Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On the Origin of Cheese

I've been sitting here on this mental construct poking a stick at the dual concepts of “supralapsarianism,” and “infralapsarianism”. These came up today in a Facebook thread and, not being very familiar with them, I figured I'd jump into the conversation and opine from an unassailable position of near total ignorance.

I also did some reading on the link I was provided below that compared and contrasted the two positions. I can see the claims of logic in both ways of thinking.

While I'm never the one to say, "What difference does it make? Just serve God, etc, blah, blah..." I do sort of feel that there is a bit of tail chasing here in that I suspect that an omniscient God would have sort of hatched His plan all at once rather than having to reason it out like we humans would do. What makes the search more complicated is that humans deal with time in individual slices of "the now," while God's understanding and His will isn't limited to specific points in time. God didn't one day "decide" to create the earth and the plan for humanity. All these things were settled back in the eternality of God's existence.

Hence, in my mind, that right there relegates this conversation to being a mental game played by humans within the confines of their sequential thinking and the bonds of time. In other words, it may not be terribly important in itself, but it should be fun to play it out. The true value in the question then, it seems to me, is in what it may reveal to us about what God's intentions were/are, and what we can discover about His nature.

I've been doing some rather fascinating investigation on the topic of theoretical physics as it relates to time and space. (As a person with a liberal arts background, this is not my customary playground.) What I've learned is that the current thinking among theoretical physicists is that not only are time and space all relative to speed, direction, and gravity, but that all time already exists. That means, not only is time travel theoretically possible (possible in the sense that the math doesn't disallow it), but that the future already exists. Christians are fond of saying that God exists at all points in time and that we need never worry about the future because God is already there in the future with us, watching over us, carrying for us, etc. That sort of thinking makes for a nice warm and fuzzy feeling, but the truly notable and fascinating thing about it is that future time is already in existence and that we and He are already there.

The analogy that I found purposed by theoretical physicists is that of a film. Just like a movie exists on a reel of film from start to finish, so too the entire "story" of time is theorized to be complete already. We mere mortals live from moment to moment as one who is watching the frames of the film click by, but if we were able to step out of time and space, we'd be able to view time in its entirety from the beginning to the end.

Like God does.

So the question between supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism has a certain element of absurdity to it (beyond merely the sesquipedalianism of the two words themselves). Can an actor who only exists within a few frames of the film question the Editor who put the film together in the cutting room? The realities of these two persons are so far removed from one another that it defies reason. How could a two dimensional being in the grip time comprehend the actions and motives of an Director/Producer/Editor Whose existence is completely outside of time/space?

I sort of imagine that God must have a smirk on His face listening to men ask these sorts of questions. It's got to be a bit like listening to mice squeak to each other about their existential theories of how a block of cheese came to be in the cupboard. The logistics of it is quite beyond their kenning.

If I had to choose one of these logical sequences, I'd likely throw my lot in with the supralapsarianists. But I do so with the full knowledge that this choice is likely much less a reflection of how God works than it is of how my own logic and reasoning processes.