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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Infinite Time to Receive Infinite Good

At the conclusion of The End for Which God Created the World, Jonathan Edwards concludes that  it will take an infinite time (eternity) to experience the infinite glory of God, His fullness, goodness, and justice.

This was a new idea to me. I imagined death to bring an instant lifting of the veil in which suddenly all is understood--all the mysterious circumstances of my life, all the difficult doctrines, and all the unknowns of creation that are beyond my grasp today. Instead, Edwards suggests that God's glory is so immense and infinite that it will take an infinite amount of time to receive it in full. Inversely, it will take an infinite time for him to grant justice to sinners (the other truth of eternity that is more unpleasant to contemplate).

It will take an eternity of increasing joy to experience all the fullness of God

It is no solid objection against God aiming at an infinitely perfect union of the creature with himself, that the particular time will never come when it can be said, the union is now infinitely perfect. God aims at satisfying justice in the eternal damnation of sinners; which will be satisfied by their damnation, considered no otherwise than with regard to its eternal duration. But yet there never will come that particular moment, when it can be said, that now justice is satisfied. But if this does not satisfy our modern free thinkers who do not like the talk about satisfying justice with an infinite punishment; I suppose it will not be denied by any, that God, in glorifying the saints in heaven with eternal felicity, aims to satisfy his infinity grace or benevolence, by the bestowment of a good infinitely valuable because eternal: and yet there never will come the moment, when it can be said, that now this infinitely valuable good has been actually bestowed.

J. Edwards, The End for Which God Created the World, as reprinted in God's Passion for His Glory, p. 251

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