The Supernatural Nature of Time

We’re giving you fair warning — this one is a big ark-load of blather. It’s at the website of the Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website.” They have a comments icon, but it doesn’t lead to any comments.

Their headline is Does Light Exist Outside of Time? It was written by Dan Delzell, pastor of the Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.

We’ve written about the rev’s wisdom a few times before. The last time was three months ago: What Are Ya Gonna Believe?, and that links to the others. Here are some excerpts from his latest, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

In an article entitled “Does Light Experience Time?” Fraser Cain writes, “I co-host Astronomy Cast, and get to pick the brain of the brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Pamela Gay every week. We were talking about photons one week and she dropped a bombshell on my brain. Photons do not experience time. Just think about that idea. From the perspective of a photon, there is no such thing as time. It’s emitted, and might exist for hundreds of trillions of years, but for the photon, there’s zero time elapsed between when it’s emitted and when it’s absorbed again. It doesn’t experience distance either.” Well that sure is fascinating!

The rev puts his keen mind to work on the subject and says:

And yet our certainty that light can exist in the absence of “time” is based upon what God already told us in His Word. Here is one way God describes heaven: “There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5)

Aha — it was in the bible all along. Then the rev tells us:

This explains how light could exist before God created the sun on the fourth day. In fact, there was already light before the beginning of the second day. All it took was for God to say, “Let there be light.” (Genesis 1:3) God’s creative power is not dependent upon time. And there will be light in heaven forever, where believers will dwell in a realm beyond time as we know it.

Yes, that explains it. He continues:

Scripture proves [Hee hee!] what is real and eternal. And science is in way over its head whenever it attempts to prove or disprove the supernatural power of God.

[Skipping an irrelevant quote alleged to be from Einstein]

If you can believe that God provides light in heaven even in the absence of time, then you can believe that God spoke light into existence before the first 24-hour day on earth. The eyes of faith see God doing the seemingly impossible.

Right — faith is the way! Let’s read on:

Did God need there to be “time” in order to create the heavens and the earth? No. “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37) Did God need there to be “time” in order to create light? No. “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) God is not prevented from accomplishing His purposes even in the absence of “time.” And God certainly didn’t need “the clock to start running” before He could create the heavens and the earth. That may be the way man looks at it with his finite thinking, but God can do anything.

Okay, okay — we’re convinced! Another excerpt:

The brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking applied human reason to this issue when he stated, “Time didn’t exist before the Big Bang, so there is no time for God to make the universe in.” Well, that is about as far as man’s intellect can take him. And if you reject the supernatural message of Scripture, you won’t be able to believe that God made the universe outside of time.

Hawking was a fool! Here’s more:

Our human reason is limited in its capabilities. If one of the smartest scientists to come along in recent years doesn’t see how it could happen, isn’t it obvious that God intentionally did something that only the humble would receive and believe by faith? [Yes, it’s obvious!] After all, how else could someone ever come to believe that an infinite God created the heavens and the earth, and that He did so in eternity past?

Would ya believe it — we’re only half-way through this mess. We’ll give you one more excerpt::

While those inclined to analyze everything scientifically continue to promote their theories about the earth’s age, God’s Word will continue to announce that it all supernaturally came about “in the beginning.”

[Skipping a load]

Will you choose to live by faith rather than by sight? Or will you refuse to believe anything that cannot be proven to you scientifically?

Well, dear reader, we warned you. And if you’ve come this far, you have only yourself to blame.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “The Supernatural Nature of Time

  1. There was a debate in the European Middle Ages when Aristotle was coming into recognition. Aristotle taught that the universe was eternal. This conflicted with the Biblical doctrine that the universe was created in time.
    One solution was that the universe was created, but in the infinite past. But that was rejected by most Christians as contrary to scripture. (That is not to say that they insisted on thousands of years, rather than millions or billions. That is a different question.)
    This was a big issue in the 13th century and I am confident that our writer has familiarized himself with it before making any comments on it.

  2. This preacher man asks a fairly confused version of “who ya gonna believe, me or your ly’en eyes?” It’s a stark example of “theobabble”, for lack of a better term.

  3. If you’re going to start by saying, “nothing is impossible to God”, what the hell is the use of investigating the possibility of anything?

  4. Michael Fugate

    I think the essay is best referred to as “making it up as he goes along.”

  5. Yes, he’s quite the virtuoso: the Paganini or Charlie Parker of merde. Most people seek medical help when they suffer fecal impaction. The rev writes articles. That’s fine for him; not so hot for us.

    But we were forewarned.

  6. “And science is in way over its head whenever it attempts to prove or disprove the supernatural power of God.”
    I wonder which science department is working on that project.

  7. “From the perspective of a photon …..”
    Brilliant insight, with endless prospects. Here is one: from the perspective of a pebble on Haumea rev Delzell doesn’t exist. Hence christianity if false.

  8. Dan Delzell proclaims

    From the perspective of a photon, there is no such thing as time

    And neither is there from the perspective of Creationists, who remain hopelessly mired in the 8th century BCE…

  9. For a photon to see anything, it needs to turn on the light…

  10. The reason time is meaningless to photons is that they must move at the speed of light. Time does not pass. They exist in an eternal moment. God is said to exist the same way. Does that mean God is a photon? Or perhaps, all the photons? Isn’t He said to be Eternal Light?

    Am I doing theology now?

  11. A photon ‘experiences’ time the same way a rock does…not at all. As far as the rock is concerned there is zero time from becoming a rock to being a pebble. When a photon or a rock can tell me how their day went, then they can be said to ‘experience’ time. But Pamela defined ‘experience’ differently.

  12. Statements like this are made by people who can’t accept that their experiences just don’t apply in all circumstances. None of us have any way to experience phenomena that involve huge masses or, as in this case, the strange things that happen at the velocity of light. These extraordinary occurrences must be viewed via General Relativity, not an easy subject but an essential one for cases like this pastor dismisses.

  13. Just a question: where was the photon just before it was emitted by an electron?
    Where does it go after being absorbed by another electron. And as long as it is not emitted by an electron, does it not experience time?

  14. The photon does not exist before being emitted by an electron or after it is absorbed by an electron. What happens is that the electron is changed, for example, by changing its orbit in an atom.

  15. The rev makes my head spin. I must infer that because “god is light”, god consists of photons. Sure spoils sunrises, sunsets, and the Milky Way.

  16. Stephen Kennedy

    If a photon is in one frame of reference where it has a proper time t (proper) and an observer is in a different frame of reference with time denoted by t, according to the Special Theory of Relativity’s Time Dilation equation, if t(proper) is any value other than zero you will get division of a non-zero number by zero as seen from the observer’s frame of reference. This is undefined and therefore not permitted. However, if t(proper) is zero we get 0/0 which is defined but is indermenant meaning that while time is zero for the photon it can take on any value for the observer.

    Since a photon is not a sentient being it can not “experience” or not “experience” anything. A human observer however can “experience” the photon existing for any length of time.

  17. All this Bible babble about how light does not experience time–presumably explaining how light from distant galaxies could reach Earth in the 6,000 years or so the universe has (according to young-earth creationists) existed–must make those creationists who want to at least look scientifically respectable cringe. All to the good, I say.