God's relation to time is to be perceived as positive. Conversely, God also cannot simply be conceived as being temporally eternal in the sense of sempiterni-tas, because this does not permit the idea of a...

Time in the Old Testament On the Concept of Time in the Hebrew Scriptures

There is general agreement that Old Testament thought has no natural tendency to abstractions.14 Israel never understood time as something separate from the respective event in this sense, it knew only filled time,15 that is, every event has a definite place in the time-order the event is inconceivable without its time, and vice versa.16 As a rule, there is no reflection about the nature of time. What happens within time is much more interesting.17 The earliest period in which more abstract...

Time and Eschatology

Because of the problems just discussed, I would like to describe some of the nuances of New Testament concepts of time in light of various eschato-logical concepts. Mark conceives of Jesus' proclamation of the nearness of the reign of God in such a way that, in spite of its eschatological character, this reign already begins to be realized in the work of Jesus. The future determines the present, but in a way that that which is consummated in the future can be partially experienced in the...

Past Present Future and Advent Modes of Time in Light of Theological Eschatology

The preconception of the unity of time has been philosophically so predominant that the difference in the three modes of time past, present, and future can be considered the unsolved and constantly suppressed problem in the conception of time within metaphysics.136 In theology, the trinity of the time modes has understandably stimulated a connection to the doctrine of the Trinity. On pp. 98-101, I showed how Dalferth relates the Father as the timeless ground of everything, the Spirit as...

Introduction and Hermeneutical Approach

This study deals with the relationship between faith and knowledge, between natural science and theology. There are essentially two different methods for dealing with this subject. On the one hand, there is the path of principle discourse, in which the presuppositions and methods of science and theology are compared to each other and brought into dialogue preferably with the mediation of philosophy. On the other hand, there is also the possibility of allowing science and theology to enter into...

On the Dialogue between Science and Theology

For anyone seeking a dynamic relational model for the relationship of time and eternity, the words of the theologian Gabriel Daly must sound like sweet music The flowering of atomic and sub-atomic physics is revealing a cosmos of startling and beautiful complexity which is marked above all by motion and the wonders of systemic interrelationship.1 I consider Daly's description both correct and auspicious for my study. His emphasis on motion and systemic interrelationship especially catches my...

The Eschatological Difference between Time and Eternity

The eschatological difference between time and eternity needs to be understood in light of the tension between that which was and is, and that which is yet to come. It manifests itself in the difference between old and new time. It does not work with an extrapolation of the existing as the idea of progress does. Instead, the eschatological difference between time and eternity focuses on the new that breaks into the existing. In contrast to the quantitative difference, the eschatological...

Statics and Dynamics

In the third chapter of this study, it became clear that, in scientific models, the emphasis shifted from a static to a dynamic description of the world. In the present context, I wish to remind the reader that a static understanding of the world is not the same thing as immobility. Rather, the static worldview proceeds from a uniform mechanical motion it understands the world to be a machine. Its motion can basically be ignored, because, due to its uniformity, it is irrelevant which time...

Death as End Irrelevant Eternity and Dead Time

The study in chapter 1 showed that the significance of eternity decreased over the course of the centuries until eternity finally became part of time. It was also observed that the notion of dying as an exit or escape from time occurs only in modern hymns.383 These findings agree with the description of the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman in his analysis of the deconstruction of mortality in the modern age Death has been reduced to an absolute withdrawal, to a moment of cessation, an end of all...

The Ontological Difference Between Time and Eternity

According to Cullmann, the quantitative difference between time and eternity derived from the need to find a comprehensive framework for his concept of salvation history. This resulted in an alienation of time and eternity from time consciousness because of the definition of time and eternity as external categories of the redemptive event. Concurrently, the distinction between time and eternity almost disappeared. The opposing movement, a positioning of the distinction between time and eternity...

Der du die Zeit in Hnden hast223God and Time

Is God beyond time and not influenced by it If so, then is God's time-lessness a flaw Can God be God without time Or conversely, can a God having time be God at all Does God's divinity not presuppose a transcendence of temporality Is God's eternity an endless temporality or a timeless-ness Hardly any passages can be found in which God's relationship to time and eternity is actually a topic. As already previously observed, the hymns do not deal with a carefully considered dogmatic statement, but...

Provisional Results Eternity as the Other of Time

Before turning to the question of time in the formation of scientific theories, I will provide a summary and interpretation of what has been achieved in this chapter. In the biblical material, we saw that the content gleaned from the non-antithetical relation of time to eternity is more important than the formal definition of time and eternity. Speculations about whether time should be conceived cyclically or linearly and whether eternity should be thought of as endless duration or timelessness...

Bis ich dich nach dieser Zeit lob und lieb in Ewigkeit158 Time and Eternity

Nur ein Hauch trennt Zeit von Ewigkeit159 in spite of, or perhaps precisely because of this proximity, the relationship of time to eternity is not entirely simple to describe. One cannot find dogmatically sound definitions of time and eternity and of the relationship of the two to each other in the hymns analyzed and yet, both concepts are used in a variety of ways. Particularly in the German and Swedish hymns, the terms time and eternity occur in both singular and plural forms, but the plural...

Linear Concept of Time

Let us now look at the question of how the structuring of time appears in the Old Testament world. From the standpoint of cultural history, it would be natural to see a relation between the calendar of festivals and the development of a consciousness of time. The rhythm of festivals and periods without festivals structures people's lives. For this reason, according to Gerhard von Rad, time per se is not an absolute given, but rather the festivals are the conditions of absolute holiness.29 These...