God Is

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A rather quick thought here.

Genesis 1

1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

The Lord God raised dust from the newly formed earth, forming His image, and then breathed life into his lungs. Through the Word, Man is created, birthed within the confines of time. This limitation seems a strange cradle, as God exists outside of time. We, being in time, cannot understand anything outside of it.  Before the heaven and the earth were created, God is.

Consider music.  This creation of  the Lord has meter, and yet in Heaven the four beasts sing  Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8b). Imagine music without the institution of time. What would this canticle sound like, if the ear didn’t receive music as a sort of rhythm (vibration)?

I am reaching outside of my reading list with this back-yard-pipe-in-hand pondering.

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4 thoughts on “God Is

  1. If I were a certain philosopher (which I am certainly not!) we have been listening to I would say that the minor premise here is: rhythm is an ordering of time. But what if rhythm were an ordering of progression? Or an ordering of divine language? Kreeft would say that music is the ontological language of the divine – that the ambiguity of music makes it the most beautiful language, and thereby the language of heaven.

    If we agree that there is progression in heaven (as demonstrated by the fact that God makes sense when He speaks because certain words come before and after others – though that sounds an awful lot like a time-constrained concept – yet He is not unreasonable so this must be true), then rhythm can also exist in a timeless though progressive reality.

    Maybe?

  2. In Kreeft’s lecture “Sex In Heaven,” he answered his own question “will there be sex in heaven?” His answer was something to the effect of “yes, but it will be beyond our comprehension of sex on earth.”

    Music, being divine language, is sacramental. We experience and participate in it, though its a mere shadow of its actual self. Music’s fullness is manifested in the timeless reality of Heaven.

    Here is where my philosophy might get a little tricky.

    Music then has been ADAPTED for us by our Creator, as a gift, for His good pleasure (but from it’s completeness).

  3. Interesting question and thoughts about rhythm outside of time. I would argue that without time, there is no music. Admittedly, if I argued that against Kreeft, I would probably lose, because he’s a pretty smart dude and I’m a crappy debater. Still, if music really is the “ontological language of the divine” it is probably outside of time, and hence not what we normally talk about when we talk about music. Music is the stuff that Mozart composed and Spinal Tap parodied.

    Also, I’m not sure that sex lecture means what you think it means. I’m pretty sure the point is that there will not be sex in heaven, but that’s a good thing because whatever will take its place will be way better.

    Finally, it would seem that whenever God speaks (on the record) his speech *is* time-constrained. Or, at least, I cannot think of an instance outside of Genesis 1 when God speaks to a being who is outside of time. Given the (for lack of a better word) mythic quality of Genesis, I think it’s fair to say that “Let us make man in our own image” does not represent an outside-of-time utterance because it does not represent an utterance, period.

    What I’m trying to say is music is bound to time but that doesn’t mean it’s something adapted for us. It just means that it’s part of what God created ex nihilo. And I think we can all agree that everything he created was good, including music, and that it’s not unconstrained by time is not a bad thing.

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