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A God Outside of Time, But Knowable

by Dr. Hugh Ross, M.Sc., Ph.D. (from his book "The Creator And The Cosmos")

When the atheist astronomer Geoffrey Burbidge complained that his peers were rushing off to join the First Church of Christ of the Big Bang, he was on the right track. The space-time theorem of general relativity leads not just to a theistic conclusion but specifically to the God of the Bible.

Of all the holy books of the religions of the world, only the Bible unambiguously states that time is finite, that time has a beginning, that God created time, that God is capable of cause and effect operations before the time dimensions of the universe existed, and that God did cause many effects before the time component of our universe existed.

Other holy books besides the Bible allude to extra dimensions, trans-dimensional phenomena, and transcendence, but these allusions are inconsistent. The god and the doctrines these books proclaim always are shaped and limited in some way by the four dimensions of space and time.

The Bible alone describes God as a personal Creator who can act entirely independent of the cosmos and its four space-time dimensions. The God of the Bible is not subject to length, width, height, and time. He is the One who brought them into existence. Moreover, the Bible alone describes attributes of God that defy explanation in the limited context of four dimensions. Some examples are the description of God as a Being who is singular and plural (the Trinity) and the simultaneity of free will and predestination.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrew 11:3)

The Hebrew phrase shamayin erets, translated "heavens and earth," always refers to the entire physical universe. The Hebrew word for "created," bara, means "to make something brand-new or to make something out of nothing." Hebrews 11:3 states that the universe we can detect was made through that which we cannot possibly detect. This means that the universe was made transcendently, that it came from a source independent of matter, energy, length, width, height, and time.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. (2 Timothy 1:9)

The hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. (Titus 1:2)

These verses state that time has a beginning and that God was causing effects before the beginning of time.

"You loved me before the creation of the world." (John 17:24)

He chose us in him before the creation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4)

He was chosen before the creation of the world. (1 Peter 1:20)

The Greek word for "world" in these passages is kosmos, which can refer to part of the earth, the whole of planet Earth, or the entire universe. Most scholars agree that the context of these verses implies the latter definition. Thus, God again is seen as causing effects before the creation of the universe, which would include our dimension of time.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:3)

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17)

These verses declare that Jesus Christ created everything. Nothing was created that He did not create. He existed before anything was created. That is, Christ was not created.

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them. (John 20:19)

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your mind? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. (Luke 24:37-43)

The disciples understood the impossibility of a physical body passing through physical barriers. That is why they concluded that the form of Jesus in front of them had to be ghostly or spiritual and not physical. But Jesus proves His physical reality by allowing the disciples to touch Him and by eating food in front of them. Though it is impossible for three-dimensional physical objects to pass through three-dimensional physical barriers without one or the other being damaged, Jesus would have no problem doing this in His extra dimensions. Six spatial dimensions would be adequate. He could simultaneously translate the first dimension of His physicality into the fourth dimension, the second into the fifth, and third into the sixth. Then He could pass through the walls of the room and transfer His three-dimensional body from the fourth, fifth, and sixth dimensions back into the first, second, and third.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in every nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

This passage says that, in coming to Earth, Jesus Christ stripped Himself of the extra-dimensional capacities He shared with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. But these capacities were restored to Him once He had fulfilled His mission of redeeming human beings from their sin.

Religions that view the Bible through the limited dimensionality of the universe inevitably deny portions of God's transcendence. Judaism accepts the teaching of the Old Testament but rejects the New Testament. Islam and Mormonism accept both the Old and New Testaments but add other holy books to supersede them. The Jehovah's Witnesses accept the Old and New Testaments but choose to change several hundred words in both. Other cults such as Christian Science, Unity, and Religious Science simply ignore "unpleasant" passages in the Old and New Testaments.

The common denominator in all the alternatives to Christianity is a denial, at least in part, of God's transcendence and extra-dimensional attributes. For example, the tri-unity of God is taught only in the Christian faith.

Suffice to say, Burbidge's conclusion stands. General relativity and the big bang lead to only one possible conclusion: a Creator matching the description of Jesus Christ. He is our Creator-God.

To order this book "The Creator And The Cosmos" go to: Reasons to Believe Catalog


Ross Hugh, Ph. D., "The Creator And The Cosmos" Navpress, 1993 (Revised Edition,1995) Reasons to Believe, p.77-80

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