Tag Archives: Divine Eternality

“You were, You are, and You will be” by Anselm of Canterbury

“Through Your eternity You were, You are, and You will be.

And since being past is different from being future, and being present is different from being past and from being future, how does Your eternity exist always as a whole?

Does none of Your eternity pass by so that it no longer is, and is none of it going to become what, so to speak, it not yet is?

Then, in no case were You yesterday or will You be tomorrow; instead, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, You are. Or better, You simply are—existing beyond all time.

You do not exist yesterday or today or tomorrow; for yesterday, today, and tomorrow are nothing other than temporal distinctions.

Now, although without You nothing can exist, You are not in space or time but all things are in You.

For You are not contained by anything but rather You contain all things.”

–Anselm of Canterbury, Monologion and Proslogion, with the Replies of Gaunilo and Anselm, trans. Thomas Williams (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1996), 106.

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“He is unchangeable in His grace” by Herman Bavinck

“He is who He is, the same yesterday, today, and forever. This meaning is further explained in Exodus 3:15: YHWH—the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—sends Moses, and that is His name forever.

God does not simply call Himself “the One who is” and offer no explanation of His aseity, but states expressly what and how He is.

Then how and what will He be? That is not something one can say in a word or describe in an additional phrase, but “He will be what He will be.”

That sums up everything. This addition is still general and indefinite, but for that reason also rich and full of deep meaning.

He will be what He was for the patriarchs, what He is now and will remain: He will be everything to and for His people.

It is not a new and strange God who comes to them by Moses, but the God of the fathers, the Unchangeable One, the Faithful One, the eternally Self-consistent One, who never leaves or forsakes His people but always again seeks out and saves His own.

He is unchangeable in His grace, in His love, in His assistance, who will be what He is because He is always Himself.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, Vol. 2 (Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 2: 143.

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“He is unchangeably the same eternal God” by Herman Bavinck

“As living, thinking beings in time, we stand before the mystery of eternal uncreated being and marvel.

On the one hand, it is certain that God is the Eternal One: in Him there is neither past or future, neither becoming or change.

All that He is is eternal: His thought, His will, His decree.

Eternal in Him is the idea of the world that He thinks and utters in the Son; eternal in Him is also the decision to create the world; eternal in Him is the will that created the world in time; eternal is also the act of creating as an act of God, an action both internal and immanent.

For God did not become Creator, so that first for a long time He did not create and then afterward He did create.

Rather, He is the eternal Creator, and as Creator He was the Eternal One, and as the Eternal One He created. The creation therefore brought about no change in God; it did not emanate from Him and is no part of His being.

He is unchangeably the same eternal God.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, Vol. 2 (Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 429.

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